Best and Worst Rock Concert Moments

I will start this off. 1975 Jethro Tull concert at the Seattle Center Coliseum. About midway through the show an M-80 goes off in the crowd in the middle of a song and Ian Anderson holds his hand up in the air and counts to three with his fingers and the band stops playing in mid measure all at once as though some one had flipped a switch. The whole place goes dead quiet for about 15 seconds or so. Anderson says something like "Well, that was bloody ******* RUDE! If you want us to keep playing then you better cut that crap right out and have a little more respect for your NEIGHbor. Do you really want us to play some more?". The crowd slowly starts to applaud and then it builds to a crescendo. As the applause starts to die down, Anderson holds his hand up in the air, counts out loud to three and the band cuts back in full force absolutely mid-measure where they left off.

When the song ended I have never heard such intense applause in any arena or hall for any song at any show. I was completely dumb struck by how Anderson handled the situation and by the musicianship of the whole outfit. Maybe it was a staged event, but I doubt it. Either way, it was really something else...
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Jefferson Starship, 1976, Chicago area (can't remember the exact venue). Towards the end of Play On Love, some guy is giving Grace Slick a hard time about something, I don't know what.
At any rate, as she's singing, she gives him the one finger salute...right there in front of everyone...without missing a lyric. Great stuff.
Another Starship concert;
Probably around 1976, Heart opened up for Leonard Skynard, who opened up for Starship. Santa Barbera college outdoor daytime concert at the football stadium. Some clown jumps up on stage with Grace and tries to play the flute with the band. Roadie grabs him in a bear hug and drags him off the stage, both smiling. I think song was also "Play on Love". Grace points to the guy in trouble and sings, "You better think fast".
Also, Marty Balin was super late arriving & didn't get there till the 3rd song or so. It was going good till he did his twenty minute "If only you belive" song. Good tune for a beer & pee run.
Took a real nice piece of hot 'totty' biker chick to an Iron Maiden gig way back, the gig was awesome (as maiden always are), but she dumped me the next day. Perhaps not as keen on 'maiden' as I was/am?. Well thats what I kept on telling
2 Grateful Dead "worst moments:
ca. 1971; young teen vigorously pleasuring himself right next to us in Hartford.
ca. 1972; open seating at Springfield MA Civic Center; large crowd waiting to be admitted, some moron opens 1 of a group of about 15 double glass doors. You can guess the rest...a miracle no one was badly hurt.

Gawdbless- hard to see what she didn't like about a "sensitive" guy like you ;~)
In the early '70's I was attending a Grateful Dead concert with my nose all taped up from one side of my head to the other, from top to bottom. I had it cauterized because there were way too many veins, which bled when the air got drier. There was about 5 feet of gauze stuffed up there after they did a silver nitrate burn. Anyways, the crowd was shoving towards the front of the stage, and it was getting real tight. I was hot, and felt like I was going to pass out, so I managed to squeeze out of the pack, and go to a concession stand to get a cold drink. As I arrived at the stand, I passed out right on the counter. Wasn't out for long, but as I regained consciousness, I looked up, and asked for a coke, like nothing happened. Everyone was staring at me. I looked like a bad accident, and I think it freaked out a few people.
About twenty years at a Tull concert, early on in the concert, somebody threw a shoe on the stage as the band was playing. Ian Anderson picked it up without missing a note in his song and held it up. He was shaking it at the crowd like an irate old man shaking his fist at a group of boys who had just thrown a baseball through his window and were running away. It was hilarious. The crowd got the message and were well behaved after that.
Already posted a worst. Here's a best. Was at a tavern with some friends who had tickets to see Head East who were playing that evening. I didn't have a ticket, and was loudly complaining the fact. There were a bunch of guys on the other side of the bar who heard my rants, and motioned me over. They asked if I really wanted to see them that badly. I assured them I did. Next thing you know, I'm in their limo with them, and we're going to the venue. Yes, the guys were Head East, and I didn't realize it in the dark of the tavern. They took me to thier trailer where we had a couple Heineken, then were let in the side entrance to start the show. The coolest part was when my friends saw me come on stage with the band. They couldn't beleive it.
I have a couple, but will use this one. I believe it was back in the 70's. Went to a show at Cornell University. Deep Purple was the headliner. There were two other band, one of which was ZZ Top. They were the opening act. That tells you how long ago this was. While ZZ Top was playing, it started to rain. The band finished their song and said that they were going to stop playing till the rain stopped. Something about not wanting to get electrocuted. After about five minutes of silence, the crowd starts getting restless and for whatever reason, rushes the stage. They absolutely trash the stage, pushing pianos, speakers and equipment off the stage, wrecking everything. My girlfriend and I decide that it is probably time to go and make a quick exit. Along the way, we passed a couple of cars that had been set on fire and some very angry fans. Felt lucky to get out of there in one piece. Never did get to see Deep Purple. Probably was a blessing for my hearing though, they liked to play loud.
A couple of bestests, too.
Harry Chapin, 1979-1980, the Granada Theater in Chicago. He played for a full 2 hours, put on a great show and then comes out to the lobby, bs'ing and signing autographs for hours. Great guy.
Uriah Heep, '75 or '76. I'm with a good bud and his friend, who did the driving, is with this smoking hot chick on their first date. As we are driving away after the show, she fakes a yawn and hands me a little note with her phone number...niiiice!
My first worst experience was also at a Jethro Tull concert around '78 in Miami. I went primarily to see UK as I've seen JT several times before. Between acts the crowd acted like unruly children throwing frisbees, balls and toilet paper at each other. A fellow appeared onstage and warned the worthless that Ian Anderson was hit by a flying object at the last venue and would stop the night's performance if such things occurred again. As soon as JT manned the stage, a barrage of junk hit the stage. It's a wonder they didn't pack up and leave.

