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My Top 5 List Of Best Live Shows I Have Seen Each Year Since 1973
See gig listings for each year for full reviews of these shows.
Seventies: 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979
Eighties: 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989
Nineties: 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999
Noughties: 2000 | 2001 | 2002
I was only 14 when I first started going to shows. I never had much money so I would usually sneak in the side doors. The security was not as tough as it is today. Hammersmith Odeon was a few minutes walk from me but it was not until a couple of years later that I knew it was one of the top live venues in the whole country. I was very into glam rock at the time so I would try and catch those bands but Marc Bolan sadly never played Hammersmith Odeon in the years I went there.
|1||3||Mott The Hoople + Queen||Hammersmith Odeon, London||14.12.1973||9,5|
|2||4||Sweet + Fumble||Rainbow Theatre, London||21.12.1973||9,5|
|3||2||Wizzard + Raymond Froggart||Hammersmith Palais, London||11.09.1973||9|
|4||5+6||Elton John + Kiki Dee||Hammersmith Odeon, London||23+24.12.1973||9|
|5||1||Slade + Geordie + Suzi Quatro||Brands Hatch Racetrack, Kent||12.08.1973||9|
As I get a bit older I am starting to get into rock music a lot more. Most touring bands would rather play 2 or 3 nights at Hammersmith Odeon than a night at Wembley Arena when they came to play shows in London.
|1||13+14+15||Slade + Beckett||Hammersmith Odeon, London||16+17+18.05.1974||9,5|
|2||16||Black Sabbath + Black Oak Arkansaw||Hammersmith Odeon, London||21.05.1974||9,5|
|3||25||Status Quo + Snafu||Hammersmith Odeon, London||13.12.1974||9,5|
|4||23||Sparks + Pilot||Hammersmith Odeon, London||11.11.1974||9,5|
|5||30+31||Gary Glitter + Glitter Band||Hammersmith Odeon, London||29+30.12.1974||9|
I was starting to widen my tastes as I got more into soul and funk music and went to see a few of them play live such as Detroit Spinners and Fatback Band. I saw both Bruce Springsteen shows at Hammersmith Odeon this year as well.
|1||45+46||Bachman Turner Overdrive + Thin Lizzy||Hammersmith Odeon, London||03+04.05.1975||9,5|
|2||96+97||Who + Charlie||Hammersmith Odeon, London||22+23.12.1975||9,5|
|3||89+90+91+92||Queen + Mr Big||Hammersmith Odeon, London||29.11-02.12.1975||9,5|
|4||59+60||Alice Cooper + Heavy Metal Kids||Wembley Arena, London||11+12.09.1975||9,5|
|5||71||Blue Oyster Cult + Motorhead||Hammersmith Odeon, London||19.10.1975||9,5|
This was the year when punk rock really did shake up the music business. As a 17 year old this was just the right music and scene that I just loved. The 100 club punk festival in Sept was the event that really kicked things off. It really was the start to an amazing year that has never been repeated by any other music genre. Even now The Sex Pistols and The Clash still mean so much to a lot of people. There were so many great gigs nearly every night and it was this year where I started to get out to about 100 shows a year. Other great shows this year included Who at Charlton FC, Loads of AC/DC pub gigs at different venues, Runaways at The Roundhouse, Aerosmith at Ham Odeon, Bob Marley, Ted Nugent, and Rod Stewart.
|1||207||Sex Pistols||Notre Dame Club, London||15.11.1976||10|
|2||185||Sex Pistols + Clash||100 Club Festival, London||20.09.1976||10|
|3||139+140||KISS + Stray||Hammersmith Odeon, London||15+16.05.1976||10|
|4||110+111||Status Quo||Hammersmith Odeon, London||27+28.02.1976||9,75|
|5||142- 146||Rolling Stones + Meteors||Earls Court Arena, London||21-27.05.1976||9,5|
The first 6 months of this year quickly saw many punk bands move out of the pubs and clubs into the bigger venues. The Sex Pistols were banned from venues all across the country so all their gigs had to be short-notice special secret gigs. The famous Roxy club opened and closed. Loads of other great shows like Iggy Pop with David Bowie, Trex, Ted Nugent, Abba, Johnny Thunders, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Status Quo, James Brown, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, Slade, Pink Floyd... Two great Clash shows with Sham 69 in support at The Rainbow in December.
|1||255||Sex Pistols + Slits||Screen On The Green, London||03.04.1977||10|
|2||263||Clash + Jam + Buzzcocks||Rainbow Theatre, London||09.05.1977||9,75|
|3||266||Clash + Buzzcocks + Slits||St Albans City Hall, Herts||21.05.1977||9,75|
|4||336||Ramones + Generation X + Rezillos||Rainbow Theatre, London||31.12.1977||9,75|
|5||322+323||Damned + Dead Boys||Roundhouse, London||25+27.11.1977||9,75|
Highlight of the year was a one off show by Sex Pistol Sid Vicious and his punk mates. Another great year for live band action. My fave types of music were punk rock and heavy rock and I easily went from a punk gig one night to a rock gig the next night etc. I saw great shows by Thin Lizzy, Queen, Public Image Ltd, Talking Heads, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Van Halen at Rainbow, Runaways, Alex Harvey, David Johansen, Clash at The Roxy, Harlesden, Sham 69, Parliament and Funkadelic, Blondie, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Japan and Blue Oyster Cult.
|1||431||Vicious White Cats (Sid Vicious Special)||Electric Ballroom, London||15.08.1978||9,85|
|2||428+491||Greedies (feat Sex Pistols +Thin Lizzy)||Electric Ballroom, London||29/07 +16/12.1978||9,85|
|3||423+424||Clash + Specials||Music Machine, London||24+25.07.1978||9,75|
|4||395+399||Black Sabbath + Van Halen||Hammersmith Odeon, London||01+10.06.1978||9,75|
|5||469+470||AC/DC + Blazer Blazer||Hammersmith Odeon, London||15+16.11.1978||9,75|
Well the highlight was a month long trip to America which was fantastic. Freddie Laker had brought out his Skytrain service over the Atlantic and on my plane was the singer Joe Jackson. I managed to see the 3 shows below as well as The Bee Gees at Madison Square Garden and The Buzzcocks played at The Diplomat Hotel NY where I was staying. Other big shows I saw that year included Status Quo, Van Halen, Who, Thin Lizzy, Ted Nugent, Rush, Roxy Music, Chic, Osmonds, Earth Wind And Fire, Queen, Police, Motorhead, Echo And The Bunnymen, Kate Bush, B52s, Joy Division, Skids, Damned, Iggy Pop, Tubes, Gang Of Four, Only Ones and Elton John.
