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Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

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Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

Old 01-15-21, 09:47 AM
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Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

Thereís a few that stand out but my number one would be Ol Dirty Bastard at the House Of Blues in Chicago. It was 98 and I believe his first solo tour. I went alone on the six hour round trip. The opener got booed off the stage within a minute or two. They played music over the PA for a long time until someone else came out. They got booed even quicker and people started throwing shit at them. About an hour or two later the curtain opens and ODB starts pushing out a bar that Iím not entirely sure was meant to be portable. He was already fucked up and then proceeded to mangle his set for 45 mins with forgotten lyrics, rambling interludes and total nonsense. It was amazing. I drove back home, tired as hell but with a smile on my face the whole time.
Old 01-15-21, 10:29 AM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Tunnel of Love Tour, LA Sports Arena April 1988


I showed up with my friend hours before the show with a wad of cash and high hopes. Bought scalped tickets to one of these shows to see Bruce Springsteen for the first time. Can't even tell you what a big deal this was at the time. Show was so amazing, lasting like 3.5 hours. Exhausting and exhilarating. It was at the time and remains to this day the greatest show I have ever seen.


Last edited by Decker; 01-15-21 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 01-15-21, 10:30 AM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

Wu Tang/Rage Against the Machine in an open air arena outside Boston. By far the best I've been to.
Old 01-15-21, 10:47 AM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

Originally Posted by Noonan View Post
Wu Tang/Rage Against the Machine in an open air arena outside Boston. By far the best I've been to.
I saw that tour in Chicago. It was a great show.
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Old 01-15-21, 12:23 PM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

Nine Inch Nails at Red Rocks in 2018. First night had the live debut of The Perfect Drug which most NIN fans had been waiting 20 years to hear. Otherwise, 40ish songs between the two nights with only two repeats, including Happiness in Slavery which I've been wanting to hear live since 1994.

Weird Al sometime around 2012 or so. Awesome show, lots of fun, high energy.

Steven Wilson on the Raven Who Refused to Sing tour in 2013. I loved that album, and was also treated to Raider II, which is one of my favorite latter-day songs by Porcupine Tree.

Amon Amarth on their Evening With... tour in 2011 I think. First set was the then-new album Surtur Rising, which I loved. Second set was the rest of the hits.

Joe Cocker at Red Rocks in 2008. First and last time I saw him live, and it was pretty amazing.
Old 01-15-21, 04:27 PM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

My standard answer to "best show I've seen" is Pink Floyd at Death Valley Stadium, Clemson SC on the Division Bell tour.

Other standouts in memory are Prince on the Lovesexy tour, which was my first big show. Prince again on the Musicology tour, first concert with my wife, and had VIP seats. And Lyle Lovett and his Large band, my wife got us nearly front row center seats. He's amazing live with the Big Band, if you're into his music.
Old 01-15-21, 05:52 PM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

^ Prince is at the very top of artists I wish I had seen but didn't get to. What kills me is that he had a brief Residency at the Rio back in 2005 or so. I desperately wanted to go with the wife but we had a young daughter and Prince was notorious for not showing up to start his gig until 1 or 2 AM. Can't hire a babysitter overnight (and my wife is way to impatient to wait hours for a performer anyways) so we just let it pass. Then shortly after his stint ended, he did that Super Bowl in Miami and I quickly realized what an idiot I was for passing on the show.
Old 01-15-21, 06:39 PM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
^ Prince is at the very top of artists I wish I had seen but didn't get to. What kills me is that he had a brief Residency at the Rio back in 2005 or so. I desperately wanted to go with the wife but we had a young daughter and Prince was notorious for not showing up to start his gig until 1 or 2 AM. Can't hire a babysitter overnight (and my wife is way to impatient to wait hours for a performer anyways) so we just let it pass. Then shortly after his stint ended, he did that Super Bowl in Miami and I quickly realized what an idiot I was for passing on the show.
He's my favorite artist, ever. No one else is close. I was fortunate enough to see him on 5 tours, starting with LoveSexy and the last one being the Welcome 2 America tour in the Carolinas. Each show was very different, and amazing every time.
Old 01-15-21, 10:05 PM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

The three times I've seen Elvis Costello live, he has simply blown it out of the water. The only artists who have come close are Earth Wind and Fire and Billy Joel (on The Bridge tour). First saw him on the Mighty Like a Rose tour; then with the Attractions on the Brutal Youth tour (opened by Crash Test Dummies); and finally with Steve Nieve on the Lonely World Tour (following the release of Painted from Memory). Kills me, however, that I missed the chance to see him on his Spectacular Spinning Songbook tours.
Old 01-15-21, 11:57 PM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

One of my favorites was seeing Eddie Vedder solo back in 2011. It was in support of his album, Ukulele Songs.