Two years ago, I saw the Moody Blues at a local venue and seated behind me was a group of aged land apes singing along to Justin Hayward's beautiful voice. Well, this ain't no party; I paid to hear the Moodies not some white trash drunks. In the middle of a serene flute solo, the whole house was hushed, as quiet a rock concert ever got. A guttural "YEAH" was shouted from the middle of the mezzanine, ruining the peaceful setting.

Audients and their assholian ways can make or break a concert for me. Bad seats or sound can be tolerated. And I thank Christ for my stereo.
In 1973, or '74, I went to the Casino Arena, in Asbury Park,NJ. Renaissance headlined, Linda Ronstadt opened. My friends and I were sitting on the floor, close to the stage. I had a camera, and started taking pictures during Ronstadt's set. A bouncer came and started pulling the camera from me. As I had the camera attached to a strap, around my neck, my neck started to be pulled too. Ronstadt was about 6 feet away, singing while this happened. She stopped, mid-song, and told the bouncer, "leave him alone. He's just trying to take a few pictures." She then asked me if I was alright, told me to stand and posed so I could get a few shots. She then started the song again, pointed to me and said, "this one's for you."
Slept through almost an entire Jimmy Buffet concert in the 70's. Cheeseburger in Paradise is a rude awakening.
While I may be in the same decade, I have a best and worst from a lesser known band from a bit different genre - but this musician was like GOD to me!! As a young aspiring trumpet player, I went across the Windsor tunnel in the summer of 1974 to hear a jazz/rock group called "Chase" headlined by master high-register trumpet player Bill Chase. His group had a top chart hit in 1971 called "Get It On" you may have heard.

I had heard Chase in 1972 at Cobo Hall in Detroit when they opened for Ike and Tina Turner. However, this concert in Windsor was at a small college (I believe it was called St Clair College) in the cafeteria so I was geeked about possibly seeing the group in a more intimate setting. My best friend and I show up, are ten feet from the stage and Chase (both the group and the man) played their living asses off - I was simply awestruck at the power, majesty and talent of the group. However, everyone else ignored them and chose to get hammered and socialize instead. It was incredulous to me that all that talent was ignored!! We went back to hear them the NEXT night - same thing. This time we talked to the band and Bill Chase was so gracious and appreciative it was amazing. As an impressionable young trumpet player I felt God had just descended and spoke to me personally. THEN, he invited my friend and I to be his guests that weekend at a dinner club in Kalamazoo called Mr. T-Bones. MY IDOL asked ME to be his guest!! I thought I was dreaming!!

Sorry for the long post but hang on with me a bit longer.

My friend and I make the 100 mile trip to Mr. T-Bones - and just as he said, the maitre de escorts us to the table in front of the stage and tells us dinner is on Mr. Chase and we are his guests. We eat a wonderful meal, hear a FABULOUS concert from the front row and he sits with us during the intermission and talks to us. You could have killed me right then and there and I would have died happy!