|1||599||Clash + Sam And Dave + Undertones||Orpheum Theatre, Boston||19.09.1979||10|
|2||600||KISS + Judas Priest||Amphitheatre, Chicago||22.09.1979||10|
|3||535||Siouxsie And The Banshees + Human League||Rainbow Theatre, London||07.04.1979||9,85|
|4||617+619||AC/DC + Def Leppard||Hammersmith Odeon, London||01+03.11.1979||9,75|
|5||596||Johnny Thunders Heartbreakers||Max's Kansas City, New York||07.09.1979||9,75|
Well it had to happen. We formed our own band and started playing gigs. Playing your own material and having people dance and jump around to it was great fun. We lasted eighteen months and played about 30 gigs. We were called Gun Control (after a Sex Pistols bootleg). We should have made our own records but never got round to it. Some of the highlights I saw this year were Blondie, Madness, Joy Division, Ramones, Only Ones, Slade, Motorhead, Stiff Little Fingers, Siouxsie And The Banshees, ZZ Top, Members, Adam And The Ants, Stray Cats, Thin Lizzy, Elvis Costello, Scorpions, Specials and B52s.
|1||763-766||KISS + Girl||All 4 dates on UK tour.||05-09.09.1980||10|
|2||682+683+684||Clash + Joe Ely||5 London shows - various venues||Feb and June 1980||9,75|
|3||797+798+799||AC/DC + Starfighters||Hammersmith Odeon, London||10+11+12.11.1980||9,75|
|4||729+730||Black Sabbath + Girlschool||Hammersmith Odeon, London||07+08.05.1980||9,75|
|5||720+721||Sammy Hagar + Riot||Hammersmith Odeon, London||19+20.04.1980||9,75|
In May of this year I landed my dream job. I started work as front of stage security at Hammersmith Odeon so now I would get paid to watch my fave bands and not worry about having to get advance tickets for shows. I was there for the next 10 years until the venue was sold to the Apollo leisure group. Other live gig highlights that I went to for this year included Adam And The Ants, Cure, Status Quo, New Order, Foreigner, Tubes, Ultravox, Marvin Gaye, Whitesnake, Toyah, ZZ Top, Psychedelic Furs, Kraftwerk, Duran Duran, Pretenders, Joe Jackson, Clash, U2, Stray Cats, Squeeze, Slade, Cliff Richard, Japan, Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest.
|1||889||Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band||Wembley Arena, London||04.06.1981||9,75|
|2||946||Ramones||Venue, Victoria, London||19.11.1981||9,75|
|3||877||Stiff Little Fingers||Rainbow Theatre, London||10.05.1981||9,75|
|4||915+917||Siouxsie And The Banshees + J C Clarke||Hammersmith Odeon, London||25/08 +03/09.1981||9,75|
|5||842||Gary Glitter + HeeBeeGeeBees||Venue, Victoria, London||14.02.1981||9,75|
Because I was now working at Hammersmith Odeon when my fave bands played for 3 or 4 night stints I could see all of the shows. The shows above tell you how popular the Odeon was as a live venue. Also that year Status Quo played 7 nights there in May and Elton John played 14 nights there in Dec. It was THE venue to play in England and the probably the top live venue in Europe. Other highlights this year were Sammy Hagar, Kid Creole And The Coconuts, Motorhead, Maze, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Damned, Iggy Pop, Johnny Thunders, Scorpions, UB40, Slade, Frank Zappa, Saxon, Japan, ABC and Ultravox.
|1||1084 to 1087||AC/DC + Y n T||Hammersmith Odeon, London||13 to 16.10.1982||9,75|
|2||996 to 997||Alice Cooper + Sapphire||Hammersmith Odeon, London||14 to 16.02.1982||9,75|
|3||1049||Rolling Stones + J Geils Band||Wembley Stadium, London||26.06.1982||9,75|
|4||1072||Billy Idol + Matt Fretton||Heaven Nightclub, London||20.09.1982||9,75|
|5||1110 to 1113||Duran Duran||Hammersmith Odeon, London||14 to 16.11.1982||9,75|
The David Bowie show at Hammersmith Odeon was very special as it was the first time he had played a show here since his famous 1973 Ziggy Stardust gig. He was a massive star at the time and after this show he played 3 outdoor shows at Milton Keynes Bowl. It was clear U2 would be mega. Indoor venues could barely contain their anthemic tunes. Other highlights I saw this year included Whitesnake, Stranglers, Def Leppard, UFO, Maze, OMD, Iron Maiden, Dire Straits, Big Country, Depeche Mode, UB40, Culture Club, Paul Young, Judas Priest, Public Image Ltd, New Order and Ozzy Osbourne.
|1||1212||David Bowie + Amazulu||Hammersmith Odeon, London||30.06.1983||9,75|
|2||1169+1172||U2 + Nightcaps||Hammersmith Odeon, London||14/03 + 21/03.1983||9,75|
|3||1262 to 1264||Kid Creole And The Coconuts||Hammersmith Odeon, London||22/11 to 24/11.1983||9,75|
|4||1165to1168||Thin Lizzy + Mamas Boys||Hammersmith Odeon, London||09/03 to 12/03.1983||9,5|
|5||1235||Johnny Thunders + Jayne County + Chelsea||Lyceum Theatre, London||09.10.1983||9,5|
Status Quo might seem an odd choice to some but older Quo fans will know what a fantastic live band in the late 70s/early 80s. I watched all 7 Ham Odeon shows. Quo played 2 hours 30 mins each night and The Donington bill really was a Monsters Of Rock. AC/DC were superb as usual and I think this was David Lee Roth's last UK show with Van Halen who were mega after the success of their 1984 album and recent "Jump" anthem. They too were totally awesome live. Other live band highlights I saw this year included Simple Minds, Gary Glitter, Firm, Marillion, Depeche Mode, Kool And The Gang, Big Country, Echo And The Bunnymen, Blue Oyster Cult, Motley Crue, Dio, OMD, Dave Gilmour, Sade and Pretenders.
