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top 5 concerts and reason's why (Tony's idea)


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i could probably replace these with 5 other choices, but these stand out... in no specific order...

1. Radiohead @ Irving Plaza (1997)

reasons why:

it was the pre-OK Computer show-- only two days after the Tibettan concert which had every cool band in town.... & i had VIP passes... so i rubbed shoulders with an insane amount of in-crowd people: blur, oasis, rem, U2... and others who were floating around: marilyn manson, madonna... it was nuts... they opened w/ "Lucky" and were in a zone very few bands reach.... surreal stuff...

2. Screen Test @ Jab 1982 (& CBGB 1983)-- both shows were my cherry busting moments as far as club experiences were concerned... The band completely captured the essence of live power pop (late '70s early '80s US power pop, that is) at its greatest & intense rarified high.... Tommy Allen on drums....

3. Raspberries at BB Kings (7/24/05)-- w/ my friends Screen Test (Gary Frenay, Arty Lenin, Tommy Allen) in the audience watching in complete awe & wonder.... why? this was the greatest live performance of classic power pop ("Ecstasy" & "Go All The Way" & "I Don't Know What I Want") ever...

4. R.E.M.- Drew University (spring 1985) this was the "Pre-Construction" tour where they played a bunch of east coast colleges before the release of "Fables Of The Reconstruction".... they opened w/ "Feeling Gravity's Pull" and were stunning-- too bad the recorded versions were inferior to these intensely magical live versions performed... saw them a few days later in Mass. & met the band...

5. Jon Brion @ Largo (3/21/03)

of all the times i saw JB at Largo, this one was the mountain top... the US just invaded Iraq & the artist onstage let the music do the talking.... opening with a cascading "Isn't It A Pity" ...he performed by making tape loops of all the backing instruments: drums, bass, piano in front of the crowd & then stepping up to the mic w/ a guitar & singing... other highlights: Elvis Costello's "Shipbuilding," Emitt Rhodes' "You Should Be Ashamed" & Brian Wilson's "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times."

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Only 5? Dang!

OK. These are subject to order change depending on my mood at any given moment.

1. Lindsey Buckingham - Cleveland '92 or 93

A 10 piece band on stage, a small club with 200 people and the most amazing night of musicianship I've seen.

2. Bonnie Raitt/Jackson Browne/Shawn Colvin/Bruce Hornsby/David Lindley - Cincinnatti '99

The "Sensitive Ones Tour" with all 5 artists playing as band on each others songs. I love these collaboration type shows.

3. Paul McCartney - Pittsburgh '90 or '91.

His first big tour since Wings and he was reclaiming his Beatles songs.

4. Raspberries - Cleveland 2004

Their first in 30 + years. The band I never thought I'd get to see and I was in a private box with some other fans. Worth every penny.

5. Bruce Springsteen - Pittsburgh 84

The "Born in the USA" mania was just about to set in, but he was still playing arenas as opposed to stadiums later in the tour. His set list still included a lot of earlier material he would soon be giving a rest. It was the eve of his 35th birthday and he kept the show going over 4 hours and made it past midnight to ring in his birthday. I got to go because a girl I met's friend couldn't go and she had an extra ticket. In return, I married her. wink

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ok, here goes:

1. Alice Cooper/Blue Oyster Cult-New Haven Arena 1972.....first concert ever!

2. Alice Cooper/Z.Z.Top-New Haven Coliseum 12-26-73......Santa gets beat to a friggin'pulp

3. Led Zeppelin-MSG NYC 1977....3 shows...what can you say, tremendous!

4. Pink Floyd-Nassau Coliseum NY....The Wall......3 out of 4 shows almost 1/2 the US tour

5. who else after 30 plus years....the Raspberries-B.B.Kings NYC 7-23-05......at last!

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In no particular order...

T-Rex...New Haven Coliseum(1971)

New York Dolls...Stratfield Hotel Ballroom(1975)

Badfinger...Startfield Hotel Ballroom(1974)

Alice Cooper...New Haven Coliseum(1973

Dwight Twilley...Barnabys-Bridgeport(1972)

Wings...Philly Spectrum-1976

Raspberries-Fairfield U.-1975(?)