WORST STORY?? Tragically, ONE WEEK LATER THAT INCREDIBLE MAN AND MUSICIAN WAS DEAD - he and 4 of his band members died in a plane crash in an Iowa cornfield in August 1974 on the way to a gig.

He was a classy man, a fabulous musician/composer and the world lost a true monster of a trumpet player on that terrible day. I will always fondly remember those precious concerts, his grace and class and his music!!!
My BEST experience was probably seeing Stevie Wonder and the Stones at the Spectrum in Philadelphia in 1972, and Mick and Stevie doing an encore together singing "Uptight" then "Satisfaction."
My WORST experience was probably going to a David Bowie concert in Miami in 2004. After Stereophonics played, a lighting technician fell to his death on stage in front of the crowd during the set-up for Bowie. Very sad moment.(Concert canceled, natch.)
Worst: My FIRST concert that I had to sell my sould to my mommy and daddy to get to permission to go to, not to mentions getting the money was difficult: Areosmith; mid way through the first song ST passes out and show is over.

Best: B52s at the Berkley CA Greek Theater, the WHOLE arean was dancing in unison for over an hour...SO MUCH FUN!!

Coolist/Best: Dead Can Dance, Hoolywood Bowl backed up by the LA Phil -- Just last year.
Best: Weather Report at (I think) the Eastman Theatre in Rochester NY July 1981. It was a beautiful night and I thought I died and went to heaven.. a 20 minute version of Tale Spinnin's "Badia". Jaco's "quadraphonic" bass towers doing his Hendrix solo.

Worst: Let's see now.. I'm gonna say Happy the Man opening for a brand new heretofor unknown band called Foreigner in september 1977. The crowd was of a primarily Pop/rock mentality. I was going ape crap watching/listening to an incredible Prog rock performance by Happy the Man; after about 45 minutes they gave up trying to "reach" the audience and Stanley Whittaker (guitarist) steps up to a mike and says "I know, you all came to rock and roll" and that was it - they left. I went out the next day and bought the 1st Happy the Man album. Foreigner was just "o.k".

The Clash, New York City, Pier 54 - 1980? My roommate and I with 2 girls we had met that day, one gallon Gallo hearty Chablis that was consumed on the drive in. We get to the show, push our way to the front and as I recall the band opens with "Rock the Casbah". The crowd goes nuts. We are feeling great, immortal, but want to take it up another notch or 3, and a friendly and complete stranger offers me a large white pill. "What is it?" "Qualude". We'll take 4. Sounded like a brilliant idea at the time. Soon the world is tilting and the rest of the night is a complete mystery to me.

A couple hours later I wake up on the bleachers, it's raining and the place is deserted save for a few crew sweeping up. Amazingly, I stumble out into the streets and he's waiting for me with the car, the girls, and a couple of sixes for the ride home.
Best and worst at the same venue same night . Genesis mid seventies , Outdoors on old CNE grounds . Start with the worst , some absolute A hole picks up an empty glass mickey bottle and hurls it towards the front of the audience and some poor guy gets hit with it rite in the side of the face . He had to be taken away by ambulance and was a mess . Now the best , witnessing the A hole who threw the bottle beaten to a pulp 4 rows behind us by the people he came to the concert with and when they were finished or more apra-po when he was finished they handed him over to the large guys in blue .
Best: Seeing Koyaanisqatsi with Philip Glass and his orchestra playing the soundtrack live. It was right after 9/11 so the film was especially profound and you could sense it in the audience who sat through the entire film w/o so much as moving a finger.

Worst & Best: My first and only Dead show. I spent virtually the entire concert alone in the bathroom freaking out from some bad mushrooms. Sublime!!
best: metallica in 91, at the sam houston coliseum. it had the old wooden chairs that weren't bolted down, and by the end of the show (closing w/ whiplash!) everyone on the floor had thrown the seats into a giant stack, and created a mosh pit around it...couple hundred people moshing. awesome.

worst: was freaking out at dylan on some bad trips; asked a buddy for his pocket knife so i could peel myself (!). dylan cut into GD's "friend of the devil" and it fixed everything, and turned into a helluva good time.
Pink Floyd June 28, 1975 Ivor Wynn Stadium, Hamilton, Ontario. Three complete sets: Wish You Were Here, then a setbreak until dark, Dark Side of the Moon, then a setbreak, Meddle. Small venue stadium with a soft natural grass field that was left uncovered.