It was in downtown Minneapolis at the Orpheum Theater. Very cool setting. Not a large show, but a intimate setting with a very relaxing, laidback atmosphere.

The set list was good and Eddie gave a great performance. The opening act was Glen Hansard, who was also quite good and did a couple songs with Eddie.

Iíve also seen Pearl Jam once and Foo Fighters twice and all of those shows were good too.

Last edited by Mike86; 01-16-21 at 02:13 PM.
Old 01-16-21, 08:33 AM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

I’ve flown to LA three times just to see a concert. The first was ELO at the Hollywood Bowl. That was an unforgettable experience. That venue is really something to see and I fucking love that band even if it’s just Jeff Lynne now.
The second time was to see Mike Nesmith at the Troubadour. I’ve always wanted to see a show at the Troubadour, the Roxy and the Whisky a Go Go, so when this one got announced, I jumped on it. I’m a big Monkees fan, but Nez is definitely my favorite. The sound mix was horrible, but I’m glad I went.
The third time was to see Sparks at the Palace downtown LA. Edgar Wright who is one of my favorite directors, directed a documentary on the band, and was filming the show that night. Our tickets were in the balcony, but the seats were so close together, we couldn’t sit down all the way because our knees were crushed against the seat in front of us. My buddy and I decided to see if we could somehow get down to the floor. We watched the opener, then when they were done and people left to smoke, get drinks, etc we snuck in. We ended up making our way to the front of the stage about 10 -15 feet from Edgar Wright who was in the crowd. The documentary premieres at Sundance this month. It would be cool if we were in the crowd shots.
Old 01-16-21, 01:53 PM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

Some of my best concert experiences were finally getting to see my favorite punk bands. I was heavily into punk as a teenager, but living in a small town in upstate NY limited my chances to see shows. Either no good bands came around, or if they did you had to be of drinking age. So when I was 18, I FINALLY got to see the Ramones and it was a dream fulfilled. Over the years I saw them many more times, and the shows and setlists were almost identical (later learning how playing gigs for the Ramones was basically their job, and they put the requisite amount of energy into it), but that first time was still magical. Same as when I made my way into that infamous Boston basement of the Rathskellar as a college sophomore to see The Dickies, with my newly purchased fake ID. Those were the days of no bouncers, and at one point I was literally thrown onto what passed for a stage, littered with broken glass, and using my hands to prevent from falling face-first into the glass with two or three people on top of me. My hands were bloodied, and I couldn't have dreamed of a better concert experience.

That all said, one that always sticks in my mind was the first time seeing The Buzzcocks, in 1989 after they'd been broken up for several years. It was still the original line-up at that point, and they played The Ritz in New York City. A pretty fancy theater, I'd already seen Stiff Little Fingers there earlier that year. When the curtain rose though, there was this spartan set, just a single small amp for each of the musicians, and only one vocal microphone for Pete Shelley. It was like a small-club setup, but in a large theater. With only one mic, there would be no backup vocals (a key of Buzzcocks' songs), but it was soon obvious that the plan was for the backup vocals to be sung by the audience. So totally unprompted, the thousand or so of us in the crowd provided the "Whoa-oh-ohs" on classics like Love You More and What Do I Get. I saw the band a few more times over the years, but nothing ever compared to that '89 show.
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Old 01-16-21, 04:19 PM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

I’ve seen tons of memorable bands, including Prince on both Purple Rain & Lovesexy, U2, in a private rehearsal show, plus many other classic bands...whole list of 350+ shows here. http://chrisedge.com/ChrisConcertList.htm

However, most memorable experience by far was the story I told at my mom’s funeral.

My mom had always wanted to see Frank Sinatra. In February of 1992, he did a run of four nights or so at the Desert Inn. Mom bought tickets that were somewhere around $60 each, but in those days, it was a Vegas theater and they would seat ya where they wanted to.