Elvis Pressley...New Haven Coliseum(1974)



Ringo w/Eric...2000-Foxwoods

Michael Jackson...1990-Hartford CC

McCartney-11 more times

Pezband-1975...Oxford Ale House...Ct.

Babys-Agora...Hartford, Ct.

Flying Tigers...Everytime

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thanks, Marv...T-Rex opened for Three Dog Night to an entirely non-receptive audience...At one point, Bolan yelled out," We're playing our f------ hearts out up here, least you can do is clap"...Bang-A-Gong was the last song and Bolan did a lead that went on for ages...At the end of the song, the amps caught fire(part of the act) and firemen appear in full regalia to douse the blaze with their hoses...

Presley was way past his prime and he was doing the white jumpsuit thing...I was in the 40th row out of 41...Had tickets for his next tour, but he died before the date...Went and got a refund(like an idiot) instead of keeping the ticket as a souveneir...

Saw the original Badfinger lineup from the 2nd row for an outstanding show...Met the band afterwards and they were really a nice bunch of guys(as Joey still is today) but were very dissappointed that after a string of hits, that they were still playing 200 seat venues(sound familiar?)...

Saw the Baby's after they added Cain and split from Brock and Corby...Always loved John Wait and still do...Was so disappointed that night because I almost shook hands with Waite and was cut off by Cain...Never felt that he was a real Baby...

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I have not been to that many concerts especially in the last couple of decades so here goes:

1) Beach Boys - Bradley University Peoria, IL

February 1967

The icons of American Rock n' Roll were at

the top of their game with all the game

players in place.

2) Blood Sweat and Tears - Bradley University

Peoria, IL February 1970 This rock jazz

band was fronted by Canadian (?) David

Clayton Thomas who could really belt out

the songs. So many of the horn players

when introduced were from North Texas St.

Univ. They were good!

3) Raspberries - Chicago HOB January 2005

My first exposure to these power pop icons

and it did not disappoint as they blew the

roof off on a very very cold January night!

4) Franki Valli and the Four Seasons - Bradley

University October 1967. These "Jersey Boys"

could do no wrong and the golden vocal chords

of Frankie Valli were just awesome as this

group rocked all through their many many

million dollar top hits.

5) The Carpenters - Bradley University Peoria

September 1972 Who could ever forget

the hauntingly beautiful and so unique

voice of Karen Carpenter and the talented

arrangements of her older brother Richard

as they blazed through their legendary set.


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Not quite as impressive as the others, but here are my favorites:

Artful Dodger "Legends Of Rock" '91 - Nelson Ledges (Front Row and Center!!!!)

Artful Dodger "Rave On" tour - CSU

Eddie Money w/Breathless - Trinidad Tour - Kent State University

Donnie Iris - around 1986 - Kent State University

Poison/Ratt - Blossom Music Center (a few years back)

Pat Benatar - Akron Ribfest - A few years back - That girl can still sing!!!! Very long set!

Ozzy Osbourne - "Diary Of A Madman" Tour - Richfield - Luckily, no bats were harmed and Randy was jammin'.

Van Hagar - "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" Tour - Blossom

One that got away - John Waite - Akron Ribfest a couple years back. I heard he put on a great show!

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Three that got away .....I should have mentioned them..

The Association- April 1969 - Pere Marquette Hotel Peoria, IL They played for our Frosh/Soph Prom when I was in college. Russ Guigere, Jules Alexander, Terry Kirkman, Larry Ramos, Jerry Yester and company were near the height of their popularity at the end of the 60s. Dar would probably have had at least a fleeting interest in going to this one.....!!!

Another notable one was in April 1973 a relatively new band out of nearby Rockford, IL played for the high school Junior Prom of the high school I taught at...the name of the band???? That would be "Cheap Trick".

And who could ever forget Clevelander Sonny Geraci - Sterling, IL Coliseum September 2002. Sonny was how I eventually got to know of the Raspberries. He put on quite a show 3 years ago. He certainly is one of the most versatile and energy laden performers I have seen in a long time!