|1||1350 to 1356||Status Quo||Hammersmith Odeon, London||22 to 26.06.1984||9,75|
|2||1360||AC/DC + Van Halen + Ozzy Osbourne||Monsters Of Rock, Donington||17.08.1984||9,75|
|3||1390||U2 + Waterboys||Brixton Academy, London||23.11.1984||9,75|
|4||1380+1381||KISS + Bon Jovi||Wembley Arena, London||14+15.10.1984||9,75|
|5||1376 to 1379||Iron Maiden + Waysted||Hammersmith Odeon, London||8-12.10.1984||9,5|
Well there is no doubt that the LIVE AID was the greatest live event I have seen. It started at noon with Status Quo and finished 11 hours later. The show was full ofthe biggest acts in the country and it was for charity as well. A few days before at the same venue Bruce Springsteen was massive at the time as his "Born In The USA" had gone mega and the show I went to was on July 4 as well. Other highlights I saw this year were Cult, Reo Speedwagon, Saxon, David Johansen, Paul Young, Blue Oyster Cult, James Brown, Motorhead, Kid Creole And The Coconuts, Bobby Womack, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Dire Straits and Madness.
|1||1481||Queen + U2 + David Bowie etc (Live Aid)||Wembley Stadium, London||13.07.1985||10|
|2||1476||Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band||Wembley Stadium, London||04.07.1985||9,75|
|3||1552+1553||The Alarm + Escape Club||Hammersmith Odeon, London||15+16.12.1985||9,75|
|4||1442 to 1445||Frankie Goes To Hollywood + The Promise||Hammersmith Odeon, London||Mar+ Apr 1985||9,5|
|5||1453 to 1456||Maze + LW5||Hammersmith Odeon, London||Apr + May 1985||9,5|
Highlight of this year for me was the return of Prince for his first shows since he was last here 5 years ago at The Lyceum, London. Bon Jovi were the hottest rock band of the moment as their "Slippery When Wet" album had taken off everywhere. After their success at last years LIVE AID Queen came back to headline their own huge show at Wembley Stadium. Some of the other good shows I went to this year were Status Quo, Ramones, Motley Crue, Cheap Trick, Rod Stewart, Marillion, Sting, INXS, Divine, OMD, Cramps, Pogues, Iron Maiden, Talk Talk, Public Image Ltd, Wham, Run DMC, Metallica and Anthrax.
|1||1643+1644||Prince||Wembley Arena, London||12+14.08.1986||9,9|
|2||1707+1708||Bon Jovi + Queensryche||Hammersmith Odeon, London||24+25.11.1986||9,75|
|3||1637||Queen + Status Quo + Alarm + INXS||Wembley Stadium, London||11.07.1986||9,75|
|4||1567||AC/DC + Fastway||Wembley Arena, London||16.01.1986||9,75|
|5||1579 to 1581||Ozzy Osbourne Band + Ratt||Hammersmith Odeon, London||19,20,21.02.1986||9,75|
There's no doubt this year belonged to U2. Their new album "The Joshua Tree" had taken off everywhere and now they were a proper stadium band. Whether in a theatre, arena or stadium U2 have always been great. I saw some great hip hop shows this year, Run DMC + Beastie Boys at Brixton, LL Cool J + Public Enemy at Ham Odeon, other highlights I saw this year were shows by The Cult, Iggy Pop, Psychedelic Furs, Def Leppard, Big Audio Dynamite, Whitesnake Alarm, Ramones, Little Steven, Alexander O'Neal, Style Council, Johnny Thunders, Dio, Human League, Luther Vandross, Europe, Anthrax, Meat Loaf, Maze, Simply Red, Stranglers, Gary Moore, Santana, Stryper, Suzanne Vega, David Bowie, Motorhead, Chuck Berry, Madonna, Alice Cooper, REM, Godfathers and Gary Numan.
|1||1794||U2 + Hurrah||Wembley Arena, London||02.06.1987||10|
|2||1816||U2 + Pretenders + Alarm||Cardiff Arms Park, Wales||25.07.1987||10|
|3||1798||U2 + Lou Reed + Pogues||Wembley Stadium, London||13.06.1987||10|
|4||1846 + 1847||Bryan Adams + T'Pau||Wembley Arena, London||19/23.06.1987||9,75|
|5||1840||Guns And Roses + Faster Pussycat||Hammersmith Odeon, London||08.10.1987||9,5|
This was a fantastic year for live music. Returning as the King Of Pop was Micheal Jackson who played a staggering 7 shows at Wembley Stadium this summer. I went to 2 of these great shows. This years Monsters Of Rock Festival was the biggest ever and some say the best. Sadly a man was crushed to death when everyone rushed down the front to see hot newcomers Guns And Roses. Prince did 7 shows at Wembley Arena, I went to 4 of them. Superb. David Lee Roth with Steve Vai on guitar was just the total rock n roll frontman. Indeed it was a great year for classic rock and glam metal as loads of UK and American bands played UK shows. Other highlights I saw were Bruce Springsteen, Marillion, Bon Jovi, John Cougar Mellencamp, Godfathers, Ace Frehleys Comet, Ted Nugent, Meat Loaf, Robert Plant, Van Morrison, Erasure, Alarm, Judas Priest, Cheap Trick, Metallica, Jimmy Page, Gary Glitter, Iggy Pop, Motorhead, Dire Straits and Def Leppard.
