My Top 10 Concerts of All Time

It has been over a year now since I have seen a live show and it could be another year before I get to see another one. I started thinking back on all the shows I have seen and the memories came flooding back. Now back some time last year, the LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or Less did a live stream on the Nigel Tufnel Top 10 Favorite Live Shows of all time. Each guests gave a list of their 11 favorite shows and I had a list for the show. I thought why not spell it out here for everyone to read in all its glory and add some pictures and extra information, if I have any. I hope you enjoy.

11. Motley Crue – Girls, Girls, Girls Tour (1987):

November 22, 1987 at the Omni in Atlanta, GA.  The opening act was Guns N Roses.  The lineup alone makes it a favorite but what happened at the show is why it is on the list. It was not a good show at all which is why it is down at 11.  It is only on the list for what happened at the show. During GNR’s set, Axl jumps off stage at about the 2nd song to grab a security guard who pushed his friend.  Axl is held backstage while the band plays a couple songs (“Communication Breakdown” and “Honky Tonk Women”) with one of their roadies and that was all got from them.  Motley delayed coming on and then put in a half-ass show and left early in protest of Axl’s arrest (at least this is the rumor we heard).  It pissed me off so much I stopped listening to both bands for awhile. Ticket prices at the time were only $17.50.

10. Aldo Nova – Blood on the Bricks Tour (1991):

On May 29, 1991, I got to see Aldo Nova as he toured for his album ‘Blood on the Bricks’ at Centerstage in Atlanta, Ga. I don’t have a ticket stub as a keepsake, but I do have an autographed promo picture of the album cover by the whole band including Bon Jovi’s own Phil X.  I got in free as I was working at a record store and we got to meet the band before the concert.  Back then, Aldo sounded great and his playing was amazing, but meeting them is really what I remember and why it is a favorite. Who opened the show and what was the set list of Aldo, I don’t remember. Ticket price – FREE!!!

9.  Scott Stapp – The Space Between the Shadows (2019):

Opening acts Sunflower Dead and Messer (who?). October 1, 2019 at the McGlohon Theater in Charlotte NC.  We had 2nd Row seats and you could basically reach out and touch the band.  The seats were amazing.  All acts were great and I even got a pick from Messer.  But Scott’s show was as great as I expected.  To hear Creed and his solo songs was a blast.  His band was top notch and Scott sounded better than ever and despite the small crowd he gave 110%. Unlike a lot of people, I really like Scott and I am glad he is doing better and it was awesome to see one of my favorite singers.  Tickets $45  Bargin!!

8.  Train – The Save Me San Francisco Tour (2010) with Needtobreathe:

The date was August 27, 2010. My wife and I decided to splurge and get tickets and Meet & Greets to see Train again.  The tickets were only $175 a piece…only!!  The opening act was just as good as Train.  It was Needtobreathe (one of my all time favorite bands).  We did the Meet & Greet and got our picture and an autograph and they signed the album cover for the album my wife’s brother was the recording engineer on so that was special. Needtobreathe rocked out and sounded as good as the record. Train sounded just as good and Pat Monohan is such a great frontman and his interactions with the crowd are so fun.  It was a great date night with the wife.

7. Alice Cooper: An Evening with Alice (2018):

October 9, 2018 at Oven’s Auditorium in Charlotte NC.  A bucket list concert and lived up to expectations.  There was no opening act it was an evening with Alice Cooper and his band. All the great songs, the great gory theatrics and the playing of Ryan Roxie, Nita Strauss. Glen Sobel, Chuck Garric and Tommy Henriksen were top notch.  What a freaking band!!  And Alice is Alice and he is and will always be the MAN!!  Don’t have a stub as it was on my phone so don’t remember the price.

