What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

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bhoywonder
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What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby bhoywonder » 13 Feb 2017, 10:33

What are your top 10 best gigs ever? Where and when were they, and, if you can be bothered, what made them so great?

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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby Diamond Dog » 13 Feb 2017, 10:49

1. Prince - Hammersmith 2003
2. Led Zeppelin - Knebworth 1979
3. Bruce Springsteen - Coventry 2016
4. Kate Bush - Hammersmith 2014
5. Neil Young - Hop Farm 2008
6. Thin Lizzy - Oxford 1976
7. David Bowie - Birmingham NEC 2003
8. Finn Brothers - Royal Albert Hall 2005
9. Them Crooked Vultures - Hammersmith 2009
10. Roddy Frame - London Theatre Royal 2013.

I'm sure I've missed others*. They aren't in any particular order really.

* Zep O2?!
Stevie Wonder O2 2008
Love Royal Festival Hall 2003...
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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby fire and fueryIre » 13 Feb 2017, 10:59

While not trying to rain on your parade, did a Top Ten Gigs including first, best and worst gig list very similar to this a few years back which is still up at

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=107940&p=3017022&hilit=COVENTRY#p3017022

Anyway, for the record mine back then were as follows

fueryIre wrote:Suggest include the very first one you went to, plus the best and worst you remember being at and eight others that stood out for some reason

MY FIRST

Skid Row - The Walsgrave Pub, Coventry (March/April 71)

I was 15 at the time. Remember Noel Bridgeman's big fuck off double bass drums (as featured on the cover of 34 Hours) and Brush Sheil's leather Crocodile Dundee style-hat. Gary Moore (RIP) must have been a year or so older than me. Not many people there and didn't cost a lot to get in, but I was smitten.

MY BEST

The Beach Boys - Wembley Stadium, London (June 21, 1975)

It was the day that Elton John played the whole of Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy and Joe Walsh hopped out of a guitar case and effectively into the Eagles. Ultimately, the day was so hot and sunny it could only ever belong to the Beach Boys who came on around 5.30pm and just blew everyone else off the stage. Only time I ever saw them and they were (no pun intended) Wonderful

HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no particular order)

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Manchester Appollo (last Thurs in May, 1981)

Three and a bit hours in front of around 3,000 people. Just incredible. Remember the date so well because I got offered tickets for the replay of the Spurs - Man City FA Cup Final - the one where Villa scored the incredible goal and went to the show instead and wasn't disappointed with my choice. Saw BS and the ESB again at the considerably bigger Birmingham NEC about three weeks later after which I left the UK never to return except for holidays.

Neil Young, Hammersmith Odeon (late March 1976)

Think it was the second of the three nights he was there in support of Zuma. Had seen him a couple of years earlier with CSNY at Wembley (a mixed bag of a show for which Andy McAndy very kindly sent me the video). This particular night was in the third or fourth row back and he was on fire. How come it was so easy to get tickets back then and it's so hard now?Supposed to be some live footage of the Hammersmith shows (remember seeing Like a Hurricane on the OGWT). Footage which may (or may not) appear on Archives 2. He was also pretty good when I saw him at HK Harbour Fest in 2003

Van Morrison, The Dominion Theatre, London (Spring 1982)

It was around the time Beautiful Vision came out. Had seen him before at Knebworth in 1974 (same time as Veedon Fleece - may fave VM album) and in London and Manchester around the time of Wavelength (lousy both times). At the Dominion he was just superb. Never seen him since and unless he's in the same town at the same time as I am, doubt I ever will.

Leonard Cohen, Manchester NEC Arena, last Sunday in November, 2008

Missed the first leg of his tour and despite being severely jet lagged, high-tailed it up to Manchester (where I had not been for 25 years) and loved every minute. Number of songs he could have played but didn't would have made for a great show on their own. Despite doing the same set (and the same jokes) for pretty much a year, LC had the knack of making you think it was all for the first time

Pink Floyd, Coventry Locarno, (Jan or Feb 1972)

It was the third or fourth time they'd played Dark Side of The Moon and they were on at the same venue on the same night as Chuck Berry who recorded most of the London Sessions (including My Ding A Ling) there. Remember he over-ran by a long, long time and me and my mates almost froze to death waiting outside for the PF show which eventually started well past midnight.