|1||1981||Iron Maiden + KISS + David Lee Roth + Megadeth + Guns And Roses||Monsters Of Rock Festival, Donington Race Track UK||20.08.1988||10|
|2||1978 to 1980||Prince (Lovesexy Tour In The Round)||Wembley Arena, London||July/Aug 1988||10|
|3||1982 + 1983||David Lee Roth + Great White||Hammersmith Odeon, London||30/31.08.1988||10|
|4||1907 + 1908||AC/DC + Dokken||Wembley Arena, London||11/12.03.1988||9,75|
|5||2012,13,16||Iron Maiden + Killer Dwarfs||Hammersmith Odeon, London||07/08/12Dec 1988||9,75|
For me the main event was the return of the mighty Aerosmith for their first UK shows for 12 years and riding on the success of the "Pump" album. Fantastic shows. Earlier in the year they had also come on stage with Bon Jovi for encore of "Walk This Way" and "The Boys Are Back In Town" (see below) Returning to Hammersmith Odeon were my fave RnB band Maze. Featuring the great vocals of Frankie Beverley they really were the most compulsive to dance live act that no soul/RnB band I have seen can match. Other great shows I went to this year included Ramones, Joe Jackson, B52s, Public Image, Big Country, Johnny Thunders, Scorpions, Ian Hunter And Mick Ronson, Anthrax, Blue Oyster Cult, Europe, Godfathers, Kool And The Gang, Duran Duran, REM, Queensryche, Stray Cats, Tom Jones, Santana, Damned, Black Sabbath, The Cult, Psychedelic Furs, Deborah Harry, Motohead and Neil Young.
|1||2140 + 2141||Aerosmith + Quireboys||Hammersmith Odeon, London||14/15.Nov 1989||10|
|2||2108||Bon Jovi + Europe + Skid Row||The Bowl, Milton Keynes||19.08.1989||10|
|3||2136 to 2138||Maze + Mothers Finest||Hammersmith Odeon, London||09-11 Nov 1989||9,75|
|4||2067||Ozzy Osbourne + Udo||Hammersmith Odeon, London||05.05.1989||9,75|
|5||2029||Alarm + Escape Club||Brixton Academy, London||04.01.1989||9,75|
Gig of the year was easily Bon Jovis - small by their standards at the Hammersmith Odeon. This year's Donington was another cracker with Steve Vai playing with Whitesnake and Jimmy Page coming on with Aerosmith. Another big highlight for me was Billy Idol's first UK shows for 10 years. This year had a load of bands doing multi nights at the same venue. Prince played 16 shows at Wembley Arena this summer, Level 42 played 15 shows at Hammersmith Odeon, Paul McCartney played 11 shows at Wembly Arena and Bob Dylan played 6 nights at Hammersmith Odeon (I was at all 6 of them). Other great shows I went to this year included Johnny Thunders, Paul McCartney Band, George Clinton Allstars, Prince, Hunter Ronson Band, Stiff Little Fingers, Saxon, Sinead O'Connor, Big Country, Miles Davis, Jeff Beck, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Ratt, Queensryche, Thunder, Level 42 and Gary Glitter.
|1||2170||Bon Jovi||Hammersmith Odeon, London||10.01.1990||10|
|2||2249||Whitesnake + Aerosmith + Poison||Monsters Of Rock Festival, Donington Race Track, UK||18.08.1990||9,75|
|3||2252||Rolling Stones||Wembley Stadium, London||25.08.1990||9,75|
|4||2203||David Bowie||Docklands Arena, London||27.03.1990||9,75|
|5||2304||Billy Idol + Gene Loves Jezebel||Wembley Arena, London||20.12.1990||9,75|
AC/DC as usual were superb. Metallica had just brought out new "Black" album. Guns And Roses show was their first UK show for 3 years and a one-off in this country. I loved big rock shows during this period as they always put a great live show on with fireworks, explosions, loads of lights etc. You may wonder why Extreme are here but this year they were the hottest new rock band in the world and the buzz for these shows was fantastic. Other great shows I saw this year included the 5 nights I saw Sting at Hammersmith Odeon, Deborah Harry, Manic Street Preachers, Simple Minds, Sweet, Guy, Godfathers, Paul Young, Scorpions, Cinderella, Robert Cray Band, Whitney Houston, I watched all Bob Dylan's 8 shows at Hammersmith Odeon, Motorhead, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Black Crowes, Saxon, Gary Numan, Gary Glitter, Cramps, Alexander O'Neal, Maze, Joe Jackson, Pet Shop Boys, Rod Stewart, Status Quo, The Cult, Buzzcocks, Elvis Costello, ZZ Top, Bryan Adams, Thunder, Chuck Berry, Kid Creole And The Coconuts, INXS, Morrissey, David Bowie And Tin Machine.
|1||2399||AC/DC + Metallica + Motley Crue||Monsters Of Rock Festival, Donington Race Track, UK||17.08.1991||9,75|
|2||2404||Guns And Roses + Skid Row||Wembley Stadium, London||31.08.1991||9,75|
|3||2330||David Lee Roth + Warrant||Wembley Arena, London||01.03.1991||9,75|
|4||2455||Ramones + Damned||Brixton Academy, London||08.12.1991||9,75|
|5||2425 to 2427||Extreme + King Of The Hill||Hammersmith Odeon, London||20/21/22.10.1991||9,75|
Well I suppose it had to happen but at the end of this year Hammersmith Odeon was taken over by new owners and my front of stage security job would cease. In Jan 1993 it would be renamed The Apollo with new management who would get a different security company in. It was a fantastic 10 years of getting paid to watch (mostly) great bands. U2 show was the highlight of the year. It sold out in a couple of hours and was an early show in the huge Zooropa world tour with tv sets and trabant cars everywhere. Def Leppard did 2 stunning shows in the round with a superb light and laser show. Micheal Jackson always did a great live show. KISS were not wearing costumes or make up but they still had those great songs. Other highlights of this year included Rush, Simply Red, Buzzcocks, Barry White, Europe, Suzi Quatro, Lou Reed, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, The Jesus And Mary Chain, The Cult, Gary Moore, Prince, Santana, Mick Jagger Allstar Blues Band, Ringo Starr Allstars, Bruce Springsteen, Erasure played 15 shows at Hammersmith Odeon (I saw a few of them), Damned, Black Sabbath, Godfathers, Stray Cats and those rock gods Spinal Tap.