6. Queen with Adam Lambert – The Rhapsody Tour (2019):

August 23, 2019 at Spectrum Center, Charlotte NC;  I never thought I would see Queen and I knew I would never see Freddy, but this will do.  The theatrics, the flamboyance of Adam, the video screens and Brian May on guitar was everything you could want.  They played all the hits and Adam does them justice.  You get lost in the show and everyone was having a blast.  It was a great chance to hear the songs we love done very, very well.  And Brian has still got it.  Tickets $125..ouch

5. The Eagles – Hell Freezes Over Tour (1994):

July 1994 at the Omni in Atlanta Ga.  My seats sucked and it was expensive but I never thought I would ever see these guys play together and wouldn’t you know, Hell froze over. I remember watching them on the big screens because we were so far back they looked like ants. I remember listening to them and they sounded unbelievable and their playing was great. Joe Walsh’s guitar playing was incredible and sounded awesome. Don Henley and Glenn Frey were both on point vocally and musically. It was a bunch of old friends happy to be back together and playing songs they love. They looked like they were having a great time and as a result so did we despite the noise bleed seats. I a ticket stub or anything from the show, so sorry about that.

4. Elton John – The Big Picture Tour (1998):

September 30, 1998.  It was at the BiLo center in Greenville, SC.  I was there doing an audit and we were trying to find something to do that night.  We saw that Elton John was in town.  It was the day of the show so we didn’t expect to get any good seats.  Well, we were wrong.  We got 2nd row to the left of center stage.  The seats were right in front of his piano!!  The best seats I think I have had to any show up to this point and what a show it was.  No ticket stub or souvenir for the show, sorry again.  I don’t know what the seats cost because the company picked them up and I am sure they billed them to the audit client. Ticket Price – FREE!!!

3. Def Leppard: The Hysteria Tour (1987/88 – 3 shows): 

I saw them 3 times on this tour.  Once in Atlanta with Tesla opening, once in Chattanooga TN with Queensryche opening and then back in Atlanta with Queensyrche again and Free tickets won on a radio contest.  I will say of the three Def Leppard shows, my favorite show was the Chattanooga, TN show as that was where I fell in love with Queensryche. It was a fun adventure with my friend Steve and I driving out of state for the first time to see a show. But let’s be honest, Def Leppard ‘In The Round’ was absolutely amazing. Seeing them pushed out in the Laundry bins trying to hide from every one was great, but once you saw those bins rolled out you know the show was about to start. To get to see Steve Clark play live was one of the best memories ever. This was Lep in their prime and I will never forget it!!  Tickets around $18 (but mine were Free on the last one).

2. Rush – Test for Echo Tour (1996):

Only Rush…An Evening with Rush at the Omni in Atlanta, Ga on December 11, 1996. This was the show where they played 2112 in its entirety and damn these guys are the best at what they do.  My first and only time to see Rush and to see Neil on the drums was some of the best playing I had ever seen.  Magical!! I am glad I got a chance to see them. Bucket list…check!! My sister-in-law worked for the company that built the Omni so we were in the company box. My Ticket Price therefore was FREE!!!

#1 – Kiss – Alive / Worldwide Tour (The Reunion Tour) (1996):

October 1, 1996, The Omni in Atlanta, GA.  Kiss reunited with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.  The make-up came back on and they did a massive tour.  I am glad to say that on October 1st, I got to see them finally in their make-up. I never thought I would get to see that and I never thought I would get to see Ace & Peter.  My dreams were fulfilled.  It was such an amazing show and to see them do what they do best. Gene looked so much more comfortable back in the make-up and the blood and fire spitting were back in full force.  The opening act was the Verve Pipe.  Yeah, don’t remember that set at all.  The ticket price was $42 with fees, but I paid nothing  as my sister-in-law worked for the company that built the Omni so were in the company box. My Ticket Price was FREE!!!

And there you have my Favorite Live shows ever. I have seen so many and it was hard to choose. Some of the shows that just missed were Ed Sheeran (believe it or not), The Kiss End of the Road Tour, the Ratt/Poison Tour and every time I have seen Needtobreathe!! Let me know some of your favorite shows. Thanks for stopping by.

