I’ve been in and around radio since I was 20. Because of this, I’ve been lucky to have seen a lot of really good concerts and had access to things a lot of people can’t get. So when I was asked what was the best concert I ever attended, I actually had to think about it.
What makes one better then the rest to deem it the “best”? I can honestly say I have never been to a bad concert. But had I been to a show where a Prima Donna …err….lead singer…..ran off stage because of “flash photography”. (See Rose, Axl.) Or because he “wasn’t feeling it”. (See Weiland, Scott.) They would have been “best” just for the stories I’d get to tell.
How about an outdoor concert in the late 90s? What could have made that best? The opening act (The Meat Puppets if you must know) was on stage. And as the crowd is waiting for its one hit, the heavens opened up and a heavy downpour turns the hill we, and the rest of the animals in general admission were sitting on, into Woodstock – both the original 1969 version and the sequel in 1999. So, during the headliner (I’m fairly certain it was STP but I’m still not 100% sure) more mud was slung than the last Presidential election (rimshot). That’s close, but no that was not the “best” either.
Six rows from the stage for Phil Collins in the late 80s (back when he was “cool.” Wait…was he ever cool?) Pretty good, but no.
Living Colour with 15 other people at a college bar before anyone knew who they were, before they got huge, before they toured with the Stones? Very, very, very cool. But nah, not the best.
Hanging out backstage with various members of a band that will go unnamed to protect the innocent? Definitely the best moment(s) at a concert…but not THE best concert. (I could explain in depth…BUT…the redacted version would be 15 pages long with only conjunctions and every fifth pronoun visible.)
Three rows from the stage for Steve Winwood? This was close. Warren Zevon opened and he was in full-one-man band mode. Mr. Winwood played everything I wanted to hear plus. What keeps this from being the “best” is the ….gentleman….seven or eight rows back yelling “Nighttrain” every five seconds. Seriously? Out of Steve Winwood’s entire catalogue THAT’S the one you’re gonna go with? That’s his “Freebird?” Umm…no.
Enough stalling. Here goes……The best concert I went to had nothing to do with the music or the artists performing. It was one I took my mom to. And as fate will do, it was purely by accident because people that had committed to go backed out. So as a last minute replacement, my mom went with me. Not the ideal date for a 17 year old boy. But with the benefit of hindsight, it was a blessing in disguise because fate again stepped in and this was the only concert we got the chance to attend together. And that’s what made it the best concert I ever attended.