Your 5 top gigs. As audience


One thing off the bat, I have a feeling a few of those "top gigs as audience" are still on the horizon, since I'm paying attention to a different genre (blues) than I've ever had befor now. And I'm really glad for that.

But currently mine are the following:

1. Fishbone (St Lous, 2011 or '10). The vibe and energy and musicianship of those guys was amazing, truly gifted elder statesman

2. There's a STL band called Fragile Porcelain Mice that I used to see frequently in my late teens/early twenties. More of a "punk-ish" local act, but kind of the same as Fishbone as far as energy and how tight they were.

3. Faith No More, these guys were f--king amazing. Mike Patton, in addition to having a great voice is just a fun guy to watch jump around on stage.

4. Jason Ricci and The Bad Kind. Jason R is a blues harmonica player who makes John Popper look like a squirrely amateur. Saw him last year here in KC, never seen a harp player attack it the way he does, but he can also player soft and delicate as well. His band is amazing too.

5. Danielle Nicole Band. Probably my current favorite KC blues act, love DN's voice, and she never EVER mails it in. High energy, deeply soulful and bluesy, amazing band, can't go wrong with her.


Gold Member
1. Genesis 1982- 3 Sides Live Tour- Just incredible with Chester and Phil on top form.
2. Foo Fighters- 2015- What a gig! Taylor on fire, Dave with his broken leg and a crowd who were so up for it after the initial cancellation.
3. Peter Gabriel- 1983- Plays Live Tour- Rick Marotta on drums- rhythms from another world.
4. Dave Lee Roth - 1988- Greg Bissonette on drums- I can still see bits of the drum solo- unison double bass with twin china cymbals- it was so cool.
5. Crowded House- 2010- Matt Sherod on drums in place of the dear departed Paul Hester. This isn't so much a drum choice as a music choice. Very sophisticated songs played to perfection by a band who really know what to leave out.

I've been to loads of gigs over the years with some incredible playing but these are the first to come to mind. I'll have another 5 by tomorrow....


Silver Member
I forget the years as it was a very long time ago as a teenager. Although, here's the one's I found most memorable, all in the 70's.

Led Zeppelin
Doobie Brothers
Rolling Stones

Although way back, I did a ton of business (as a very young guy) with the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ and became quite friendly with Butch Pielka, the owner at the time.

I'd be told when Springsteen would be showing up to play with the house band, Cats On A Smooth Surface and those jam sessions were pretty cool as well in such a small room.

Got to talk with him several times there as well. I also knew and did some business with Bobby Bandiera, who was the rhythm guitar player with Cats. He also played with Bon Jovi for maybe a decade or so and also with Southside Johnny Lyon. It was a great period back then at the Jersey Shore.


Platinum Member
A flautist needs a roadie? What next? The piccolo player?!

It's a longstanding joke when I'm playing out that I wish I played the piccolo. Now I know I wouldn't even need to carry that!
Haha good one. No he played several guitars too, and had a drummer, keys, bass. So ya we did carry stuff. My one and only time as roadie, we took speed and got sick. Lesson learned.

Super Phil

Senior Member
Rush (any of the 20+ times I've seen them since 1990)
Motley Crue - Dr. Feelgood tour
Winger (at a club probably 8 or so years ago)
Paul McCartney (couple of years ago)
Garth Brooks (on his recent tour)


Gold Member
I won't pay a lot of money to go see ANY band so the number of 'concerts' I've been to is very low.

Saw Yes a few years back at the MEN. Their 25th anniversary tour. Blew me away.

I see Marillion almost every year at least once. Hit and miss but a couple of those gigs I'd rate as up there.

My missus got me into a roots/folk band called Show of Hands a few years back. We see them every now and then and they are always top drawer.

Genuinely, and I'm not saying this to be pretentious, I've seen LOTS of unsigned bands who have played on the same list as my band and thought to myself that they are as good as professional. I'm not a huge metal fan, but I frequently see a band on the circuit called CAIN who perform as well as I've seen any big, signed, band play. And they're really nice blokes to.

Yup, as I'm typing, I've decided that I've had my best nights out listening to music played by largely unknown bands. I could throw names around but no-one will have heard of them.


