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I've been meaning to make this a "thing" here. Tell the stories of all the concerts I've seen. I've seen a lot of them. Stunning. Amazing things. For most of my adult life I've done everything I can to see live music. I could talk for days about the music I've seen. I will try do that here.

It would seem if I talk about music I should talk about the first concert I attended.

1992. Grateful Dead. Soldier Field.

Please don't laugh at me, but I didn't even really know who the Dead was. I was with two Gulf War vets. They took me to this show in Chicago. Early on they were mad they couldn't get the acid they wanted. I didn't get it. I'd never tired acid. Never really been high before in that manner. They left mad. I stood on the infield by myself as the Dead started to play.

That concert was the most stunning thing I'd ever seen. I danced until it hurt. Pretty much sober. I spent like the next few months of my life "following" the Dead" around the Midwest. I found some good acid in the process:)! Did some fucked up stuff.

It seemed like it was a happier time. Often 100+ outside and the fire departments would just train their hoses into the air and let us dance under them. Happy times. I danced a lot. Even to this day push comes to shove I got my "Dead Dance."

I recall at one point my father, a kind of stern man, asked what I was doing, maybe it was time I stopped this and went back to college. He was right and I did. But I actually "toured with the Dead" darn it :).

I know many "deadhead" don't like this song, but I recall this from Solider Field:

Roll away ...

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Comment Preferences

  •  So What Is Your Favorite Concert? (5+ / 0-)
    •  GD - Ithaca, NY 1977 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Philpm, arizonablue, raboof, Box of Rain

      My first GD concert was in 1977 in Ithaca, NY.  I was just finishing my first year of college, and my brother was living in Ithaca, NY.  He called me up and said he had 2 tickets to a Dead show, and did I want to go.

      I had become a fan by listening to their records, and I definately did want to go.  I had never been to one of their concerts.

      The show was held in a big old gymnasium on the Cornell campus.  The building was gray stone Gothic on the outside.  I remember hearing the Dead do their late 70's version of Dancin' in the Streets and thinking the Dead are now playing Disco music.  I remember the awesome light show.  I remember walking up to the stage to take in the full majesty of the Wall of Sound system.  I remember Bob Weir doing his "take a step back" rap to get the crowd to stop crowding the front of the hall.  I remember a pretty nice version of Scarlett Begonias, a song I always like

      Overall, I enjoyed myself, but other than being my first Dead show (there has been like another hundred since the, and I continue to go see Further whenever possible), I didn't think the concert was anything special.

      But it turns out that among the Dead cognescenti, that particular show is often cited as the best Dead concert ever.  

      I wish I had known at the time that I was attending the best Grateful Dead concert ever.  I might have paid more attention.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 07:03:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Same here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Philpm, Box of Rain

        Saw it. Good show. Best ever? Uh ... probably not.

        Best "Morning Dew" ever,  maybe. Now that was really something, and I haven't heard a recorded version that was better (though the Europe '72 one comes close).

        The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

        by raboof on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 08:23:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My claim to fame (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Box of Rain, raboof, Philpm

          Among DeadHeads, this show has attained a kind of magical significance, such that I get a little thrill from telling other DeadHeads that I there in person.  That and being able to say my first GD concert was way back in '77.

          It is my claim to fame as a DeadHead - and yours too, as well.  Bully for us!!!

          In my opinion, the show was special because they did a version of Lazy Lightening/Supplication - one of the more rare and challenging song in the Dead repetorie.  I sadly confess that I don't have a distinct memory of hearing that song that night, tho' I have since heard the taped versions from that show.

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 08:49:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  First real concert I went to... (5+ / 0-)

    Beastie Boys on their Liscened to Ill Baltimore....Public Enemy opened for older sister took me and my best friend.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 06:01:54 AM PDT

  •  In 1992 I lived on the north side of Chicago (5+ / 0-)

    and went to grad school in Hyde Park.  So we drove past Soldier Field twice a day.  I remember getting very annoyed at some Grateful Dead fans for running across Lakeshore Drive.  It was hard enough driving in Chicago without that.

    "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

    by matching mole on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 06:11:38 AM PDT

  •  My first concert (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, terrybuck, arizonablue

    was Ozzy on the "Diary of a Madman" tour, about a month before Randy Rhoads died.  That was a spectacular show, especially for a first.  My oldest sister took my little brother and myself.

    The best is a tough one, but for sheer dropping my jaw good, I'd have to go with Bonnie Raitt.  Damn but can she put on a show.