|1||2498||U2 + Fatima Mansions||Earls Court Arena, London||31.05.1992||9,75|
|2||2509 + 2510||Def Leppard + Gun||Earls Court Arena, London||26/27.06.1992||9,75|
|3||2520||Micheal Jackson||Wembley Stadium, London||31.07.1992||9,75|
|4||2517||Bryan Adams + Extreme + Squeeze||Wembley Stadium, London||18.07.1992||9,75|
|5||2496||KISS + Danger Danger||Wembley Arena, London||21.05.1992||9,75|
Bon Jovi are a perfect stadium rock band. Interesting support bands on their bill above. U2 Zooropa tour lasted about 18 months. Great to see Billy Idol again and for this special show he reformed Generation X for a fantastic 30 mins trip down memory lane. Other great shows I went to this year included Quireboys, Bob Dylan, Godfathers, B52s, Van Morrison, The Kinks, Prince, Dio, Roy Wood Band, Sting, Poison, Van Halen, Scottish Sex Pistols, Elton John, Iron Maiden, Buzzcocks, Gary Glitter, Bruce Springsteen, Big Country, Brian May Band, Suede, Hole, INXS, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Paul McCartney, Glen Matlock and The Mavericks.
|1||2621 + 2622||Bon Jovi + Billy Idol + Little Angels + Manic Street Preachers.||The Bowl, Milton Keynes||18/19.09.1993||10|
|2||2614||U2 + Big Audio Dynamite 2||Wembley Stadium, London||11.08.1993||9,75|
|3||2644 + 2645||Aerosmith + Mr Big||Wembley Arena, London||07/08.12.1993||9,75|
|4||2594||Guns And Roses + The Cult||The Bowl, Milton Keynes||30.05.1993||9,75|
|5||2623||Billy Idol + Generation X||Astoria, London||20.09.1993||9,75|
On 12 March 1994 Soundgarden were the first band to play Shepherds Bush Empire which had been bought off the BBC and was now the hot new venue in town. The highlight for me this year was my first Glastonbury Festival. In previous years I avoided going because the idea of camping etc filled me with dread but we had a mega weekend. Everyone should go at least once as its unlike any other music festival. Pink Floyd returned to live action with a huge tour that included a staggering 14 nights at Earls Court Arena with a stage and light show that was different class. Sparks played their first show in the UK for 15 years which was just superb. Other highlights I saw this year included UB40, Duran Duran, Trextasy, Peter Perrett, Maze, Paul Young, Manowar, Godfathers, Black Sabbath, Pretenders, David Lee Roth, Big Country, Madness, Ian Dury, Ramones, INXS, Black Crowes, The Kinks, Joe Cocker, Elton John, Gary Glitter, Status Quo, ZZ Top, Fish, Bryan Adams, Whitesnake.
|1||2705 to 2707||Fri: Pretenders + Manic Street Preachers / Sat: Elvis Costello + Bjork / Sun: Peter Gabriel + James||Glastonbury Festival, Somerset||24/25/26.06.1994||9,75|
|2||2741||Pink Floyd||Earls Court Arena, London||20.10.1994||9,75|
|3||2688||Mick Ronson Tribute Show feat Ian Hunter, Steve Harley, Roger Daltry, Roger Taylor, Joe Elliot, Glen Matlock but why was David Bowie not here for his old mate tonight?||Hammersmith Odeon, London||29.04.1994||9,75|
|4||2750||Sparks||Shepherds Bush Empire, London||17.11.1994||9,75|
|5||2673||Meat Loaf||Wembley Arena, London||23.03.1994||9,75|
Since I have been going to concerts way back in 1973 there has always been one band that has always created a frenzy for tickets: The Rolling Stones. When they played Earls Court Arena in the 1970s the postal applications were very over-subscibed and each tour still sells out very quickly. Witness the 2003 tour which promises to be superb. The Stones at Brixton Academy were mega. Fantastic sound, classic songs and a long set. Another band who did some small shows that year were Blur and I got tickets for this amazing gig on Clacton Pier where it became so hot inside they had to open the doors behind the stage which meant you could see the sea while the band were on stage. This was the week when "Country House" was No1 and the Blur v Oasis debate was in full swing. Janet Jackson live in concert was just a total spectacle from start to finish. Loads of costume changes, colours, dancers and great songs and she put in 110% energy. Bon Jovi and Metallica both done great shows to confirm their status as stadium rock kings. Other great shows I went to this year included a trip to Los Angeles, USA where I caught some great acts in legendary venues, Slash's Snakepit at The Palace, Jimmy Page And Robert Plant at The Forum, James Cotton at House Of Blues, Black Crowes at the Pantages Theatre. In England I saw Adam Ants' first UK shows for 10 years since his LIVE AID gig. Other good gigs I saw were Stiff Little Fingers, Damned, Foreigner, Doobie Brothers, Stranglers, Sparks, Madness, Simple Minds, Tom Robinson Band, Bootsys Rubber Band, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Bryan Ferry, Godfathers, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Rod Stewart, Ramones, Bodycount feat Ice T, Jayne County, Counterfiet Stones, Alanis Morissette, Green Day, Christy Moore, Motorhead, Black Sabbath, David Bowie, Morrissey, Human League, Roxette, M People and Blue Oyster Cult.