Senior Member
Mother's Finest
Blue Oyster Cult
Atlanta Rhythm Section
Moody Blues

But there's so many to add to that list...

Matthew L

Junior Member
Although I have seen stadium/big auditorium shows, and enjoy the sense of "spectacle", I prefer seeing bands in smaller clubs on their way up the ranks, or an established band playing a smaller venue. My current top 5:

1) Mutemath at Sonar in Baltimore. Tiny club that's now defunct. Incredible live act. Darren King is one of my favorite drummers. At one point in the show, he was crowd surfing on top of his bass drum while still playing a snare he was holding in one arm. Crazy.

2) Foxy Shazam at 930 Club in D.C. They opened for The Darkness. Absolutely blown away. This was after they had released The Church of Rock and Roll. The lead singer is like the love child of Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson. I think The Darkness seemed fairly tame in comparison.

3) Elbow at 930 Club in D.C. Brilliant musicians. Hard to believe such a delicate voice comes out of a dude as big as Guy Garvey.

4) Foals at The Ottobar in Baltimore. Big fan, glad in some ways they aren't bigger in the States. In this club, there's a kind of balcony seating where my friend and our wives were sitting--they don't like to stand for shows anymore. At one point, Yannis decides to climb up from the stage and wedge himself directly into our space while still playing. A literal brush with fame if you will.

5) My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult at Cignals in Baltimore. First show I ever went to with my wife.


Senior Member
I don't know that I've ever had a live band leave a lasting impression on me. Maybe I'm more geared towards listening to music on the stereo and in my own time. Then again, the bands I love and idolize aren't playing anymore. Hearing the Zeppelin concerts from How the West Was One and watching the DVD when they were released in 2003 made me realize what a truly great rock band was capable of, but I've never been struck that way while watching a group in person, be it a local show I turned up at or an arena show I bought my tickets for months in advance.

I guess a few live artists have made me think, but they've not made me re-evaluate my own goals or approach to music.

Paul McCartney
11/14/2012, Minute Maid Park, Houston
10/2/2014, United Spirit Arena, Lubbock
Paul is the best live performer I've ever seen. He models his shows to keep up and compete with what Beyonce and other major pop acts around the world are doing. He's 74 years old but you couldn't tell it from watching a three-hour show.

Semi Precious Weapons
10/7/2009, House of Blues, Houston
On a whim I went to a show headlined by the Sounds. The Sounds are a Swedish indie rock band who I discovered by hearing one of their songs featured in a Geico commercial. I liked the song and thought the concert would be a good time, but they ended up not being worth watching. One of the bands who opened for them was Semi Precious Weapons. At this point in my life I'd not been to many shows that weren't major stadium productions. Weapons came out and kicked total ass. I felt like they knew what their identity was and they played with total confidence and a hell of a lot of attitude. This show might have been the closest thing I've experienced to a live music revelation because I finally saw in-person what it meant for a band to put on a performance, not just play their songs. I bought their album and didn't like it.

Donny McCaslin
1/12/2013, Zinc Bar, New York
I saw Donny McCaslin during the 2013 New York Winter Jazzfest. His band was Mark Guiliana, Jason Lindner and Fima Ephron. Donny's album Casting for Gravity had been out for a few months and my buddies and I were listening to it non-stop. We spent the weekend in New York seeing as many groups as we could. It was a great experience, but Donny's performance made the trip for me. Every member of the band was on fire. The rhythm section and Donny were two completely independent, living, breathing musical bodies and they meshed perfectly together. The only negative takeaway was that Tim Lefebvre didn't play, as he'd played bass on the album and a half dozen other albums I was listening to at the time. Mark and Jason were on the album, though, and it was great to see them do it live. Tigran Hamasayan opened and his set was incredible as well. My big takeaway from this show was that I'd never be as talented as any of the guys I saw play, but that's okay because I love rock and roll.