    Undecided voters are the biggest idiots on the planet. - Brian Griffin

    by Philpm on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 06:24:16 AM PDT

  •  Many .... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, Philpm, terrybuck, arizonablue

    Late 50s - early 60s: Lyric Theatre, Baltimore; Dave Brubeck, Lambert Hendricks and Ross; Ray Bryant

    Late 60s - early 70s (who was paying attention?): Baltimore Civic Center, The Band; Prince McCarter Theatre, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Incredible String Band

    Many more, but gotta run ...

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 06:28:08 AM PDT

  •  One of two concerts... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm, webranding, terrybuck, arizonablue

    ...that I ever walked out on was the Grateful Dead, mid-to-late seventies, at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City. My friend and I tagged along with his older brother and friends. We had tickets, but no money, and no recreational consumables. I wasn't familiar with much of their catalog, and what I was hearing was kind of boring. They took an intermission that seemed like it lasted several hours, during which we were entertained by two people playing "Pong" on the projection tv system. Finally, we decided to head to the parking lot and find the car, lest we be stranded. To add insult to injury, the driver was low on gas, so he ended up dropping me a few miles from my house.

    A few years later, I met up with a Deadhead who remembered that concert. "It wasn't a good night," was his review.  So, maybe it wasn't my fault I didn't get it.

  •  Talking Heads, 1983. (8+ / 0-)

    Pine Knob Music Theater, outdoor venue.
    This was the tour that produced their concert film "Stop Making Sense"
    Nothing on the stage as show time approached, and I mean nothing; no amps, drums, microphones, cables.  So people were still milling around and David Byrne comes out with an acoustic guitar and plays "Psycho Killer" alone.
    Then they rolled out Tina's bass rig and the two of them played "Heaven". Then they rolled out the drum riser and the three of them played.
    They kept adding musicians until the stage was full; 2 keyboards, multiple percussionists, background vocalists etc.
    When they had the full band out there they took an intermission and came back at full strength for another long set.
    It was incredible.  One of those perfect nights

    I can see Canada from my house. No, really, I can.

    by DuzT on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 06:32:43 AM PDT

  •  Here Try This (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm, arizonablue

    I saw him play a small venue and it was stunning. Rosemary IMHO is the best thing he has done. A labor of love.

  •  Prince (6+ / 0-)

    I'm not traditionally a Prince fan. When he came to Toronto a dozen or so years ago, I wasn't particularly interested. I was talked into going, and ended up being very thankful for that.

    The buzz on that particular tour was that Prince was not doing the "greatest hits". He was into a jazz/funk kind of thing, and refused to play the stuff that people apparently wanted to hear. Indeed, in his opening remarks that night, he said: if you came here to hear Purple Rain, you're in the wrong place. By the end of the evening, some three solid hours later, he did actually play Purple Rain. But that was the only song I recognized the entire night. The rest was a combination of jazz, funk, jam, and whatever else he could think of. I knew none of it, and loved all of it.

    Being my first experience seeing Prince live and in person, I didn't know much about his ability to work the audience. But he is truly a master. This is a man who loves his music, and loves his audience to love his music along with him.

    Three or four years after that night in Toronto, I saw Prince perform again, this time in Atlanta. He was back to a more traditional show with a focus on his past hits. It wasn't nearly as good a show overall as that one remarkable night.

    "Please proceed, Governor" -- you know who, and when

    by lotac on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 06:41:08 AM PDT

  •  First real concert (6+ / 0-)

    Bob Dylan March 23, 1966, Paramount Theatre, Portland, Oregon

    During his acoustic set as he was tuning his guitar he quipped; "My electric guitar doesn't go out of tune."

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 06:48:06 AM PDT

  •  Ten Years After and Uriah Heep (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, Philpm, arizonablue

    at The Amphitheater in Chicago in 1975. No problem getting acid at that one, guys were hawking sheets of blotter on the sidewalk outside. Peeps were throwing joints on the stage during Heep's set and David Byron obliged by putting one in a foot long silver roach clip and sparking up. Alvin Lee trashed the place with a twenty minute guitar solo at the beginning Of TYA's set and they played seven encores before forty or so bouncers came out of the wings in yellow T-shirts on that had "Fuck You" printed on them and started beating up the first two rows.

    That's when my buddy and I decided it was time to split...

    "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

    by durrati on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 06:51:52 AM PDT

  •  First real concert (on my own) (5+ / 0-)

    is one for the Expat Brits on here.

    Status Quo, at the Spa Royal Hall in my home town of Bridlington.

    Oddest thing I did was fly from Germany to DC to see three concerts in 3 days by Fish (ex Marillion) in 2000.

