This is my 200th post – thought I’d put in a bit more effort than usual.
In the spirit of the great John Cusack movie High Fidelity, here’s a list of the best five gigs I’ve ever attended.
Let me know your own top five.
Green Day, Bullet in a Bible tour, Telstra Dome, Melbourne, December, 2005
My daughter Beks and I were frantic with excitement in the weeks leading up to this gig. Me being a Green Day fan from way back, and her being a recent convert, we gave the Bullet in a Bible CD a massive workover in anticipation. The concert was my Christmas present to Beks that year and judging by her screams, I think she was pretty happy with it.
Wakes came along too, and she had a neat time, apart from us giving her grief about being the only person in the whole stadium that refused to participate in any of the usual lame crowd participation exercises. “After me, 1…2…1,2,3,4”
As usual for a stadium gig, the acoustics were crappy and not loud enough (I wanted my ears to bleed, dammit) and we were sitting in the gods (Beks was a bit too young for the mosh pit – next time GD come to Oz we’re definitely going to be down in the fun zone) – but the boys put on a memorable show nonetheless. Pretty impressive given it was the last leg of a gruelling tour for them.
Hurry back boys.
AC/DC & Angels, Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, February, 1981
Me and my High School buddy Paul Kelly took our pimply 17 year-old faces to the Myer Music Bowl to experience the raw power and energy of AC/DC, backed up by the magnificent Angels.
Doc Neeson and the boys wound up the crowd with a massive set of their favourite tunes (personally I thought they were better than accadacca), then out came AC/DC, fronted by Brian Johnson, Bon Scott having died the year before. (I just looked it up – did you know Bon Scott was christened Ronald Belford Scott. Belford???)
The concert was memorable not only for Angus Young’s endless power riffs, but also for the crowd carnage that night. It seemed as everyone in Melbourne under 40 years old was at the Bowl that night, ripping out trees, brawling, vomiting, pissing in people’s lawns and keeping the nearby hospital patients awake. The Sun newspaper had a field day with its usual indignant outrage. Paul and I refrained from any hooliganism of course (the only goody goodies there that night).
Fuck it was fun.
U2, Unforgettable Fire tour, Melbourne Sports & Entertainment Centre, September, 1984
I’m not sure if this was U2’s first visit to Australia but I know I only bought a ticket on the strength of ‘New Years Day’ which I loved at the time and still think is a cracker of a song.
I wasn’t expecting that much from U2, and I always found the MSEC a shithouse venue, so when Bono came walzing out and almost physically grabbed the crowd by the scruff of the neck and DEMANDED they get out of their seats, I was blown away.
You know what it’s usually like at those venues. If someone stands up and starts to dance, the middle-aged farts sitting behind them ’tisk’ and tap them on the shoulder and tell them to sit down. Not at this gig. Bono urged the crowd to GET UP! GET UP! GET UP! until everyone was on their feet, having a grouse time. Even the middle aged farts.
It shits me that I can’t get anywhere near a U2 ticket now.
Neil Young, Festival Hall, Melbourne, July, 1985
Details are a bit sketchy. A whole crew of us met up in a pub in North Melbourne and had copious quantities of beer beforehand. Lurch was definitely there. And Baz Boy. People around us were smoking funny smelling cigarettes. (I tried not to inhale). I think someone had a hip flask.
I do remember being absolutely in awe of seeing the great man, Neil Young on stage. One of my great buddies, Lurch was a lifelong fan, responsible for brainwashing the rest of us younger ones. Live Rust was played at every party, every night, every morning after. (Lurch also had a thing for Stevie Nicks, but that’s another story).
I remember The Needle and the Damage Done. I remember Cinnamon Girl. I remember Cortez the Killer. And check out the last 4 songs of the night (a lazy 28 song play list on the night, how’s that for value?):
- Hey Hey, My My
- Tonight’s The Night
- Like A Hurricane
Check out the full play list – AWESOME!
Neil Young, you rock.
Violent Femmes, The Palace, Melbourne, August, 1990
“It’s one, one, one for the money…”
I think I was a bit pished at this gig as well. What I do remember is that the Femmes really turned it on.And lots of crowd surfing and mosh-pit action.
Oh, and the crowd were really, really weird (at least for a normal suburban guy like me).
You know, piercings, gelled hair, tats, that type of thing.
Over to you readers. Did you go to any of these gigs? Have you been to better ones?