David Bromberg Band, El Mocambo Toronto (Sept 75)

Knew absolutely nothing about Mr B or his band and was absolutely gob-smacked by how amazingly versatile they were. Blues, jazz, country, gospel...you name it, these guys could play it. So impressed, I went back the next night and subsequently bought nearly all of Mr B's albums (including How Late'll Ya Play Til which has most of the live set I saw) and the recent and still very eclectic Use Me.


The Who, Charlton Football Ground (May 74)

With Lindisfarne, Bad Company (first ever live appearance), Lou Reed, Maggie Bell and Humble Pie on the same bill for UK#2.50, it was my first ever festival (albeit a one-day one). According to Pete T, the Who weren't apparently that great, but it was the only time I ever got to see them and so they narrowly shade the only other serious contenders for my top 10 which would have been Led Zep at Coventry Locarno in late Nov or early Dec 71 (just before Led Zep IV came out. Memorable moment was when Jimmy Page dropped his violin bow) or Joy Division at the Factory in Manchester in April 1980 (their last ever Manchester gig)

[

The Sex Pistols, Penthouse Club, Scarborough, August 1977

A mate of mine lived in Scarborough and told us a mystery band would be playing at the same time as the SPOTS tour was on the road. As Scarborough was but a short hop from Hull where I was at Uni, we went up and saw the Pistols on what were one of their few post-Grundy live gigs.

THE WORST

Joe Pass, Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts (Feb or March 1990)

Excerable. He'd obviously had a major falling out with the organizers and informed everyone that he would play for his contracted 35 minutes - not a second more and not a second less. He spent the next half an hour or so playing his songs half-heartedly, pausing only to glance at his watch and announce the time left before he left the stage. Have never seen a more unprofessional performer or been able to listen to one of his records since.











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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby bhoywonder » 13 Feb 2017, 12:05

fueryIre wrote:While not trying to rain on your parade, did a Top Ten Gigs including first, best and worst gig list very similar to this a few years back which is still up at

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=107940&p=3017022&hilit=COVENTRY#p3017022


Ah, I missed that. Ignore this then...

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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby fire and fueryIre » 13 Feb 2017, 12:10

bhoywonder wrote:
fueryIre wrote:While not trying to rain on your parade, did a Top Ten Gigs including first, best and worst gig list very similar to this a few years back which is still up at

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=107940&p=3017022&hilit=COVENTRY#p3017022


Ah, I missed that. Ignore this then...


No worries, BW. That thread is quite old so suggest we keep this as there's only so many thread titles to go around and
it's always good to get a fresh viewpoint...
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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby Tactful Cactus » 13 Feb 2017, 13:38

Couldn't rank them but...

-Iggy & the Stooges, New York 2006
-Bonnie Prince Billy, Whelans 2003
-LCD Soundsystem, Tripod 2007
-Thee Oh Sees, Whelans 2013
-White Denim, Manchester 2009
-Chic, Tripod Dub 2013
-King Khan & the Shrines, Whelans 2011 & 2015
-Dan Deacon, Whelans 2014
-Goat, Longitude festival 2015
-Deerhoof, Whelans 2012
-Funkadelic, Tripod 2005
-Stephen Malkmus, Tripod 2006
-Television, Vicar St 2014
-Wild Billy Childish, Whelans 2011


Missed Chances, could have been:
Arctic Monkeys, Whelans 2005 (still unknown)
Lou Reed, Helix Dublin 2003 (supposedly back on great form)
Wilco, Ambassador Dub 2002 (The YHF tour, years before I got into them)

Worst:
Neil Young Greendale
Lou Reed L. Cohen tribute
Bob Dylan
Super Furry Animals



*rough dates

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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby Goat Boy » 13 Feb 2017, 14:08

Todd Rundgren – Hammersmith Odeon 2009:
I’ve only been more moved at a gig by Brian Wilson at the Usher Hall last year. One of my favourite albums brought spectacularly to life.

