Your top 3 most EMOTIONALLY intense live concerts, and top 3 EMOTIONALLY intense records.


Bob Dylan - Rolling Thunder
Against Me! - 2008
White Stripes - (warming up for Garbage in 2002).

Graham Parker - Stick to Me
Patti Smith - Easter (Kate Bush came to mind too).
Guns N Roses - Use Your Illusion I&2
mercyful fate
dark angel
many more!

venom welcome to hell
Mercyful fate. Nuns have no fun. Slayer.  Hell awaits
motorhead. Bomber. Tank. Filth hounds of hades. Raven. Wipe out. Bathory. Everything!
 Tons more
Rod Stewart and the Faces (Ron Wood on bass) at the Cow Palace in San Francisco (February 1975). What a raucous show! My runner-up would be Johnny Winter at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY (September 1991). A legend guitar slinger gone all too soon!
How about two LPs that I've returned to over the years: Procul Harum's Shine On Brightly, Weather Report's I Sing The Body Electric. The PH is a masterpiece of late 60's psychedelics; the WR a masterwork of mid 70's jazz!

I'll offer up four.

Springsteen at the L.A. forum  for the Darkness at the Edge of Town tour. Record company seats, thanks to the fact my sister worked at A&M Records at the time. 

Led Zeppelin at the Rose Palace in Pasadena, just after the second LP was released. Festival seating. Me and my girlfriend ooched our way to the front. 

Berlin Philharmonic with Von Karajan at Pasadena's Ambassador Auditorium.  Once again, record company seats. Transcendently beautiful tone. 

Bizet's Carmen at the L.A. Music Center. I have no idea how I got them but Second Row toward the middle. Yeah, the performance was by the supposedly second-rate New York City Opera Company, but that didn't stop me from wallowing in the sheer beauty and excitement of it. The experience instantly transformed me into a complete opera fan.
@edcyn I was thinking about Springsteen - I saw him on the River Tour for the first time - mesmerizing - 4 hours of non-stop rock and roll - wow.  The only thing that came close after that was The Rising Tour for me.  

A Piece For Assorted Lunatics 1972

My introduction to surround sound
Only 1: Itzak Perlman playing Bach's Partita in D Minor for violin in a 1978 performance, especially and wonderfully the Chaconne:
Concerts:  Cream Farewell Baltimore Arena; First Dead free concert I ever attended at American University; first Jethro Tull (also free) at Colorado College in 1970. Never before heard a band play together in such TIGHT arrangements. 
Records:  Rod Stewart and the Small Faces, Maggie May. Picking on Nashville, Kentucky Headhunters; Beatles White Album 
bobandcindy101 -- wow, Cream. Still in my top handful of bands. Clapton before he discovered Delaney & Bonnie and lost every ounce of passion and energy. 
Big Brother and the Holding Company at the Fillmore, one of the last concerts before Janis quit. Outstanding.

Ravi Shankar, in Pittsburgh before anyone knew who he was...simply amazing.

'Rubber Soul' by the Beatles blew me did Joni Mitchell's 'Hejira'
Emotionally...Jackson Browne about two years ago in Kansas City. He was going on and on about politics in the US and was getting to the some of the fans myself included, then a woman yelled out "shut up and play music". It was an emotionally charged concert moment! I loved it! Or for real was my first concert. The Eagles, in Tucson in 1974 when I was in High School!
Live Concert
1)Paco Pena, with dance ensemble: Boulder Theatre
2)Madame Butterfly: Puccini, Central City Opera Company
3)Sarah Brightman: Paramount Theatre

1)Symphony: Sarah Brightman
2)Koyaanisqatsi (film sound track) Philip Glass
3)Dig: Boz Scaggs

- The Beach Boys at The San Jose Civic, Summer of 1964 (you never forget your first ;-) . Brian Wilson on Fender bass and falsetto vocals, Mike Love on obnoxiousness.

- The Beatles at The Cow Palace in S. San Francisco, Summer of 1965. Not a very good live band. Honest ;-) . I was standing about ten yards from John Lennon. Only fifteen years and a few months later he was shot dead in NYC.

- The Electric Tingle Guild (Mark Loomis’ and Gary Andrijesivich’s post-The Chocolate Watchband group. The Watchband are the legendary Garage Band you see in Riot On Sunset Strip), at The Wutzit Club (a "Teen Center") in San Jose, 1968.

- The Electric Flag (with Mike Bloomfield, Buddy Miles, and Mark Naftalin), at The Santa Clara County Folk/Rock Festival, Summer of ’68. The Doors had to follow them ;-( . Open act that day was a local group named Fritz (you know who their two front-persons were, right?).

- The Who at The Avalon Ballroom in SF (or was it The Fillmore?), 1968. They performed the "A Quick One" Suite for their first set, returning to do individual songs and then blow up everything. Wow.

- The Jeff Beck Group at The Fillmore, 1968. At that time, my favorite guitarist (I hadn’t yet heard Ry Cooder ;-) . At one point in the show, Jeff mocked Rod Stewart.