48 thoughts on “My Top 10 Concerts of All Time

  1. It ‘s impossible to chose but OK:
    5. Judas Priest, Ljubljana 1991
    4. Deep Purple, Zagreb 1991
    3. Def Leppard, Munich 1988
    2. Queen, Budapest 1986
    1. Whitesnake, Monsters of rock, Mennheim 1990

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You got second row to Elton John? Lucky!!! You saw Steve Clark live and the In the Round show three times, I’ll say it again man, I’m so jealous! Not surprised Axl was the one that caused the chaos at that show with Motley Crue (he can be unpredictable, though he has toned down over the years). I saw the Eagles with my dad in Spring 2013 in Vegas and I enjoyed it, partially due to the fact that ‘American Idol’ introduced me to a couple of their songs.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah it was good for something haha! Queen, Beatles, the Eagles, Free, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Led Zeppelin, Elton John. You name it (except for AC/DC of course). I got sick of American Idol around season 12, but I still treasure the early years.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks like some great shows! I went to so many concerts back in the 1980s and quite a few in the 2010’s that I couldn’t begin to list them in preference. All I know is that number one would be Dio and Twisted Sister on August 25, 1984.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great list John. That Coop tour I saw about a month earlier in August of that year. Such a killer show. Nice to see Aldo on there as I’m sure he doesn’t appear in many Top 10 concert lists as well. Your Number 1 and 2 no complaints. Great stuff..
    Still to this day wish I had caught Leppard on Hysteria it wasn’t until 92 I had been them and went twice as that was a good show.
    Axl and Motley lol.. Man why would the Crue cut there set short had nothing to do with them. As a fan that sucks.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, you have seen some stellar shows!

    I never really got into Train but I loved it when they would go on the Stern show and perform a Zeppelin cover. Howard once let them do an original and everyone started making fun of the guitarist for switching out his Les Paul for a mandolin or a ukulele. The little song they played went on to be a huge hit for them. I think the name was Soul Sister or something like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That Train song was “Hey Soul Sister” and was huge for them. It gave them a second chance as they had disappeared pretty much prior to that. The guitar player is no longer in the band which is a shame because he was great!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I couldn’t even tell you how I managed to get tickets. Kix was a very small club in Boston maybe 5 or 10-minute walk to Fenway Park. The only thing I can think is that somehow I found out about it through the grapevine and got tickets early. It was a long time ago but parts of it still vivid in my memory. And as mentioned I didn’t have the slightest idea they were recording it or that an album had been out for some years.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice
    Quite a few free tickets. Nice.

    Def Lep – 3 shows. Great effort. I saw Maiden two nights in a row, play the same set list on the Caught Somewhere Back In Time tour. Does that count?. Lol.

    Scott Stapp is a great performer. I saw Creed in Sydney on the “Weathered” tour and Stapp was on that night.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve seen the Stones twice…one time in the 90s and they were much better…they were also playing at a place that was made more for music than Churchill Downs…that was an experiment…and I don’t think anyone has played there again.


  7. Cool shows u seen! Yep, due to covid Scott’s tour got cancelled last year. Of yours, seen leppard twice, nothing to write home about. No wait, got Vivian’s plectrum. Seen Kiss with and without make-up. Loved that I got to see them with make-up and demon breathing fire, so cool. Seen Alice a few times, even had a ticket once but ended up not going. Seen mötley maybe 3 times? First time I think they opened for Maiden. That show was cool, not many here were into crue back then. For me, I prefer club shows these days. Stadium shows are too much hassle. Which ones do u prefer? Seen Angus and co many times. What I remember most is Angus dropping his pants and moonin the audience. That was part of the show back in the day. Other thing I remember well are the loud cannon shots and counting them every time. For those about to rock….fire!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Def Leppard in-the-round was so great, and of course Rush consistently put on great concerts.
    Didja know that Jon Bon Jovi used to sweep floors in a recording studio and he was doing exactly that when Aldo Nova was recording one of their earlier albums? That’s how they met.

    Liked by 2 people

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