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John Simkin

Greatest Live Performance

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I thought it might be a good idea to write about the greatest live concerts you have attended.

Over the years I have seen a large number of the great names in music perform live. The first great performance I saw was that of Roy Orbison. I had gone to see a new up and coming band called the Beatles (they were just about to have their first record, Love Me Do, released. The Beatles were at the bottom of the bill and were supporting Orbison, a singer who I did not know anything about. Orbison completely lacked charisma and was one of the few rock stars that you never wanted to be. He stood in the middle of the stage with his guitar and sang songs such as Only the Lonely, Running Scared, Love Hurts and Crying. It was magical. The quality of his voice was truly amazing. So was his ability to convey raw emotion. At that time I had never experienced a broken love affair. Orbison obviously had and was able to communicate that to his audience. It was like reading a great book. I was taken into a world I knew nothing about.

I never bought any of Orbison’s records. At the time I was a terrible snob who was only willing to buy music performed by black Americans. However, that night, I knew I was in the company of a great artist. He died a long time ago (1988). However, when they play his music on the radio, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up in recognition of that night I spent with him in Romford in the summer of 1962.

The other outstanding performance was by Don McLean. It was in London in 1973. A year after his great hit American Pie was released. In many ways McLean was very much like Orbison. He stood in the middle of the stage with his guitar and sang his own songs. Like Orbison, he actually sounded better live than he did on record. However, it was not the quality of his voice that mattered. It was his ability to create a sense of community. McLean was very much a political singer (I believe he still is). Songs such as Sister Fatima, The Grave, Bronco Bill’s Lament, The Pride Parade, The More You Pay and Oh My What a Shame were spellbinding. The nearest I can compare it to was listening to a great orator. It was the ability to use words to create an emotional and political response from the audience. I never had the good fortune to hear Martin Luther King make a live speech. I imagine it would have had a similar impact on me as that Don Mclean concert.

Buddy Rich and the Diz as in Gillespie.... a jam session Monterey Jazz Festival maybe 79-80?... there was power failure, it was a night show, the place was packed, foggy-cold and not one person in the outdoor arena cared.

We were videotaping the show when arena power went down, the tv remote truck had seperate generated power so we stayed up. However, no stage power for the sound amps, lights, etc... the entire house went black.... flashlights and Zippos from the crowd started appearing eventually lit the stage some (not enough for our work).... looked like it was refund time... but Diz and Buddy Rich had there instruments on the stage, made their way there... You could here Rich when he started to play from down stage, then Diz up stage, eventually Diz found Rich -- the entire arena quieted, we knew we in for something special.... They jammed for 40 minutes (till power was restored)

Edited by David G. Healy

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Memoirs:

Peter Tosh in this grotesque metal clad inverted rubbish bin in Perth. Stopped going to it after noticing the awfulness of the accoustics. Had to give it another go when Tosh came to town and for some reason Tosh and co managed to do a real thorough soundcheck and the concert was spectacular. Real pros. ( to not have seen Marley at least once is a major regret ) (Ditto the modern mozart Zappa).

Kraftwerk in the restored old Princess theatre in Melbourne. Having been a fan for some time, I was blown away by the performance which was somewhat revolutionary at the time with its light show.

Again in Melbourne, UB40 for the sheer fun of it. By the end all benches were pushed to the side and the hall was a dance floor.

Johnny Winter (or was it Edgar?) (sydney) in a fairly small but still standing theatre. There was no need to see the show, couldn't push my way to the front anyway, just hearing him play live was great.

Midnight Oil, The Saints (Brisvegas), Swannee, Redgum, and many others in various places. Missed out on the early AC/DC concerts cause I suppose they were up'n coming nobodies then though they were locals (later lived near Bon Scotts grave). In those days, locals like the Manneqins, the Scientists, the Triffids, the Jam Tarts (local sweeties), AtoZ (after Answers and Zeros joined), the Dugites, the guy in Shine (another performance I missed due to not remembering it, (apparently I was there???) in a small wine bar). The garage to pub band scene in Perth was very creative and cheap in those days. Hernandos Hideaway and the Stoned Crow were great venues. The Crow was later rebuilt and re-emerged as Mojos, with much the same format minus the maze of little early 1900's rooms outback where hazy get togethers were had, and end of highschool Catholic sheilas had their first taste of whatever. Lotsa fun'n'games.