Gold Member
Rush. Moving Pictures tour
Bowie sound and Vision tour
Tin Machine 1
Porcupine Tree Fear of a Blank Planet tour
Warren Zevon. Played a 200 seat room in town, I was front row, it was amazing



Senior Member
Rush: 1981 (Neil and the boys at their peak)

The Who: 2000 (No Moonie - but the power and charisma were still there)

Sting: 2012 (A small-venue show. Vinnie C on drums)

Page and Plant: 1995 (The closest I got to seeing the mighty Zep)

Dire Straits: 1992 (Not a big fan at the time. Free tickets. Blown away)


Silver Member
1)The Doors / CLE Public Hall 1968, I was 14

2)Pink Floyd / Kent St Univ 1973 Dark Side of the Moon tour

3)Mahavishnu Orchestra (Billy Cobham, drums) and Frank Zappa + Mothers (Ainsley Dunbar,drums) same show CLE Public Hall '70's

4)The New Tony Williams Lifetime / Smiling Dog Saloon CLE, OH

5)Procol Harum ( BJ Wilson, drums) / Humble Pie (Jerry Shirley, drums) / Canton OH, Civic Auditorium(?)


Senior Member
These five have legitimate claim to being in my top 5 all time. Even more compelling, they were within less than a 12 month span:

March 1973 Genesis – Foxtrot Tour
April 1973 Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon Tour
May 1973 Jethro Tull – Thick as a Brick (start of A Passion Play tour but they weren’t quite ready)
August 1973 Focus – Moving Waves Tour
February 1974 Yes – Tales from Topographic Oceans Tour


Senior Member
Primus-brown album tour-best live sound I've ever witnessed and absolute perfect musicianship/timing/energy-this was at a huge festival(over 100 bands) with many headlining acts and they where unbelievable that night

Chris Duarte- at a blues bar about 10 years ago

Galactic- 2006 beale st music fest

Red hot chili peppers- Cincinnati, Riverbend... STP opened and was horrid because of the lead singer on drugs. I've seen RHCP a few times but that night was amazing!

Donavon Frankenreiter- opened up for sometime that was in allman brothers that night and played an amazing show.

These are just off the top of my head, but there are countless shows I've been to that were amazing. Some I don't remember their name!

On the negative note, there are a lot more that were not very good than those that are in the "good" category. But as I'm saying that, it could have been a number of things for those shows that influenced that time.

I'm younger than most of these lucky old geezers in here. I'm very jealous of your experiences.

If I could step into a time machine that would fart me back to the past, I'd no doubt go see Buddy Rich! Love that music and every musicians' amazing playing at àll periods of their time. I guarantee there is no band on earth these days with that high of energy!


Platinum Member
April Wine (Lover Boy) - Nature of the Beast Tour
Rush (FM) - Moving Pictures
Scorpions (UFO) - Love at First Sting
Oingo Boingo - Alive Tour
Yanni - Same tour as Live in Acropolis, but don't recall the name.


Platinum Member
Hard to list just five Abe. Can't remember all the dates but the performers were:

1. Tony Williams (small room, still feel his drums punching me in the gut when I think about it)

2. Pat Metheny Group (several times with Paul Wertico, once with Dave Holland, Herbie Hancock and Jack DeJohnette)

3. John Scofield

4. Tribal Tech (several times w/ Kirk Covington, once w/ Hilary Jones)

5. Joe Lovano (twice with Lewis Nash)

Honorable mentions:

- Billy Cobham
- Chick Corea Electric Band & Akoustic Band
- Sun Ra Arkestra
- Mr. Bungle
- Robben Ford
- Jimmy Smith
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Armor of Light

Senior Member
1. Iron Maiden_Book of Souls tour
2. Rainbow_Straight Between the Eyes tour
3. Ozzy_Diary tour with Randy Rhoades
4. Rush_Counterparts tour
5. UFO & Saxon_ Coming up in March!!....going to be great I just know it.

Honorable mentions:

As I lay Dying
Napalm Death
Foo Fighters
Smashing Pumpkins
Gloria little Cuban songbird. Still have a crush on her.


AC/DC was a gooder. Amongst the set list was pretty much every song off Back In Black, which was what I really wanted, so I was happy. Daniel Lanois and Midnight Oil opening up for The Tragically Hip was really good too. A lot of small club shows by bands none of you have ever heard of were probably the best though.