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What was the best 'surprise' concert you've been to:

rodeodee

Member
Messages
1,039
I was given a free ticket to Keith Urban about three or four years ago. It was the best guitar-based rock show I've ever seen. I don't dig the records much, but the live shows are incredible. Been three times since.

I also saw an unknown bluegrass band get up and do a 45 minutue set in the middle of a blues-ish jam night - punch brothers. They blew the roof off. I have never heard that kind of live sound quality and fidelity before or since. Amazing.
 

Pete Cage

Member
Messages
1,425
I just remembered another one: We were in Nashville sometime around 2006, and had just taken the tour of Ryman Auditorium. On the way out, we asked if there was a show that night, and they said yes, but it was sold out. As we're walking out the door, the woman at the counter says, "Hang on a second," and turns to say something to a guy in the office. She then tells us that they had been holding back some seats, and that they had just been released. We asked who was playing, and she told us, but it wasn't a band I recognized. "Progressive Bluegrass" was her description. We figured, what the heck; live music at the Ryman. It's got to be pretty good, right? So we bought the tickets.

We show up that night to find that we're seated in front row center balcony, to see Nickel Creek. Incredible.
 

Chuck King

Member
Messages
826
Peter Wolf. I didn't really know anything about him beyond his early 80s stuff, and would not have bought tickets to see him decades later, but he played last year at Summerfest in Milwaukee, where you can just walk from stage to stage to see different bands, and some friends and I caught his set. I was amazed! He was great, even playing mostly songs I'd never heard, and full of energy, bouncing around the stage. Afterwards I read up on him, and realized that he was over 70 years old! Strong contender for the Mick Jagger Award for Elderly Acrobatics.
 

Mike7

Member
Messages
556
My best surprise concert was in 1974, we were cutting school on a Friday digging on the radio and WNEW-FM announces a surprise appearance of Jefferson Starship at the Academy of Music on 3rd Ave in NYC. We were at the liquor store and right next door was a Ticketmaster.
Got center orch. seats 8 rows back, this was when it was the original and they did the entire Blows Against the Empire album. It was rock & roll Nirvana for a bunch of high school hipsters!!
 

MustardCap

Member
Messages
4,986
Dio way back in 2002 when Aldrich joined the band in a small club. Front row- no seats in Spokane. Never will forget. Killing the Dragon tour.
 

chikubi

Member
Messages
759
Maddonna on the Blonde Amibtion Tour.

Girlfriend wanted to go, and I didn’t hate Madonna, but was not a fan per se; she was too mainstream for me at the time.

Probably the best damn show I’ve ever seen. Non-stop energy, the choreography, set changes, everything - it was so well done and over the top. Sound was absolutely boomin’ too. Made me a convert.
 

flint

Member
Messages
123
Sly and the Family Stone, early 70s. I'm pretty sure Spirit was the big name band and Blues Image the penultimate act. I was 15 and a straight up rock and roller and not too keen on sitting through an R&B opening act. Sly's band changed my mind in a hurry.
 
Messages
284
Saw a lot of good shows from indie/math rock bands in Columbia MO while at Mizzou in the mid-late 90s.

Was a fan of Modest Mouse's "Lonesome Crowded West" and "This is a Long Drive..." but was prepared for a shitshow due to their substance abuse reputation. Pretty sure Isaac and the rest were on some sort of stimulant but they managed to put on a hell of a show. Jeremiah Green was absolutely killing it on drums. This was at the tiny little Down Under bar below Imo's pizza in 1998.

Same year, same bar, the Boston-based indie rock band Karate rocked the place....very tight band with interesting guitar leads.

A Minor Forest played in one of the student dining halls and absolutely rocked the f*** out of the place for a crowd of like 30 people. Drummer was a total badass.

Same year went to see Shellac perform on a farm just outside of Columbia in front of a barn in 100 degree heat at 11am and expected cranky Steve. Instead they played the entirety of "At Action Park" in high spirits and with excellent sound mixing and Steve invited everyone out for milkshakes after the show.
 

