Other Players

Killing it live!


Hey Folks.

I was just listening to some music on my computer, yes, that 's the best way these days. Well, at least the best way at work. I was pondering who was the best live performances you've ever seen?

For me, as an overall band and production, Tedeschi Trucks Band was so awesome Live. Only second to Brian Setzers Christmas production. And for a solo acts, the Tommy Emanuel show I saw was very entertaining. So few guys could pull that off without a backing band.

What about you folks? I've been to many shows, over the years but these stick out as some of the best I've seen. I mean sure, Eddie Van Halen is always impressive and KISS shows are huge but not what I'm actually referring to. There are so many shows that I've also missed so just curious what y'all think?


I've seen just about every incarnation of The Doobie Brothers and have never been disappointed anytime I've seen them.

I saw Tommy Emmanuel several years ago, and yes, it was fantastic. There were a lot of frustrated guitarists, including myself, going home that night thinking, "How does he do that?"

Mr. Setzer's Christmas Extravaganza is an event to attend. Too bad he's had to cancel this year.

But, one of the very best shows I've ever attended was Paul McCartney at Philips Arena in Atlanta in September of 2005. The show was over two and a half hours long and the man never took a break except to introduce one of his band members.


Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick tour - Fall 1972


I have seen The Toadies a couple of times in the last 4 years at outdoor venues. It always amazes me how GOOD they sound outdoors. Dont know whether its the equipment they use or the soundman at the board......probably a little of both. Junior Brown whether indoors or out always sounds phenominal. I recently got to see Robin Trower play at the ACL studio theater in Austin that was very good.......probably the best $35 I ever spent on a concert.


I'm not counting most of the shows I've worked, only a couple that were most memorable.

I've seen Tull about ten times. Never a bad show. Thick As A Brick tour on Halloween. Pink Floyd!
Free, in Cambridge (during a miner's strike where the power came from generators) in a circus tent. Willie Nelson at Red Rocks. SRV's first US tour. CSN. Stills got an ovation for singing a high note. Mavericks on Halloween --- McCartney/Wings. Dead, Europe '72---over 40 shows all told---6 hour gigs and fireworks afterwards Robert Randolph and the Family Band--- Kinks--- Leo Kottke--- Rodrigo Y Gabriella---amazing energy! Impossible act to follow.

The Beach Boys and The Eagles were the most disappointing.


I have seen hundreds of acts over the years and 'Wilco' have been amazing every single time. They never were able to catch that on a studio album, though. Maybe they never intended to do so. Live they are a whole different level.

Last time I have seen them was this September. Hamburg, Elbphilharmonie. Breathtaking.


Stray cats back in the day, also The Ramons. Pink Floyd was epic back in the mid to late 80’s.

Peter Gabriel about 10 years ago.


Tom Waits in London 2004...dream come true...his first show in the UK for 17 years at the time and he's only played here once since in Edinburgh. Marc Ribot was on guitar...so many famous people in the audience!

Anything Jon Spencer related...always great...JSBX, Heavy Trash, Boss Hog doesn't matter which band. A particular standout for me was JSBX supported by Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Brixton 2002.

These last couple of years I find Mudhoney and Bob Log III consistently brilliant live.


In no particular order ...

Many, many shows by the Sons of Champlin and Tower of Power
Miles Davis at Zellerbach Auditorium circa 1970-1971
The Mahavishnu Orchestra at Winterland (three times, once with Jeff Beck on the bill too) and the Berkeley Community Theater (twice)
Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead and Mongo Santamaria at Winterland 1969
Santana and the Fabulous Thunderbirds at Stanford circa 1983
Howlin' Wolf (with Hubert Sumlin!), It's a Beautiful Day, and Quicksilver Messenger Service at the Berkeley Folk Festival 1968
The Police at the Cow Palace --- Ghost in the Machine Tour
Ravi Shankar at the Berkeley Commmunity Theater 1968
Sting at the UC Greek Theater --- Dream of the Blue Turtles Tour
Chick Corea and Return to Forever (Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, Al diMeola) at the Berkeley Community Theater 1975-ish
Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company at the Fillmore West 1969
Boz Scaggs at Winterland 1972
Flora Purim and Airto Moreira at the Great American Music Hall 1981
Mark-Almond at the Fillmore West (with Mingus' drummer Dannie Richmond) 1970
McCoy Tyner at Keystone Korner in San Francisco 1971
Third World at the Kabuki in San Francisco 1981 or '82
Peter Tosh and Steel Pulse at the Berkeley Community Theater (1987?)
G.S. Sachdev (bamboo flute) with Zakir Hussain (tabla) at Family Light Music School in Sausalito circa 1980
Milton Nascimento at Zellerbach Auditorium 1990


But, one of the very best shows I've ever attended was Paul McCartney at Philips Arena in Atlanta in September of 2005. The show was over two and a half hours long and the man never took a break except to introduce one of his band members. - PapaDave

I saw him on that same tour and it was fantastic. I saw him in 1993 too (on my last day of high school, which was pretty cool way to cap off the day), and he was great, but still a little light on the Beatles material. It was definitely more Wings/solo heavy. By 2005 he was full-on embracing the Beatles catalog and even doing obscure unreleased stuff. And his voice was still all there at that point. And like you said, he doesn't skimp. You really got your money's worth, and that's saying something for how expensive tickets were. That was definitely a good era for a Beatles fan to catch McCartney.

After McCartney, I think the best show I ever saw, or at least my favorite, was Weezer in '97 on their Pinkerton tour.


I've seen an awful lot of shows here are the standouts

Hendrix Madison Square Garden 1969, AC DC at the Agora Ballroom 1977 Fabulous Thunderbirds at the Whisky 1979, Queen at the Los Angeles Forum 1981 Prince at the Staples Center Los Angeles mid 2000s, rolling Stones Steel Wheels tour 1989 where Axle from G&R fell off the front of the stage


Anything AC/DC is always great live.

Oh, almost forgot. I saw Reverend Horton Heat a couple of times, never disappointed.


Scotty Moore & DJ Fontana at The Mean Fiddler.


For pure, clean, perfect sound I remember two shows well...

Hot Tuna w/Papa John at the Academy of Music in Philly

Karla Bonoff at Mitchell Hall University of Delaware

For the rush and exhilaration...

Ziggy and the Spiders Tower Theater in Philly

ELO at the Spectrum in Philly...original Journey opened...terrible sound...Wishbone Ash was next...even worse sound...then ELO came on and it was surreal and crystal clear, laser beams in every direction.


And for the spectacle of it all...

Elvis at the Las Vegas Hilton


Man, I wish I had been born about 15 years earlier and on one of the coastal areas. You guys have seen some really cool shows. I remember seeing Kansas at an outdoor amphitheater and they were crystal clear.

Chevelle impressed the heck out of me. Three guys that carried themselves very well and sounded like they did on the album. Full of energy on stage.


A couple years ago a drummer I played with showed up to rehearsal wearing a t-shirt that said, "I may be old --- but I got to see all the cool bands!"

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