Who are the Bands you got to see live when they were in their absolute prime and at the top of their game ?

the list is too long
so here's one I'd say was off his game
At the time I thought it was a one-off & he was just having a bad night, but later he proved to me that it was a constant thing:

Steve Jones


Silver Supporting Member
Quit a few, but the one s that pop out are:

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on the "Full Moon Fever" tour.
Rufus Wainright on the "Want" tour.
Sigur Ros on the "()" tour.
U2 on "The Unforgettable Fire" tour.
Peter Gabrial on the "So" tour.
American Music Club on the "Everclear" tour.


Platinum Supporting Member
This thread is reminding me how much live music we were all taking in before Covid and it's kind of blowing my mind.

Alice in Chains - Dirt tour (hard to really say this was a peak since they were so hit and miss by then but the one I saw they were on fire)
311 - every tour from right after Music was released through the Transistor tour (IMO this was their peak)
Pat Metheney - The Way Up tour (is there a Pat Metheny peak point?)
Rush - Counterparts (another band with arguably no peak but this and R40 were my favorite of several tours)
Zappa Plays Zappa - every tour has been pretty great but the first tour with Vai, Bozzio, and Brock was by far the best
Dream Theater - Metropolis pt2 tour (they are amazing now but those shows were incomparable)

Bob Maximus

Gold Supporting Member
Phish late 80s at a theater in Erie, PA. Insane lightshow timed perfectly with the jams. The twirling dervishes in the halls and all


Phish late 80s at a theater in Erie, PA. Insane lightshow timed perfectly with the jams. The twirling dervishes in the halls and all
I was just coming in to say Phish in 98. I don't think anyone will ever agree on when they were in their prime but 98 is my favorite year.


1967- Paul Revere and the Raiders (featuring Mark Lindsey). Don’t laugh. They were great. They enjoyed several radio hits around that time.

1973- ZZ Top in Fargo, ND. They blew the roof off the place.

1975- Edgar Winter group (with Rick Derringer). “Shock Treatment“ album tour. Great, great band.

1976- Todd Rundgren and Utopia. “Opps.. Wrong Planet” tour. Kasim Sulton had just joined Utopia on bass and vocals.

1976- Jeff Beck between ”Blow by Blow“ and “Wired” albums.


Gold Supporting Member
I was there, too. Did you know this existed?

I did not know of its existence. I'll have to check it out very soon. Thanks. As I recall, the Fabulous Thunderbirds opened.

Fun fact for that concert: Ms. Fataxeman and I had consumed just a couple beers (well, maybe 3) and you know what comes next.

Women's bathroom line - a mile long....men's bathroom line - 50 feet long. So she ducks in to the men's room. Can't remember if I was even with her or she just came back and told me about it. She is 6 feet tall and may have had short hair at the time (it's been a while) and certainly had an "I'll kick you ass" look ready to go if anyone was thinking about making a scene.


I'm too young to have caught any of the "classic" bands in their prime, by a long shot. I've seen some of the bigger contemporary rock bands when they were rising stars and hungry for the chance to play in front of any audience. Black Keys, Cage the Elephant, My Morning Jacket, etc. I saw Foo Fighters a few years ago and I think, even though they have been around quite awhile now, they hit their true live peak around the time I saw them. What a show.

My dad has caught a good handful of bands/artists at their peak (Iron Maiden, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Boston, Rush, AC/DC, so on). And my mother's first concert was seeing Van Halen on either their Diver Down tour or 1984 tour. One could argue that was their peak with Lee Roth.


Silver Supporting Member
Tons. What comes to mind:

Kiss - 1977
Rush - Moving Pictures Tour
Metallica - 1st 2 US Tours
Slayer - from the SoCal clubs & Chemical Warfare EP era
Iron Maiden - # of the Beast tour
Scorpions - Blackout tour
Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance tour. .....
...so many more....


Muse - 2000 thru to last gig i saw was 2013. 9 odd gigs from the OoS through to the 2nd Law tour.
Radiohead - 1997 & 2001 - in 01 Thom's voice had given out, so the band jammed a lot....you barely noticed.
Tool - 98, 2000, 2001, 2007, 2020.
Tea Party - 99, 2000, 2003
Pearl Jam - 97. tail end of prime but took in their best album in No Code.
The Music - 03 & 05
SOAD - 05

One for the locals - Farnham in '89 at the age of 7 :p


ZZ Top at the Long Beach Arena on the Tres Hombres tour. Saw them the next year at the Forum in L.A. with Aerosmith opening.. the tour for "Toys in the Attic". Man, I felt really sorry for ZZ following that opening.

J. Geils in Long Beach for the "Ladies Invited" tour. Led Zeppeling opening night at the Forum in the spring of '75 for the Physical Graffiti tour.


Loverboy - 1st tour Kelowna Summer 1980
Rush - Power Windows Tour Pacific Coliseum Vancouver May 1986
David Lee Roth Band - Eat'm and Smile Tour - Pacific Coliseum Vancouver 1986
Van Halen - 5150 Tour - BC Place Vancouver October 1986
Stevie Ray Vaughan - In Step Tour Pacific Coliseum Vancouver July 1990


  • Radiohead - OK Computer tour
  • Hoodoo Gurus - Kinky tour
  • Redd Kross - Phaseshifter era
  • The Church - Priest = Aura tour
  • You Am I - Hourly Daily tour
  • R.E.M - Monster tour


Senior Member
Some more spring to mind:

Isis, on the SGNL>05 and Oceanic tours
Great White on the "Hooked" Tour
Sick of it All - many times, going back to Scratch the Surface
Soundgarden, supporting Guns n Roses around Badmotorfinger time. Guns n Roses were touring UYI, which was their popularity peak, if not their muscial one. Faith No More opened.
Fear Factory supporting Demanufacture (probably one of the loudest gigs I've ever been to)

Trending Topics