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Question of the day

Friday, Jun 2, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I attended the University of Maryland in Munich in 1980-81. Two of my classmates were nicknamed “Big Steve” and “Little Steve.” Little Steve wasn’t small, but he looked small compared to his best friend Big Steve, who was a body-builder and had placed second in the Mr. Southwest Germany contest. The two made decent money working as stagehands at Munich concert venues. Through those connections, they were invited to work on the massive set at the 8-day Pink Floyd concert in Dortmund, West Germany (back when there was a West Germany). The band was promoting their fantastically popular album The Wall.

As I recall, the setup took two weeks and the tear-down lasted a week. They unloaded 10 (maybe it was 20, I can’t remember now) semi-trucks. It was quite an impressive set

The problem, really, with the show is that it wasn’t a touring show, so it had to be set up, and left, and taken down again. There were a lot of light operators and stage operators and wall builders. Because of the amount of stuff that went up and down, floated across, did this, did that, there were a lot of operators, rather than just people putting stuff up. And, of course we had lots of semis, as I believe you call them, because of the special lighting pods that we used which needed, each one needs a trailer unit to hold it. And the special stage, because of the way the stage was actually used, there was a sort of structural bracing piece for the building of the wall. So it was all special equipment, I mean it was absurdly expensive. It’s not something other people will do, generally, because it’s just so expensive to put on, it’s simply not feasible. But it was great to have done it once.

They built a wall during every show and then the stagehands took it down every night. Big Steve didn’t have to mess with those daily tasks, though, because the band took one look at the guy and hired him as a bodyguard and he rode the helicopter with them back and forth to the venue and stayed on their private hotel floor. Pretty sweet.

The two missed more than a month of college, but somehow managed to stay enrolled. And they made bank.

* Anyway, I thought about all of that last night when I saw this…


50 trucks? That’s a lot of costume changes.

* The Question: Your all-time favorite concert experience?

       

91 Comments
  1. - We've never had one before - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:25 am:

    Brownsville Station opening for Head East at the Shawnee Natural Amphitheater in 1975? in Pomona.

    What an outstanding venue. One of those times the opening acts is as good as the headliner.


  2. - Mamacita - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:27 am:

    That’s a tough question. Probably Billy Joel at Assembly Hall in 1994, with Paul McCartney last year a close 2nd


  3. - Give Me A Break - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:27 am:

    I’m sure it occurred in the 1970s and I’m pretty sure it was a great concert and I had a great time. But it was the 70s which has significant gaps in my recollection of what occurred. Party On.


  4. - Give us Barabbas - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:30 am:

    At least the most memorable, the LOOP’s “Day In The Park at Comiskey”. Journey was the headliner, but I came to see Eddie Money and Santana. Weather was overcast all day, with occasional spitting drizzle, it wasn’t certain if the whole show would complete or get rained out.

    Santana comes on and as the first, sizzling solo of “Black Magic Woman” tears thru the air, as if on cue, the clouds literally parted overhead, and a shaft of sunlight hit the field, like God Himself had taken over the lighting, or that Carlo’s solo had melted thru the cloud cover… Journey was … a’aight, I guess. We left near the end of their set to hit the El and get back to our car.


  5. - H-W - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:35 am:

    In the 1970s and 1980s, I attended quite a few concerts. But my favorite was the Rolling Stones, in Hampton, VA, in 1981. Not because of the band (they were great), but because of how I got there.

    I was a student at Virginia Tech (VPI in those days). I decided to hitchhike from Blacksburg, VA to Hampton, on the day of the show, with $20.00 in my pocket. I left in the morning, and actually got to the Hampton Coliseum about 30 minutes before show time.

    I stood outside and asked a lot of people if they had an extra ticket. In short order, a guy said, I have one - I can let you have it at cost. I took it. I paid him, $18.00. That left me with $2.00, and I used that to buy a button from the vendors.

    As I said, the show was great, and I am pretty sure it was actually the first “pay-per-view” concert in America. I had no idea at the time.