|1=||2840||Rolling Stones + Reef||Brixton Academy, London||19.07.1995||10|
|1=||2834||Rolling Stones + Black Crowes||Wembley Stadium, London||11.07.1995||9,75|
|2||2861||Blur||Oscars, The Peir, Clacton||17.09.1995||9,75|
|3||2806 + 2807||Janet Jackson + MN8||Wembley Arena, London||19/20/.04.1995||9,75|
|4||2825 + 2826||Bon Jovi + Van Halen + Thunder + Ugly Kid Joe||Wembley Stadium, London||23/25/.06.1995||9,75|
|5||2855||Metallica + Therapy + Skid Row + Slayer||Wembley Stadium, London||26.08.1995||9,75|
For me this was a very special year indeed. The highlight was The Sex Pistols to reform with original members for the "Filthy Lucre" world tour. Alan McGee who was Creation Recordsand Oasis boss paid £5000 for a full page ad in NME to say that The Sex Pistols at Shepherds Bush was simply stunning. It was one of the greatest gigs of all time. KISS would also reform with all their original members and put the costumes and face paint on for their world tour which would be the No 1 grossing tour worldwide in 1996. These line ups were both from the classic late 1970s period when I was a teenager. Was a dream come true for me that's for sure. AC/DC at Wembley Arena was superb and I can remember they played a second date the day after but it was the same day as Sex Pistols at Finsbury Park. What a weekend. Neurotic Outsiders were the supergroup made up of Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), John Taylor (Duran Duran) and Duff and Matt (Guns And Roses). They were brilliant and apart from a short gig at The Borderline earlier this year this was their last UK performance as they sadly called it a day after one album. For the encore Simon Le Bon came on and sung punk gem "New Rose " by The Damned. Ice T at the small Subterania club in West London was a mega show by the OG. Fantastic lyrics, crazy atmosphere, boxer Lennox Lewis was here to watch as well. Other highlights I saw this year was Sting, Def Leppard, Pulp, Metallica, Rolf Harris, Social Distortion, Coolio, Henry Rollins, Jazz Passengers With Deborah Harry, Slade 2, Godfathers, Gwar, Damned, Stiff Little Fingers, Marianne Faithful, ZZ Top, Gary Numan, Bad Manners, Mike And The Mechanics, Trextasy, Tina Turner, Meat Loaf, Manic Street Preachers, Eric Clapton, The Who playing Quadrophenia, Neil Young, Alanis Morissette, Bjork, Massive Attack, Bryan Adams, Patti Smith Group, Steely Dan, Big Country, Powerstation, Peter Perrett.
|1=||2979||Sex Pistols + A||Shepherds Bush Empire, London||17.07.1996||10|
|1=||2977||Sex Pistols + Sultans||Le Zenith, Paris, France||04.07.1996||10|
|1=||2971||Sex Pistols + Iggy Pop + Buzzcocks||Finsbury Park, London||23.06.1996||10|
|1=||2982||Sex Pistols + Terrorvision + Echobelly||Phoenix Festival, Stratford||21.07.1996||10|
|1=||2978||Sex Pistols + Slayer + Bad Religion||Aquatica, Milan, Italy||11.07.1996||10|
|2=||2988||KISS + Ozzy Osbourne||Donington Race Track, UK||17.08.1996||10|
|2=||3028||KISS||Wembley Arena, London||25.11.1996||10|
|2=||3025||KISS||NEC Arena, Birmingham||20.11.1996||10|
|2=||3026||KISS||Nynex Arena, Manchester||21.11.1996||10|
|3||2970||AC/DC||Wembley Arena, London||22.06.1996||10|
|4||3005||Neurotic Outsiders + Stimulater||Astoria 2, London||26.09.1996||9,75|
|5||2953||Ice T||Subterania, London||19.05.1996||9,75|
At the start of the year I won a contest in Q Music Mag about who had been to the most concerts. They did a 2 page article on my love of live music which led to me getting a part time job reviewing concerts in the London area for my local paper. Mainly it was shows at Shepherds Bush Empire, Hammersmith Apollo, Earls Court Arena etc. I did a couple of reviews a month on shows I was going to go to anyway and it was handy to be on the guest list as some shows were well sold out like David Bowie, Paul Weller, U2, Oasis etc. This lasted for about 4 years altogether. Highlights of the shows I saw this year were the return of KISS and Aerosmith which also included a few days in Europe to see KISS in Belgium then driving down to Paris to see Aerosmith. To see your fave bands outside of the UK is something I'd really love to do more. David Bowie was superb at a small venue like The Shepherds Bush Empire. U2 brought their huge tv screen and lemon spectacle to stadiums all over the world. Oasis had been savaged by critics the past few months but their show at Wembley Arena was just a brilliant rock n roll celebration. Glastonbury Festival was a nightmare as it became a total mud bath after all the rain. Other highlights of this year included Eels, Trextasy With Mickey Finn, Whitesnake, Stiff Little Fingers, Insane Clown Posse, Denim, Jamiroquai, Spice Girls, Ocean Colour Scene, Steve Earle, Black Crowes, Sham 69, Ray Davies, Paul Young, Gary Glitter, Buzzcocks, Prodigy, Placebo, James, Bryan Adams, Screaming Lord Sutch, Specials, Supertramp, Ian Hunter, The Plimsouls, Wasp, Average White Band, Dream Theatre, ABC, INXS, Diana Ross, Alice Cooper, Micheal Jackson, Roy Wood Big Band, David Byrne and Sinead O'Connor.
|1||3107||KISS + Rage Against The Machine||Finsbury Park, London||05.07.1997||10|
|2=||3097||KISS||Flanders Expo, Ghent, Belgium||10.06.1997||10|
|2=||3098||Aerosmith + 3 Colours Red||Bercy, Paris, France||11.06.1997||10|
|2=||3093 + 3094||Aerosmith||Wembley Arena, London||04/05.06.1997||9,75|
|3||3122||David Bowie||Shepherds Bush Empire, London||11.08.1987||9,75|
|4||3128||U2||Wembley Stadium, London||23.08.1997||9,75|
|5||3173||Oasis + Supergrass||Wembley Arena, London||17.12.1997||9,75|
The highlight of the year for me was the Black Sabbath reunion tour. Ozzy played with his own band then did a fantastic set with Sabbath. My second best gig of the year was a case of two support bands Prodigy and Foo Fighters who kicked headliners Beastie Boys off the park with great live sets.Janet Jackson as always did a fantastic show full of colour and energy. Kylie Minogue played 3 rare London shows and she was superb. Richie Sambora is guitarist with Bon Jovi and his one off show was excellent and the place went bonkers when Jon Bon Jovi turned up to sing a couple of songs for the encore. Other great shows this year included James, Spice Girls, Cramps, Insane Clown Posse, Placebo, Dio, Godfathers, Rockbitch, Jimmy Page And Robert Plant, Damned, Rod Stewart, Culture Club, Human League, ABC, Tom Robinson Band, Thin Lizzy, Prince, Alice Cooper, Marc Almond, Roy Ayers, Thunder, Snopp Dogg, and Glen Matlock Band.
