Worst Concert You Ever Saw?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by drmilktruck, Jan 7, 2021.

  1. Maxadur

    Maxadur Electromatic

    Feb 17, 2013
    Huntsville, Ontario, Canada
    Willie Nelson, at a road house venue outside of Austin, late 90's.
    Came out of his bus 2 hours late wired and frenetic (not stoned and mellow) and sped through a few tired hits (on the road again, etc......jeez), fired his black cowboy hat like a frisbee into the crowd, hit a woman in the face, and buggered off.

    Junior Brown, Gruene Hall, Texas, late 90's......not much better (and I was a fan prior!)
    Excruciatingly loud for such a small venue, and out of tune and disinterested. Must have had a fight with his wife, she wasn't there.
    We left early.
    Let me conclude with a wonderful experience, one of the best shows ever: Asleep At The Wheel, Luchenbach Texas......1998. I'll never forget it. They love their work!
    Regards, Gerry
    mrfixitmi likes this.
  2. Sabato

    Sabato Country Gent

    Mar 22, 2019
    My wife & I saw Aerosmith in the '90s, she's the fan, I never liked them. I worked with a woman whose husband was in Narc-anon with Tyler and he gave them concert tickets and backstage passes....
  3. Likeabrave

    Likeabrave Synchromatic

    Feb 11, 2010
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Easy one for me - I was at day 2 of Lalapalooza in 1992 at Jones Beach in NY expecting to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Stone Temple Pilots. Lush opened the show but just as their set ended the sky turned charcoal gray and sheets of rain soaked the amphitheater and severe lightning forced everyone to find shelter. Lush was pretty bad too.
    Viking Power likes this.
  4. MentalTossFlycoon

    MentalTossFlycoon Gretschie

    Dec 22, 2018
    Just about any concert I have seen ( or try to see ) at Billy Bobs Texas in Ft Worth. No matter where you sit, there is always some kind of beam or pole obstructing your view of the stage
    MotorCentaur likes this.
  5. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    Tedeschi Trucks. I'll have to say though, it was right after they started doing shows together. It was billed as Susan Tedesci as the main billing. Outdoor summer concert. Susan hardly sang a song. and Derek played long repetitive solos all night long. We had a big group go that always loved Susan. Susan played rhythm guitar for the most part and did little else. People were actually walking out after it became obvious she wan't going to sing, we left also about an hour + 15 mins in.
    Runamok and mrfixitmi like this.
  6. Melsden

    Melsden Electromatic

    Jan 7, 2021
    Rush - Wembley 80’s - Paid a load of cash as a poor student for a ticket only to be stuck behind a pillar. Only time I could see anything was when lifeson and lee ventured stage right or left.... which wasn’t very often.
    MotorCentaur likes this.
  7. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    I guess it would depend upon perspective. Sadly, some of the worst performances I ever attended were some of my early gigs, before I got my sea legs, so to speak, and learned how to play before a crowd.

    As an audience member, I've seen some that were mediocre, but that's about as bad as I can recall. Pablo Cruise sounded like a loose cover band doing Pablo Cruise covers. The Steve Miller Band was closer to their recorded quality. The Eagles were dead on, and when I saw them, fairly engaged. (This was in 1978.)

    That would be disappointing. I would have been disappointed to have missed out on Imelda May.

    The old joke is; what did the DeadHead say when he ran out of pot at a concert? "Where is this music coming from? It really sucks!" I admire the ability of The Dead, but I can only handle them in small doses. I love Jazz, which means that I have a healthy respect for musical improvisation, but you still have to "package" a song, or it becomes a meaningless drone of pointless jamming.

    IMHO, good improv' should result in something that stands on its own, musically. Learning to improvise over changes is a challenge, in and of itself, but there is a step beyond that; learning to construct a solo that flows and has cohesion. Once again, IMHO, that's the true art, to create a musical statement in real time which is true to the composition and incorporates the energy of the moment. I don't always hear that happening with The Dead.

