It is rarely said, “They sounded better in the studio than on the stage.” Most artists, musicians, and bands hit their full potential during live
performances that give room for improvisations, extended solos, and elaborate lighting and effects. Not only is the sound of the live performance more
thrilling, but it also gives fans an opportunity to see the showmanship of their favorite musicians; usually leaving them awestruck.
My favorite genre of music is typically filed under “classic rock.” Although classic rock is a fairly loose term these days—the legends of the
stage aren’t difficult to identify. Because rock & roll was before my time, and with the exception of a few choice live albums, my music
comprehension is usually confined to the studio album. I can only dream about seeing some of my favorite bands perform. For the sake of this thread, I
will be pointing out some of the most notable moments of on-stage rock, but I invite others to share their favorite moments and treasured memories of
the live show, or point out any musicians that have fallen off my rock radar.
This is not strictly about rock & roll, just about good times at THE SHOW! I’d like to start my presentation (and don’t forget to add your own
gems to this thread) with...
The Detours, The Hair—The Who?
Performing one of their milestone hits “My Generation” on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, wild child drummer Keith Moon leaves Pete Townshend
nearly deaf in one ear as he is busy smashing his guitar.
in 1967. The drummer, Keith Moon, overloaded his bass drum with explosives which were detonated during the finale of “My Generation.” As a
result, guest Bette Davis fainted, guitarist Pete Townshend’s hair was set on fire, and there is a legend that he received permanent damage to his
Right off the coattails of the smash-hit Tommy (1969), The Who were back on the stage delivering what are considered some of the best performances of
their career—a tour that resulted in the equally impressive live album Live at Leeds. Although this tour did not boast some of their future hits
such as “Baba O’Riley,” “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” or “Who are you,” this is a chance to see ‘Moon the Loon’ in his prime.
The one and only Farrokh Bulsara
A well-crafted stage persona is essential to putting on a memorable show, and I can think of no better stage presence than the inimitable Freddie
Mercury. It doesn’t hurt to have the mesmerizing guitar solos of Brian May and the collective voices of one of the best harmonic groups of
Live Aid had a TV audience of 1.9 billion, making it the biggest-viewed event of its time, and Queen’s performance at Wembly was widely thought
of as the show-stealer. It is still cited by many as the greatest live rock performance of all-time.
So, what else makes a live show memorable? We’ve covered stage antics, stage persona, but what about fatally loud music? Luckily, Pink Floyd is
uncontested in this category.
On May 15 back in 1971, Pink Floyd played an outdoor concert at London’s Crystal Palace Bowl. They played so loud that their music killed most
of the fish in the lake in front of the natural amphitheatre’s stage… It also killed off the water lilies!!
Although in retrospect, there were several factors involved in the pond incident—and the volume of the music probably wasn’t to blame. However,
the legend persists!
Pink Floyd wouldn’t be the masters of the stage that they are if they were only known for destroying pond life. Perhaps their biggest claim to fame
is the 1980 tour of The Wall. The stage slowly transformed itself from a music venue into a living rock opera to illustrate their highly renowned
The Fab Four
Sometimes the band is just too big for the stage. Not long after the explosion of Beatlemania, the Fab Four began to require venues that equaled the
size of their popularity—Shea Stadium.
On August 15th, 1965, the Beatles sold out Shea Stadium in New York City, playing to a crowd of 55,600. The crowd was so loud, the Beatles
couldn’t even hear themselves during their 30 minute performance. It was the first ever stadium concert of its kind.
Dozens of others in the audience were beaten and maimed by Hell's Angels using pool cues for weapons, a girl suffered a near-fatal skull fracture
from a full beer can thrown by someone in the crowd, performers were knocked senseless or harassed by Angels in several brawls, two young people
afterward were killed by a hit-and-run driver while they were sitting by a campfire, and a fourth was drowned in a ditch.
The fact is, there are just too many legends of the stage that can’t be fit into this thread. That’s where you come in! I have presented some of
my favorite live moments and performances that I can only experience through books, reviews, bootlegs, DVDs, and the magic of youtube.
Please introduce me to some great live music, say a few words about it, and possibly post some important info. Or feel free to share your best concert
Otherwise, enjoy these honorable mentions:
During June 13th and 14th of 1975, once little-known Peter Frampton played two amazing live shows at Marin Civic Center in San Francisco. Although
it was the first time Frampton had headlined a show, the recordings of the concert would eventually become the highest-selling live album in rock and
When guitarist Jimi Hendrix stepped up to the microphone at Woodstock on August 18th, 1969, no one really knew what to expect. What they got was a
rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” unlike anything they had ever heard before; it still hasn’t been matched today.
I can only go by what I have personally seen live.. Going to many concerts over the years and most of the major UK festivals every year.. I have to
say this is one of the most amazing moments for me at a live concert..
Heck so many bands so many gigs, I guess my fave was Pavement with the Slanted and enchanted tour.
Their first Drummer was a madman.
Yeah I know, you are all going who? but boy this stuff was my fave stuff as a kid.
I was here and I met my first wife at this gig.
The 90's rocked
edit on 4-1-2013 by boymonkey74 because: (no reason given)
My all time favourite Pink Floyd "concert" moment, was their set they performed "Live at Pompei".
The atmosphere, the dry dusty ancient setting. The fact the only people there were the sound guys, and some local kids in the area that were
wondering what the heck was going on.
Those lucky kids... Man to be there!
(I'm just posting a small sample, because its well worth it to grab the proper dvd)
Live at Pompeii's feature of A Saucerful of Secrets is worth it alone. It is a pretty great film and I haven't watched it in many years. I will have
to pull it out of my DVD collection one of these days
edit on 4-1-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)
I have been to a fair number of live gigs through the years and have seen some amazing performances. I worked in radio for 18 years and have managed
to get backstage...on stage...and great seats everywhere. One of the best perfromances was a recent show in Nashville I attended...Rogers Waters and
The Wall...outstanding show and great performance musically as well...another which sticks in my mind was a Rolling Stones concert in Madrid
Spain...certainly not their heyday in '89 but superior as they sounded exactly like their studio stuff but managed to add enough to the live
performance that it was electric. Neither are my favorite performers but those show stand out for some reason...other notables...Van Halen...original
line up and Nirvana which was awesome !
I really, REALLY liked that. This tune sounded very familiar--it was probably something my bro listened to back in the day.
I loved the violin's counterpoint with the rhythm guitar..and she got WAY into it too. I love my string instruments in my rock. That's why ELO (my
avatar) is one of my favorites..gotta have some strings in my rock.
You make it sound like you were at that show...was that you off to the side of the stage recording this bootleg? Thanks for sharing. I truly
enjoyed this one.
I'm really not about metal, but I gave both videos a look and a listen
Video 1: Definitely some great audience engagement. You gotta be in charge to command an audience like that. And double-bass drummers never cease to
amaze me. Do you have any idea what it takes to play with that much speed and energy for 2 hours + ? Just astounding even if I don't much like the
Video 2: Okay, that was interesting--great use of props.
Oh come on! 18 years in radio, you must have at least one great story to tell us. Please share!
..and I often hear that Roger Water's revival of The Wall is even better than it was in 1980. I am skeptical because I am a big Gilmour fan as well. I
bet the special effects have improved a great deal these last 3 decades though.
I would love to see it if I ever get the chance. I listen to the live album at Earl's Court probably more than any Floyd album.
4-1-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)
This content community relies on user-generated content from our member contributors. The opinions of our members are not those of site ownership who maintains strict editorial agnosticism and simply provides a collaborative venue for free expression.