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The best concert line up of musicians in one place at one time- EVER- for me was seeing the Raspberries at the KROQ Coliseum concert in 1972. It wasn't the best I've ever heard them (I think that is yet to come:)), but just some of the other groups that played that night: Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, Chuck Berry, Bee Gees, Eagles, John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band, the Spinners, etc. HELLO! Somebody pinch me! Funny thing is, there was so much great music and my girlfriend and I were so looking forward to the Raspberries that everyone else was just a 'warm up' band. Chuck Berry was on just before the 'berries, and his sing-a-long of "My Ding-a-Ling" was hilarious. I think the Spinners followed the Raspberries. We were on music overload that night. And did I mention the contact high from all the Mary Jane being passed around that night? Holy cow, what a night to remember! Kirk.

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I'm going to need some help from the band on filling in some details from that night. I'm not sure we were there from the first note. I know we weren't there much past the Raspberries. I had an under age girlfriend and her mom was not too pleased that I brought her home way past midnight! I know Chuck Berry was right before the Raspberries, and I remember hearing the Spinners as we were leaving, but who played when and what is pretty much a blur, now. Nobody played very long, there were so many groups to squeeze in one night, lots of tear down and set up. Maybe Bernie could ask Eric what he remembers about that night. Kirk.

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1) Raspberries HOB Chicago (Why wasnt this recorded?? the band literally exploded on stage and was much better then expected. I never stood up for a concert the entire night and it had me jumpin and singin along!)

2) Kiss Psycho Circus (my first time seeing them another childood dream come true and they were as good as expected with all the circus antics 3d effects were very cool.)

3) Deep Purple 1986 Perfect Strangers tour was amazing to see a band reform that really had no intention to much like the Raspberries. LOud and thrilling.

4) Genesis 1983 Mama tour (memorable on many levels the first most being my very first concert experience and they played all my favorites. Phil Collins is the best drummer I have ever seen and really into audience participation.

5) Rush Grace Under Pressure. This was the highlight of the Canadian Rockers when their catalog was flawless and so was their preformance and they are only a 3 piece band.

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This is tough to narrow it down to just five. I hate going to the big places to see bands - I'd much rather be at a club standing close to the stage with a beer in my hand than sitting in the upper deck watching the video screens. I saw Dire Straits once at the Mann Music Center in Philly in 1985, and some lug nut behind me was yelling sit down, during Sultans of Swing. What the.....? I've been to maybe 4 or 5 shows in arenas (or even big theaters) in the past 25 years.

Springsteen - Mobile, AL 2/81. This was when, IMO, Bruce peaked. The River was my favorite Bruce LP, and it was on this tour. I had 2nd row seats, and was front and center against the stage for Rosalita and the 3 encores. I got some great photos too. This was my last arena show for a long time because I almost got in a fight with a guy behind wanted to sit down, and he couldn't see. I think it was during Sherry Darling or Cadillac Ranch.

Steve Earle - Phila Chestnut Cabaret 11/88. It was on Steve's Cooperhead Road tour. He had an incredible band with him. I liked Steve alot more when he was on heroin, and all he sung about was girls and cars (and growing pot). He didn't need to make a political statement with every song. He played for over 3 hours.

The Searchers - Phila Chestnut Cabaret - 1983. They did two long sets, and played stuff throughout their entire catalog, even from that great album, Love's Melodies, which came out in 1981. They sounded incredibly good, harmonies were right on. The place was pretty empty, and they seemed to be just having fun. Plus they told some great stories between songs. A week later I read a review of their show in NY in the Village Voice, and the critic called it one of the greatest shows ever. Who am I to disagree?

Graham Parker and the Figgs - Phila SXSW 6/2005. I love Graham Parker, and his new CD with the Figgs backing him up is my favorite since Mona Lisa's sister, and that was my fave since Squeezing Out Sparks. Anyway, the Figgs are 4-piece hard edged power pop type band from upstate NY, and they've teamed with GP before. He did a great set covering his entire career, and the band was great. The songs were stripped down but had a nice hard edge to them. Just a great show from "Soul Shoes" to "Vanity Press."

Raspberries - Cleveland 11/2004. I drove out from NJ, picked up my brother in Pittsburgh (who flew in from Dallas), and headed in. The four Raspberries CDs (and LPs before) have never been far from my CD changer since 1975, and the band has been in legendary status for me since that point. So I was pretty nervous for the month or so leading up to the show. Like Eric said in his Rolling Stone interview, I didn't want to walk away thinking that they were just okay. Well, obviously they were more than just okay - they were incredible. The harmonies were perfect, the guitars were loud and raw, and Jim, well...Jim was unbelievable. He was Keith Moon with a little more discipline. And they were just as good in NYC...but the Cleveland show was extra special.