Mudder

Member
Messages
3,721
Two come to me mind.

First, went to see Metallica/GnR in Seattle. The original opener cancelled so Motorhead took the spot. Loud, fast, awesome.

Second, Staind opening for Korn. I took my younger bro, his first show, because he was a korn fan. Staind was outstanding.
 

lhallam

Member
Messages
17,038
Edgar Winter and White Trash opening for Black Sabbath's 1st US tour.

I walked out on Sabbath after seeing Edgar. Sorry guys, Edgar with Rick Derringer crushed it. I saw Edgar about 9 months ago. Holy cow, that old man still had his voice. Precious few have been able to keep it as they get older.

Weather Report with Jaco. I was expecting Alphonso Johnson. Nothing against Alphonso but Jaco, Peter Eskine, Joe & Wayne blew my teenage mind.
 

StuRdesign

Member
Messages
1,979
Early 90's, I was about to be divorced and in the 18 months since that split had fallen for a nurse who had dumped me after a few weeks.
(I changed my aftershave after that :D ).

A buddy in the bar told me that he'd heard of a really good live band that was playing an open air gig in Edinburgh the next day, I should check them outto cheer myself up.
When I arrived in Princes Street Gardens at the Ross Bandstand the gardens were packed full and there was a six piece Celtic rock band on complete with electric bagpipes; "Wolfstone". They were awesome, I made my way near the front and was dragged into a group of younger kids who proceeded to insist that I dance with them for the rest of the gig. I became a huge fan and saw them many times, luckily one of those gigs was filmed.



Sadly, they developed a revolving door policy with band members, but the 90's were the "classic" years.
 

$tratcat

Member
Messages
1,655
A girlfriend I had in the early 80's talked me into seeing Bryan Adams. Man, he kicked butt - great songs, high energy and his lead guitarist was tasteful and toneful beyond anything I expected. I'm a fan now.
 

Bluewail

Tone curmudgeon
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,829
As a counter to the worst concert you've been to, what is the best concert you've been to 'accidentally?" An opener, a fest, just something you weren't expecting much from or just didn't know anything about before you went. I have two. One was Andrew WK. It was close by and $12 so I was like "Why not?" I went by myself and still that show was among the most fun shows I've ever been to. So loud and just pure energetic fun. The second was Diarrhea Planet. They opened for the Darkness on this last tour and they are the type of opener that can actually get the crowd going. 5 guitarists. I don't know if I'd buy an album, but the show was great.
For me it was seeing Monte Montgomery at Antones in Austin. I was visiting and I actually went to hear some older blues performer who took ill and Monte’s band came in. Jaw dropping!!! Tone, licks, groove, man o man what a show. And on an acoustic guitar!! Been a fan ever since.
 

Rick Towne

Praise & Western
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,172
I was given a free ticket to Keith Urban about three or four years ago. It was the best guitar-based rock show I've ever seen. I don't dig the records much, but the live shows are incredible. Been three times since.

I also saw an unknown bluegrass band get up and do a 45 minutue set in the middle of a blues-ish jam night - punch brothers. They blew the roof off. I have never heard that kind of live sound quality and fidelity before or since. Amazing.
Punch Brothers; virtuosos all, with mandolinist Chris Thile and the founder of the Telecaster Discussion Page, Noam Pikelny, on banjo.
 

Rick Towne

Praise & Western
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,172
First thoughts:

Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne at Cal State Fullerton 1974; my introduction to Bob Warford and David Lindley.

Jerry Donahue at the Fender tent at 1989 NAMM. No one plays like that.

The Hampton Grease Band somewhere in Florida in 1970 or so, with Glenn Phillips on guitar and "Wouldn't You Like To Be In Halifax; Air Masses Moving Eastwardly....?"
 

NorCal_Val

Member
Messages
12,504
Animals As Leaders, when they were opening for Meshuggah.
I knew zero about them, but I was blown away. I bought their CDs that night.
 




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