- The Who at Winterland in ’69, performing Tommy. Jealous yet? ;-)

- The Band at The Berkeley Community Theater, 1970. If I have to tell you why, you wouldn’t understand ;-) .

- The Beat (Paul Collins, not the U.K. group) at The Whiskey Au Go Go in late 1979. A master Power Pop group, as dynamic as The Who. Their debut album is essential listening.

- Rockpile at The Country Club in Reseda, CA, late-1980. One of the very best bands in Rock ’n’ Roll history, headed by Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe.

- Squeeze at The Roundhouse in London, December of ’81. It was fun seeing this great Pop Group surrounded by their countrymen.

- Dave Edmunds at The Ritz in NYC, 1982. Rock ’n’ freakin’ Roll, baby!

- Marshall Crenshaw and his 4-piece band (with Graham Maby on Fender 6 bass and harmony vocals), The Ritz in 1982. Fantastic Power Pop.

- Big Joe Turner backed by The Blasters, Club Lingerie on Sunset Blvd, mid-80’s. Big Joe, one of the last Rock ’n’ Roll originators to go (Jerry Lee Lewis is the last man standing). In The Blasters at that point in time was Little Richards’ original tenor sax man, Lee Allen. For you younger fellas, guitarist in The Blasters was Dave Alvin, his big brother Phil on lead vocals and sweating.

- Foster & Lloyd, the Country (Foster) / Rock (Lloyd) duo, at The Roxy Theater on Sunset, mid-80’s. I don’t know who was in their band, but they were really good.

- Sometime in the 80’s I went to see The Plimsouls (Peter Case’s Power Pop group) at a little hole-in-the-wall Punk club on Ventura Blvd. in the Valley. They were the headliners, with an opening act whose name I was not familiar with. Can you imagine my surprise when Los Lobos started performing?! OMG, they were GREAT!

- Little Village on a sound stage in Burbank, 1992. THE Supergroup: John Hiatt, Ry Cooder, Nick Lowe, and Jim Keltner. Their sole album isn’t great, but live they were.

- NRBQ at The Roxy in Hollywood, a coupla times in the 90’s. Grossly under-acknowledged and appreciated band (not by hipper musicians, such as Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe, John Hiatt, Richard Thompson, Costello, Bonnie Raitt, etc.).

- Iris Dement, twice at The Troubadour in W. Hollywood in the 90’s, once at The Egyptian Theater in Portland, Oregon, 2020. My favorite singer/songwriter. Of all time.

- Bob Dylan at The Pantages Theater on Hollywood Blvd. (a great Deco-style theater), early 2000’s. Really really good, unlike the last time I had seen him (outside at The Greek Theater) in the early-90’s. Terr-i-ble.

Yes, I know.....many more than three. But this is the last time I’m doing this, so I thought I’d get it all down ;-) .


- "Train Kept A Rollin" by The Rock ’n’ Roll Trio (Johnny Burnette). The version by The Yardbirds (my introduction to the song) is pretty good, the version by Aerosmith terrible.

- " Like A Rolling Stone" by BD.

- "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys.

- "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", "Nowhere Man", The Beatles.

- "What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted" by Jimmy Ruffin (as well as the live version by Joan Osborne).

- "The Weight" by The Band.

- "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", any live version by The Band.

- "I Hear You Knocking" by Dave Edmunds.

- "Shake Some Action" by The Flamin’ Groovies (production by Dave Edmunds).

- "I’m On Fire" by The Dwight Twilley Band.

" "Want You To Feel Good Too" by NRBQ.

- "No Time To Cry" by Iris Dement. If this doesn’t make you, check you’re pulse.

- "Liptick Sunset" by John Hiatt (time-stopping guitar solo by Ry Cooder).

- "Shake You Hips", live by Joan Osborne.

Thousands of others. I am first and foremost a song lover.

For album-length music, J.S. Bach. All of it.

Can't leave out:

- "Lies" by The Knickerbockers. Amazing! At least as good as early Beatles (maybe better).

- "Shakin' All Over" by The Guess Who (pre-Burton Cummings). The version by The Who (complete with hoary vocals by Roger Daltrey), um, sucks.

- "Waterloo Sunset" by The Kinks. Which reminds me that I should have included them in my live band list above, seen and heard at The Fillmore/Winterland (who remembers?) in 1970. So, so great. And SO loud (louder than The Who), the sound of Ray's telecaster unbearably bright and piercing. Like a metal-dome tweeter ;-) .
Led Zeppelin Fort Worth Texas 1973
Texas Jam 1978 Cotton Bowl 
ZZ Top Fort Worth Texas 1976

Eno - Here Come The Warm Jets
Tom Petty - Damn The Torpedoes 
Henry Gross - Plug Me Into Something
Led Zeppelin - I
Stones - Exile On Mail Street
All Beatles
ZZ Top - Rio Grande Mud
I lived in the Bay Area about the same time you did. My first concert was the Beach Boys at the Cow Palace "63, I think. I was at the Kinks concert, it was Winterland.
@ericsch: I’m gonna guess your name is Eric. Cool name ;-)