    I really despise that an artist would show up in no condition to perform. I wouldn't show up at my job drunk, and expect to be paid; why should a musician believe that they have the right to perform when they are drunk?

    Depending upon the setting, I've been known to have one Amaretto Sour at the beginning of a gig, but that's not enough to affect my playing. In fact, I don't do it to "loosen up", but if the venue provides a free drink, I'm not one to turn down a free Amaretto Sour, so long as I have plenty of time to metabolize it before I have to drive home.

    Somehow, I find this easy to believe. He's a gifted player, but I could easily imagine that he could get repetitious as a solo act. I've noticed that some players, and I have to include myself in this category, do better when they are constrained to some degree. Using myself as an example, if I have no guidelines, I end up drifting into sort of a Fusion Blues mode, where everything sounds like an endless series of extended and/or altered dominant chords; which is great in very small quantities, but not an acceptable main course.

    I have an Austin City Limits where Willie acts completely disinterested, and half of the time isn't singing into the microphone. While I admire his body of work, I have the impression that he has bought into is own PR hype. That Austin City Limits DVD pretty much said it all, to me; and all the more so, considering the significance of Austin City Limits. That he would act that way at any performance is unacceptable, but to be so uncaring with regard to the huge audience that watches Austin City Limits is downright contemptible, IMO.

    I heard Junior Brown at the Grizzly Rose in Denver, circa 1997. It was a great performance, but as he got deeper into the set, his pair of Twins, dimed, were a bit much. I admire the energy, but it was uncomfortable for the audience.

    I've never had a bad experience at an Asleep At The Wheel concert. I used to see them at the Arvada Center for the Performing Arts, in suburban Denver, and always felt like I was part of the band. It was a perfect venue, a natural amphitheater where most people sat on the ground. Those were probably the best concerts I ever attended.
    OleDangy, MotorCentaur and Maxadur like this.
  8. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    Crosby, Stills, And Nash in the early 90's at Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Birmingham, Alabama.
    It was the quietest thing I've ever witnessed and I once did a sleep study. They whisper-sang and strummed an acoustic. Crowd left at the end looking very refreshed so I know most people got in a nice nap.

    And I, too, had the unlucky experience of seeing Dylan in the late 80's. I don't think he said a word the whole show and every song sounded the same.
    new6659 likes this.
  9. Ian Jordan

    Ian Jordan Gretschie

    Oct 14, 2012
    Coggeshall England
    This is an easy one to answer, Brian Connolly [ lead singer of British Glam rock band, The Sweet ] trying to perform Sweet hits with a sub standard band at a college campus in Brentwood, Essex in about 1988. The warm up act were superb, but then the crowd were made to wait well over an hour for him to appear on stage.

    When he did eventually start he was very obviously drunk or high, or maybe both. He was out of tune, unrehearsed with the band, who didn't seem to have a clue to how to react to his poor state. He got some bad heckling from the sizable crowd which seem to make him even worse.

    I did see him perform again in 1991 and although he seemed quite frail, he seemed sober and had decent musicians in his band.
    Winkels and Lefty Adams like this.
  10. Blue Eyed Floozy

    Blue Eyed Floozy Electromatic

    Dylan, 1990-ish. Hands down. Never was there a musician who hated his audience as much.
  11. Scott Fraser

    Scott Fraser Country Gent

    Jan 14, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Jean-Luc Ponty at the Starwood club in West Hollywood in 1976. So stupidly loud that you couldn't discern chord changes or melodic lines. This was Jazz Fusion, absolutely no point in making it loud like that. My girlfriend & I retreated to a hallway near the bathrooms where it wasn't quite so blistering & there was a slight bit more clarity, but we ended up walking out after about 15 really unpleasant minutes.
    The Mahotello Queens at WOMADelaide in the mid oughts. I was there to mix Kronos Quartet with Asha Bhosle, doing a Bollywood set. I went out front to check the PA & mixer, since there were no sound checks for the festival. The engineer for the Mahotello Queens mixed the kick so loud it literally made me sick to my stomach & gave me a headache. He seemed quite ignorant of the fact that the most important part of that act is the three female vocalists, not the drummer's right foot.
    Another great band sabotaged by an ignorant unmusical engineer was Jeff Beck at the Nokia Theater in LA about 8 years ago. I've seen Beck 6 or 8 times, he's a freaking genius who never disappoints, but this mix again was dominated by the kick drum. If I had paid to hear Narada Walden's right foot I would have had a great time. But I came to hear Jeff Beck play guitar, and the kick drum literally obscured the guitar.
  12. MrWookiee