We really dressed up. Mom in a black velvet dress, and I wore a tux. We get there early and I told my mom I would tip the door guy. I was 28 or so and mom was around 60+. I gave the guy a $100 bill and remember him looking at me, then at my mom...and he starts walking us to our seats...further and further down, until we are at the DEAD CENTER FRONT ROW table. Now it seats probably 10 people, and we are at end, but it doesn’t really get any better. My mom looked at me and was so happy and asked me how much I gave him...I told her, but I said I think it was cause we were dressed up...

On to the show...people say Frank wasn’t that great as he got older, but it didn’t matter...he was amazing and I was surprised that my 28 year old self knew almost all the songs. Mom was thrilled beyond anything.

By far my best experience.

Last edited by Chrisedge; 01-16-21 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 01-16-21, 05:03 PM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

The Firm. May 14, 1986. Kemper Arena, Kansas City. It was absolutely perfect in every way. Got to see two of my heroes. Paul Rodgers and Jimmy Page. Played almost three hours. Zero fatigue. Once it was over was just as hyped as waiting for it to begin. They played every song from first album but one. Every song from second album but one. First encore was Wilson Pickett's Everybody Needs Somebody To Love which was a 20 minute jam. Second encore was I Just Want To Make Love To You which went on for over a half hour. Page just stood in one spot on edge of stage jammin' and going to town for 15 minutes. It felt like seeing how they play for fun when no one is around. After that nobody was in the mood for it to be over. The roar for a third encore went on forever. NOBODY was leaving. After about 15-20 minutes they came back out and thanked the crowd but sorry, we gotta go. Then the house lights came up. A friend saw them in Hartford, Conn. (I think it was) and got a completely different show. No jams and a middle segment with Rodgers doing songs solo on piano.
Old 01-16-21, 05:17 PM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

Front row for Rush on their R40 tour. I bought one of the VIP Nation tickets where you get a bunch of swag as well as a floor seat within X number of rows (but you don't find out until you get there). I had already seen them on every tour since Power Windows, but I had a feeling about this tour (which at the time, was only speculated to be their last) which is why I sprung for the most expensive ticket package (this one got you a seat within the first 5 rows) ended up front row right in from of Geddy Lee. I stayed after the show talking with fellow fans until they told us we had to go.

Snapped this pic just before the house lights came up. I have it framed with another pic and a small litho I got with the ticket package. Makes me sad now that Neil has passed, but also reminds me how wonderful that show was.

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Old 01-16-21, 06:23 PM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

I went to a free show featuring a double bill of Charlie Daniels/The Fabulous Thunderbirds in Dallas in the late 80's. During the T-birds set, Jimmy Vaughan mentioned that his brother lived nearby & he told him to stop by if he felt like getting his lazy ass off the couch. And stop by he did, Stevie Ray in just jeans & a v-neck t-shirt came out & blew the roof off of the place.
Old 01-16-21, 09:26 PM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

I also agree that Prince's LOVESEXY and MUSICOLOGY tours were among the top 5 concerts experiences. Just amazing. It's too bad there isn't more footage out there of his tours.
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Old 01-18-21, 01:34 PM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Tunnel of Love Tour, LA Sports Arena April 1988
Springsteen and the E Street Band for me too ... Born in the USA tour (summer 1985). I wasn't that into Springsteen at the time. Born in the USA was the only album of his that I had. I knew some hit older songs like "Born to Run" and "Hungry Heart". I was more into 80's pop than rock at the time. A friend of mine at school was a big fan and invited me to go. Seats were 10th row center on the floor, and I was just blown away. Almost overnight my tastes in music shifted from top 40 pop to rock. I've seen Springsteen since then, but for me this show hasn't been topped. And I just love the setlist from this tour (maybe not exactly the same as what I saw, but below are the tracks from an officially released live recording right around when I saw them):
Spoiler:

Set One

  1. "Born in the USA" - 5:42
  2. "Out in the Street" - 5:19
  3. "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" - 5:00
  4. "Atlantic City" - 5:13
  5. "Johnny 99" - 4:30
  6. "Highway Patrolman" - 6:25
  7. "Prove It All Night" - 6:26
  8. "Glory Days" - 10:16
  9. "The Promised Land" - 6:28
  10. "Used Cars" - 6:16
  11. "My Hometown" - 6:01
  12. "Badlands" - 5:28
  13. "Thunder Road" - 6:47