    But a few months ago, I actually saw that concert on TV. I knew it was the show I attended because (a) it was Hampton VA, and (b) it was Keith Richards’ birthday.

    I bumped into a high school friend at the show, and afterwards, he gave me a ride to my parents’ house.

    Ah, the stories we tell our children.


  6. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:35 am:

    To go along with the post, the Roger Waters/Pink Floyd show at Wrigley in June 2012, standing in the middle of center field in front of the stage. ‘The Wall’ was a giant digital display stretching out in front of my full field of view from the right field foul post, to the left field post.

    The 3-day Phish 99-00 NYE concert in the Everglades was pretty nice.

    But none, to this day, as awesome as the ‘95 NiN/David Bowie concert at the World Music Theater.


  7. - Crash - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:35 am:

    I saw Public Enemy and U2 at the World Music Center (is that the right name? Tinely Park?).
    U2 played “Trying to Throw Your Arms Around the World.”

    There is a lyric “trying to throw your arms around the girl.”

    The girl I took to the concert elbowed me in the stomach at that line because I didn’t have my arms around here.

    It didn’t work out with her (she went to one college, I went to another and we sort of went in our separate directions. Everything ended on very good terms but for schools and careers it just didn’t work).

    Her actions during that song still crack me up.


  8. - Tequila Mockingbird - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:39 am:

    Eric Clapton with Billy Preston on the Wurlitzer was pretty good. ZZ Top was good live when they turned a Brahma bull loose on stage. But I think my favorite was James Taylor and Bonnie Rait in a tribute to chuck Berry doing Jonny B Good.
    I also saw the early AC/DC opening with Thunderstruck but it was painfully loud.


  9. - Original Rambler - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:40 am:

    One of the Super Bowls of Rock at Soldier Field. Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd, REO, Journey, .38 Special. Hotter than heck on the field. Remember the 1000s of empty milk cartons (that we filled with water to stay dry during the day) that everyone was tossing in the air during one of the closing songs. Made it look like we were inside a popcorn machine.


  10. - Occasional Quipper - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:41 am:

    Saw Kansas in DeKalb IL back in the 70’s. That was when I first learned to really appreciate the difference between hearing a band live versus hearing them on the radio. They were amazing. Our seats were in the balcony, and I remember there being a thick haze up there from people who had decided to enhance their concert experience.


  11. - Blooms of Spring - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:46 am:

    1st Dead show about 30 years ago at Deer Creek. Excited for next week in St. Louis and Wrigley. See you there?


  12. - Red Ranger - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:46 am:

    Wilco at Foelinger in the fall of 2002. All of the drama of YHF seemed to have died down and the band was relaxed and dialed in. It was the band, their instruments and two Apple laptops. Certainly no need for 50 semis. Great show.


  13. - SOIL M - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:47 am:

    Some of the best concerts I went to, I can’t remember


  14. - Amalia - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:47 am:

    oh my, how to pick. there’s a lotta concerts in my list. I’m gonna say Prince because everyone was dancing the entire time. and because Prince was amazing, amazing, amazing.


  15. - Nick Name - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:49 am:

    That’s a tough one. I guess I’d have to say I have three (fourish) that are tied. I saw Hüsker Dü in the 7th Street Entry (a very small venue) in Minneapolis in the late 80s - their last live performance in the Twin Cities before they broke up. I was deaf for a week but it was sooooo worth it.

    Next would be The Waterboys in the First Avenue, also in Minneapolis. Fantastic show. Unforgettable.

    Finally, the two times I saw Sigur Rós in St. Louis, about ten years ago. The first time at the Fabulous Fox, the second time at the Peabody.

    Technically not a concert, but honorable mention: I was in a bar in California once and when the band went on break, the waitress said, “Eric is going to sing a few songs while the band is on break.”

    It was Eric Burton of the Animals, no joke. He and some buds were just sitting in a back corner enjoying their beers and, as the waitress explained to us when we asked her, he sang some songs as a favor to the owners, who he was friends with. Really cool!