    MrWookiee Synchromatic

    Jun 17, 2020
    SoCal, USA
    Not a concert, per se, but David Lee Roth was fronting a band onstage at a Champ Car race in San Jose, California one year. He was pretty much doing drunk Karaoke. This was well after Van Halen gave him the boot.

    I saw Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at a small older venue in Lancaster, California a couple of years ago. The venue is great and the Daddies were amazing (as usual), and they were super cool/sincere-seeming at the meet-and-greet after the show. The only problem was that the house mix was waaaay too loud. In that venue the brass and drums don't even need to be mic'ed, but they all were. It was louder than most rock/metal concerts.
  13. RG7X

    RG7X Synchromatic

    Nov 11, 2018
    Los Angeles
    Chris Stapleton and Santana... Both sounded great but they kept going into these long solo odysseys for almost every song. It's exhausting and a inconsiderate to the audience IMO. I had to really restrain myself from walking out at the time. Now, I would. Time is valuable.
    Robbie and Maxadur like this.
  14. afire

    afire Country Gent

    I saw him at Summerfest in Milwaukee about 15 years ago and I have to admit I enjoyed his drunk karaoke. The guy is an unabashed clown. I don't know how his voice is doing these days, but he still sounded like the DLR of the VH days when I saw him. And his crowd work was perfectly on-brand. He started chatting up a hot girl, then ended up with something along the lines of, "You look familiar. Do I know your mom?"
    loudnlousy, MrWookiee and Maxadur like this.
  15. Lister

    Lister Electromatic

    Oct 25, 2019
    Steve Miller at the Muny in St. Louis somewhere around 1987 or so. I think he was out touring a blues or jazz record and we decided at the last minute to go as tickets were heavily discounted. He wound up playing the majority of the new album and very few of the "hits". By the time he grudgingly played the olds songs he'd lost his audience , so we headed for the exits and listened to the rest of the show from the parking lot. I haven't willingly listened to a Steve Miller song since.

    Charlie Daniels at Busch Stadium. I'm not sure who thought dropping Charlie on the bed of a semi trailer and then driving it into the stadium for a concert was a good idea, but it wasn't. The stadium just swallowed the bands amps(not sure why they didn't tap into the stadium PA) to the point you couldn't tell what songs they were playing and we weren't that far from the band. We left after about 10 minutes of just indecipherable noise. I hope they paid him well, as that show was a disaster.
  16. ffc65

    ffc65 Electromatic

    Jan 7, 2015
    No Doubt without a doubt
  17. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Ironically, it was in Boston that I saw him. He and Bob Dylan were touring together. unfortunately VM was on first and I was really there to see Dylan so I couldn't leave. This was some time during the 94-95 school year.
    Sabato likes this.
  18. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    why am I not surprised :p
    To me , John Bon Jovi's voice seemed to get very " nasal " as he got older . Can't stand when he talks to a crown and tells them ..." and you called it your own "
    MotorCentaur likes this.
  19. lathoto

    lathoto Synchromatic

    Apr 23, 2020
    Worst and best in the same night! We went to see Pablo Cruise and it was the worst. Who opened for them? Little Feat! We left early, made it to the record store five minutes to close and bought three Little Feat Albums. Went back to the apartment and discovered a new band. Lowell (RIP) was at his peak.
  20. Mr Swisher

    Mr Swisher Synchromatic

    Jun 12, 2012
    Are you sure? :D;):)
    ffc65 and Shock like this.
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