Hey, do you remember when towards the end of The Kinks' set, Ray said to the audience: "Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like you to give a warm round of applause for Mr. Van Dyke Parks", pointing to the back wall of Winterland. As audience members turned and looked back, Ray ambled over to Mick Avory’s drum riser, laughing to himself. Good one, Ray!
Whatta ya mean? It’s only 51 years ago .-) . I remember events that took place before I could speak. Sitting in a high chair in the kitchen, sucking on a bottle and watching my mom iron (on one of those ironing boards that folded down and out from behind a little "door" in the wall). I realize this sounds like bs, but I remember the parents discussing the results of my circumcision. At what age is that procedure done?
Three intense live performances,  in no particular order:

1) Phil Keaggy, arguably one of the greatest electric guitarist of the past 40 years, playing his 30+ minute guitar solo for "Rejoice" during the late 1980s to early 1990s.

2) John Michael Talbot -- late 1980s to early 1990s. Genius composer and singer doing a one man act with guitar. He is a Jesuit monk (married) who eschews lavish productions, yet his studio recordings (namely "The Painter") are among the most well orchestrated and recorded I've heard.

3) Van Halen, late 1970s, then unknown,  as the opener for Ted Nugent, Chicago Stadium.

 Wow - I forgot about Phil Keaggy - there was some article where Eric Clapton said he was the best guitar player in the world.  Went to go see him because of that - great guitar player for sure.  There were some people that were angry in the audience because he was not playing religious stuff I remember - I guess he was a gospel guy, and this was his stab at secular.  It struck me as good, but it did not hit me as over the top - I guess that is why music is so subjective.   1) Phil Keaggy, arguably one of the greatest electric guitarists of the past 40 years, playing his 30+ minute guitar solo for "Rejoice" during the late 1980s to early 1990s.  

  - Bob Dylan at The Pantages Theater on Hollywood Blvd. (a great Deco-style theater), early 2000’s. Really really good, unlike the last time I had seen him (outside at The Greek Theater) in the early-90’s. Terr-i-ble.

I saw that show.  Did you see Elvis Costello walking up to the front row with his hat on? - he was ecstatic, it was like he was going to school to see Dylan.  Dylan did a bunch of great shows in the early 2000's.
@plaw: Nope, didn't see EC. As you probably know, Dylan played five nights at The Pantages, every night with a different opening artist. The night I went it was Beck.

I did see EC in Amoeba Records one afternoon in 2015. The thing about L.A. is that celebrities are so common, they are left alone to shop like normal people. Woulda been interesting to see what he bought, ay?
ConcertsLed Zeppelin ,MC5, and Johnny Winter Boston Garden 69
Rod Stewart and the Faces Boston Common 70
J Geils Band Esplanade Charles River Boston 70

Meet the Beatles where it all beganLed Zeppelin 1st force and power my friend would pull his car into a warehouse we worked so we could blast the 8 track
Faces Long Player fun and joy of music a good time for all.
bdp24 -- I helped a veritable non-stop parade of H***wood/music industry celebs when I toiled at the Tower Records Classical Annex on the Sunset Strip in the early '80's. More celebs than I ever ran into during my many years on movie lots.
I passed Steve Martin as he was coming out of the Classical Annex, musta been in the late-90’s. When our eyes met he smiled, with a "Yeah, it’s really me" look on his face. When I didn’t react, the look turned into one of embarrassment ;-) .

Has everone heard the one about Brian Wilson in the Pop store? I’m not sure what year it was, but I’m thinking the early-80’s. He asked to use the restroom, and when told there wasn’t one for customer use (c’mon man, it’s Brian!) he walked over to an end cap and whipped it out, peeing right there in the store. Kookoo!
I have an autographed poster of iconic German soprano Elizabeth Schwarzkopf on my wall. My wife was working at the classical annex at the time. Frau Schwarzkopf was at least in her late sixties. She was staying at a hotel below the Sunset Strip.  She walked up the steep hill to the store completely on her own for the autograph session. My wife says she simply showed up at the door. No escorts.

Richard Thompson in the early eighties in a renovated church in Portland Maine. At the top of his game. A master... 

SRV, also in a small venue-- the State theater, in Portland-- around the same time period. This was after he'd cleaned up. With his attention freed from the drug-induced fog, he had so much more to put into the music. He spoke about his intention that his playing be a healing force and it certainly put me into a state of bliss. 

Dave Holland Quintet-- I saw them four times but a particular show at Yoshi's in the early 2000's comes to mind. Back then, if the second set wasn't sold out and you'd attended the first set, they'd let you into the second set for free. Named the best Jazz group in the world at one point by Downbeat, those guys could blow with a frenzy... this was when Billy Kilson was still on drums. That Yoshi's show was so much better than the live 2 CD set they eventually released. Wish I had a recording! 


Allman Brothers "Live at Fillmore East" 

Derek and the Dominos "Layla" 

Tie for third:

Big Brother "Cheap Thrills" 
Jimi Hendrix "Band of Gypsys" 
Otis Rush "So Many Roads"