|1||3239||Black Sabbath + Ozzy Osbourne Band + Foo Fighters + Therapy||The Bowl, Milton Keynes||20.06.1998||9,75|
|2||3256||Beastie Boys + Prodigy + Foo Fighters + Echo And The Bunnymen||Reading Festival, Berks||29.08.1998||9,75|
|3||3237||Janet Jackson||Wembley Arena, London||17.06.1998||9,75|
|4||3248||Kylie Minogue||Shepherds Bush Empire, London||30.07.1998||9,75|
|5||3245||Richie Sambora||Shepherds Bush Empire, London||22.07.1998||9,75|
Well for me the KISS shows were amazing. On this tour for Pyscho Circus they had 3D glasses to be put on for parts of the show and it somehow worked great. Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band had now reformed after a 10 year break and were superb. It was a great year for big bands playing small venues as I saw Bowie at The Astoria, Who at the Shepherds Bush Empire, Iggy Pop at the Mean Fiddler/Astoria 2 and The Rolling Stones at Shepherds Bush Empire (I had a ticket for this show but was made an offer I could not refuse so I missed the show). I saw the Stones a few days later and for one of the shows got into the front pit wristband only area for a fantastic close up view. Other highlights that I saw this year were Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, Scorpions, Patti Smith, Black Sabbath, Godfathers, Alanis Morissette, Meat Loaf, Blondie, Glen Matlock Band, Roger Daltrey Band with British Rock Symphony Orchestra, Iggy Pop, Pork Dukes, Blur, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Offspring, Cyclefly, Deep Purple, Buzzcocks, Bryan Adams, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Flaming Lips, Morrissey, Aerosmith, Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros, Robbie Williams, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, James, Maze, Suede, Damned and Sparks.
|1=||3329||KISS + Buck Cherry||Bercy, Paris, France||22.03.1999||10|
|1=||3330||KISS + Buck Cherry||Wembley Arena, London||25.03.1999||10|
|2||3351+3352||Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band||Earls Court Arena, London||18+21.05.1999||9,75|
|3||3418||David Bowie||Shepherds Bush Empire, London||02.12.1999||9,75|
|4||3428||Who||Shepherds Bush Empire, London||23.12.1999||9,75|
|5||3358||Rolling Stones||Wembley Stadium, London||12.06.1999||9,75|
AC/DC at Wembley Arena were fantastic. Loud and distorted classic rock heaven. The Who did a full UK tour with Joe Strummer as a great support and they finished off with a special show at RAH with guests Eddie Vedder Noel from Oasis etc. Foo Fighters did a superb small gig for XFM radio. David Bowie was my highlight at Glastonbury as he did a brilliant greatest hits set. Oasis at Wembley Stadium had a mental atmosphere. On the first night Noel and Liam were not on the best of terms but it made the show even better Other highlights I saw this year included Bon Jovi at the last ever show at Wembley Stadium before it got bulldozed. In Nov I saw Bon Jovi do a show in New Jersey, USA. Tina Turner, Lionel Richie, Robbie Williams, Dressed To Kill (KISS tribute band), Sting, Dee Dee Ramone, Lou Reed, Pearl Jam, Shirley Bassey, Iron Maiden, Santana, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nine Inch Nails, Travis, Alarm, Halford and Rage Against The Machine.
|1||3537 + 3538||AC/DC||Wembley Arena, London||04+05.12.2000||10|
|2=||3534||Who with various special guests||Royal Albert Hall, London||27.11.2000||9,75|
|2=||3528||Who + Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros||Docklands Arena, London||13.11.2000||9,75|
|2=||3530||Who + Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros||Wembley Arena, London||15.11.2000||9,75|
|3||3436||Foo Fighters||Scala, Kings Cross, London||04.03.2000||9,75|
|4||3483||David Bowie + Muse + Dandy Warhols||Glastonbury Festival, Somerset||25.06.2000||9,75|
|5||3494 + 3495||Oasis + Happy Mondays||Wembley Stadium, London||21+22.07.2000||9,75|
Yet another fantastic year for live music. I was at the first of U2s four night run at Earls Court. Sadly I did not get into the front pit heart area but still an amazing show. AC/DC outdoors was superb as usual. A full 2-hour set of classic rock anthems. Radiohead at the BBC was incredible. Invite only audience of only 500 people. They played for 1 hour 40 mins and to my surprise treated it like a real gig. Iron Maiden played 2 small shows at the Shepherds Bush Empire as a warm to a South American tour that included a Rock In Rio headline slot. Brilliant atmosphere just like the old Hammersmith Odeon shows. I honestly think that these shows kickstarted the classic rock revival that would occur over the next couple of years in the UK. Roxy Music played their first shows together for over 15 years as part of a world tour. I saw 2 shows at Wembley Arena and 2 later on at Hammersmith Apollo. This one stood out as we went to the aftershow party, chatted with all the band, chatted with Chris Thomas (Roxy Music and Sex Pistols ) producer and even had one of Bryan Ferry's children pouring me champagne. Other highlights this year: I went to were Marilyn Manson, Eric Clapton, PJ Harvey, David Johansen And The Harry Smiths, Joe Jackson, Soft Cell, Dee Dee Ramone, Badly Drawn Boy, Black Crowes, Television, Ash, Tom Tom Club, Alice Cooper, Dio, Steve Harley, Motorhead, Mark Knopfler, Eagles, Rocket From The Crypt, Judas Priest, Neil Young And Crazy Horse, Waterboys, Starsailor, Dead Men Walking, Madonna, Tubes, Hives, Black Sabbath, Lionel Richie, Rammstein, Sussex Pistols (Sex Pistols Tribute), Kylie Minogue, Status Quo, Ronnie Wood Band, Paul Weller, James, Glen Matlock And The Philistines, Pulp, Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros, White Stripes, Slaughter And The Dogs, UB40, Stereophonics, Paul Young, Pretenders, Sting, Errol Brown, Patti Smith Band, Dressed To Kiss (KISS Tribute), Feeder, Brian Setzer 68 Special, Saxon, New Order, Oasis, Gary Numan, Bangles, Cult, 3 day punk rock festival at The 100 Club to celebrate 25 years since original festival, Eminem, Manic Street Preachers, Travis, Alabama 3, Tom Jones and Stereo MCs.
