Worst Concerts You Have Attended ??

I just left a remark about a favorite band of mine back in the day - April Wine - that I saw in concert and was disappointed. Could have been that it was an off night for them, or maybe they were never good in concert. Maybe the lead guitarist had too much to drink? April Wine was not the worst, however. I remember Neil Young in the 1990's who was on his one-man acoustic show type of tour that many artists were taking advantage of (perhaps for financial reasons) during that time. While a friend of I had near front row seats at Desert Sky Pavilion (now Ak-Chin) in Pheonix, the crowd was just roused up into a frenzy by the warm-up band (James) and here comes Neil and his guitar/harmonica. Wow, what a sonic letdown. I remember getting up and leaving and feeling Neil's glaring eyes on us as we ushered out. I think, to this day, he probably still remembers me. We all can remember the great live concerts we attended, but what were the worst and why?
"Cheap Trick"  This was a CHEAP TRICK to put people through

  Back in the 80's they opened for UFO & Rush
Back in 1983 or so, I was working security at a Grateful Dead concert at the University of Maine.  A new security feature (UV light) was catching LOTS of counterfeit tickets and everyone was pissed!  The AC wasn’t working, the acoustics sucked, and Jerry Garcia singled the staff out as jerks.  

"Rush…every time they have been out west. The last show was Vegas at the MGM Grand. When they played “Headlong Flight”, everything in the arena stopped. Everyone working there gathered at each portal…there was no one manning the concessions. Even the older men and ladies working the shows gathered to watch. It was magic."

That was the WORST concert you ever attended? You've been very fortunate.

The best and most prolific touring band ever, Dave Mathews Band. It was horrible not because of Dave, he was fantastic. It was the two inconsiderate moron girls sitting directly behind me. They talked at a scream volume non-stop the entire time. Loud screeching talk so they could be heard over the music. My wife could tell I was about to blow a fuse so she squeezed my arm and said please don't.
After about an hour of this when there was a pause in the show I turned and ask why they were there. They looked at me stupidly and I said you are obviously not here to listen to Dave so why don't you go out to the common area and talk so you can here each other without screaming and still hear the show.
They got mad and left which was my goal all along.
Allman Brothers. Not the music, but the venue. Made the mistake of getting lawn tickets instead of pavilion. Could not see the band, only an endless parade of drunk bikers blindly following the person in front of them, loosely circling the perimeter of the lawn, staggering over peoples blankets with muddy boots, spilling beer, shouting, and staring around with stunned gormless expressions leading me to believe it wasn't just beer.
James Brown in the mid 60’s came on stage and started singing.  Ladies in the first rows started screaming.  “Mr. Brown” started screaming through the mike, “Stop the music.  Stop the music.”  Music stopped.  

“Mr. Brown” said, if you all want to hear me sing, “sit down and shut up.”  He started singing again, ladies in the first row started creaming again.  He walked off stage and did not return. 

No concert and no refunds!

Without a doubt the worst concert I ever attended was about 12 yrs ago in Atlanta at Chastain Park. This is an expensive outdoor amphitheater and the typical problem with concerts there is the audience who’d rather talk about work, tell jokes, and be inattentive to the music period. Women feel it imperative to stand and dance right in front of you, obscuring your view and looking around to make sure they’re getting other peoples’ attention. Selfish! But regarding the artists themselves, they almost all do their best to entertain even with a rude or disengaged audience, however, I had the misfortune of paying for tickets to hear Aretha Franklin. The concert lasted exactly 46 minutes start to finish. 46 minutes for $100 a piece tickets. The crowd seemed stunned as no explanations or excuses were made, no claims of illness, technical problems...Forty Six minutes! It was pure highway robbery. The only redeeming factor was that the typical inattentive audience, the selfish women dancers, and the people who go to the shows to discuss work, the weather, and whatever finally got the same rude treatment they usually give lol !
"Chicago" at my college in 1969.  Off key horns and flat, dull vocals.  Terrible.
Oregon. Never heard a more obnoxious piercing sound as that freaking amplified oboe.
Herbie Hancock at the QE Theater in Vancouver 2019. Great band including guest mutli-instrumentalist Terrace Martin and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums. Although the sound rig itself looked perfectly legit (I worked in pro sound industry and as a pro musician for the earlier portion of my adult life), save for the lack of center fill to cover those like myself sitting 9th row center, the dunce running the main console had a severe case of tin ear. One of my fellow attendees went back to position himself next to the main sound console to see if it was as bad back there, and he said that it was much worse. Wow.
One of my friends had flown in from Toronto just for this show. All those that I knew in attendance including myself were deeply disappointed and angry. I tried to contact the Vancouver Jazz Festival to ascertain who was responsible for that disaster but could not find any contact info for the organization on their crap website. Infuriating.
... in Atlanta at Chastain Park. This is an expensive outdoor amphitheater and the typical problem with concerts there is the audience who’d rather talk about work, tell jokes, and be inattentive to the music period.
Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me. I hated that place - worst audiences ever. For most of them, after setting up their lavish tables/spreads, if the performers never showed up they'd not even notice. After all, going there was all about them, not the performers. 