Runner up Best:
Almost every Grateful Dead show I attended between 1972 and 1994. No comments about the ill-fated 1995 Summer run.

July ?, 1974 or 75. Eric Clapton, Rich Stadium, Buffalo, New York Freddie King opened the show, and did a very nice job of warming up the crowd. After some delay, Clapton gets onstage, clearly very intoxicated. Yelling into the mic "I'm so f***ing drunk". It was becoming obvious that there was no way he was going to pull this off without a riot. Freddie King had the presence of mind to get up there on the stage and take over most (if not all) the guitar work. I lost a lot of respect for Clapton that day.
Was not there but had to be The Who in Cincinnati with fans getting crushed to death rushing the doors for a lousy sound check........carnival seating was no more. Second might be Great White concert with 100 killed.

I was and am a Cinti. concert goer'. Lucky not to have been at the Who show that night, couldn’t get tickets. Saw it on the local news and couldn't believe it. Changed shows in Cinti. forever.

A couple of the best and worst - Allman Brothers played Cinti. Gardens (after the Who tragedy but before festival seating was banned). We were at the head of the line and they let the crowd in front of the building but still had the ticket gates closed and screened off. The crowd started to surge toward the ticket gates crushing the people in front (me and my girlfriend). Her brother was behind her and was able to get his arms extended against the gate and literally held the weight of the crowd crush off her. Eerily reminiscent of the Who Coliseum tragedy.

We survived and the Allman’s played everything they knew for over 3 hours. We were so emotionally whipped, our group all left before it finished. Somebody said later they went on for over 4 hours.

A couple of weeks later the Dead came to the Gardens. A different kind of crowd, not as rowdy, with everyone sitting around outside playing cards or yakking. The local cops were not going to let what happened at the Who or Allman shows happen again, and started making every one get up and get in a line outside. Confrontation ensued and a couple of folks got hauled off to jail. Bummer.

This was the Deads' first tour in the Cinti. area with the "Wall of Sound" and the first time I’d seen it. They were over an hour late getting setup. The band was upset and apologized all night long (although I was fascinated watching them set it up). But, despite the gloomy mood, somewhere in the one of the sets, was the most haunting rendition of Sugeree I have ever heard. I still remember it to this day.

Jim S.
I'm not sure if it was the best or the worst, but I was one of the 32000 people who bought a $12, three-day-event ticket to Stompin' 76 in the rural hills of southern Virginia.

The only problem was that 150k to 200k people actually attended! The young Bonnie Raitt headlined along with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Earl Scruggs Revue Vassar Clements, John Prine, Lester Flatt & Nashville Grass, David Bromberg, Ry Cooder, and bunch more.

We were parked (camped) a mile-and-a-half from the concert area which was considered very close, since people were walking as far as 11 miles one-way of jammed-packed roads which actually backed-up all the way back to and on the Interstate. It was so packed, we couldn't leave if we wanted to. When all of these people showed up, the promoter's security company said "we're out of here" and walked out. After that, the Pagan Motorcycle "Club" provided security. Miraculously, no one died, great live music from morning to late night, and yes we had a wonderful time. Also, someone who will be 32 years-old this August 7th was born at that event. I remember the announcement over the PA. You know, they just don't seem to do events like that anymore!

. . . and yes there is a website commemorating that very event.
Jim S.- Same scenario w GD in Springfield w my GF. She is small and claustrophobic. It was miracle we didn't get pushed through the glass or trampled. She was picked up off her feet and "popped" through the open door into the lobby backwards!

Probably "best moment" was opening chords of Rolling Stones Boston Garden show in 72. Not the best music or the best show, although it was great. But the excitement and anticipation made your hair stand up on the back of your neck!

Glad she was alright (she was, right?). The first and only time it ever happened to me was the Allman show. You feel pretty helpless. I can't imagine how the kids at the Who show felt.

I have been to a half dozen or so indoor festival seating Dead shows and everything with the crowd was always pretty cool. The nuts with the bottle rockets, roman candles, and firecrackers were a little scary, but... I am surprised it got that rowdy.