  16. - Lefty Lefty - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:51 am:

    So so many to choose from. Roger Waters performing The Wall at Wrigley Field in 2012 was something. More recently I saw the Claypool Lennon Delirium at Thalia Hall that is one of my favorites of all time. Sean Ono Lennon is an amazing guitarist.


  17. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:51 am:

    Aerosmith at (then) Riverport.

    Give me an outdoor venue everytime.


  18. - Brett - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:53 am:

    October 2022 - Pancho Barraza 30th Anniversary tour Allstate Arena. Please do not ask our favorite Illinois venue because there are too many fantastic venues in Illinois or neighboring states to decide.


  19. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:53 am:

    ===Wilco at Foelinger in the fall of 2002===

    I was also there and was transfixed and transformed.


  20. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:54 am:

    Lots of Dead shows, all were wonderful experiences and excellent concerts - can’t pick just one.

    Of the other concerts, I saw Mickey Hart’s first Planet Drum tour at the Vic. It was an experience unlike any other concert. The band would hit a rhythmic groove that would take over the whole crowd. You had to be there. (I did not consume any mind-altering substances that night; the music provided all.)

    Also of note: Santana; Willie; Fabulous T-birds/SRV; and rodrigo y gabriella (rod y gab are playing at the Chicago Theatre in a few weeks, their concerts are not to be missed)


  21. - walker - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:54 am:

    Can’t remember a minute of the concert, but I somehow ended up in the same room as Janis Joplin drinking Southern Comfort.


  22. - Just Lurking - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:55 am:

    The Who at Alpine Valley in 1989 (?) for their second or third farewell tour. I was 21 and thrilled to see them in person. Rumor was that Pete Townshend wouldn’t windmill because he had wrecked his shoulder, but he did anyway. As the band finished their final encore, a cold front swept in, and fog poured over the back fences and down the lawn to the state — like a huge dry ice special effect. It was epic, but the drive home took hours. Totally worth it.


  23. - Just Lurking - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:57 am:

    *stage - argh


  24. - Etown - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:57 am:

    As an over 50 dedicated concert attendee there are too many to say just one but Foo Fighters at Lolla in 2011 in a driving rain storm would be a recent one and Dylan and Petty at Alpine in 1986 would be an old one


  25. - Sayitaintso - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:59 am:

    Garth Brooks at Illinois State Fair - early 90’s?? - great show and his popularity skyrocketed right that. Love Bob Dylan, but he stunk up the joint, also at the ISF. Saw him in Champagne later, and was fantastic.


  26. - Suburbanon - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 11:59 am:

    I was a student usher in college - aka free ticket for concerts. One of the best shows I worked was a Tina Turner concert in early 70’s. I can still remember her singing and dancing to “Proud Mary.” She was incredible.


  27. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:00 pm:

    R.E.M. 10-21-1986 Chick Evans Fieldhouse, NIU. The Pageantry Tour, the last of their “smaller venue tours”.


  28. - Dan - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:03 pm:

    U2 Croke Park Dublin, July 2017. This was the Joshua Tree 30th anniversary tour. My future wife and I - who didn’t know each other at the time - both had tickets back in 1987 for the Iowa City concert but neither of us could make it. (We found this out after we were married.) Waited 30 years and crossed the pond to see that U2 show but finally got to share it with each other and our two kids as a bonus. Very special moment and an amazing show. When Larry came out by himself and started playing Sunday, Bloody Sunday, wow … everyone in the crowd started jumping up and down in time with the music. The cheers were deafening and the entire stadium pulsed with energy. What a sight to behold. Gives me chills to this day just thinking about it. You can catch the entire concert on YouTube.


  29. - Streator Curmudgeon - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:06 pm:

    I don’t know if it qualifies as a “concert,” but in 1962, when I was 11 years old, I saw the Grand Ole Opry for the first time.

    In one night I saw Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, Flatt and Scruggs, Minnie Pearl, Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow, Jean Shepherd, and others I can’t remember right now.