Set Two

  1. "Hungry Heart" - 5:07
  2. "Dancing in the Dark" - 5:47
  3. "Cadillac Ranch" - 5:14
  4. "Sherry Darling" - 5:55
  5. "No Surrender" - 5:35
  6. "Pink Cadillac" - 6:53
  7. "Growin' Up" - 8:56
  8. "Bobby Jean" - 4:10
  9. "Backstreets - 10:30
  10. "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" - 17:05

First Encore

  1. "Jersey Girl" - 5:37 (Tom Waits)
  2. "Jungleland" - 12:38

Second Encore

  1. "Born to Run" - 4:43
  2. "Detroit Medley" - 4:05
  3. "Travelin' Band" - 5:03 (John Fogerty)
  4. "Twist and Shout" - 8:41 (Phil Medley, Bert Berns)

Last edited by brainee; 01-18-21 at 02:49 PM.
Old 01-18-21, 02:15 PM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

Originally Posted by brainee View Post
Springsteen and the E Street Band for me too ... Born in the USA tour (summer 1985). I wasn't that into Springsteen at the time. Born in the USA was the only album of his that I had. I some some hit older songs like "Born to Run" and "Hungry Heart". I was more into 80's pop than rock at the time. A friend of mine at school was a big fan and invited me to go. Seats were 10th row center on the floor, and I was just blown away. Almost overnight my tastes in music shifted from top 40 pop to rock. I've seen Springsteen since then, but for me this show hasn't been topped. And I just love the setlist from this tour (maybe not exactly the same as what I saw, but below are the tracks from an officially released live recording right around when I saw them):
Spoiler:

Set One

  1. "Born in the USA" - 5:42
  2. "Out in the Street" - 5:19
  3. "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" - 5:00
  4. "Atlantic City" - 5:13
  5. "Johnny 99" - 4:30
  6. "Highway Patrolman" - 6:25
  7. "Prove It All Night" - 6:26
  8. "Glory Days" - 10:16
  9. "The Promised Land" - 6:28
  10. "Used Cars" - 6:16
  11. "My Hometown" - 6:01
  12. "Badlands" - 5:28
  13. "Thunder Road" - 6:47

Set Two

  1. "Hungry Heart" - 5:07
  2. "Dancing in the Dark" - 5:47
  3. "Cadillac Ranch" - 5:14
  4. "Sherry Darling" - 5:55
  5. "No Surrender" - 5:35
  6. "Pink Cadillac" - 6:53
  7. "Growin' Up" - 8:56
  8. "Bobby Jean" - 4:10
  9. "Backstreets - 10:30
  10. "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" - 17:05

First Encore

  1. "Jersey Girl" - 5:37 (Tom Waits)
  2. "Jungleland" - 12:38

Second Encore

  1. "Born to Run" - 4:43
  2. "Detroit Medley" - 4:05
  3. "Travelin' Band" - 5:03 (John Fogerty)
  4. "Twist and Shout" - 8:41 (Phil Medley, Bert Berns)
This was my first Bruce tour too and was blown away. Similar story going in too. I wasnít a huge fan at the time but heard his shows were epic...
Old 01-19-21, 02:42 AM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

In terms of top to bottom lineup, probably seeing an up and coming band called Ghost open for "reaching their peak" Mastodon and "arguably at their best" Opeth back in 2011. There couldn't have been more than 40 people in the crowd for Ghost. The next time I saw them was opening for Iron Maiden in front of 10,000+ people.

The most fun I've had at a show was the Battle of the Bay tour with Powertrip opening for Obituary and Exodus. The crowd was energetic as hell and I don't think I've ever spent longer in a pit than at that show.

I'm not much of a festival guy but the lineup for Maryland Deathfest and the fact that its held at two medium sized venues always had me wishing to go. So I finally pulled the trigger in 2019 and bought a 4 day pass. It was like Disney World for a metalhead. I went by myself and the people were incredibly friendly, the staff at both venues were the most professional I've met, and the bands looks like they were having a blast. Can't wait to see the 2021 version (or more likely the 2022).
Old 01-21-21, 04:54 PM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

Rush never disappointed. Saw them probably ten times, including traveling to NYC for the final tour.