Kid Rock opening for the Rolling Stones at OSU stadium, a few years back. Loudest concert in 50 years of concerts, ears rang for 2 days. Volume level did not compensate for other performance metrics.
Seems that poor sound mixing/too loud and distorted is a common theme.  I do agree that some of these sound techs must clearly be deaf (understandable) but loud does not equal better.  

The last several concerts I've attended in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace Auditorium and the Venetian Theater (which have excellent acoustics and sound) have been outstanding.

I imagine there will be a flood of concerts coming after the current pandemic restrictions ease.  I already did snag tickets for Chicago in September @ the Venetian which was one of the last concerts I saw in March, 2020.  That was at the Venetian Theater and the sound and performance was excellent.
Kansas a few years ago. Came out played about 35 minutes and then just left. Plus they sucked
Aerosmith, 1975 at the CNE Grandstand in Toronto. Absolutely horrid sounding, and of course they were wasted too. Saw Peter Frampton the same year (I think) for his Comes Alive tour, and it was wonderful. I still consider it one of my favorite concerts to this day
I can’t remember the worst (probably Aerosmith at the “Big A”) but I can surely tell you about the best! I saw Led Zeppelin on 6/23/77 at the LA Forum. Seventeen years old and twelve guys from the High School football and baseball teams scalped tickets from Troy ticket agency. We were halfway back on the floor of the Forum and to this day, THEE best concert I’ve ever seen, to this day. That was the night a very drunk Keith Moon came on stage and pounded Bonham’s drums during a couple of songs....I’ll never forget it! 
When I saw Van Halen for the first and only time (David Lee Roth days), I found myself wishing they'd have introduced themselves to each other before the gig. But for me, bad gigs are bad gigs primarily because some sound crews would appear to be unclear on the concept. 
Best:  Roger Waters Us and Them tour Newark NJ.  No comments necessary. 

worst:  Joan Biaz. 1984 Cologne, West Germany.  Opened for Santana who opened for Bob Dylan.  Or maybe it was the other way around.    I enjoyed the train ride up and back from Baden but I had no money and cheaped out on tickets.  It was a soccer stadium.  Enough said. But hey.  It was West Germany!
Yomo Toro at Symphony Space. He was way too old, needed to be helped on and off the stage, could barely hold his cuatro never mind actually play it. He passed away a year later.

The concert producers should have been ashamed of themselves: for putting a revered artist in an embarrassing situation, and for ripping off a nearly full house.
Jethro Tull in the 70's
My fault our seats were on the back side of the stage. We saw Ian's back for the whole concert!
1968/1969  Country Joe and the Fish. Country Joe was too wasted to stand up much less perform.
Aaron Neville about 5 years ago had a bad night.
Black Crows about 30 years ago in a bad venue with the volume turned up so loud there was no music just noise.
Sounds like the Warren Zevon I saw wasn't indicative of him as a live performer. That is very unfortunate, because he was a truly brilliant songwriter. And yes, because of the venue the audience sat in their seats for the entire show. Mind you, this was 1978 and the following night, same venue, we saw Springsteen and the E Street band play for almost 4 hours. Best show ever.
Elton John in the the old concrete bowl international stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan around 2009-ish
Because he had to wait for the president who was over an hour late, to be seated I was already bored and annoyed. Sound quality was terrible, more likely the stadium rather than Elton John. Give him his due though, he did give his all. Tying for worst concert ever was Echo and the Bunnymen at University of Calgary. Just terrible all round.
Though not an answer to the question, the best concert I ever saw was The Clash in 1978 at Middlesbrough Town Hall in England. Never saw or heard such raw energy and crowd excitement before or since
What a great subject! I go to a lot of shows but these few come to mind right away:
Alice Cooper & Motley Crue 2014 in Glendale AZ. Worst sound I've ever heard. We couldn't hear the bands at all.
Aerosmith, Glendale 2005. It was towards the end of the tour and it seemed like they didn't want to be there
Van Halen, Glendale AZ, 2015. David Lee Roth can't sing anymore. My friend fell asleep.
Peter Frampton & B.B. King, Tucson, AZ 2015. B.B. was getting so old it was painful to see him try, someone should have pulled the plug. Frampton just love the sound of his own guitar. Not every song needs a 12 minute solo.
The best was probably Gram Parsons with Emmylou Harris and The Fallen Angels at Upstairs at Max’s Kansas City on March 7, 8, 9 of 1973. One night his friend Van Morrison? can’t remember if it was him or Tom Paxton, lol, was there and performed with him. I recall Neil Young and Linda Rondstat being present as well.

