Best out of a couple of hundred. Wow. That took some time to think.
The first concert of course: The Guess Who with Gypsy, 1971.
Alice Cooper 1972 Billion Dollar Babies tour. I was 15. I happened to meet Alice before the show.
Amboy Dukes (Ted Nugent) 1975. Houston County Farm center, Dothan, AL. It was a place that had a dirt floor. A place to uction livestock. About 50 people at the concert. Ted walked out on stage after the gig and said, "I've really go to change." A year later, top of the heep.
White Witch. Dothan (same place, a few months later.) If you are familiar with White Witch, you need no explinations, if not, it won't matter. Stevie Stilleto and the Switchblades also fall into this catagory.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer, 1978 Mobile, AL. The trip there was intense. (How many bongs can you have in one car?) Creme and Circus printed that Rush would be there that night. Stampede in the door, run like hell to get a seat, we were about five rows from the stage. 18000 kids at an ELP concert, all there to see Rush. ELP gave them their money's worth, one of the heaviest bands I've ever seen.
Rush. Dothan, AL. A better place. Spring break, 1978. I liked it so much, I went to Jacksonville three days later and saw them again.
The Jacksonville gig. OMG! First, Molly Hatchet, a Jacksonville band, was having their first album release party. Second, it was the last gig on the Rush tour with Pat Travers. Rush came out wearing masks during "Getting Better" and danced around the stage. Then, during "Cygnus X-1", Pat Travers's bassist came out wearing a dress and Pat Travers was wearing nothing but his whitey tightys. Geddy was laughing so hard he couldn't finish the song. Then, "2112", Travers came out and plugged in and jammed.
Somebody else mention Devo in 1981. I saw the tour in Dallas. The thing is that if you expect a band to be great and they are, they meet your expectations. If you expect them to be ok and they are great, your blown away. Devo met this catagory. So did The O'Jays, Heart, Steve Miller, and Huey Lewis and the News.
Grand Funk Railroad. 2000 (I think) The radio ad said "Don Brewer, Mel Schacher," and two other guys I had never heard of. They came out on stage, and then "suprise", Mark Farner runs out. Unbelievable!!!! It's amazing what a great band can do with no props or lights.
There's been a few that I got to meet after the show. Johnny Rivers, Tommy James, Rod Argent, Ron Bushy. But the most memorable occasion was sitting in an office with a club manager on the verge of a breakdown, due to low attendance and no money, and Thurston Moore and Steve Shelly telling him "It's cool. Just give us enough gas to make it to Orlando, we're gonna clean up there." Unheard of.
Just the most memorable ones, huh? Ok.
Ravi Shankar. The first time I saw him, I almost cried when the old guy walked out on stage.
Lynyrd Skynyrd. Rickey Medlocke is an incredible guitar player.
ZZ Top. I've never seen a band that did not count down one song. They all just started. Inhumanly tight.
The Swans. I called it the "we've still got a few more people to piss off tour." One note. No kidding. The entire night, every song. One note. But sounded GREAT!
Robert Plant Alisson Krauss T. Bone Burnett. "The Battle of Evermore" live.
Tom Jones. See him once, you have to see him again. The second time, we took my wife's father and girlfriend. 80 years old, she had never been to a concert.
Arlo Guthrie. The first time was the aniversary of Alice's Restaurant. We've seen him again since, we'll see him again when we get the chance.
Our family has a Jethro Tull and Alice Cooper tradition. A couple of years ago, the four of us saw Alice Cooper and Heaven and Hell. WOW! Just WOW! Seeing Alice and Dio in the same night. I went crazy. Something about seeing Alice after 30 years. Emotional moment. I became 15 again.
More recently, my wife and I saw Judas Priest in St. Augustine. Hot as hell that night, concert was in a swamp in August. I thought Bob was going to die. The website mentioned that they were going to do the British Steel album. I didn't expect them to open with entire album, song for song. Never seen that before.
Two to end this rant, and (oh yeah... Queen with Paul Rodgers), (Eric Clapton jamming with Robert Cray on "Crossroads") oops (BB KING!) anyway...
I never did like Bruce Springsteen until the second time I saw him. About halfway through the show, I got it. I have just about every Springsteen album now. Next time, we're doing the lottery.
Saving the best for last. We're (wife and me) taking the kids (son and daughter in law) to see The Dropkick Murphys in March. Last time we saw them, the place was alive like I have never seen. We were up on the stage. I swear I suffered permanant hearing damage from them. The biggest mosh pit ever. Can't wait until March.
The next concert wife and I are going to is Flogging Molly in Feb in Atlanta.
(Damn, I forgot to mention Ringo.)