KISS and Cheap Trick, Aug 16, 1977 at the Cow Palace in SF. Both band were top notch, and I still have a mint ticket because a GF at the time could not go. Her loss.
Day On The Green, July 21 1979 at the Oakland Coliseum. The Mud On The Green. It never rained in California except for this day. I forget the awful first act, and it rained all through Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush, who vastly underwhelmed me. Ok, they were crap. Then the skies opened up after they stopped playing, the umbrellas could be put away, and the best band on the planet was AC/DC. Aerosmith and Ted Nugent had no chance after AC/DC played their set.
AC/DC, Sept 5 1980, Cow Palace, SF. I stood in line for 6 hours in the rain for this show, but was up front to see Brian Johnson's debut. The show was great, and I've never seen so many fans jump up on the the stage of any show, it must have happened a couple of dozen times. It got to the point where 2 roadies on each side of the stage were crouched and waiting for the next idiot for them to manhandle out of the building. At one point, Brian Johnson said to Angus "I hope you make it out alive."
Day On The Green, Sat Aug 31 1985, Oakland Coliseum. The lineup: St. Paradise, Yngwie Malsteem's Rising Force, Metallica, Y&T, Ratt, The Scorpions. I was with my brother and two other buddies, and this day was outstanding, and not only because we had every drug known to mankind that day (and I've been drug free for over 20 years, TY). The first two bands were forgettable, and Metallica wasn't much better. I've seen Metallica twice and have never been impressed with their live sound. Y&T (Yesterday and Today) was the local band, having hailed from Hayward, CA. and they were the most underrated metal band of the 80's. They were great. Ratt played a solid set. But The Scorpions were fantastic - they didn't play as loud as Y&T, Ratt, or Metallica, but they had the best live sound that day. (I saw them in '91 in Seattle and it was the same story, The Scorpions are one of the best live acts there has ever been). So then the four of us go back to my Datsun 510, with bald tires, drink beer and listen to World Wide Live again and the show sounded exactly like the recording. We're the last car to leave, and there's a vast sea of broken glass in every part of the parking lot, glistening off the lights at night and foretelling our inability to get out. I took it slow and deliberate, and the Sea of Glass did not puncture my tires. We made it back ok, and I believe I did not push my luck and got the tires replaced the following week.
Dokken and Judas Priest, Sun May 18th 1986, Tacoma Dome. Both bands were the best they were ever going to be - Dokken was doing Under Lock and Key, and Judas Priest was doing their Turbo tour. Both sounded great, and me and a buddy had seen them 3 days earlier at the Cow Palace and went to WA to see them again. Well, the WA show was crazy. The line of people overturned cars - even police cars - so the police were dealing with a small scale riot before the show. Then inside, explosions were going off from illegal fireworks for THE ENTIRE SHOW. At one point during the Priest, someone from up above had lit an M-80 and thrown it, and it went off right in from of me and my friend. That's when we looked at each other and I told him that I hoped we made it out uninjured. During the Dokken set, two people were stabbed on the floor and one died.
Ozzy was scheduled the following week. The Tacoma police said no f'ing way and canceled the show.
Soundgarden and The Melvins, Sept 1992, Paramount Theatre, Seattle. Grunge was in its heyday in Seattle and both band were in their prime, with Soundgarden doing the BadMotorFinger tour.
Lollapalooza, 2003, Shoreline Theatre, Mountain View (Bay Area). I flew a private plane from Oregon to Redding to pick up my oldest and best friend, and we flew to Livermore and rented a car. On the way from Redding to Livermore, I was on VFR Flight Following and they told me about a plane at my 1:00 position, which I did not see until the last moment and turned right to avoid. I should not have had to do that, because the idiot was in my airspace, but collisions are not cool...after a moment of adrenaline it was all over and I said "Well, that was interesting." My friend said "You have a strange idea of what interesting is!" I went to see Audioslave, who was fantastic, but Jane's Addiction showed why they were the headliner that day. The Donnas were cool, but for the most part in the earlier part of the day I stuck to the second stage and was blown away by 30 Seconds To Mars.
Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie, Sun May 2nd 2010, Kennewick WA. My current lady had never experienced being in the crush of GA on the floor and this was a first for her. I'm old hat so I held off the crush of the crowd and we were close enough to touch Zombie and Alice. I know Kerri Kelli, the guitarist for Alice Cooper, and have seen Alice 6 times over the past 30 years but this was the first Zombie show for me. I like all of what Rob Zombie does in music and movies and he sounded great live! He's kind of short, maybe 5'7" tall, but he came out in the audience right next to us - the dude is fearless live. He has a fantastic guitarist in John 5, and I think John 5 might be to Zombie what Randy Rhodes was to Ozzy.
In two weeks I'm off to podunk Oregon to see Dokken open up for The Scorpions. They're an hour south and I'm stoked, because The Scorpions never fail. I just can't believe they're playing in Roseburg Oregon. I can hardly wait!
You rock, and then you die. I'm still alive, man.