We need a Worst Five category next.

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5 is pretty tough, but this would turn into the worlds longest thread if we listed every concert we have attended. Off the top of my head in no particular order:

Raspberries / Chicago & Waukesha '05: This is the one that came out of the Blue! I never thought I would have a chance to see THE band that got me hooked on rock music (Raspberries 1st Album = My 1st Album)!! A concert - especially Chicago - that I will never forget!

Supertramp with Pablo Cruise / Milwaukee '77: This was my first concert ever, and made me a lifetime Supertramp fan! Pablo Cruise was an excellent opening act, but Supertramp was outstanding!

Elton John with Judy Tzuke / Tempe '80: This was my first time seeing Elton John. These were the days of "First come/First served" for tickets, so a friend of mine at ASU and I waited outside for 4 days and 3 nights to get tickets! We ended up being in charge of the line of people waiting, and we ended up with 16 front row center tickets. The show was fantastic, and we were able to take some great pictures!

Barbara Streisand with Marvin Hamlisch / Auburn Hills '94: This was certainly a once in a lifetime experience! One of my sisters and I drove to MI for the show. Love her or hate her, Barbara has one of the best voices ever! She sounded terrific!

Ozzy Osbourne with Def Leppard / East Troy '81: I had seen Ozzy in '78 with Sabbath (Van Halen as opener) and I wasn't overly impressed. It was at the end of the original Sabbath at the time and Ozzy was just going through the motions. What a difference 3 years makes. We had front row center seats, and even though they initially didn't allow picture taking, eventually the security let us take pictures. We got some great pictures of Ozzy, Randy, and the rest of the band. Def Leppard was a pleasant surprise. They were suppoting their High N Dry Album at the time, and they really rocked for a bunch of youngsters. Of course Ozzy et al were amazing, and I've been a fan for life!

I'll mention another 5 shows when this thread comes to life again sometime in the future. happy


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Fleetwood Mac, Chicago Stadium, Summer, ’77. The car horn blared outside the house while my family was eating dinner. “You wanna go see Fleetwood Mac? We’ve got an extra.†Um, sure. See ya Mom and Dad. Ever so cool, I inquired of my hosts as we approached the venue, “So … ah … where are the seats?†“2nd Row,†came the equally deadpan response. Well … The Mac opened with “Say That You Love Me,†and the concrete that is now the United Center’s parking lot is still vibrating from Buckingham’s “Go Your Own Way†encore. In between they played … everything. Only time I ever saw them and just as well. I consider Lindsay Buckingham to be in the same league as Bjorn and Benny, Carmen, McCartney, Townsend, and Brian Wilson.

Pretenders: Northern Kentucky University, 9/80. I was recovering from a nasty case of mono and playing it straight that night. Got to make eyes at Chrissie from right up front … I think she liked me. Later we went to some bar and I chatted up a lovely girl who hadn’t been there, but listened patiently as I droned on and on and on about the show and lots of other bands she had never and would never see. 25 years later, Mrs. “Keith†and I still most fondly remember the Pretenders show she never attended.

Ramones: Bogart’s, Cincinnati, 12/1/79. I place the date on the authority of Monte Melnick’s most excellent “On the Road with the Ramones.†I thought I was late getting to the party in 1979 but the Ramones went on to play a total of 2,263 shows, finally hanging it up in LA in 1996. My 12/79 rendezvous turned out to be quite early on, about a quarter into the band’s illustrious – and non-stop – touring history. Somehow I feel the need to apologize for my Ramones-aphilia on this board. But Good God, those guys blew rooms apart. Piling in the backseat, generating steam heat, pulsating to the backbeat – the Ramones were beautiful to behold.