    Best in the last few years, Porcupine Tree at the Nokia Theatre in NYC, on the 'Fear of  Blank Planet' Tour

  •  a) I like Franklin's Tower. So there. :-) (6+ / 0-)

    The best concert experience for me was seeing Paul Simon when Graceland first came out.  A friend had scored second row seats at the Berkeley Community Theater - a small enough venue that any seat in the house would have been great, but these seats were just. simply. amazing.  He was touring with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Miriam Mkeba and Hugh Masakela.  Graceland had only been out a couple of weeks, so all the music was brand new to my ears, sparkling and brilliant.  The other featured musicians each had solo turns, which was really my introduction to all of them.  Paul Simon was in perfect form.  And we were close enough to see every glance and gesture from the musicians.  I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the experience.

    Two other shows come to mind as being really special and great, both at the Greek Amphitheater in Berkeley:  Van Morrison (with Mose Allison), and Elvis Costello (when he was touring for "Spike").  Both were around 1991 or 92.  Amazing shows.  The Greek is a great place for a concert, and I've seen a lot of really good shows there over the years.  

  •  Men At Work,1983 at the Norfolk Scope (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm, arizonablue

    Yes, they're moment of fame was short, but it was great concert, they were very funny, no "rock star" attitudes.  A great "first show" for me.  
    This isn't that show, but it's from the same tour:

  •  I have seen so... (5+ / 0-)

    ...many great concerts in my life.

    Pete Seeger, Andres Segovia, Bismillah Khan, Charles Mingus, Ali Akbar Khan, King Sunny Ade, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bhimsen Joshi, Frank Sinatra, King Crimson (Central Park!), Grateful Dead, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Mallikarjun Mansur, Mike Seeger, the Junior Dagar Brothers, Hamza El Din, Ornette Coleman, Ulhas Kashalkar, Hakurotwi Mude, Sun Ra, Old & New Dreams, B.B. King, Charlie Haden & Liberation Music Orchestra, Ravi Shankar, Cecil Taylor, Vilayat Khan, Joe Pass, Muddy Waters, Benny Carter, Ella Fitzgerald...

    It hasn't been half bad, has it?

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 07:13:05 AM PDT

  •  Lots of intimate juke joint blues performances... (3+ / 0-) the Mississippi Delta (Helena to Clarksdale) with music from Sam Carr, Big Jack Johnson, Cedell Davis, and many others. Sometimes I got to sit in.
    As far as more popular music-I will always treasure the memories of seeing Johnny Cash, Albert King, Jr. Wells, Isaac Hayes, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, Mavis Staples, Bobby Bland, B.B. King, the Flatlanders first reunion concert, Koko Taylor's last show, the Grateful Dead at the Pyramid,Memphis, April Fool's Day '95, Booker T and the DBTs, Stevie Ray Vaughan in '87, Bob Dylan at the Beacon, October 1990, Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper, Otis Rush, , Bob Seger, and Springsteen...too many to mention. Fun diary. Thanks for posting.

    •  ...and the Ramones... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Philpm, arizonablue

      ...Iggy Pop, Merle Haggard!, Ike Turner, George Clinton...but I still get chills remembering a rare performance from Reverend Purcell "P.L" Perkins at his church in Helena, Arkansas. Perkins was a member of the Blind Boys of Mississippi and the Swan of the heaviest, deepest, and most profound things I have ever heard.

  •  My first big concert was Pink Floyd/Animals tour (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrybuck, Philpm, arizonablue, DuzT

    Riverfront was pretty impressive.  One of the most fun concerts I attended was Devo at Bogarts in Cincy...right after their first album came out.  They were a blast.

    I actually left early from a Dead concert...they just were off that night and flat.  The crowd was flat...the whole vibe was weird.

    You know you're in Oregon when you only see people using an umbrella to protect themselves from the sun.

    by Keith930 on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 07:25:50 AM PDT

  •  First concert (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Van Cliburn and Anna Moffo at Meadowbrook in Rochester, Michigan in 1967 or '68.
    Maybe that isn't really a concert but it was beautiful.

    First real concert - even though that, too, might not be an actual concert - Neil Diamond with Albert Brooks as the opening act in 1971 (?)

    Maybe the first actual concert that could be called a concert was Chicago at Pine Knob and the opening act was The Pointer Sisters in 1973.

  •  I haven't been to a rock concert (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bill W, Philpm

    in many years. I still hit the clubs occasionally to hear one of my friends play but I'm afraid the ticket prices for the big shows put them out of my reach. I've got a few treasured, bragging-rights concerts in my past though.

    My first rock concert would have been Frank Zappa. Last minute tickets and got to hang out with the friends of my older brothers. I felt pretty cool for a snotty high school kid. I'll always have a special spot in me ol' heart for Frank.

