greatest rock and roll concert you ever saw

No folk singers, no blues artists, no country rock. Will leave it up to the posters to define it. Do the Eagles count? Well I guess so.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse. 1991 with Sonic Youth and Social Distortion.

Off the top of my head…

Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock.
Rolling Stones at Baltimore Civic Center 1969 (B.B. King, opening act).
Jeff Beck Group opening for Big Brother and the Holding Company, Alexandria, Va. 1967.
Velvet Underground, 1970, Unicorn Coffee House, Boston.
Jefferson Airplane, Music Hall, Boston, 1971(?)
The Pogues, 1986, Opera House, Boston (last show before they closed down the Opera House for structural defects.)
Dr. John and Allen Toussaint, Jonathan Swift’s, Cambridge, Mass. 1985

That’s off the top of my head…

I’d probably have to say Tom Petty. If nothing else, he put on such a great show. I saw him 9 times over the years and every show was great.

I managed to catch Roger Waters twice and those were both amazing as well.

Oh, and Jimmy Page with the Black Crowes. I’d go seem them again in a heartbeat.

Woodstock. 1969. Sly and the Family Stone. Arlo Guthrie. Crosby Stills Nash and Young. Jefferson Airplane. The Who. Sha Na Na. Jimi Hendrix. The most memorable to me, among just a few others.

Singer Bowl, New York, 1968. Chambers Brothers. Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin. Jimi Hendrix.

The Concert for Bangladesh. 1971. Ravi Shankar, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan.

God damn I feel lame looking at the list of concerts other people have been to in their lives.

I’ve seen bands like seether, papa roach, avenged sevenfold, etc. but they can’t compare to going to woodstock.

For me the best concert I’ve ever been to was the Offspring.

Suicidal Tendencies with opener Snot at the Huntridge Theatre in Las Vegas back in 1997 was one of the greatest rock shows I will ever see. I reserve the right to remember a better show, but man, it’s gonna be hard to top that one.

The first time I saw The Flaming Lips back in 1986 they glued me to the back wall of the venue with their volume and their non-stop psychedelic freakouts. A life-choice-affirming show for me, to be sure.

The Ramones show in 1986 was epic but I admit I conflate the events of the entire evening and the show itself may not have been as memorable for everyone else (who still had both their shoes at the end of it).

The two best shows-by-a-band that I’ve ever seen were both by Universal Congress Of, but I’d argue they are/were a jazz band not a (punk) rock band (but that is one of my arguments, isn’t it? :p).

I’ve seen only a handful of concerts. Best by far was in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, November 1, 1981. The Rolling Stones, with the Fabulous Thunderbirds and ZZ Top opening for them.

Metal is a sub-genre of rock, yes?

Any Gwar show, but especially in their heyday in the early/mid 90’s, will redefine what being at a concert means.

The Who, 1982 and 1989, both times in Toronto, and both times at Exhibition Stadium. The 1982 concert was a helluva lot of fun; we must have been fifty feet from the stage.

I also caught Supertramp in Toronto in 1983. Great show; they must have done a twenty-minute version of “Fool’s Overture.”

The best concert I ever saw was Sugar and Magnapop in 1994.

They played at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, which is about as out of the way as one could get for a show like this, and as I put it in a review I wrote for a zine, “You know you’re in a small town when they advertise a rock concert on the public access community billboard, along with church bazaars and the band booster chili supper.”

Sugar only played for a little over an hour, but what an intense hour it was.

Spoons. I was at that 1989 Who concert at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. The content of the performance was spectacular, but for reasons I’ve previously shared, the floor seats sucked. About 10 seconds into the show the people in the front few rows decided to stand. Then the people behind them stood. Then the people behind them stood on top of rickety folding chairs.
I spent the entire concert perched upon a rickety folding chair, on my top toes, to even see anything at all. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

So, for me, I’ll go with the first concert I ever saw: KISS at Cobo Arena, Detroit, 1976. They just absolutely killed the place, as you can imagine.

My second place is Neil Young in Ottawa circa 1987. It was at an arena that only held 10,000 people, but with the configuration I’m guessing only about 6,000 were present. Neil was completely on top of his game: a really great show.

You weren’t at Woodstock. 400 thousand were there, 10 million claim to have been. :dubious:

I’m joshing you. I am 57, sometimes at parties I tell the story of how, at age 7, my mother, who was a hippie, and I hitchhiked from Virginia to go to Woodstock. Their eyes get wide before I tell them I am only kidding.

I am just now putting together some pictures of famous headlines to frame and put on the wall in my library. This is one - Redirect Notice

Even Woodstock wasn’t at Woodstock.

November 1987 Aerosmith/Dokken was hard to beat but March 1988 David Lee Roth may have done it with his aerial boxing ring and flying surf board.

Judas Priest at The Palladium in NYC 1980.

Fantastic venue with good acoustics ( although very warm/hot ), the band was playing their best stuff and you could hear every chord, drum hit, bass note clearly. Like hearing a studio album played live with all the live energy.

Opening act: The Dickies.
Second act: The Ramones.
Headliner: Iggy Pop.

Aragon Theater, Chicago, around 1991 but I’m not quite sure of the date. I went to see the Ramones, but all three acts were incredible.

You can blame me and a few hundred others for that. We (my then-girlfriend and I) had seats fairly close to the stage, and when those in front of us stood up, so did we. I guess it followed all the way to the back.

The 1982 Who show was interesting. My friends and I had General Admission tickets, so we had to get there early. As did thousands of others. We ended up in a great place, but after seven hours on a football field on an unusually hot October day, we were a little tired of it all. As the time for the show approached, the crowd surged towards the front, and we were swept along. Then, they got out the fire hoses, to both keep the crowd back, and to cool it off. Like I said earlier, we were only about fifty feet from the stage, and I ended up getting blasted by a fire hose.

Good times!

Counting Crows/Live/Unified Theory

Target Center in Minneapolis, circa 2000.

Live and Counting Crows alternated as headliners on this tour, and the Crows were it that night. The energy was up, both hands were loose and having fun.

If we’re allowing “pop” concerts, Billy Joel would certainly be in the running. And I saw Ray Charles when it was just him, a piano, and one background singer. Just amazing.

Pink Floyd, Boston Music Hall, 11/11/71

I love how folks ignore the question being asked and instead answer the question they wanted to be asked. :slight_smile:

For me it’s The Who, 1980. They performed at a fairly small, intimate venue that was not scheduled as a regular tour stop. I was in the balcony, but front-row and center. I knew I was seeing something special.