(picture courtesy of Rolling Stone Magazine)
Summer is concert time, especially outdoor concerts, and I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of them, so it was hard to choose just twenty of my favorites during my adult life. There are various factors which make for good live concerts: 1) a good venue, and if indoors the acoustics need to be good. Many a good concert has been ruined by bad acoustics or worse bad managing of the sound. Some of the concerts listed below were not in great acoustic venues (for example Ovens Auditorium) but the sound folks managed to overcome most of the problems; 2) artists performing in top form who can actually play their instruments and actually sing on key, and are not stoned out of their minds; 3) artists performing their best songs, or a good variety of their better songs and not doing endless drum solos, or other exhibitions of pure narcissism etc.
Joe Cocker and the Grease Band/ Jefferson Airplane— Filmore East (NY) 1969.
Loggins and Messina—Cameron Indoor Stadium 1973
Stevie Wonder and the Rolling Stones—Ovens Auditorium Charlotte, mid 70s
The Band and Bob Dylan– ditto on the venue.
Joni Mitchell— Cameron Indoor Stadium— mid 70s
Sade (opening act John legend)—TD North Bank Center Boston— 2009James Taylor and Carole King (Troubador Reunion Tour)— St. Louis—2010
The Pat Metheny Group— The Way Up Tour Beacon Theater NY 2008
Metheny-Mehldau Tour— Constitution Hall Washington D.C. 2005?
Seals and Crofts— Memorial Hall Chapel Hill— 1972.
Genesis with Phil Collins— The Dean Dome Chapel Hill—- 1982
Linda Ronstadt and Neil Young— The Kennedy Center in D.C.—1972.
Paul McCartney (3 hours worth of Beatles and solo stuff—non-stop!) The Yum Center Louisville 2014.
Bonnie Raitt and Marc Cohn— Brown Theatre Louisville 2013.
Seal—- Bogarts Cincinnati 2005.
Crosby, Stills, and Nash— Ovens Auditorium Charlotte 1980 something.
The Moody Blues—- Blossom, Akron Ohio 1986.
The Little River Band—House of Blues Myrtle Beach S.C. in the 1990s.
Journey with Arnel Pineda (opening act Heart)– Freedom Hall Louisville 2011.
The Police— Poppa John’s Stadium—- Louisville 2003.
There are so many more that I could list (e.g. ELP in Charlotte, Justin Heyward at the House of Blues at Myrtle, the Eagles at Duke or in Cinci, America and Christopher Cross in Charlotte, and then there were all these omnibus concerts with many bands— e.g. the Average White Band, Steely Dan, Hall and Oates at Riverbend in Cinci, and I could go on and on. It’s hard to choose).