The best live shows ever
Today we want to talk a bit about at the best live shows everat . Because talent is one of the things that motivates us the most at OINOZ..
Yes, even though the world has stopped due to COVID-19, and it’s gonna be a long time before we’re able to go to big outdoor festivals or indoor venues again, we think it’s a great time to look back on some of the best concerts or tours of all time. There are obviously so many more than we have time to mention, but let’s take a brief tour of some of the most memorable moments for music lovers around the world.
1. Woodstock. First off, we’re going all the way back to 1969, to a farm in Bethel, New York State, where they celebrated one of the most quintessential music festivals of all time. That event, which followed in the wake of Monterrey, brought together nearly 400,000 people for three days. Organised during the Summer of Love, the festival would set the bar for later years, hosting some of the greatest performers of the era, such as Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Who, Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Sly and The Family Stone. The festival event returned once in 1994 for its 25th anniversary, but unfortunately the 50th anniversary event was cancelled.
2. Live at the Apollo. Much has been said of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul. “The hardest working man in show business.” His strong work ethic, how he penalised his band for any mistakes… But the reality is that, under his strong hand, they created many perfect compositions. This live performance—recorded at the Apollo Theater in New York in October, 1962—achieved critical acclaim and was a huge sales success for the time. He believed in his work so much that, in the face of his record label‘s refusal to finance the production of this album, it was he himself who put up the money out of his own pocket.
3. Live in Japan. Progressive rock has given us some of the best performances in history. Undoubtedly, one of such performances was this one from Deep Purple, known to almost everyone for their song Smoke on the Water. The compendium of performances they put on in Osaka between 15-17 August, 1972 places them firmly on this list. . You need only hear the guitar solos to know that this band, back then, had been touched by the gods. A month earlier they played at London’s Rainbow Theatre and, at the time, Guinness World Records credited them as the loudest band on the planet. Other agents of psychedelic rock, such as The Who, could quite easily be on this list as well… If you’ve ever wondered who the first person was to smash a guitar on stage, the answer is Pete Townshend in 1964*. [*edited – original said 1965] The guitarist and singer accidentally broke the neck of his guitar on the low ceiling at the Harrow Railway Tavern, then in a fit of anger he smashed the rest of the instrument on stage. And that was only the beginning. The Who gave us many memorable performances over the years, for example, Live at Leeds.
4. Unplugged. MTV Unplugged was a series of acoustic concerts that were very popular in the 90s, and for a long time they were the fundamental choice for many musicians. Especially those who started it all. This format put the abilities or shortcomings of musicians and groups on display in front of a live audience that fell at their feet. The most successful of all the Unplugged performances was the one by Nirvana, recorded for MTV in 1993, just a few months before the death of the band’s frontman, Kurt Cobain. That event in Aberdeen would forever stand as a torchbearer for the grunge movement. A couple of years earlier, performances from Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton would show the potential of a format that took the Western World by storm, and which all the biggest singers of the moment were clamouring to join.
5. Live at Wembley. Despite the fact that, for many music lovers, Queen’s greatest tour was the Jazz Tour—recorded on the album Live Killers—which took place in Europe from January to March, 1979, it was the band’s final tour with Freddie Mercury, in 1986, which remains in the annals of rock history. It was something akin to what The Beatles accomplished with their Saville Row rooftop concert. That gig became the final public performance for the magnificent four, who performed nine takes of five songs. Almost as memorable is Queen‘s Live at Wembley performance—the highlight of their Magic Tour—which brought together 150,000 people. The performance was recorded in the legendary Wembley stadium on the second night of the two concerts, which took place on 11 and 12 July, 1986.
Everyone has a million favourite concerts to choose from, right? However, few are remembered by everyone. Some are remembered for strange reasons, such as Bob Dylan’s performance in 1965. The author of Blowin’ in the Wind had captivated a large audience with his folk music but, at that time, the electric guitar was starting to gain ground, and the most famous singer-songwriter in the world switched to the new sound. Something which much of his loyal fanbase never forgive him for. In Newport, Dylan grew his legend more than ever.
What’s your legend?
At OINOZ, we’re big fans of live shows, so tell us… What was your favourite concert?
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