Jim S.
As Slipknot1 mentions above, I attended several concerts in the 70's at Rich Stadium.
They use to have all day concerts with several bands.
This was back in the day when you could take a cooler full beer or other alcohol into the stadium to your seat.
This particular concert was to begin at 11am
and end at 7pm.
The headliner were the Stones.
My buds and my seat were directy behind 4-5 hells angels.
These dudes began drinking heavily from 11am and through the afternoon.
The last opening band ended at 5pm then it was time for the Stones.
5p came and went,6p came and went,7p came and went,8p came and went,9p came and at 10p the Stones finally entered the stage.
By that time,every biker in front of us had passed out.
The one that was sitting in front of me turnded around in his seat, and saturated my pants and shoes with the must foul smelling vomit imaginable.
I dont know which was worse. Having to sit for 4 hours in the hot summer heat waiting to hear the Stones and getting puked on,or listening to a 'whole' 1 hour set of the most dreadful performance I've ever heard.

Worst experience:
1970: Go over to girlfriends on Friday evening (after talking on the phone for an hour deciding to stay in since there's nothing to do). Get to her house and she tells me her brother called to invite us to see The Doors, but she said no because she thought it would be nice to stay in for the night. AHHH!!!!
Intense Jerry connection: @1980, fall Dead tour in Denver, front row, Phil side then Jerry side later. Everyone stood for the whole show, natch. Halfway through the show someone tossed a beautiful wreath of roses on my chair obviously intended for the band. So, it was up to me to deliver the gift. Not any easy thing to do as my coordination was seriously compromised due to environmental variables. Mustered up some courage and just heaved it toward Jerry. I knew if it hit anyone I'd be escorted out. Magically, it not only landed at Jerry's feet, he noticed I was the messenger. For what seemed like five minutes he smiled at me over his glasses and nodded. Whoa! I can feel the chills and connection even now.
Worst: Pink Floyd, Oakland Arena

The concert is going wonderfully when the Floyd decides to call a pee break. Seventy-thousand beer drinking attendees, me included, head for the johns at the same time. The entrance and exit to the toilet is a short concrete tunnel. Those who have not pee'd are pushing to get in and those who have pee'd are pushing to get out. I'm wedged in the middle of the tunnel and I could let my legs go limp and the people pressure is enough to stand me up. In the mean time, the deluge of pee is beginning to seep out the tunnel under feet. Think Who Concert in about a quarter inch of pee. I thought I was going to suffocate and die in pee in the concrete tunnel at the Oakland Arena and that would be my ten minutes of fame.

By the grace of God, Floyd began resumed play and the surge dissipated. It is remarkable that folks who manage these events do not think in terms of what happens when you try to push 70,000 people through a handful key holes.

Now, I listen to Floyd in the comfort of my living room in front of my audio-nervosa setup with my own beer and I schedule the break when I want it and there is no rush to the john. Good luck. Jeff

Excellent story. Nothing like getting "the look" over the tops of Jerry's glasses. He didn't make many one-on-one fan connections as he was so caught up in his playing, but when it happened - it was one for the ages...
Worst - 1982 @ Folsum Field on the Colorado University campus (I think??). John Cougar, then Jethro Tull, then the Who in their farewell tour. Cougar is just starting his career, nobody even knows who Mellencamp is at this point. He starts late afternoon, summertime in Colorado. People playing frisbee and hackey-sac, hanging out and having a good time. He finishes a song and everyone politely claps and goes back to frisbees and beer. After his 2nd or 3rd song he seems pissed at the lack of enthusiasm and yells "c'mon. This ain't no Rick F'in Springfield concert." Now remember, not only JT is coming on, but the Who as well. We got 6 hrs. of Rock and Roll coming up, we're not even warmed up yet. 2 songs later he flat out walks off stage. I remember seeing his backup singers standing behind their mics looking stage right like "Is he coming back?" They sorta shrugged and walked off too.
Pretty cool... the Radiators at High Sierra Music Festival, Bear Valley, CA... early summer evening, approximately five thousand feet altitude... quick chill in the air as the second set gets rolling...and they get jammin' and rollin'... the keyboardest, Volker... rolling now... that man, so much heat... steam is literally rising above his bald head into the night air...a plume of vapor... now that's jammin'
Rock and Roll, I presume:

Best: Pink Floyd at the old Filmore on Market Street

Worst: Altamont
I saw John Lee Hooker in 1987 at a church at Oberlin College. After the show, I wondered around to find a bathroom. I got twisted around and walked in to the church kitchen. I ended up having a bologna sandwich with JLH. I coulnd't understand a word he said but it sure was fun.
The Best -- so long ago it is scary -- me a teen -- the venue: The Fillmore -- the group -- brand new: The Mothers of Invention.
The instruments were already on the stage but no musicians. Then, they all walked out and picked up the instruments without playing a lick or saying a word. Staring at the dumbstruck audience. Then over the silence someone in the audience uttered an "Oh My God". At that point Frank grinned and the band played. When they were done -- they put the instruments down and walked off. More cool than anything else I ever saw.