|1||3628||U2||Earls Court Arena, London||18.08.2001||10|
|2||3595||AC/DC + Offspring + Queens Of Stone Age||The Bowl, Milton Keynes||08.06.2001||10|
|3||3596||Radiohead - BBC2 TV Special Jools Holland||BBC Studios, London W12||09.06.2001||9,75|
|4||3545 + 3546||Iron Maiden + Dirty Deeds||Shepherds Bush Empire, London||06+ 07. 01.2001||9,75|
|5||3604||Roxy Music||Wembley Arena, London||23.06.2001||9,75|
This summer I decided to take redundancy at my job and to set up this website and spend even more time related to live music. The first trip abroad was to see The Sex Pistols and The Who in California in Sept. Sex Pistols played their first shows since 1996 Both were huge events with them playing to over 20,000 in London and 50,000 in California. Punk rock music and clothing is huge in America right now (better late than never!). Only 2 in London and California but there were the highlights of the year for me. As it was 25th anniversary of punk there were loads of punk and Sex Pistols goings on. NFT had a season of punk films and the Sussex Pistols (Sex Pistols tribute band ) hired out the same boat as the Sex Pistols did 25 years earlier. We had a fantastic afternoon on The Thames going past the Houses Of Parliament etc. and the band played a storming set too. I went on tour with Sex Pistol Glen Matlockand his great band The Philistines in May. Eight shows in 2 weeks acoss the country helping with equipment and selling stuff. A great bunch of blokes playing great music. It was a fantastic experience for me. As a thank you for my help with the main Sex Pistols website I was invited to the rehearsals for their Cyrstal Palace show and that was a really special afternoon for me. It was a good year if you were a David Bowie fan in London. I saw both his great shows at Royal Festival Hall and Hammersmith Apollo and met him at his HMV "Heathen" signing. Bruce Springsteen did a fantastic one-off show at Wembley Arena made even better by the fact we got into the main pit area in front of the stage only yards from the front. Two of the best gigs of the year would also relate to probably the 2 saddest events of the year. The Who played 2 fantastic shows at The Royal Albert Hall which turned out to be John Entwisles last UK shows before his death Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros played a low-key show for striking firemen to 500 people at Acton Town Hall. This was a great night that had Clash guitarist Mick Jones came on stage to play 3 Clash anthems with Joe for the first time in years. Six weeks later Joe Strummer was dead. I was totally gutted. I did not go to the funeral but was at the wake later that day in Ladbroke Grove. Thinking about all the great memories I have of The Clash as a teenager really did upset me but as they say "The music still lives on". This website is starting to get known by the people that run the big events so this year I was at The BRITS, Q Awards and MOJO Awards shows.Q Awards stood out as we were on a table with a couple of well-known radio DJs and Casey Spooner (Fisherspooner) and his management/PR team. This was a mega day that finished 12 hours later at the aftershow party in Shepherds Bush. Other highlights for 2002 that I went to were Brian Wilson, Prince, Dave Gilmore Band, Alanis Morissette, Oasis, Dream Theatre, Robert Plant Band, Andrew WK, Slipknot, Cyclefly, Jamiroquai, Bryan Adams, Iron Maiden, Dead Men Walking, Liza Minnelli, Alarm, ABC, Joe Cocker, Ted Nugent, Lenny Kravitz, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Suede, Roger Waters, Rod Stewart, Damned, Iggy Pop, Mark Knopfler, Meat Loaf, Pretenders, Strokes, White Stripes, Roy Wood Army, Foo Fighters, Prodigy, Guns And Roses, Deep Purple, Moby, Madness, Bryan Ferry, Sparks, Coldplay, ZZ Top, Vines, Morrissey, Manic Street Preachers, Elton John, Status Quo, Blondie and INXS.
|1=||3808||Sex Pistols + Rapture||Crystal Palace Arena, London||27.07.2002||10|
|1=||3823||Sex Pistols + Buzzcocks + Damned||Devore, California, USA||14.09.2002||10|
|1=||3797||Sex Pistols Rehearsals||North London||12.07.2002||10|
|2=||3830||David Bowie||Hammersmith Apollo, London||02.10.2002||10|
|2=||3787||David Bowie + Dandy Warhols||Royal Festival Hall, London||29.06.2002||9,75|
|3||3843||Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band||Wembley Arena, London||27.10.2002||10|
|4||3824||Who||Royal Albert Hall, London||08.02.2002||9,75|
|5||3855||Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros||Acton Town Hall, London||15.11.2002||9,75|
Links I Like
Buy your concert tickets through Live Nation
Official London Theatre
Long Tall Sally
Sex Pistols Experience
The Halkin Hotel-Belgravia
The Compleat Angler Hotel, Marlow, Bucks
The Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor, Berkshire
Shepherds Bush Empire
The UK's #1 Gig-Goer
In November 2008 the BBC confirmed me as the UK's number one gig-goer. The jacket was a gig-going prize from Q Magazine a few years ago. I do not wear it outside of the house let alone out to gigs!
Over 5,500 gigs now seen by me since 1973 covering all genres. I still go to over 100 gigs a year.
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