Came to Oz when ABBA won the eurovision in england. Must say it was most embarrasing, heaps of ragging. So, while they took off in Oz, at school all I wanted to do was wear a tee shirt saying 'it's not my fault'. (Though I remember Benny from my childhood.) Have become a fan in my dotage and regret not seeing them live then. the Mamma Mia movie is a sufficient recompence. Those colors, golden hair and royal blue. The flag on the boat, the boat itself, the scenery which is so much like parts of swedens coast. (ja, jag vill leva, jag vill do i norden)...Memories are made of this...anyway, Anna got her prince, and Agnetha did the ole' Greta Garbo (typical swedish trait).

My major childhood interests were Satchmo, Grieg, and the early Stones (some of their early numbers showed they were real wiggers). MLK was a major influence seeing him feted at the Nobel price while seeing Bull in Alabama on telly. What a contrast.

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Hey, I just saw the Obama show from Lincoln Memorial on HBO.

It was actually pretty good, with some very good performances by Garth Brooks, U2 and others.

Tom Hanks read excerpts of Bugliosi's book (ha ha, only kidding) and Bono brought up Israel and Palestine, but it was a pretty good show overall, and it gives me some hope that if not anything else, there's going to be some good parties at the White House.

Did anybody else catch this show?

BK

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Not the greatest, but a great live performance was seeing Tommy Emmanuel playing at the University of Sydney's Footbridge Theatre. Fantastic; made one person sound like an orchestra.

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I was taken to a concert in Southampton by my older cousin when about 11 years old.

Highlights

Kinks

Yardbirds

Ronnettes

Cliff Bennet and the Rebel Rousers

Other concerts worth remembering

Van Morrison at the Rainbow in 1974

Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band At the Dome in Brighton 1972.

(Got detained by the police after this event on suspicion of robbery with violence - held for a while but released after the sory of wher I had been was checked out). The policeman enquired was Capatin Beefheart anything like the Beach Boys.

Your taste is closest to mine of anyone who's replied on this thread, I would have loved to have seen Beefheart as well as the Kinks (at their prime) and the Yardbirds.

I saw Screemin' Jay Hawkins a few times and he was always great. I saw him once in Central Park and got right up by the stage, he got so worked up during Constipation Blues that a little turd (the size of a marble) rolled out of a pants leg, I don't think it was a 'prop' because only of handful of people could see it.

I saw Motorhead in Cleveland and they literally brought the roof down (OK just some plaster). I saw the Bad Brains around the same time and they put on a great show HR (the singer) was gaffer taped to an armchair but still managed move around stage through 'will power".

I saw Iggy around 1989 and he was awesome, it was better than any of his shows I've seen or heard video/audio of with the exception of 1 or 2 shows by the original Stooges.

I saw Hasil Adkin's legendary performance at the last show ever Gerde's Folk City (where Dylan and Janis had played). Read my account here: http://www.roctober.com/roctober/hasiladkins.html

I also saw Link Wray in the early 90's and Dick Dale a few years ago and both were very kick-ass especially considering their age.

I went to an Art Blakey show a few years before he died and was very impressed he played his drums really hard and at times quite fast despite being close to 70, the young hotshots in his band at times struggled to keep up.

Other bands/singers who put on memorable shows I saw were the Cramps, Ramones, Dwarves, Black Flag, Nancy Sinatra, GG Allin

Among Brazilian performers the best shows I've seen were by Margaret Menzies and Chico Science.

I also had a really great time at a Pouges show in London, the crowd was mostly London Irish who were fanatical fans and sung along to all the songs

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http://www.classicpo.../DDC.1969.06.20

This great image was used to advertise the Newport Pop Festival held June 20 — 22, 1969 at Devonshire Downs in Northridge, California. Jimi Hendrix was the headline act for the Friday night opening, but he played so poorly - supposedly from an LSD-laced drink - that he returned to the stage on Sunday. His Sunday performance with Buddy Miles, Eric Burdon, and several others lasted more than two hours. The Sunday performance is now legendary and prompted Los Angeles Times critic Pete Johnson to write that the audience “may have heard the best performance of their lives.” (SEE LINK)

===========

Sunday, June 22, 1969

Booker T & the MGs, Chambers Brothers, the Flock, the Grass Roots, Johnny Winter, Marvin Gaye, Mother Earth, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles, Eric Burdon, and Mother Earth (jam), Poco (formerly Pogo), the Byrds, the Rascals and Three Dog Night.