Prince – Glasgow Hydro 2014:
He’s done much better gigs but it was great to see him at last even if physically he wasn’t at his best. An epic show though and a personal pilgrimage for me.

Brian Wilson – Usher Hall 2016
The most emotional gig I’ve ever been to. I wept like a baby at several points during the show. Don’t Worry Baby and In My Room killed me. Not that I’d ever forgotten how much these songs meant to me but seeing Brian Wilson doing them was just impossibly moving.

My Morning Jacket – Gaelic Club 2004
A very small venue and I was right at the front. I shook Jim James hand twice after the gig I was so enthused by their performance. A mate and I were arrested after the gig for taking a joyride in a taxi

My Morning Jacket – Amsterdam Paradiso 2005 (?)

U2 – Murrayfield 1997
My first ever gig. An overwhelming experience and quite scary at times. The crowd was heaving, the stage set was massive and they still had a really strong setlist at this point.

Public Enemy – Glasgow ABC 2013
I was shocked by how good they were. Huge energy and a crowd that was loving it. I think I patted Flav on the back when he decided to go for a walk amongst us. Great fun.

Deerhunter – Berlin 2015

Metallica – Big Day Out 2004 (?)
By the time Metallica came on the pills had kicked in, there were helicopters overhead and it started to rain. I remember thinking it was like Apocalypse Now. There was a midget with large tits dancing and some 14 year old boy on pills chewing his face off and doing air guitar for the whole show. Superb.

Besnard Lakes – Hug and Pint 2016
It was the lasses birthday so I emailed them on Facebook and asked them to dedicate a song to her, which they did. They’re lovely folk – Canadian obv – and it was just a very warm, friendly gig with a band who were clearly enjoying themselves.
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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby Tactful Cactus » 13 Feb 2017, 14:19

Goat Boy wrote:U2 – Murrayfield 1997
My first ever gig. An overwhelming experience and quite scary at times. The crowd was heaving, the stage set was massive and they still had a really strong setlist at this point.


Me too, the Popmart tour was where I popped my gig cherry. It was a spectacle, I was blown away by it. Weirdly the only song I remember from it now was the Batman song, Hold Me Kiss Me... the beginning of the end for U2.

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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby pcqgod » 13 Feb 2017, 15:38

My original list of 9 from the older thread:

Paul McCartney, 2011
Prince and the Revolution, 1985
Jesus Lizard, early 90's
NoMeansNo, either time I saw them in the late 80's or early 90's. Absolutely jaw dropping.
Helios Creed, late 80's/early 90's
Squeeze in 1988 when Jools Holland had returned to the band
Alex Chilton, early 90's
Bauhaus, 2005 or 6
King Crimson, 1995

I think I would have to add Ben Folds for the 10th spot. Maybe bump Chilton for Black Sabbath or the Stones. Seeing Chilton was a thrill but the show itself was pretty iffy.
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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby martha » 13 Feb 2017, 15:54

1. Chameleons - Great American Music Hall - 17 & 18 October, 2002.
2. Echo & the Bunnymen - the Palladium - 16 March, 1984
3. Oingo Boingo - Dead Man's Party Halloween concert - Irvine Meadows - 31 October, 1986.
4. Morphine - Great American Music Hall - 31 March, 1995
5. The Screaming Blue Messiahs (opening for the Cramps) - First Avenue - 22 July, 1986
6. AFI - Berkeley Square - 28 October, 1994
7. Wire - First Avenue - 22 June, 1986
8. Echo and the Bunnymen - San Diego State University: Open Air Theatre - 18 April 1986
9. They Might Be Giants - The Warfield - 20 November, 1996.
10. The Legendary Pink Dots - Trocadero Transfer - 11 September, 1997

I'll update with the reasons for why these concerts were so great to me later in the day right now I'm heading in for jury duty and my phone is dying.
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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby Purgatory Brite » 13 Feb 2017, 15:54

In chronological order:

1. Siouxsie & The Banshees - Chelmsford 1979 - my first ever gig, support acts Athletico Spizz 80 and The Cure
2. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band - Wembley Arena 1981 - their first return to the UK since 1975, an electrifying performance.
3. Stray Cats - Shrimpers Club, Southend 1981- a pre-tour gig in a small venue with far too many people inside.
4. Genesis - Hammersmith 1982 - the first time of seeing my favourite band.
5. Simple Minds - Hammersmith 1985 - the Sparkle In The Rain tour, whatever you think of their music they have always been great live.
6. The Cramps - Hammersmith 1986 - a manic performance by Lux Interior & co.
7. The Pogues - Wembley Arena 1988 - not the best setting for them but still a great gig.
8. Crowded House - Wembley Arena 1994 - a great performance from Neil Finn & co.
9. Family - Shepherds Bush 2013 - one their first "farewell" gigs ;)
10. Black Sabbath - O2 2013 - the reunion with Ozzy Osbourne

Bubbling under - Echo & The Bunnymen, Gong,the Manfreds, Marillion, Yes and The Zombies.

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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby sloopjohnc » 13 Feb 2017, 18:16

Off the top of my head. . .

AC/DC - Old Waldorf, San Francisco, 1978
U2 - Old Waldorf, San Francisco, 1979
Echo and the Bunnymen - Old Waldorf, San Francisco, 1980
Prince - The Stone, San Francisco, 1981
Bob Marley and Wailers - Kaiser Auditorium, Oakland, 1979
Led Zeppelin - Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, 1977
Black Flag - Old Varsity, Palo Alto - 1980
Crowded House (with Peter Case opening) - Wolfgang's, San Francisco, 1987
Mink Deville - Slim's, San Francisco, 1988
Ohio Players - Circle Star Theater, San Carlos, CA, 1977
The Cramps - the I-Beam, San Francisco, 1982

Except for Marley and Zeppelin, the venues above didn't top 1,500 folks at most.
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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby Minnie Mincepie » 13 Feb 2017, 18:28

Can I list same artist twice?
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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby sloopjohnc » 13 Feb 2017, 18:58

Minnie Cheddars wrote:Can I list same artist twice?


I didn't see any fine print? For example, I went to see Crowded House and Mink Deville two nights in a row and the Cramps did a halloween show every year at the I-Beam. I'd list a few of the Cramps shows in another top ten.

I left the Dead Kennedys off my list but I've seen them and Cheap Trick four or five times each, and would put a couple of their shows in a top 25.
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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby Polishgirl » 13 Feb 2017, 19:03

In no particular order:
Kate Bush 2014 - Hammersmith. I've posted at tedious length on BCB about how flipping amazing this show was.
Pixies 1989 - Exeter. I guess it was the Velouria tour. We DID want to be Kim Deal.
Pixies 2010- Troxy, London. AMAZING. I was so excited before and during that I didn't get drunk, despite drinking approx 97 gallons of cocktails, pink wine and cava throughout the day and evening. Last train back from London to Exeter; got home at 5am.
The Cure 2008- Wembley Arena. Epic gig. 41 tracks. The whole history, from Killing An Arab onwards. Opened with Plainsong which was spine-tinglingly good. 100 Years was an absolute highlight, and I wept myself snotty during Disintegration. Probably my toppermost gig of all.
REM 2008 - Twickenham. Very warm summer evening, perfectly blue sky. Supported by Editors ( who I also really liked at the time). MS on great form; again, so many favourite tracks covered. Disastrous journey home, when the trains suddenly stopped running due to something mechanical that boys would know all about, but it didn't matter
Wedding Present 1987- Exeter. My first university gig. It was messy and raucous.
Crowded House- 1994- Brighton. Oh God, they were good. They had a full Maori choir backing them up for many of the tracks from Together Alone. The band left the choir to sing for minutes on end during the performance of the title track. It was pure and beautiful. Neil Finn, meanwhile, jumped off the stage and went to have a chat with some mate of his in the crowd. I cried pretty much non-stop throughout the gig. ( I cry a LOT at gigs).
Van Morrison - not sure which year, approx 1990/1. Not usually my thing at all, but a friend had a spare ticket and so I got to go for free. It was superb.
The Killers- Royal Albert Hall 2009. The hottest gig ever ever. In fact, I don't think I've ever been hotter. The support was, bizarrely, Jimmy Carr ( who I cannot abide). But I love the Killers- they put on a intense, energetic show, and -of course- it's a wonderful venue. I know they will be most hated on BCB but I'm keen.
Metallica O2 London- 2008. Supported by Machine Head. I went with my sister. The tube was out of action, so we, and several thousand diehard metalheads had to get to the venue via the Thames Clipper boats. Quite funny to see the reaction of the unsuspecting tourists. It was mental; simultaneously excellent and Spinal Tap-esque.
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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby Polishgirl » 13 Feb 2017, 19:04