    That’s when I got hooked for life on Bluegrass music.


  30. - Mike - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:07 pm:

    I have seen Bruno Mars perform twice! Loved watching him at the Tinley Park Amphitheater in 2014 because he made everyone feel like they were at his party. His performance at the United Center in 2017 was hands-down the best concert I will ever see. Bruno is an outstanding singer and one of the best performers allowing each member of his band to get some time in the spotlight!


  31. - SWIL_Voter - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:12 pm:

    Hard to pick one.

    Pearl Jam Alpine Valley, 2001 - the Ice Bowl. My first concert. Eddie said it was the coldest bottle of wine he’d ever had, surely not true lol.

    Pearl Jam Alpine Valley, 2011 - 20th anniversary. Got to see Hunger Strike performed with Chris Cornell, Chloe Dancer, and collab with Queens of the Stoneage

    Flaming Lips in 200(7?) - the whole crowd singing “her name is yoshimi…” gives me goosebumps


  32. - Steve - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:13 pm:

    Pink Floyd Rosemont Horizon 1987 opening night. They opened up with Echoes which was the last time they played it together as a band.


  33. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:14 pm:

    Small venue, 1977 Chuck Berry. Large setting, 1976 Paul McCartney (& Wings).


  34. - Northwest by North - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:18 pm:

    Kenny Loggins opening for Fleetwood Mac at the Chicago Stadium in ‘77. Scored back stage passes.

    Several of the “midnight concerts” at Paisley Park in early ’90s.


  35. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:23 pm:

    A friend of mine who worked at the Playboy Club took me to see Elton John at the Arie Crown Theatre…what a night…1972…what a year that was…I saw or worked dozens of concerts during the seventies…My biggest regret was missing The Allman Brothers.


  36. - City Guy - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:23 pm:

    Fleshtones in the late 80s in a small college town venue. They ended the show by coming off stage and parading through the audience while still playing. 100% fun.


  37. - Dave Dahl - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:25 pm:

    Saw the first Ringo All-Star4 tour outdoors in northern Michigan in 1989 - Joe Walsh, Dr John, Clarence Clemons, Billy Preston on hand.

    Loved Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets at Delmar Hall in St Louis a couple of years ago, and Blue Oyster Cult was (surprisingly?) good in St Charles MO last year.

    Best experience tho was taking Clifford to the Eagles at Busch Stadium around 2009, we both sang along to pretty much all the songs, at the end Henley and Frye had their arms around each other, walking off, and I imagined them saying, “We may hate each other’s guts, but we made a $#!+-load of money tonight.” Walsh wore a Ramones T-shirt.

    Before the show we tried the Albert Pujols restaurant at Westport, and it wasn’t all that great, but I ordered a Goose Island Matilda, and the waitress came back and said in a hushed voice, “Sir, that beer you ordered cost ten dollars.” “That’s okay,” I responded. “We’re on vacation.”


  38. - Dotnonymous x - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:25 pm:

    No one outworks a Union Stagehand…around the clock until it’s packed out and on the road.


  39. - Suburbanon - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:27 pm:

    This is not exactly a transformational concert experience, but as I look back to my college days, what I remember is the exceptional club bands before they became famous, like R.E.O Speedwagon in Champaign, and one of their spinoffs, Duke Tumatoe and the All-Star Frogs. Duke (Bill Fiorio) left REO before they hit it big, and his motley band gave fantastic performances in small clubs. Those are the exceptional experiences I remember most.


  40. - yinn - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:27 pm:

    B.B. King at NIU Convocation Center, 2003. The Convo hadn’t been open for long so nobody knew their way around it, there was a long delay for sound issues and maybe one too many opening acts, but when King took the stage none of that mattered.


  41. - SnakePliskin69 - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:28 pm:

    Late 70’s. Alice Cooper at the Mississippi River Festival. Blew my mind.


  42. - JS Mill - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:29 pm:

    U2 June, 2017 Soldier Field Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary Tour. Best sound, from my best band. All the essential songs and the Joshua Tree, cover to cover. Brought my best girl (my wife) to the show. Our first date was a U2 show for Popmart at Soldier as well.