A friend worked the tables downstairs and she got me a front row seat (front row meant if you lean forward and rested your forearms on your knees, your head was over the front edge of the "stage") each night by letting me in through the backstage entrance before the show.
Speaking of bad concerts, am I the only one who absolutely abhors the fact that about a quarter of the crowd at any one time these days thinks it’s cool to pull out their cell phones and record for minutes on end? It takes a lot of enjoyment out of the experience to have dozens of lighted screens to look past to see a show. I’ve yet to attend an event where the no-filming rules are actually enforced. 
The Atlanta Pop Festival, July 4th & 5th 1969. The bands/music were good, but it was over 100 degrees both days. The site was the infield of Atlanta International Raceway (NASCAR) and the radiated heat off of the huge racetrack baked the crowd. Firetrucks had to be called in to spray water on many of the attendees (those they could reach) due to people passing out. It was pretty brutal because there was zero shade until the sun went down.
Gordon Lightfoot, back in the 70's. I think it was the Universal Amphitheater. The opening band was better than he was. He came out and did a half baked performance. You could tell he just wanted to get it over with  and cash his check. I never bought or watched anything he was part of again. 
Bob Dylan at Madison Square Garden in the mid-70s was pretty bad also. It was my first and what I thought would be my last stadium show. Even sitting only halfway back, between the stage and the rear, who could see or hear anything? I swore "never again" after that. But about 10 years ago I got gifted 10th row center seats to see The Eagles at MSG and the sound was perfect and while I prefer Gram to the Eagles any day, they did put on a very tight show.

That "obnoxious piercing sound" coming from the "freaking amplified oboe" was played by Paul McCandless, the husband of my dear friend (now deceased) Robin Feld.

He's actually a brilliant musician.

See where these kinds of threads get you, lol.

I agree. No one seems to be able to Be Here Now with the music anymore. People are more interested in commodifying their presence at an event.
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Worst: Like so many others, a drug fueled concert that had tragedy written all over it: Jaco Pastorius and Jorma Kaukonen, Lone Star, NYC, 1985. A giant mess. Jorma survived, Jaco didn't. 
Some greats worth mentioning: King Sunny Ade, Roseland Ballroom, early 80's... a whole 'nutha level of musicianship than I was used to; Van Morrison early 2000's, Jones Beach, NY,  I know, he has a horrible reputation, but maybe he was aware of it by now, and cared a bit more... The excellent James Hunter opened... Morrison played both classics and a bit of country and western from the Pay the Devil album, and lots off the superb The Healing Game; Richie Havens, small club in upstate NY, the man had pure music and energy coursing through his veins... I got to buy a CD directly from him; Melody Gardot, Montreal Jazz Festival, a voice as pure live as recorded; Ray Lamontagne, Radio City Hall and Capitol Theater, there are acts you see 'cause you like the band, and maybe have some fun, and there are acts you see because some just care so much to deliver a sonic experience, Melody and Ray really deliver on both. 
Tony Braxton,  2019 at the Fabulous Fox Theater. My cousin surprised us with Dinner and a show. It was a real surprise.  You couldn't pay me to see her,  but I didn't want to hurt my cousin and his wife's feelings,  so we went. It lived up to everything I thought.  She talked most of the show and when she did try to put a few notes together, it was inaudible.  She tried to get the crowds sympathy talking about her Lupus.....
It was a very sad show. Even though I didn't pay for the tickets,  I wanted a REFUND!!!!!!
By far, my worst concert was The Police at U of Tenn's middle sized basketball arena, The Stokely Center.  The 12700 seats were supplamented by floor seats, and it was packed.  I was never a The Police fan, but was given the tickets.  It was not just me.  After each song, there would beere a few police hand claps.  That was as bad as a rock concert could be, I thought, until I was reminded of on I did not see:  Leon Russell was over two hours late at the downtown Tennessee Theater, finally showed up for twenty minutes and left. Luckily I missed that one, because Leon Russell is horrible.
Led Zeppelin 1973, Sydney Australia, 100,000 people, band totally wasted, stumbling around, sound awful. Jimmie Page excellent in studio but live a disaster.