PS I would LOVE to have seen Prince.
echolalia wrote: I despise Prefab Sprout. It will be decades before “hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque” is surpassed as the most terrible lyric in pop history. That fucking bastard ruined all three things for me forever.

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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby bhoywonder » 13 Feb 2017, 19:10

Minnie Cheddars wrote:Can I list same artist twice?

You can't list them 10 times if you like.

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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby Count Machuki » 13 Feb 2017, 19:54

1. Kraftwerk 3D, Moogfest, 2015
2. Weller at a club in the late 90s
3. Make Up at the Middle East downstairs, mid 90s
4. El-P, RJD2, Mr. Lif, New Orleans, early 2000s
5. The Who in Worchester, Quadrophenia ii.
6. Will Oldham, GY!BE, end of the 90s
7. James Brown, early 2000s
8. Beck, Midnight Vultures Tour
9. my friend's band, whenever
10. classical concert placeholder
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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby Darkness_Fish » 13 Feb 2017, 20:27

1. Joanna Newsom - Manchester Palace 2010. It just felt like a privilege to be there, Joanna at her absolute peak with her best backing band, and Roy Harper awesome in support.
2. Current 93 - Glasgow 2004. Not their absolute prime perhaps, but just when they'd got the live thing down well. Even had Rose McDowall join in from the audience for Coal Black Smith. Some other big names on the bill that day - 6 Organs of Admittance, Richard Youngs, William Basinski.
3. Melt-Banana - Salford 2010. Melt-Banana as a proper four-piece, rather than the cut-down version. Fast, furious, and musically spot-on.
4. The Ex - Salford 2010. Same gig as Melt-Banana, and I remember thinking that MxBx would have to be pretty confident to follow this lot. Played the entire superb "Catch My Shoe" album from start to finish.
5. Kraftwerk - Manchester Velodrome 2009. Not the most stimulating people on stage, but sonically perfect.
6. Killing Joke - Nottingham (93/94 sometime). First time I saw 'em, the reformed-ish Joke, with Youth, a small replica of Jaz Coleman and someone shooting sparks with an axle-grinder. Lovely stuff.
7. Bad Religion - Manchester student union, sometime in the early 90s. I don't even think it was called the Academy 2 back then. Just the last tour before they turned to shit (Recipe for Hate era).
8. Jandek, St Margaret's Church, Manchester 2012. Just strange to hear him flick those high-notes on the guitar, to know he's doing it on purpose.
9. Swans Manchester 2010. Lots of good gigs in 2010 in Manc, it would appear. Swans just reactivated, before they went too prog with The Seer.
10. Skinny Puppy - Manchester Academy 3, 2005. Pity they took so long to appear, but to make their set work on such a tiny stage was pretty impressive.
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Re: What are your top 10 best gigs ever?

Postby Toby » 13 Feb 2017, 21:08

1. Kraftwerk - Tribal Gathering, Luton 1997. Probably not their best gig, but fucking hell the atmosphere was astonishing. When the curtain pulled back and "Numbers" started, the whole place erupted into bedlam. More than anything else, the sheer fidelity was what moved me. Crystal clear and bass moving your whole body - you couldn't do anything about it. I couldn't speak for about 4 hours afterwards.

Everything else is a bit meh in retrospect really.