We all enjoy a good gig. In fact, a memorable show can stay with us forever and influence our lives. Great bands have been born from great gigs. Whether it’s a huge festival, or an underground band at a local venue. Whether its your first gig as a teenager, or one of the biggest gigs you’ve played with your band. From old-school UK punk legends The Damned, to upcoming genre- defying heroes Sonic Boom Six, here are some awesome musicians’ stories of the best shows they’ve been to…
Feel free to share your greatest live music experiences in the comments section.
The best gig I have ever been to was Nirvana at Reading festival 1992, it was such an amazing night, and there was so much hype about Nirvana, everyone was talking about them… the rumours were flying round that Kurt wasnt going to play etc… and then he just emerged on stage after a long delay, in a wheelchair and a big wig on and pretended to be really ill, and then passed out and everyone just went mental. It was fantastic.
Arturo, 999/The Lurkers
Well it wasn’t a punk gig.
It is a band from 1978-80 called Doll By Doll.
Jackie Leven the singer has had a solo career for 20 years now and records for the Cooking Vinyl label.
Reason why is the band were absolutly out there on their own, a really soulful outpouring of fucked up wierdness, sadness, menace and beauty all at once, with really strange dark lyrics and searing melodies.
They never made it big but I’m convinced that had they been around in the late 60s they would have been considered and acclaimed as one of the greatest bands in the world.
Brandon, Teenage Bottlerocket
I would have to say that the best show I’ve ever been to was Against Me! at the Aggie theatre in Ft Collins, Colorado January 08. I walked into the Aggie and I was not surprised to notice the place was packed front to back. At least 1000 people. The Main Support band was on when I arrived and I was curious, so I made my way to the front. The band was Git Some and they slayed! I could not remember seeing a band that heavy and tight before. The way the band would head bang so hard, while the lead singer would do this slow motion “swim” dance was amazing! You could feel their energy throughout the place. After Git Some, Against Me! took the stage. I have never seen a show go so crazy in my life. There were stagedivers left and right. There were people grabbing the mic to sing their favourite parts. Tom and the band just smiled and let the whole show take its course, well, while playing harder than ever. I was truely amazed, and completely blown away!
Mark, Down And Outs
ANDREW WK is by far the best artist I have seen live, in Manchester in 2005 I think.
The main man. Great music, great band, great attitude and an amazing, positive energy all around the room.
Sickboy, The Creepshow
My favourite show ever was when we played the psychobilly meeting in Calella, Spain in 2007! It was 3 nights packed with bands I had always wanted to see but never had the chance, seeing they never come to Canada, like Frenzy, The Meteors, King Kurt, Mad Sin, Mad Dog Cole and shitloads of others! Great party!
Christian, Bombshell Rocks
Best show! Hard to say, but this is one of my favourites.
Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros on Hultsfredfestival in Sweden.
Why? We were too young when The Clash was around, and this is the one time I got to hear some of the best Clash songs live. Even though Joe was the only original member of The Clash on stage, he delivered the songs with passion and I got a memory for life.
Barney Boom, Sonic Boom Six
I wish I could say the best ever gig I went to was a cool punk gig or some groovy aftershow but that wouldn’t be the truth. The best gig I ever went to was the first gig I ever went to, the Sunday of Reading 1994. I literally stood, with our drummer Neil, through the whole main stage line-up which included Red Hot Chili Peppers, Therapy?, Rollins Band, Senser, The Wildhearts, Helmet and The Jesus Lizard and I loved every single minute. For a couple of years before I’d been into alternative rock and hip-hop and I felt like I was ready to be part of what I’d been watching and reading about, ready to get into the pit like I’d seen on so many videos and just live it instead of watch it from a distance.. That day was like a second birth, pushing to the front of the crowd and staring up at Henry Rollins as he screamed at us all during ‘Liar’. Now I laugh at the intimacy I felt at such a distance back then, especially after having played that stage this year and feeling a million miles away. But back then, as a fresh-faced teenager, it couldn’t have felt more intimate if Henry Rollins was in my own room. Perish the thought…. And Helmet fucking rocked by the way.
Insane Clown Posse and Twiztid 1998.
The performance was awesome and the energy and fans were amazing. It was hilarious getting covered with Detroit soda.
Captain Sensible, The Damned
Early 70s, Croydon Greyhound, the Pink Fairies (my favourite band) were as anarchic as they came…. and would have made a fine punk band if they’d have arrived on the scene 5 years later.
At one point during their manic performance one of the 2 drummers jumped off his kit and whacked the other in the mouth for fucking up one too many times and I realised there and then what fun it could be if bands were a bit less phoney onstage with all this ‘we love you people’ crap….. and this knowledge has stood me in good stead throughout my distinguished punk ‘career’.
Ace Facial, Dirty Filthy Mugs
The best gig I’ve ever been to was The Buzzcocks in Hollywood around in ‘97 or ‘98. I’d received free tickets anonymously from someone at Maximumrocknroll ‘zine after giving an interview with them raving about how much of an influence they were on me. Very cool surprise!
They played a perfect, energetic set that included ‘Breakdown’ and ‘Boredom’!! Pure Brilliance from start to finish!
Jhon, Mike T.V
One of the first proper punk rock gigs i went to was Frenzal Rhomb supporting Less Than Jake back in 2000/1 at Nottingham Rock City. Frenzal were my favourite band at the time, we got to go on a road trip and fuck about in a Travelodge for the night. It was pretty exciting for a stoner loser. Seeing your favourite band live for the first time when the room was pretty empty and no one really knew who they were was awesome.
Agnostic Front at CBGB’s. Obviously there is a connection with me/ Madball and AF. Still, I have to give them the props! They inspired not only MB, but the entire Hardcore movement. They set the standard for all of us..SOIA, MB, etc. No one can deny the energy, vibe and intensity of an AF show at CB’s,or anywhwere for the matter. I don’t care if this comes across bias..it’s the truth. I know a lot of people that would agree..and they are not related to Roger..haha.