    I saw The Grateful Dead play several times. Probably the most memorable occasion was when I and a couple of friends cut in line to join their friends who were standing right at the gate waiting to get into Alpine Valley. I didn't really know who these friends of friends were at the time but I soon learned all about Black Flag... spent much of the concert seated behind Henry Rollins-- staring at the tattoos on his back.

    I got to see Stevie Ray Vaughn & Double Trouble for free and stood right at the edge of the stage.

    I got to see one of the precious few concerts given by David Bromberg.

    Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, John Prine, Warren Zevon, Johnny Winter, Robin Trower, Pink Floyd, Genesis, David Bowie ...

    One of the worst bands I ever saw was Guns N' Roses. They were opening for Alice Cooper and ol' Axl Rose was probably wasted and kept losing his way in the lyrics and spent half their set ranting about the Chicago police. Even Alice had a disappointing show-- only one of his guitarists seemed to have been chosen for anything other than the size of his biceps.

    The worst organized concert I ever attended was Deep Purple in Prague. The audience was locked out of the arena until nearly an hour after the show was supposed to have started and then they just opened the gates. I think I've still got my unchecked ticket somewhere. It was close to being a complete disaster. I suspect the delay was partly a problem with Ritchie Blackmore-- his heart wasn't in his performance that night but Jon Lord knew how to play to a Czech crowd.

    Ah, memories ...

    Saving the elusive werelynx though swag.

    by Marko the Werelynx on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 08:10:18 AM PDT

  •  My first rock concert: Sly and the Family Stone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I grew up as a faculty brat in a college town.

    The college had booked Sly and the Family Stone to play at the football stadium, but it rained that night so the show was moved into an indoor sports field, and somehow changed from ticketed to open doors - free show.

    I was 8 or 9 at the time.  I knew who Sly and the Family Stone was, and sang along with their songs on the radio.  I had never been to any large rock show.  

    So I tagged along with my older brother and sister.  I remember very little of the show: it was dark, everyone was standing, and I couldn't see a thing.  The highlight of the evening for me was when the band threw candy out into the crowd.  I think I remember them doing "Everyday People", but in truth I don't really remember much about what they played.

    I left the show early because, well, I was bored.  I wanted to go home and do kid stuff.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 08:23:54 AM PDT

  •  I was raised by musicians... (0+ / 0-) curiously, my early concerts were all symphonic and jazz....the Boston Pops under Arthur Fiedler, and way too many Berklee Commencements to count.  Of course, my father was playing for the Pops and was administratin' for Berklee at the time...

    I've been pretty fortunate.  Some of the things I got to do as a youngling just floor me today.  (Case in point - my brother and I played one of Gary Burton's "xylophones" while he had his office a few doors down from Pops when we were kids.)

    We were always allowed at all the concerts that Pops and his musician friends did for the city...any Bostonians out there remember "Summerthing"?  That was Bob Tyler's baby, and my father was the bass player in those days.  So, I guess I was a jazz groupie and roadie from when I was about 7 years old....when I rarely accompany Pops on his gigs now (Yes, he's still working) I still tend to carry all his stuff and set up the stands and mikes for him.

    The first concert I paid for with my own money was Prince and the Revolution on the Purple Rain tour....March 27, 198Five at the Worcester Centrum (MA).

    I've been to way too many things to count, really.  But Prince always stands out (think I've seen him 5 times now)....a lot of the jazz shows I've been to...and being fortunate to catch Los Reyes a few times they've been through Boston.

    Oh, did I mention Sinatra?  I am extremely fortunate to have seen him on his last US tour, say about 1995 or so.

    I prefer to remain an enigma.

    by TriSec on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 09:46:49 AM PDT

  •  My first concert (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Box of Rain, raboof

    was Big Brother and the Holding Co. with Janis Joplin at The College of San Mateo in October 1966. I'll never forget that night. Only 50 people in the audience and at the break Janis sat on the edge of the stage and I had the great pleasure to meet her and talk with her for a few minutes. Was at the Avalon Ballroom the following weekend for the first time to see the band and never missed a chance to see them when they were in the Bay Area.
    Was going through my collection of poster art just the other day looking for a poster of The Thirteenth Floor Elevator's show at the Avalon from 1967. Frontman Roky Erickson is coming to S. F. in August and I'm hoping to get an autograph! As I was perusing all those posters  I was thinking that it would be impossible to pick just one particular show because I've saw so many great shows during the 60's and 70's.

    "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now." -B. Dylan

    by S F Hippie on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 10:06:23 AM PDT

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