Raspberries: House of Blues, Chicago, 1/15/05. There’s a lot to be said for watching your dream come true. Having read about the Cleveland reunion gigs I was ready for the best, but the show flew way beyond my wildest expectations. A few songs into the show I realized I was screaming my head off and thought, “Whoa, man, easy does it … you’re 45 years old … you’re going nuts! … I mean, you’re BALD, man … you’re making a scene!†Then I noticed everybody around me was screaming and carrying on, too … all night long. The show was a musical and emotional explosion. By the time they played “Ecstasy†and “Tonight†at the end of the set the band and its fans were as “One†as I’ve ever seen. I doubt the band would have minded if we were up on the stage dancing … well, maybe they’d have minded … a little.

Springsteen; Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, 9/78. Hey NFL fans: remember the day the Raiders beat the Chargers on that BS fake-fumble-and-keep-kicking-and-throwing-the-ball-forward-until-you-fall-on-it-in-the-end-zone-and-the-clueless-refs-give-you-a-freaking-touchdown-AND-THE-GAME-as-the-clock-runs-o ut game? Ken Stabler, Pete Banazak, Dave Casper, cast the whole lot out – bah!!! But I’m over it. It was that night. First time I’d seen The Boss; “Darkness†tour; they had the stage pushed way out on the floor so there weren’t that many people there. When Bruce and Clarence took off down the main floor’s center aisle during “Spirit in the Night†I thought the world was ending. By the time Bruce was done doing his James Brown / Motown Thing during the encores, I was sure I was in another dimension. And “Rosalita†rocked, too. I remember bursting out of the building after the show and collapsing in bliss and laughter with a buddy in one another’s arms. We’d gotten our $12 worth …

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Here are my favourite concerts & why:

1) The Kinks at Colden Auditorium Queens College

NY March 3,1971. This concert took place three days before the Kinks ill-fated show at New York's

Philharmonic Hall where Ray Davies collapsed onto

a wall of amps in a drunken stupor. The Queens

College performance, perhaps as a precursor to the Kinks' success with college audiences in the

later 1970's, was quite different. The band was

tight,harmonies excellent, & to my delight, they actually performed 'Mister Pleasant' & 'Autumn

Almanac.' Actually, in the middle of 'Autumn Almanac' Ray stumbled on the words, at which point I, in the front row, decided to be his teleprompter & yelled them up to him. At the conclusion of the tune Ray said "We haven't performed this song live since we recorded it in the studio, but I'd like to thank that nice young man in the front who helped me out."

2)Jimi Hendrix at Hunter College Auditorium March

1968. Opening act was the Soft Machine, Jimi hadn't yet been noticed in a big way in the US, &

we had third row center seats. After every song I kept yelling out, "Hey Jimi, do Red House!" After

five tunes, Jimi walked to the center of the stage, stuck out his hand,pointed at me, said "Don't worry man,Ihear ya" & launched into the best version of "Red House' I'd ever heard in

my life!

3)Roy Wood's Wizzard at the Joint In the Woods,

Parsippany NJ October 1974. I arrived with a group of friends early so we could get standing

room right at the front of the stage,& it was well

worth the wait. They opened up with "Ball Park

Incident" & things just got better from there.They

went through a slew of hits like "See My Baby Jive" and "Angel Fingers" as well as a few Move

favourites, with Roy Wood alternating between guitar,cello, & Two oboes in his mouth at the same

time! Incredible...

4)Eric Carmen & Sweet at Philadelphia's Tower

Theater March 1976. I had actually gone down to

this concert on a Capitol records 'press bus' to

push Sweet as they would not appear in NY & 'Fox

On the Run' had recently charted in the US. Eric

seemed a bit nervous as he began the set, but the

audience warmed to him immediately, & just about

went nuts during the Rachmaninoff piano solo during "All By Myself."

5) Raspberries at the Chicago House of Blues January 15,2005. My best friend from NY asked me if I'd be willing to fly to Chicago from SOuthern

California to meet him for the Raspberries reunion.I'd never been to Chicago,the Cleveland

show had taken place Thanksgiving time, so I couldn't get away, so I said,sure!! From the

opening chords of 'I Wanna Be with You' to the

monologue Eric delivered to us when there was an

equipment malfunction on stage about how he used

the tinny transistor radio sound on 'Overnight Sensation' to approximate the feeling he had when

he used to listen to his AM radio when he was growing up,summed up what is so special about the

incredible music we grew up with, & how thrilled I am that the Raspberries re-united to fill a pop

music void no current band can even begin to


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