WWTFUS: it’s wonderful to be here, it’s certainly a thrill

This is going to be an interactive WWTFUS:

Tell us – or let us actually listen to/see – the best LIVE concert/show you ever saw, or WISHED you saw. Tell us what made it great for you, why you still remember it, or why you’d love to have been there when. If you can find them, leave links to videos and I’ll use them in future WWTFUS, okay?

I wasn’t at the Neko gig below but damn, from the sound of it, what a fantastic show. A sweltering hot February night in Melbourne, the iconic Prince of Wales pub packed to the gills with drunken Aussies jostling each other, slopping beer and belting out declarations of ardor and/or song requests. I once heard Case describe how awkward and scary the transition that came with success was, when the band started getting booked into actual seated venues where people sat and listened quietly, politely. Contrast with this scene below: sure, it’s loud, the air quality problably sucks, the sound’s all muzzy, but this was the first offour encores. That’s what happens when the crowd and the muscians are both having a great time.

Oh, and bicycle messenger porn banter, FTW of course

10 thoughts on “WWTFUS: it’s wonderful to be here, it’s certainly a thrill

  1. Long, long before digital video and audio, I was a kid, just a kid somewhere between sixth and seventh grade, hanging out with college guys working with my mom as she pursued her masters degree. The guys kept talking about a band coming to the Forum in Wichita, KS that was going to be the biggest thing ever. I wrangled an $8 ticket and a ride and sat through an amazing concert by Pink Floyd in a very, very crowded venue. The show ended, or seemed to, but as a bright-eyed, inquisitive kid at my first concert, something didn’t seem quite right so I moved to the front. The older dudes indulged me, probably because I was just a kid, and when the stage was reset, the band retook the stage in front of less than half the original crowd and announced they’d like to play their new album “The Dark Side of the Moon” for us. For the next hour, I was amazed and astounded by the music from Waters, Gilmour, Mason and Wright and was a hero to my new friends as the “kid who wouldn’t leave” from that day forward. Awesome show, great album and a true adventure for someone who was sub-teen at the time.

  2. my fondest memory is also one of my earliest concerts, a Humble Pie/Procol Harum double bill. For some reason, 2 shows had been scheduled and us being HSchoolers, my sister and i were there for the early show. A total of about 50 people joined us. As the pre-concert tape played over and over again, news came out that Procol refused to play to that few people. Eventually, tho, Humble Pie came out and played their full show (it was the “Smokers” tour) – Steve Marriott acting like a maniac, 20-min “I’m a Rolling Stone,” and the “Don’t Need No Doctor” encore. We were allowed to stay for the second show (“Please, Mom?), but frankly, Procol Harum blew after that.

  3. The ones I’ve loved: Violent Femmes at the PPAC in Providence, Tori Amos, Son Volt at the Howlin’ Wolf here in New Orleans, Tito Puente at the House of Blues, The Iguanas at what was the Mermaid Lounge, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings at the House of Blues AND at JazzFest later that same year, Bonnie Raitt at JazzFest, the year it was Etta James, Ray Charles, and Fats Domino, one right after the other, at JazzFest…gee, and people wonder why I live here…
    And those are just the ones that come to mind right now, but the one that got away was They Might Be Giants at a club called The Living Room in Providence that I nearly jeopardized my pre-college program at the art school over. If we were caught anywhere near a bar, it was grounds for being booted out of the program, as everyone at the art school program was underage. I thought I’d check out the place during the day and see if I could somehow lose myself in it or stay as far away from the bar as possible, and it turned out that the bar wrapped around most of the place. I still haven’t seen TMBG live.
    I’d love to see a Flaming Lips concert, though. That looks like FUN.

  4. The Flaming Lips live are pretty damn fun. In fact, it was a little much for me at the time, so I went to the side of the crowd, lied down and looked at the stars and watched and listened to the Lips. It was amazing. Oh, LSD.
    I’ve been to hundreds of live shows and it’s really hard to pick a favorite, but I saw The Shins in Bellingham, Washington a couple of years ago. It was the first night in their long-awaited tour. It poured down rain the whole time, and it was pretty cold (it was early fall in the north Puget Sound), but everybody was dancing and having a good time as the techies were moving all the equipment back and putting out towels as the wind approached 20 mph and everybody and everything was getting pelted by cold rain. The band kept on truckin’ and were only more enthusiastic as the crowd kept on dancing through the cold wind and rain. Band and crowd and rain and wind were one and it was absolutely amazing.