Edited by Steven Gaal

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http://www.classicpo.../DDC.1969.06.20

This great image was used to advertise the Newport Pop Festival held June 20 — 22, 1969 at Devonshire Downs in Northridge, California. Jimi Hendrix was the headline act for the Friday night opening, but he played so poorly - supposedly from an LSD-laced drink - that he returned to the stage on Sunday. His Sunday performance with Buddy Miles, Eric Burdon, and several others lasted more than two hours. The Sunday performance is now legendary and prompted Los Angeles Times critic Pete Johnson to write that the audience “may have heard the best performance of their lives.” (SEE LINK)

===========

Sunday, June 22, 1969

Booker T & the MGs, Chambers Brothers, the Flock, the Grass Roots, Johnny Winter, Marvin Gaye, Mother Earth, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles, Eric Burdon, and Mother Earth (jam), Poco (formerly Pogo), the Byrds, the Rascals and Three Dog Night.

Did you actually go to either show?

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I WENT TO FRI and SUNDAY events. Oh Happy DAY !

Friday, June 20, 1969

Albert King, Edwin Hawkins Singers, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Joe Cocker, Southwind, Spirit and Taj Mahal.

Saturday, June 21, 1969

Albert Collins, Brenton Wood, Buffy Ste. Marie, Charity, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Eric Burdon, Friends of Distinction, Jethro Tull, Lee Michaels, Love, Steppenwolf and Sweetwater.

Sunday, June 22, 1969

Booker T & the MGs, Chambers Brothers, the Flock, the Grass Roots, Johnny Winter, Marvin Gaye, Mother Earth, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles, Eric Burdon, and Mother Earth (jam), Poco (formerly Pogo), the Byrds, the Rascals and Three Dog Night.

PLEASE TURN YOUR SPEAKER TO MAXIMUM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNQXQKflJNA

#####################################

http://articles.latimes.com/1989-08-06/entertainment/ca-315_1_los-angeles

Edited by Steven Gaal

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March 24-26, 1990. The Grateful Dead. Knickerbocker Arena. Albany, NY.

Recorded and released as a three-disc set as "Dozin at the Knick"

And I was there, Friday night.

A near studio quality recording. (I later found that other bands sound exceptional at that venue as well)

Featuring phenomenally appreciative, considerate and cooperative crowd as demonstrated on "I bid you Good-Night" and one of the three "Space" jams, where the music drops to nothing but a light rim drum tap, for quite a while, and nary a peep is heard from the crowd.

Don't buy a download of it unless you make certain that you are getting all songs in there entirety. Also, the song order on the discs is better, with more un-interupted transitions than I have seen on my Apple-store download.

Cheers,

Michael

Hell in a Bucket

 

 

Edited by Michael Clark

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On 12/22/2004 at 0:02 AM, John Simkin said:

I thought it might be a good idea to write about the greatest live concerts you have attended.

Over the years I have seen a large number of the great names in music perform live. The first great performance I saw was that of Roy Orbison. I had gone to see a new up and coming band called the Beatles (they were just about to have their first record, Love Me Do, released. The Beatles were at the bottom of the bill and were supporting Orbison, a singer who I did not know anything about. Orbison completely lacked charisma and was one of the few rock stars that you never wanted to be. He stood in the middle of the stage with his guitar and sang songs such as Only the Lonely, Running Scared, Love Hurts and Crying. It was magical. The quality of his voice was truly amazing. So was his ability to convey raw emotion. At that time I had never experienced a broken love affair. Orbison obviously had and was able to communicate that to his audience. It was like reading a great book. I was taken into a world I knew nothing about.

I never bought any of Orbison’s records. At the time I was a terrible snob who was only willing to buy music performed by black Americans. However, that night, I knew I was in the company of a great artist. He died a long time ago (1988). However, when they play his music on the radio, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up in recognition of that night I spent with him in Romford in the summer of 1962.

The other outstanding performance was by Don McLean. It was in London in 1973. A year after his great hit American Pie was released. In many ways McLean was very much like Orbison. He stood in the middle of the stage with his guitar and sang his own songs. Like Orbison, he actually sounded better live than he did on record. However, it was not the quality of his voice that mattered. It was his ability to create a sense of community. McLean was very much a political singer (I believe he still is). Songs such as Sister Fatima, The Grave, Bronco Bill’s Lament, The Pride Parade, The More You Pay and Oh My What a Shame were spellbinding. The nearest I can compare it to was listening to a great orator. It was the ability to use words to create an emotional and political response from the audience. I never had the good fortune to hear Martin Luther King make a live speech. I imagine it would have had a similar impact on me as that Don Mclean concert.

Chuck Berry.  

Free outdoor concert in the medieval square by the Dominican Church in Brno, Czech Republic, 1996.

On a slightly-raised stage.

He did the Duck Walk.

--  Tommy :sun

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