    I am not a crier, but this one made me emotional.


  43. - You Only Live Once - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:34 pm:

    Bob Dylan…1978, SIU Carbondale…the Rolling Thunder Review tour.


  44. - Dave Dahl - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:36 pm:

    Sorry for second post. Heck, I’m sorry for the first post.

    When JP Harris and the Tough Choices played a Bedrock 66 show at the Hoogland, they really left it all out there on the stage.

    Last fall the B-52’s farewell tour at Chicago Theatre w KC and the Sunshine Band opening were pitch perfect. “Love Shack” pretty much encapsulates the long-suffering Mrs Dahl’s 80’s experience.


  45. - Lincoln Lad - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:37 pm:

    Billy Joel at the Assembly Hall in the late 70s. After the release of The Stranger album hit it big… Great show. 4th row, on the floor…


  46. - Roads Scholar - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:38 pm:

    Radiohead at Grant Park in 2001 - https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/radiohead/2001/grant-park-chicago-il-33d6ec15.html

    My friend dragged me to the front row and there we stood for 7 hours - was totally worth it.


  47. - Captain Obvious - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:46 pm:

    Boston, late March 1977 at the Nelson Center in Springfield. Tickets were $8. They threw plywood down over the ice and packed way more than the building’s legal capacity into the place. It was hot, loud, and uncomfortably tight. But it was AWESOME.


  48. - Old Shepherd - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:48 pm:

    I saw Merle Haggard at Wild Country in Collinsville in 1997. I wouldn’t call Wild Country a honky tonk, but it was about as close to seeing The Hag in his native habitat as you could get in 1997. It was a great experience.


  49. - Still Telling This Story - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:48 pm:

    I think it was the Summer of ‘87, but could have been ‘88. Got a job parking cars at Alpine Valley. Back to back to back: five nights of the Dead, five nights of WHO and five nights Rolling Stones. Parked cars by day, got to see the shows for free at night and camped with whoever would let me. Three weeks, never went home.


  50. - Hello - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:52 pm:

    Grateful Dead in Minneapolis, Rolling Stones United Center, Jackson Browne Grand Rapids, MI, Jethro Tull Iowa City, The Police Quad Cities


  51. - clec dcn - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 12:59 pm:

    The Chicago Jazz Festival from 1981 summer. Betty Carter was swinging, singing, and scatting with the best. As a young jazz guitarist wanna-be I wished I had control over the guitar like she did with her voice. All in Grant Park and it was Chicago at it best. Does that exist today I don’t know it has been a long time.


  52. - UW Madison alumni - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 1:01 pm:

    Tie between Joplin concert in Madison in November 1969 and Hendrix in May 1970. Was backstage for Hendrix helping set up speakers. Haven’t been able to hear decently since then. Both of them dead within a year.


  53. - Behind the Scenes - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 1:02 pm:

    @ Sayitaintso… I had “Reviewing Stand” tickets for Garth Brooks at the ISF. Gave them to a lady I worked with. She knew of Garth. I had no idea who he was or would become. Never asked a thing of her.

    Best concert… probably when we went to Ravinia a long time ago to see five greats of jazz. Can’t remember all five, but Dave Brubeck was on drums, Lionel Hampton playing the vibes.

    Tickets were given to me by George Lindberg, then the first Comptroller of Illinois. (Said it was a long time ago.) He didn’t ask anything of me either. Just had the tix. Couldn’t use them and wanted to see someone use them.


  54. - Papa2008 - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 1:08 pm:

    Sting at the John Deere Center in the Quad Cities early 2000’s. I’ve been to a lot of shows. This was the best “musically” I’ve ever attended. Left in awe of the talent of this man (and the members of his touring band).


  55. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 1:09 pm:

    “One of the Super Bowls of Rock at Soldier Field. Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd, REO, Journey, .38 Special. Hotter than heck on the field.”