Best concert, Frank Zappa, Mothers of Invention, Sydney Australia 1970 something, 40 minutes tuning up the band, sound absolutely clear, balanced and easy to hear everything going on; Zappa a true professional.
ZZ Top, Felt Forum NYC.  Derringer opened and put on one whale of a show.  ZZ Top follows, actually said something like "we're in New York City!  We're going to play all night long!!"  Then proceeded to play a whopping 37 minutes with no encore.

+1 on the Zappa note above -- we attended five or six years running of his Halloween shows in NYC.  What a blast!  Imagine the costumes and crowd, and Zappa and his band were always tight.  The play acting that went along with "Titties and Beer" still sticks in my mind lol
Not a concert, a musical play: Les Miserables, a show by the touring (not Broadway) company at West Point's Eisenhower Theater. I suspected it would be bad music, but went because we were with another couple who professed great anticipation of this musical. 

It was a very well produced, sung, and acted show--but the music, at least to my ears, was spectacularly bad. No redeeming features & not a single memorable note of music. I slunk down in my chair and thought about anything but that show.

Actually was rather shocked to find at intermission that my wife and the other couple absolutely shared my opinion (that rarely happens). We left immediately and went out drinking. 
A few different acts at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival over the years.  Bonnie Raitt with a completely shot voice, with the backup singers constantly jumping in mid verse to try and bail her out; Eric Clapton totally mailing it in after receiving the highest appearance fee given to any musician to perform there; and Macy Gray singing with Galactic and being so f***ed up they sent her back to her trailer and had one of the backup singers finish the set. 
Atlanta Pop Festival, July 4th & 5th 1969...the music and bands were good, but it was over 100 degrees on both days. Held at the Atlanta International Raceway (NASCAR venue) on the infield and the heat from the huge racetrack baked the crowd. Firetrucks were called in to spray as many people as possible due to the number that were passing out. I had spent the summer working construction, so it didn't bother me to that extent.
True addendum to the Atlanta Pop Festival posting....I went with several friends, one of whom had been burned a few weeks earlier when he gave someone $20 for a bag of weed. The guy disappeared into a house and never showed back up. At the concert, we all went back to the car for some special refreshments  and when we returned to our blankets, the same dude was sitting on one of them. We escorted him back in the direction of our car, but at the gate, he started yelling for help. We melted into the crowd and he was ultimately arrested on an outstanding warrant. How's that for karma?
1) Journey without Steve Perry. Neal Schon's continuous solos were ego-induced and totally unnecessary. The vocals were like bad karaoke.

2) Duran Duran in 2019. They came out two hours late and were totally lifeless. 
Gordon Lightfoot, Red Rocks, early 70's.The band arrived on stage 30 minutes late, without Gordon. They tuned up for 20 minutes, played a couple of licks, and then sat there for another 15 minutes, waiting for G.L to show. Then they left.
Came back another 20 minutes later, kind of helping G.L. to his chair on stage. He couldn't hold his guitar, so it sat in its stand. They all assumed their places, then G.L. fell off his stool.
The band tried various methods to prop him up on a shorter chair, then he fell again and they carted him backstage.We were sitting in the front third of the Amphitheater, and the crowd was so angry after the second exit without even a peep from G.L. that they started throwing bottles at the stage.
All in all, we waited for 1 1/2 hours, heard nothing, and had to run to avoid the missiles.

Truth be known, I have attended several shows in Colorado, where the drugged or boozed up performers seemed to underestimate just how much effect Mile High thin air has on their ability to stand.
Sonny Landreth.... slide guitar is nice as the occasional accent. 
not e v e r y minute of e v e r y song.
Calgon, take me away. 
jimi hendrix 1968.  swichted from marshall to sun amps complete with 60 herz hum nobody could fix.  played 20 minutes before he stabbed hi guitar thru the amps and walked off.  the other bands, however, were great.  soft machine was terrific.