REAL BEST -- lying in a sleeping bag in a tent in upstate New York on a Sunday morning and hearing Joan Baez's voice roll over the hillside which had pretty well turned to mud because of the rain of Saturday night. The most glorious awakening ever -- Woodstock 1969.

Just lucky.
Grateful Dead 1981 (or something like that) at Radio City Music Hall. Best/worst I cannot decide. Made a mistake in measuring pulverized dried mushrooms due to already tripping status. Ended up eating about 1 full ounce worth.

OK, I was feeling it come on, way too much, and I waited for the show to start. An acoustic set. I waited and the band came out. They were tuning up, and took a long time in doing so. I waited and got distracted and began to think about other things. By the time I remembered I was at a concert they were finished playing. I remember absolutely nothing. The best part: I was in the third row.
Worst: Rolling Stones "Some Girls" tour, JFK Stadium, Philly, ~1978. 100,000 general admission seats. Gates open and almost get trampled in the rush. Police move in to control the crowd. Crowd starts throwing bottles at police cars. Police come in on horses and start beating back the crowd with clubs.

Later inside, the sound in that big open stadium is absolutely the worse ever....mostly echoes.

The concert was still pretty good I suppose even after all that.

I swore off large outdoor concerts after that.


Dick Dale at the Recher Theater near Baltimore MD. Small venue, right up front...Dick is smokin on guitar a few feet in front of me. After the concert, I get an autograph and get to chat with Dick who stays onstage afterwards to chat with a few of us who stuck around...wonderful!

Another great one was Julian Loureaux Groove Gang (French Jazz/funk ensemble) at Stone Harbour Jazz club in New Orleans the night before the NO Music Heritage Festival opens. THIS GROUP SMOKED LIKE NO OTHER I HAVE EVER HEARD!

Nice memories...even the Stones concert I suppose.
Saw Emerson, Lake and Palmer at the Swing in SanBernadino back in the early 70's. Nearly deafened and a real stiff of a 'date'.
California Jam 1 was a MONSTER. Went there with about 20 friends in a rented moving truck! It took about an hour to get to the PortaPotties. You ain't heard nuttin until you've been up 20 hours and BlackSabbath comes on, at 110db.
Having Slash's girlfriend o.d. and pass out on me during a Peter Townshend solo show at the House of Blue in LA. She lived, but I had to help Slash carry he out the door of the Green Room to awaiting medics.
Two worst concert moments:

I agree with Mapman, JFK did stink for concerts.

1). Went to see The Who, Clash, Santana at JFK in the 80's except my friend who was treating me hated Santana and refused to see them, so I missed a great band. When we got to our seats at JFK in the middle of the afternoon, the sound was horrible but that wasn't the worst part.

Worst part - we were in the nosebleed section and this obviously very drunk kid was directly behind me drinking what looked to be pepto bismal mixed with alcohol in a large container. His hand was covering his mouth most of the concert as if he were going to blow lunch at any time. Behind him were these huge Temple Univ. football players, one instigating and nudging the kid to throw up, the other ones saying, if you throw up on me, I'll f'in kill you. I turned around and told the kid if he threw up, I'd f'in kill him too...the kid got reminded about 100 times that if he threw up, he was dead...not a fun way to watch a concert thinking someone might throw up on your back.

2). Went to see Parliament/Funkedelic at the Phila. Spectrum in 79 in the height of their popularity. Double dated with my buddy Sr yr in high school. Bootsy's Rubber Band and the Brides of Funkenstein were the first 2 performers. We had 10th row seats. 10 whites in the whole place and we were all in the same row. After about an hour or so, it got very crowded. If we stood up, people came in behind us to stand on our chairs. If we chased them away and stood on our chairs, people shuffled in in front of us.
Worst ever: Hot Tuna at the St. Joseph's College field house in 1976 or 77. I love all rock, but they blew....

Best: Bonnie Raitt at the Main Point near Villanova, PA around late 1976. Everyone that played there sounded crazy good.