    That would have been heaven. They absolutely rocked. Floyd played there also around that time. So tragic what happened to Skynyrd, such an irreplaceable loss. The Stones at Soldier Field in 1978 would have been heaven (also very hot that day).

    Out of so many, would pick the original Black Sabbath, because of what they meant to music and so many who came after them.


  56. - Dave - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 1:09 pm:

    Johnny B and the Leisure Suits, at Poplar Creek!


  57. - FIREDup! - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 1:14 pm:

    Lolla 1992, Irvine Meadows Amphitheater. Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ministry, Ice Cube. Rage Against the Machine, Cypress Hill, Stone Temple Pilots, and Porno for Pyros all played the side stage. Unbelievably cool SoCal adventure.


  58. - Oldtimer - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 1:18 pm:

    Bruce Springsteen, 1988 Tunnel of Love tour at Market Square Arena in Indy. No opening act. The Boss and the East Street Band just came out and played for three hours.


  59. - Steve Polite - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 1:21 pm:

    Best Experience: Van Halen at the Armory in Springfield. IIRC, it was right after their first album was released. I was 16. My mom worked for the state at the time, and she got me and my brother into the building during the day. It was busy. The best part…David Lee Roth was roller skating around on the floor barking out orders, and we briefly got to talk to him.

    Best Concert: Journey and The Babies at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield. It was about a year or two after the Van Halen concert. We got in line at the box office on a Friday evening and spent the night there. My brother and I were about the fifth or sixth people in line. Tickets went on sale at 9:00 AM the next day. We had second row seats. It was a great concert.


  60. - Joe Bidenopolous - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 1:21 pm:

    There are just too many to list for me, I’m afraid. Was it Prince at the Super Bowl/Paisley Park/1st Ave? Or the Dead in Landover breaking out Ripple or in Hampton as “Formerly the Warlocks” playing Dark Star? The Ramones at Mother Murphy’s? Husker Du and Soul Asylum (when they were punk) at Mississippi Nights with Chuck Berry in attendance? Allmans at the Fox?

    Best Concert (concert only) - Sufjan Stevens at Chicago Theater in 2015. Saw him there in 2010 too, but the 2015 show was off-the-chain amazing.

    Best Concert (total experience) - I got to spend an entire afternoon with George Clinton before attending a Parliament Funkadelic show because I was covering it for the school newspaper.

    =Dylan and Petty at Alpine in 1986 would be an old one=

    I was at this show (sort of - outside the gates). The next two nights were my first two Dead shows


  61. - RNUG - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 1:22 pm:

    Years ago, small venue, Fathers Day concert by Chuck Berry with his daughter on the keyboard. Simple and plain, but both those musicians just blew me away. I swear his daughter was better that night than Jerry Lee Lewis on the ivories.


  62. - Chicago Voter - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 1:29 pm:

    James Taylor headlined at the Taste of Chicago, early 2000’s I’m guessing. I was in the first few rows and he sounded amazing. It was a crystal clear night and in between songs, James asked everyone to turn around and look at how beautiful Chicago is.


  63. - Scurvydog - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 1:34 pm:

    Arlo Guthrie at the Egyptian Theater in DeKalb, circa 1990. Was able to meet him backstage after the show and he signed my ticket stub.


  64. - Original Rambler - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 2:00 pm:

    Great posts here so I’ll add another that’s off the wall. In the late 80s got free front row tickets at the Arie Crown to se…Liberace. We went in with a “yeah right, this’ll be fun” attitude but it turned out to be a memorable show for us. The guy was quite the entertainer.


  65. - Paddyrollingstone - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 2:00 pm:

    Saw John Lee Hooker, X and Shane MacGowan and the Popes back to back in a tent at the Guinness Fleah at Arlington Park in 1998. All were outstanding, particularly our man Shane who was able to light up his smokes while a large electric fan blew directly on him.


  66. - Montrose - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 2:02 pm:

    Beastie Boys-L7-House of Pain back in the early 90s in Omaha at a small venue where there was much moshpitting and jumping. I remember being drenched in sweat and loving every minute of it.