  5. Butter Boys in Bondage 1980 – just kidding, that was one of my old bands.
    Lots of great concerts. I know I’ve forgotten many more than I remember – every time I hear someone talented playing from the heart I think it’s the best yet. I was recently treated to a Tommy Emmanuel show. He is a brilliant acoustic guitarist and a gifted performer. Just crazy great – it really was the best show ever.

  6. Emerson, Lake, and Palmer on the Brain Salad Surgery tour.
    I remeber they had gotten a lot of flak in the press for traveling with three – THREE – semis full of gear, so I was anxious to see the PA.
    As I came to the top of the stairs in the balcony, I peered at the stage – very nice – as big as any stacks I’d ever seen, but not much bigger.
    (they stacked PAs on the floor in those days)
    I turned to the right to go to my seat – and found myself staring at the twin of the left-side stage stack.
    I slowly turned to my left – and there was the twin of the right-side stage stack.
    Twice as much PA as I had ever seen indoors, and it was fucking QUAD!
    I found out that night that a Moog at volume was completely different from the cool-sounding thing on the records. It was a malevolent giant hornet that swooped though the air from corner to corner, making people on the floor duck reflexively as it passed over them.
    They started out at about 130% of album speed, and played for three and a half hours, then came back and did an encore – the entire Pictures At An Exhibition album.
    I guess they thought “Well, we’re going to play everything from five albums, so we’d better get on the stick or we’ll be here all night” and just tore through everything at superhuman speed, with frightening precision.
    I expected him to tire and perhaps slow a little, but towards the end, Carl Palmer actually started SPEEDING UP. I halfway expected to see a key sticking out of his back where they wound him up.
    As a musician, it was the kind of performance that makes you want to go home, give up, sell all your gear, and buy a motorcycle.
    Oh – and my ears rang for two days.
    Here’s what they started with that night – Aaron Copeland’s “Hoedown”

  7. In the summer of 1974, I saw 3 amazing concerts at Roosevelt Stadium literally within days of each other — the Grateful Dead, who started at 7 and ended at midnight after playing just about every song they knew; ELP, who did the same; and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, who played on the night Richard Nixon resigned the presidency; Graham Nash announced it from the stage, and a roar went up from the crowd that I (obviously) remember to this day.
    Bob Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Review in 1975; the Stones in the summer of ’75, til then the absolute loudest show I ever saw; the Who, December ’75, the only time I got to see them with Moon; a for-the-ages double bill of The B-52s and Talking Heads at the old Wollman Skating Rink in Central Park in either ’78 or ’79; The Clash at the Palladium in ’79 or ’80 and then at one of the infamous Bonds gigs in ’81; Patti Smith fresh from her falling-off-the-stage injury at CBGBs in June of ’77; Pere Ubu at the old Max’s Kansas City; the Dead again, in the spring of 1990, with guest Branford Marsalis, playing a jazzy Dark Star that threatened to levitate Nassau Coliseum; Dylan again, with a trio of wonderful shows at Roseland Ballroom in October ’94.
    And more recently, in the summer of ’09, David Byrne played a giddily joyful show to 25,000 fans for free in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, within walking distance of my house!

  8. Oh, I left out the New Year’s Eve ’76 triple bill of Television, John Cale and Patti Smith; Television at the Bottom Line in ’78; my first Patti show at the Bottom Line in ’76 with guest Bruce Springsteen;
    damn, no wonder I’ve been broke my whole life, I’ve spent all my money going to concerts.

  9. New Grass Revival with Jerry Douglas, with all five of them participating in a panel-discussion/jam-session before the concert started. It was the instrumentalist part of a series of “country music month” events that the CMA sponsored in Chicago in the fall of 1989. The songwriting session, with Joe Ely, John Hiatt, John Prine and Guy Clark, was also great, but the NGR/Flux show was mind-boggling. Marty Stuart (no slouch himself on the mandolin) was the opening act, and the show was really long. You could tell that Jerry was loving playing with them and vice versa, so they just kept adding more songs on the fly, some of which they had never played together before, and for one of the encores they had Marty come back out to play with them too. And it was at Lounge Axe, a tiny, intimate bar venue. Frakking amazing.

Comments are closed.