2nd place: David Bowie, Tower Theatre 7 day gig in mid 1970's.

Sorry, my memory for exact dates is as bad as I am old!!!
Hi Rootman,
Good to hear from another local audio guy...the Hawk will Never Die...meanwhile, how bout those Fightin' Phils !!!

Unfortunately, I never got to go to the Main Pt but heard it was a great venue for concerts.

Do you like the Tower Theater as a concert venue these days?

Its a classic building but I have not been overwhelmed with the acoustics there. I've attended 2 concerts there in recent years, Walter Becker and the Moody Blues. These were great performances but I left feeling underwhelmed with the sound...not horrible, but lacking and leaving me hesitant to go back.

My expectations with the Steely Dan material in particular may have just been too high going in, so I was bound to be disapointed.

I may be spoiled by some other more high end venues I've frequented, like the Meyerhoff in Baltimore and some clubs in NYC, but I just thought some things could be done inexpensively with the Tower to make it sound a lot better.

Just saw Gov't Mule at the Tower last week and it sounded good to me.
Much better than the Electric Factory, TLA, and Trocadero.
The Tower and Keswick Theatres are my favorite local venues.
Most recent.
Last week Friday, a buddy insisted I go with him to the Hendrix tribute concert in Portland. Knowing it was a bad idea (there is only one Hendrix) I went anyway.
It was the last concert of the tour and the guys running the sound system really turned it up. Within the first 2 minutes I went begging the ushers for earplugs.
I thought I'd need a blood transfusion from blood loss through the ears.
Then to make things even worse- Mitch Mitchel passed away on Wed all alone in a Portland hotel. He deserves a ton of credit for keeping up with Jimi on some remarkable, all time great tunes.
Hey Mapman,
I was at the Moody Blues a few mos ago. Thought that was the best sound I've heard so far at The Tower. Everything else I saw there was hard rock and sounded awful...think I was at the Troc once and didn't sound that great. The Mann was always a great place to see a show, but haven't been there in yrs.
Hadn't hear about Mitchell... notable passing. Listen to his work on the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival recording backing Hendrix and Billy Cox. Wow!
Procol Harum headlined a concert in the early 70's. Word was they had some bad disagreement with the promoter. The result was they played about a 30 minute set then walked off saying "we don't know any other songs"..(they hadn't played "Whiter Shade of Pale").

I saw just a phenominal Pink Floyd concert @ 1970. It was held in an upscale classical concert hall. The band was on and the acoustics were just perfect. The downside was seeing many fans helped out by EMT's and a guy carried out on a stretcher from what appeared to be a fatal drug overdose.

A bad moment was at Mile High stadium 1969 when the police fired tear gas into a group of gate crashers wanting to see Hendrix. The wind then shifted and blew it all into the crowd. Good concert though - I think the last time he played with Noel Redding.
Worst Moments
1) When I was the lighting director for the Aerosmith reunion tour in 1984, Steve Tylor was still getting loaded. During his first song at our gig in Rockford Il he put his harmonica in his pants pocket. The pocket had a hole in it and the harmonica slid down his leg and lodged in the top of his sock. He was too loaded to figure out what was going on, missed his vocal cues and then, while still searching for the harmonica in his sock, tumbled over the front of the stage knocking himself out and ending the show.

2) When I was the lighting designer for Alice Cooper we played a year of gigs. Alice was back to his old habits during the entire tour. I won't get more specific than that. Anyway, our last gig of the tour was at the huge outdoor stadium at CNE in Toronto Canada. The opening act went on. Then we waited. Apparently Alice was too ill to go on so his show canceled. 20,000 fans then rioted. A drunk fan decided that he could jump off the top deck onto an awning and slide down to the bottom deck, like in the movies, and then run out to the field and trash the stage with the others crazies. Unfortunately he plunged through the awning and died.

When I was the production manager for INXS we played Shea's Theater in Buffalo New York. The band was really rocking that night and the crowd was totally into it too. By the end of the show, the fans in the balcony were dancing so hard that the balcony was bouncing up and down at least 6 inches either way from center and plaster was falling down on the orchestra seats. The crowd thought it was cool too and started dancing so that the balcony not only bounced up and down but side to side too in a wave.

Thankfully no premanent structural damage that I know of but one of the most wonderful shows where the crowd was feeding off of the band and the band fed off the crowd. A magical night