  67. - Facts Matter - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 2:07 pm:

    The Who at the Illinois State Fair in 1968 when they were the opening act for the Association. Second is either the Grateful Dead at the Assembly Hall in 1973 (just found the concert on the Internet Archive), or perhaps, believe it or not, Elton John at Illinois State in the fall of 1972.


  68. - Victor - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 2:12 pm:

    Arena: Rolling Stones at Camp Randall

    Club: Pearl Jam at R&R Station (a converted Carwash if I recall)

    Fest: Bluesfest every year!


  69. - Facts Matter - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 2:17 pm:

    I have to add a couple of other concerts - Willie Dixon at ChicagoFest in 1978 or 1979 and B.B. King and Muddy Waters (they played separate sets) at the Mississippi River Festival site at SIU Edwardsville.


  70. - ArchPundit - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 2:26 pm:

    Jane’s Addiction, May 1991 at Palmer School of Chiropractic gynmasium, Davenport. It was an oversized gym and packed, great bouncers who took care of everyone, and a 300 lb dude doing stage dives.


  71. - Old and deaf - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 2:27 pm:

    Rolling Stones at the Double Door.


  72. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 3:00 pm:

    Just lurking, I was also at the Who at Alpine Valley. My most prominent if still a bit fuzzy memory of that event was that it came right after the Dead had played there for about 4 consecutive shows in a mostly rainy environment. The smell of that place is something I won’t forget. Deadheads were still camped in the parking lot when the Who came in, selling peanut butter sandwiches and other um, stuff, so they could buy gas to get back on the road. The whole scene had a super mellow end-of-the-world vibe going.

    But that smell. And dear God, the port-a-potties were overflowing. Unforgettable.


  73. - Boone's is Back - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 3:01 pm:

    Paul McCartney at Wrigley Field! I was glad that I got to see him while he still had pipes.


  74. - IknowwhatIlikeinyourwardrobe - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 3:02 pm:

    Genesis (w/Peter Gabriel) at the Auditorium Theatre,Crosby Stills Nash & Young at the old Chicago Amphitheater, Rolling Stones at Knebworth, England, Michael Jackson, Prince and the Boss at the United Center,


  75. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 3:07 pm:

    I also was among one million others at the Replacements last performance when they broke up on stage toward the end of their set and the roadies had to step in to play for some of the members who walked off.

    The loudest concert I ever experienced was Sammy Hagar playing at Chicago Fest when it was held at Solider Field. My ears rang for three days after that one. The Red Rocker, pre-Van Halen, put on a heck of a show. There’s only one way to rock.

    Thanks for triggering the memory machine Rich. These are the best comments.


  76. - Fisher - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 3:12 pm:

    Fleetwood Mac at Alpine Valley on Tango in the Night in the 80s. Was pretty much perfect.


  77. - Vote Quimby - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 3:14 pm:

    My most memorable concert is probably Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers at Riverport outside STL in 2006 I think. I had a pair of tix near the soundboard that I sold to my friend, and I showed up at the box office before the show and bought a single in the sixth row. Stevie Nicks was there and they did several songs together. Probably the only concert in which I became entranced without external enhancement.

    I’ve been to 10 Pearl Jam concerts, including Moline and the first two at Wrigley (2013 and 2016) and I love the vibe of their fans.
    Most recent concert was Head East on Sunday in Herrin…. I could drone on, but I would have to break out my spreadsheet I keep track of my shows on. I will continue going as long as my body allows me to go. Rock on


  78. - sulla - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 3:17 pm:

    There used to be a 3-piece band from Northern Michigan called “Sah”. They were active from the late 1990’s until the mid-2000’s. They mainly played around the midwest. I saw them play a bunch of times in different settings including bars, basements and even a 4-H barn one time.

