The greatest rock concerts of all time are the ones that are epic, memorable, the ones you had to be there and we're not talking about capacity of fans or how many people were there to experience this event, we are talking about concerts which are more than just music, concerts which inspire you and leave you amazed.
From Bob Dylan to Led Zeppelin and all the way to Freddie Mercury, we are proud to introduce the greatest rock concerts of all-time as we see it, concerts with the most memorable and epic moments that ever took place in the world of rock and music, but if you think otherwise or know better, share with us and let us know…you can comment at the end of the article, so read it first...
Newport Folk Festival – July 25, 1965
Bob Dylan was no stranger when it came to the Newport Folk Festival, as he played there with his acoustic guitar back in 1963 and 1964, but in 1965 in was whole different story. That day in July 25, 1965 Dylan went on stage with 5 backing musicians who played electric versions of Dylan's songs. The fans and audience weren't pleased at all and started booing, and so Bob Dylan and his musicians had to leave the stage. Who would have thought this will happen to Dylan? After this incident, Dylan wouldn't play this festival for another 37 years. I guess he took it hard…
Shea Stadium – August 15, 1965
Believe it or not, but The Beatles never liked to play and perform live as they always complained they couldn't hear themselves over the screams of the fans and audience. This had even a bigger meaning for the band during their show in 1965, as it marked a turning point of their career and that is because a year later The Beatles would retire from live performances. After this show, they went to the studio to record masterpiece albums which will gain them ever more popularity, but no more live shows for them.
Monterey Pop Festival – June 18, 1967
During the final hours of the Monterey Pop Festival, The Jimi Hendrix Experience took the stage and made some crazy buzz, playing electrifying music the crowd. It helped them promote their newly album "Are You Experience" and Hendrix decided to end his set with a cover to the song "Wild Thing" by The Troggs. That of-course was not the most memorable thing he did that day, because what made him a huge star was dry humping his guitar, setting it on fire and smashing it on stage, but who are we to interfere with a genius?
Dinner Key Auditorium – March 1, 1969
Jim Morrison was an amazing performer and artist, but he also used to ingest any drug given to him by the audience, and that made him erratic and unreliable, and we are talking about a live concert and performance here. It was in March 1, 1969 during a concert when Morrison began screaming at the audience after being fueled by too much booze and probably drugs as well, but that didn't stop him from confronting the police officers that were lined up in front of the stage. If that's not enough, he also whipped out his penis and that was too much for many people. About 4 days later he was arrested and when he died, this case was still being appealed.
August 15-18, 1969
Woodstock had a lot of great live performances to count them all out here as memorable and epic, so we'll take the festival itself as a whole and declare it one of the most epic, memorable and greatest concerts of all-time. Great names and brilliant musicians went on stage and played their funky music, musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Stills & Nash, Crosby, Santana, Greatful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Who and many more in a concert probably never to be seen or experienced ever again.
The Rolling Stones
Altamont Speedway - December 6, 1969
This show and concert is remembered by something other than the great music that was played that night by performers like Jefferson Airplane, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Santana and others. That concert is remembered because of the stabbing of an audience member by the motorcycle gang Hells Angel. Sadly, this gang was hired as security guards for this show and it was this stabbing that claimed the life of one of the fans in this concert.
Madison Square Garden - May 4 & July 29, 1973
It was when Led Zeppelin played 3 consecutive sold-out concerts in Madison Square Garedn, New York, that they established themselves as rock gods and one of the best bands in the world. Plant ruled the crowd with his amazing vocals, Bonham knew the drums like the back of his hand and with a 26-minute version of "Dazed and Confused", Zeppelin rocked The States with one of their greatest live performances ever.
The Roxy – July 7, 1978
This was the time when The Boss was on his way to becoming a rock star and his 1978 gig at The Roxy is probably the most famous one and his best one. He started with a cover to the song "Rave On" by Buddy Holly and ended with "Twist and Shout" in a 3+ hours concert that was almost a religious experience and the god was Rock N' Roll! You just don't see these kinds of performances today and that's a shame.
February 1980 to June 1981
Well, it's not a single concert but the theme is the same one as all their concerts during this time around the world were astonishing! We are talking about Floyd's "The Wall" concerts which took visual theatrics to a whole new level. Each show required timed performances as well as unbelievable cooperation between all band members and musicians on stage in a show that included a scorpion wife, the 30-foot-high teacher puppet ("If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding!") and other animated characters from the album. Don't forget the best moment of the show with the explosion of the giant white polystyrene brick wall that stood between the audience and the band, a wall which was built during the show itself.
September 3-5, 1982
This event bridged new music with state of the are technology (back in 1982) and the ones who enjoyed it apart from the audience were performers and bands like The Police, Tom Petty, The Kinks, Fleetwood Mac, Talking Heads, Santana and many others. This was the amazing idea of Apple's Steve Wozniak to make this kind of show, and 8 months later he staged another 3-day US Festival in which hundreds of thousands of fans attended, but because preparing for these festivals was so expensive, Wozniak ended up losing around $20 million. Hey, at least the crowd got a kick of it and that's what matters to us music fans!
Tushino Airfield – September 28, 1991
Do you know what was Metallica's biggest concert to date? I am talking about the number of people that attended the concert. No, no, no…try again…okay stop, I'll tell you. Back in 1991, Metallica were on their massive worldwide tour to promote their newly album then "Metallica" which in time also became their most successful album. During this tour, they played in Tushino Airfield in Moscow, Russia which was the first free concert that featured global rock stars in Russia. This brought over a million people to attend this concert (you read it right!) and some say even more, in what became the highest-attended concert in the history of Metallica…and it was in mother Russia.
The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness
Wembley Stadium - April 20, 1992
Queen began their journey to becoming one of the best and dominant bands in rock and the world of music back in 1970s which included great shows and concerts, including the 1978 tour in the US and Canada and in 1979 touring Europe and Japan, that same year (1979) they also released their first live album "Live Killers" which went platinum in USA twice. Unfortunately, Freddie Mercury died of AIDS on November 24, 1991 and five months later, a great tribute concert was held at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Great bands and musicians which were also friends of Queens' band members participated in this massive concert and the crowd enjoyed listening and seeing live bands and artists like U2, Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Def Leppard, Elton John, George Michael, Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant and many more top performers. Some of the artists decided to perform cover songs of Queen along with the band members, others played their own material but all in all, this was not also an amazing tribute to a very important cause, but one hell of a show to experience live!
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