KISS also never disappointed, except for the repetitive set lists and schtick. But hey, it's KISS. The atmosphere at one of their shows is like no other.

As for individual shows, I'd say the Roger Waters Us and Them tour back in, wow, 2017, really stood out. The finale was almost a religious experience for me. I saw King Crimson a couple of months later. The level of musicianship blew me away. Second row seats made it even better. After seeing these two shows I almost stopped going to concerts, as I knew nothing would ever top this. Fortunately, I did see a few more before the plug was pulled last spring.
Old 01-21-21, 05:37 PM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
^ Prince is at the very top of artists I wish I had seen but didn't get to. What kills me is that he had a brief Residency at the Rio back in 2005 or so. I desperately wanted to go with the wife but we had a young daughter and Prince was notorious for not showing up to start his gig until 1 or 2 AM. Can't hire a babysitter overnight (and my wife is way to impatient to wait hours for a performer anyways) so we just let it pass. Then shortly after his stint ended, he did that Super Bowl in Miami and I quickly realized what an idiot I was for passing on the show.
I had a similar "missed Prince" experience. I was attending school in Boston, and Prince had a layover at Logan Airport before embarking on a European tour. Due to some circumstances, the layover turned out to be overnight, so he decided to play The Metro, a mid-sized club near Fenway Park. Radio stations announced it, and of course 2 minutes later announced the show had sold out. I don't remember if this is before or after I got my fake ID, so I'm not sure I could have gone anyway. I wasn't a Prince fan, I'm still not, but if I was going to see a Prince show, that would have been the one I wanted to see.
Old 01-22-21, 07:16 AM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

Originally Posted by Paff View Post
I had a similar "missed Prince" experience. I was attending school in Boston, and Prince had a layover at Logan Airport before embarking on a European tour. Due to some circumstances, the layover turned out to be overnight, so he decided to play The Metro, a mid-sized club near Fenway Park. Radio stations announced it, and of course 2 minutes later announced the show had sold out. I don't remember if this is before or after I got my fake ID, so I'm not sure I could have gone anyway. I wasn't a Prince fan, I'm still not, but if I was going to see a Prince show, that would have been the one I wanted to see.
I went to that show! Must have been '86? I was a manager at Strawberries at the time, and our ticket seller hooked me up. While it was cool to see Prince in a small club, I kinda like the Garden show in '04 better. At the time, I really only knew the Purple Rain album and a couple hits, and didn't appreciate the setlist as much as I should have.

Same era, I also saw Clapton do a surprise show at Metro as well.
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Old 01-22-21, 08:32 PM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

Tom Waits at the Fox Theater in Atlanta in 2008.

I went big and got my friend and myself tickets in the "pit". Basically we were on the third row. It felt like I could reach out and touch Tom. A great setlist that included some of his biggest songs and the most recent album "Real Gone" that had come out a few years earlier.

Seeing The Bangles at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta in 2015.

I was standing so close to Susanna Hoffs and that is a dream come true. The crowd went wild when Hoffs did the signature "moving eyes back and forth" during Walk Like an Egyptian.
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Old 01-23-21, 11:55 AM
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Re: Best (most enjoyable) concert experience

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Tunnel of Love Tour, LA Sports Arena April 1988

https://youtu.be/SfrdUdHseog

I showed up with my friend hours before the show with a wad of cash and high hopes. Bought scalped tickets to one of these shows to see Bruce Springsteen for the first time. Can't even tell you what a big deal this was at the time. Show was so amazing, lasting like 3.5 hours. Exhausting and exhilarating. It was at the time and remains to this day the greatest show I have ever seen.

https://youtu.be/gEsAeuX8-Q0
Same, but on the original River tour outside MSG. It was cold my girlfriend and I were freezing, scalpers trying to scam and rip us off. Then when all hope was lost and we were just about to head home, this old man was just walking buy and said anyone need 2, my son could make it. Sold them at face value! ($22.50, "Blue seats" Upper deck) Bruce played for 3 1/2 hours, wore the crowd down. Was my first Springsteen concert of dozens

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