Rock Performances

My Two Favorite Rock Performances

Just a quick note before I get into this opinion piece. These are strictly my opinion, they are not chosen based on any measurable number like number of ticket sales. Measuring performances is a very subjective task and you very well may disagree and that is okay! Now, let me get into in what are my opinion the best rock performances to date. Enjoy!

The Beatles – 8/15/1965, Shea Stadium

So the sound, venue and overall set time was not ideal. So I guess I’m not choosing this one strictly for its intrinsic  sound/show quality…I’m choosing this one for what it meant to rock and roll. There were 55,600 individuals who attended the concert. In fact Ringo, George, John and Paul only played a 30 min set and in a ballpark no less. Can you imagine attending a concert with a 4 member band in the center of the enormous field? It was even rumored that they couldn’t hear themselves play during the 30 minute set. I chose this for my list as one of the best rock performances because it foreshadowed what was to come. What this meant for rock and roll was that it was no longer some deviant style of ‘satan’s music’ but it was on its way to being a mainstream powerhouse genre of music.  This was no insignificant show, and the Beatles were rock superstars who were helicoptered in and rushed out in a protected car after the show to avoid being confronted by a mob of screaming and frantic teenage girls.  This event set the stage so to speak for the era of rock and roll.

Jimi Hendrix 8/18/1969, Woodstock

This should not be a shocker to anyone. I’m sure there are more than a few people who rate this performance highly on their list of rock performances of all time. This was day three of Woodstock, the people who made it that far in the music festival were in for a great treat. The subtitle being Peace, Love and Music should have been well just Drugs and Music. Although there were upwards of 400,000 attendees that year, hardly any were left by the time this amazing performance took place. The cover of the Star Spangles Banner took the cake with an ironically patriotic song on the eaves of the cynical 70s. However, it was a proper way to close out the naiveté of the 60s. So beside the Star Spangled Banner with its glitz, glamour and lights what else rocked about the performance? His covers of rockin’ blues songs,  some of his personal hits like Foxy Lady and Purple Haze and some tunes he unpremeditated. This whole performance was the one who stood out at Woodstock, where everyone knows there is no shortage of talented epic artists gathered each year.

So those are my top two. Maybe not the most amazing performances of all time but like I said everyone has a different view when it comes to music. These two performances to me meant change and were historically significant. After these events, the world would never be the same.  It was difficult to narrow it down to just two.