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Best *sounding* concert you’ve attended


AC/DC in 1996 at the Garden - there is absolutely nothing like Malcolm and Angus' tones filling an arena.

Also, Rammstein in 2013 at the LA Forum. Crystal clear mix and absolutely crushing guitar tones. Not to mention it's also a visually mesmerizing show.


Two shows immediately come to mind, one, like OP, was Mark Knopfler, with Dire Straits at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. Quite a feat for that venue,where sound can often become muddled with echo. Of course, I had fantastic tickets, and can't vouch for the sound quality near the back of the arena.
One of the first big concerts at Skydome, also in Toronto, was a triple bill featuring Jeff Healey, Jeff Beck, and the incomparable Stevie Ray Vaughan. The dome was cut to half size with enormous heavy curtains, and for the finale, all three artists took the stage with Double Trouble and you could easily distinguish each from the other for a 15 minute jam. This was around the time JB had just released Guitar Shop, and wow. What a way to be introduced to the album.


For me it was The Eagles at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu while I was living there around '04 I think. I had great seats and The Eagles were awesome. The sound was incredible, I mean pristine and they were musically and vocally perfect. They played for three plus hours, did Eagles songs as well as stuff from their various solo projects and I can't remember hearing a single mistake. So many legendary bands are a shell of themselves at that age but these guys were as good or better than ever.
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Tool on their last tour. We had nosebleed seats (3 rows from the very top of the 2nd balcony, usually a muddy mess of a mix). They sounded perfect. What was really weird was they sounded great when I went to get a beer in the hallway; there was no music being piped in, it was ambient from the hall but still sounded great.

There's a lot to be said for real instruments w/ no PA/sound system; I saw Wayne Krantz at the 55bar in NYC in 2016, just drums/bass amp/Marshall in a very small basement bar, it was glorious.


Supporting Member
Porcupine Tree - House of Blues in Cleveland, 2009

Everything was crystal clear. If not for the changes in arrangement, I would have thought that they were just playing the albums over the PA.

Juanito Dedos

Jethro Tull at LB Arena through the house Altec A1s. 100% black Marshall amps and a 1-18” in the center of the bass stack.
The left side upper flying array kept cutting out for some reason, but when it was working of course they nailed it.
Question: “What’s a Scottsman wear under his kilt?”
Answer: “ “.


Gold Supporting Member
I would add Crowded House to the list. Saw them each time they played in or near LA, and the sound was always perfect: loud enough to be punchy, but still retain the nuances of the vocals and instruments. Every good house mix starts with a team approach to playing onstage.

Other great-sounding shows I've been to are Richard Thompson, most Springsteen concerts, Bob Marley and the Wailers, and one great Weather Report show I saw in Chicago.
Rush R30 tour in Raleigh, and another amphitheater in Raleigh with Government Mule that was just awesome - until the lightning came.


Pink Floyd's final tour at Montreal's Olympic stadium.

60k capacity, shaped like a toilet. Echo city. The Stones in the same venue were an unrecognizable mess (really, Satisfaction was almost done before I recognized it).

But Floyd?
Sounded like the world's biggest hifi, and that was a rather large band. Full, detailed and musical.


not really a concert but the best sounding live show i've ever witnessed was Mouse on Mars in LA. Incredible venue and each dude was playing thru his own Orange PA stack.

Concert wise:

Judas Preist
Neil Young

all incredible sounding "big" shows

Chuck Snider

Silver Supporting Member
Everything I saw at The Greek Theater ...Great sound
Jeff Beck
King Crimson
ZZ Top
White Stripes
Alice Cooper


Gold Supporting Member
Pink Floyd in quadraphonic sound. I felt like i was wearing headphones in a stadium. That’s the top for me, hands down.


Senior Member
I have to agree on this.
I saw Jeff Beck at Mohegan Sun quite a few years ago and was blown away by how good the sound was.

Next on the list would be King Crimson, I saw them at the Orpheum in Boston on their Thrak tour and they sounded amazing.

After that would be Bryan Ferry at Great Woods outside of Boston in the late 80s. Peter Frampton was playing guitar on that tour and the overall sound was impressive and pretty clear, especially for an outdoor venue like that.

An honorable mention goes to Wire and Tear Garden, both shows in the late 80s. I saw Wire at the Paradise theater in Boston and Tear Garden played at a club that's no longer there, Man Ray in Cambridge.

Jeff Beck - UB Center for the Performing Arts... several years ago. Could hear every instrument, just loud enough to have some balls, and Jeff was just on fire that night (I’ve seen him a few times - this was by far the best). The venue is designed for music, so I’m sure that was a big part of it too.


I saw Jamiroquai back in the late 90s in Los Angeles at the Gibson Amphitheater, which was owned by the Gibson guitar company at the time. The sound quality was something I was floored by. All the instruments were clear, the bass was heavy hitting, and every instrument and vocals seemed to be in its place. Ironically enough, I’ve mentioned how good the sound was in different conversations over the years outside of this forum. Sadly, the venue was demolished several years ago to make room for something else.


david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
for a large, loud, powerful show?
Bon Iver, Barclay's Center in Bklyn NY, December 2019

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