Top Live Music MomentsPosted: April 5, 2011
On Saturday a bunch of us got together to watch the live feed of LCD Soundsystem’s last show ever, held at Madison Square Gardens, NYC. (Thanks Sandra for making Rich host us!). It was an epic show and emotions were high – and we were just watching it online. I could only imagine how the people who were there, in the flesh, must have felt. Those who got to partake in the 3.5 hour journey with the band and witness greatness unfold before their eyes are very lucky indeed.
All this made me reflect on some of the best live music moments I’ve experienced. You know, the ones that gave you chills, made you feel like you were a part of something special, or like you’d just stumbled upon something huge before the rest of the world had caught on. When all the stars align and a great night is had and you’re left feeling crushed once it’s all over. We’ve all had those moments (or at least I hope). I’m sure the LCD Soundsystem gig was one of those moments for some people. Here are a few of mine.
1. Coldplay @ Wembley Arena, London, UK; October 2002
My sister and I flew out to London on a 1 pence Ryan Air flight from Croatia (no joke), hoping to catch Coldplay play promoting their second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head. People offered strange looks when we said we were looking for tickets. The show had sold out in minutes and even scalpers were scarce. Somehow, we managed to get our hands on two seats at face value and were seated next to Chris Martin’s family. And Woody Harrelson. This was the start to what we’d later call our “concert mojo”. I felt like I’d been given a gift from above.
2. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club @ Mocvara; Zagreb, Croatia; June 2004
The band was supposed to open for Lenny Kravitz, but he cancelled due to “laryngitis“ minutes before the show. BRMC brought out their guitars and started playing to a confused crowd waiting out front. Some people (myself included) suggested the band play anyway since we were there to see them. A few calls were made and word spread that BRMC would be playing at a small venue off the riverbank. They played a 3-hour show for approximately 150 people, interacted with the “crowd” and gave us beers. One of my most memorable gigs.
3. Bloc Party @ Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, California; March 2005
Bloc Party was on its first ever North American tour, playing at a small 300-person venue in San Francisco. We were there. Months later, they were selling out big arenas. We knew they would.
4. Radiohead @ the Greek Theatre, Berkeley, California; June 2006
It was a heavy, foggy evening that freaked even Thom Yorke out. They played songs from the then still unreleased “In Rainbows”. We were expecting to hear familiar classics. Our minds were blown by the novel tunes in the surreal atmosphere. Some a “bit” more than others: a friend of mine was so inspired she tattooed the House of Cards lyrics down her side the following day. Ok, maybe that’s a bit impulsive, but the show was truly amazing.
5. Roger Waters @ HP Pavillion, San Jose, California, 2010
He’d been waiting for years to have access to the kind of technology that could enable him to put on a live performance of “The Wall” as he’d envisioned from the start. I was there to see the dream come alive. It was like everything had led to this moment. It all made sense.
There are many other moments I can list here that have made my love for music grow even fonder. Going to my first ever music festival with my cousin. Seeing my teen idols like Oasis, Morrissey, Paul Weller and Ian Brown in the flesh. Have my eardrums shattered by My Bloody Valentine. Witnessing Anton Newcombe kick members of BJM out of the band mid-song. A surprise guest appearance by Jello Biafra at a Fucked Up gig. Being part of the biggest dance ensemble at a Daft Punk show. Pushing my way to the front to get a better look at Simon le Bon of Duran Duran (don’t judge, it was a fun show). Going to a good live show can make you fall in love, it can break your heart, it can inspire you. I feel truly blessed to have been able to see so many of my favourite artists live.
I just wish I got to see this too: