Concerts you remember / Concerts you wish you had attended

Sometimes I think I was born at the wrong time and on the wrong continent. How exciting it would have been to have been living in NYC in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. I would have drifted between Birdland, the Village Vanguard, the Five Spot and others. Imagine seeing Coltrane at the VV, Evans at the VV, Monk at the Five Spot…


I’d have loved to have seen Led Zeppelin, but they disbanded just as I was getting into rock music as a teenager. But I did get to see Robert Plant on his first solo tour and that was first outdoor large venue gig I saw in Auckland.

But the one band I never saw live that I really wanted to see was Rush.

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Was dragged to Rush at Deeside Leisure Centre by a friend who was a fan. Zero expectations. It came nowhere near converting me but I’ve had a sneaking regard for them ever since.


I have been trying to remember classical concerts, but although fewer than the rock gigs I’ve been to, the details stand out less in my memory. When I lived in Wales I went to several at St David’s Hall in Cardiff, but I don’t recall the specific music, nor conductors/orchestras. Where I live now I’ve seen the local symphony orchestra quite a few times, and the youth orchestra many times (my son was a member), plus the visiting Hallé orchestra couple of times. The most memorable has been two performances of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, once by the local SO.

Opera performances are far more memorable:
Carmen, Turandot, Tosca, La Boheme, Madame Butterfly, Rigoletto, Barber of Seville and La Traviata, all performed by the Welsh National Opera company performed in Cardiff’s New Theatre (before the opera house was built) except La Traviata was in the new Cardiff Bay Opera House when it first opened.
La Boheme again by WNO but in Newcastle upon Tyne’s Tyne Theatre and Opera House.
La Traviata in a hall in Venice, a small production by music students in what seemed like a church or school hall with ordinary chairs: nothing fancy, but sitting in the third row in the middle, with the stage only about 3 feet high, it was so accessible despite the absence of surtitles.
La Boheme in Firenze (Florence) - open air in the grounds of Pritti Palace
Tosca in Budapest Opera House.
Otello in Teatro del Maggio, Firenze - the only performance for which I recall the conductor, Zuben Mehta.


One concert a couple of friends went to, but to this day I regret not even trying to get a ticket for was Live Aid.


A girl I’d recently split with went to the Live Aid event. The first I knew about it was when I saw it was on TV. I wish I’d been there.


Graham – I once saw him conduct in Vienna, in 1989, for a New Year’s Concert. The Termagant’s late father was a diplomat and lived in Vienna at the time, and he always got tickets for these concerts
(his wife was a huge fan of Viennese music).

I’m ashamed to say I can’t remember very much about it!

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A recording of the ‘live’ concert is available to buy from CBS/Sony, if you want to reacquaint yourself - CD only, as the LPs were discontinued years ago.

I’m very envious of you for attending a Vienna PO New Year’s Day Concert, particularly one of the two conducted by Carlos Kleiber - he came back, at short notice, to substitute for an ailing Leonard Bernstein in 1992. You probably know that obtaining a ticket on the open market is next-to-impossible. I used to enter the ballot every year, but gave up after getting eff all in about ten years.

Regret missing but at the time I wasn’t a fan and something came up at work, so missed Queen at the MK bowl giving the ticket to a colleague.

On the plus side I later had some work in Vienna and got a last minute cancellation box ticket at Vienna State Opera, Tosca. Wonderful.

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If that was the Hot Space tour, I was there. IIRC Queen weren’t as good as I’d remembered from when I saw them in Hyde Park (free concert), but best of all was seeing Heart with Annie and Nancy Wilson.


Early 80’s, 82?

I was at that show too @Clive . I thought they were on good form that night, rocking up some of the Hot Space tracks and if I remember it was one of the few times they played ‘The Hero’ in the UK - a great track from Flash Gordon. The recording is very good on video and audio with Somebody To Love being a particular highlight and one I remember being impressed with at the time.

To be fair, I think one’s experience at MK Bowl depends a lot on where you stand. The flat bottom of the bowl makes it an unappealing venue if you are behind the sound desk, unless you opt for the banking. I recall being near the front and having a great time - not as good as Ally Pally in '79 but that’s a whole different story!

I was a huge Little Richard fan probably due to having an older brother who collected records, I fondly remember playing our collection of 78’s our only rule being that you couldn’t play the same one more that once as we feared they would wear out!

So when LR announced a tour of the UK in 1962 after having given up Rock n’ Roll to concentrate on bible study snd gospel music, imagine how excited I was. Front row of the circle at Kingston Granada cinema, my first real gig at the age of 12, wonderful experience and I’m sure he would only have played for 25 mins or so as was the norm on “package” tours at that time. Accompanying acts not too shabby either!




I missed Julie Murphy at Bury Met because I’d not put it on my calendar and only remembered when it was too late. :confused:

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You knew how to live Pete….flying after women😉

Gazza I did it on the cheap, I drove from Sydney to Port Douglas in 2 and half days in a beat up van. The sad thing was when I got back (Port Douglas) she was gone, I never saw her again. I stayed for about 8 months as I was too embarrassed to come home. :disappointed:


According to Wikipedia it was 5 June 1982. I can’t long have passed my driving test, but I think I drove there with a friend.

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I’m far too young, if only I had seen the Trane or Miles, missed Free. Creedence first big one ‘71, blagged my way to that.

The most memorable:

Dr Feelgood (Southend ‘75)
Quo (Rainbow ‘73)
Bad Co (Rainbow ‘74)
The Who (Wembley ‘75)
Lynyrd Skynyrd (Knebworth ‘76 and Rainbow ‘77)
The Eagles (Wembley HC tour ‘77)
Dire Straits (Hope and Anchor ‘78)
Jackson Browne (Hammersmith ‘82)
Queen (Knebworth ‘86)
Dire Straits (Birmingham ‘91)
Eric Clapton (RAH ‘93 Blues night)
The Zutons (Reading ‘06)
Paul Simon (Wembley ‘06)
Ryan Adams (Palladium ‘12)
Jeff Beck (Oxford ‘14)
Paul Simon/Sting (Birmingham ‘15)
Eric Clapton (RAH ‘19)

A word about Zep at Earls Court (‘75), very good but ultimately too indulgent.

Those I regret missing:

Cream (RAH ‘05)
Jeff Beck at Ronnie’s.


The concert I most regret not attending was the LSO with Carlos Kleiber at the Festival Hall - I only found out about it too late. I’m most envious of @graham55

The most memorable concert I attended was Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic at the Festival Hall, on the first occasion doing Bruckner Symphony no. 8 - one of my favourite symphonies. Other close contenders are when a year or two later at the same venue Karajan again with the Berliners doing Bruckner Symphony no. 5. I also remember two memorable concerts given by Solti with the LPO, at one doing the Beethoven Eroica, and in the other doing Beethoven symphonies 1 & 9.

Chris, the Kleiber/LSO concert came about pretty much at the last minute, because Karl Bœhm, the LSO’s honorary President, was due to conduct it (and the same concert a day or two earlier in Milan), but was indisposed. Kleiber felt up to the challenge, and stepped in. Scarcely believably, a number of London concertgoers returned their tickets when Bœhm withdrew, otherwise I would never have been able to pick up two tickets for the concert.