    The band had two drummers and an effects-laden guitar. The guitarist would play these droning riffs while the two drummers played off of each other with incredibly intricate timing, creating manic, thundering poly-rythms. They would build these tribal, pounding grooves that would have the audience dancing out of their minds until the entire crowd was just one giant pulsating, heaving mass of sweaty flesh. Half of the time, Sah would play in near-darkness and you’d only get momentary glimpses of the bedlam via camera flash.

    There is almost no surviving record of the band, save for a couple of youtube videos that you really have to search hard to find.

    Like a lot of the great stories folks have shared above, it’s hard to put into words. But if you were there…


  79. - ;) - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 3:18 pm:

    Toss up between Roger Waters Darkside of the Moon tour, or Chicago w/ Earth Wind & Fire.


  80. - Jim Durkin - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 3:19 pm:

    Led Zeppelin- Chicago Stadium 1976 .


  81. - smrides - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 3:21 pm:

    So many classic rock shows highlighted here, but by far my favorite show was Imagine Dragons and Macklemore on August 26th last year at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park. Imagine Dragons was AMAZING but Macklemore played like he was the headliner too and together the place was on fire the whole night long.


  82. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 3:31 pm:

    Cheap Trick in Denver 1984. Not only did they put on a great show, my band at the time opened for them. I went to a few of the other aforementioned shows here too, Cap Fax is apparently full of music lovers.


  83. - MisterJayEm - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 3:35 pm:

    February 18, 1995.

    First ever visit to Fitzgerald’s to see some band called the Waco Brothers open for some band called the Bottle Rockets.

    Literally changed my life that night.

    After that, everything was different.

    – MrJM


  84. - The Magnificent Purple Walnut - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 3:36 pm:

    Fairport Convention, The J. Giles Band, and Traffic at Wichita State University 1971. Also, Those Red Semis look like they are from Upstaging, in Sycamore, Illinois.


  85. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 3:36 pm:

    Hart to pick one. I’ve seen hundreds of shows, as it is my favorite (and expensive) hobby. Luckily I’ve seen most of the greats I grew up with and only missed a few like Petty and Prince due to untimely deaths. Have seen McCartney, The Who, Elton, Billy, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Springsteen, R.E.M., Rush, etc. Favorite was probably my first - Police Synchronicity Tour. Agree with others that there is nothing better than a Wilco residency with Nels Cline jamming Impossible Germany.


  86. - Siualum - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 4:06 pm:

    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at the old Chicago Stadium in 1974.


  87. - JoanP - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 4:09 pm:

    Summer of 2007. The New Orleans Social Club and some Chicago folks playing at the Pritzker Pavilion, a concert called “Sing Me Back Home”.

    Irma Thomas and Koko Taylor together just tearing it up, pitching a whang-dang-doodle that WOULD have been all night long if the audience had had its way.


  88. - Proud Sucker - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 4:16 pm:

    47th Ward @ 3:00

    I’ll second that. Glad I had a 4×4 at the time. I was directed to the alternate exit by security and had to quickly avoid a few folks who thought dropping trow on the sideroad was preferable to using the port-a-johns (or maybe they miscalculated how fast the nachos and beer/other would move through their system). I unexpectedly cleared a little air coming out of the ditch I veered into in order to avoid them.

    Great show though.


  89. - Teacher Lady - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 4:25 pm:

    Mid 70s at the Mississippi River Festival at SIUE
    I saw John Denver and Gordon Lightfoot, not at the same time.
    Tom Chapin (Harry’s brother) opened for one of them, but I don’t remember which one.
    IIRC it was $5 to sit on the lawn - bring your own blanket.


  90. - Huckleberry1926 - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 10:31 pm:

    Late 80’s. Poplar Creek. Had to navigate the County roads to find open ones due to flooding…and the storms with huge cloud-to-grounnd lightning strikes
    Echo and the Bunneymen opened with “Ocean Rain”…New Order quit heir show after their 2nd power outage


  91. - Cosgrove - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 10:33 pm:

    Front row Pavilion seats at Ravina for Janis Joplin’s final show shortly before she died doing most of the material from her amazing album Pearl, including “Cry Baby.”


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