Top Ten Concerts and Live Performances

The best rock, jazz, R&B, etc. performances in history, including TV shows, concerts, festivals and such.

The Top Ten

1 Queen (Wembley Stadium 1986)

There will never be another frontman quite like Freddie Mercury! I saw Queen live in concert five times and my favorite has to be my first concert at the Erlanger Theater in Philadelphia in 1975. A then unknown band called Kansas opened for them. The Erlanger was a small and dated, but classic, venue that was torn down a few years later. That night, Queen was just amazing and we were close enough to almost be able to catch one of the roses that Freddie Mercury threw into the audience at the end of the evening as he stood breathing heavily into the microphone. I felt like he was looking directly at me- or maybe it was my brother who was standing next to me, but no matter. The girl in front of me caught the rose, but I felt like he was throwing it to me. I was 14-years-old and it was my first concert--and an evening I will never forget. Thanks Freddie, Brian, Roger and John!

There are no words that can truly give justice to Queen's performance. They were all AMAZING. Freddy could move the crowd anyway he wanted to and even as I watch this concert today I can't help to sing and dance and clap or anything... They were and still are a kind of magic

Wembley is one of the best concerts ever, but not the best concert of Queen: Live Aid, Rock in Rio and their concerts between 1979 and 1981 are even better! At Wembley the sound wasn't perfect, and Freddy suffered from a soar throat, because of two performances in a row (and probably the first symptoms of HIV/Aids). Queen played also for 300 000 people, two nights in a row at the Rock in Rio festival. And don't forget Live Aid: they outperformed every other artist in front of an audience of 1 billion! Last mentioned concert has been elected the best concert ever.

The Pinnacle

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2 X Japan - The Last Live (Tokyo Dôme - 1997.12.31)

The melody is so beautiful the instrument the guitars the drums the piano are also great. The performance are awesome. But it brings a sad moment because the bands are going to disband.

Amazing, its them at there best E.G the solos and the vocals. And it's so sad as well as its the last time Hide are together and the band as they were and should be now. - TD17

X Japan is Great!
X Japan is the God of Japanese Rock!

Greatest live concert band ever!

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3 Michael Jackson (Bucharest Live Tour 1992)

Michael Jackson Bucharest Live Tour is the best concert I have ever seen in my life (have the DVD) I have been to many, many concerts and this is the best. I watch the DVD over and over again. Every time I watch it I see something I missed in an earlier viewing. Michael is the greatest entertainer we have ever had, a gift from heaven unappreciated. RIP Michael You are forever in our hearts. I love you Michael. You are my daytime, my nighttime, my world. See you on the other side I hope. Simmering & Sizzling! - jetfan9911

Michal Jackson is a legend, up to him I don't know any musician, singer, dancer, performer,
entertainer and showman.
That is why I voted for MJ.
Also in worldwide, ''Bucharest live tour in 1992'' concert videos would became the most selling, watching and know document in the world. - alliah

What to say about MJ this Live tour will give you a goosebumps when me and my father in law which this live tour DVD with our drinks believe me guys my father in law never follows MJ in this life but when we started watching this DVD my in laws forget to start his drink and after 1 hour we realized that he was continuously watching this DVD without taking his drink... By the way tell you he drink a lot... So that's the magic of Mr Mj... RIP I love you MJ forever

The best! quenn is not the best mj is the best put him in 1st place

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4 Heart (California Jam 2 1978)

Fisher, Fossen, Deroizer, Leese and the Wilson sisters. It just don't get any better than that. The best live act in the history of music, Rock on Ann & Nan.

Heart was the best band at one of the biggest concerts ever. Need I say any more.

Play all the heart. Song

Always GREAT!

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5 Woodstock (Bethel, New York 1969)

1/2 a million people in one crowded area, with some of the most amazing artists of that era! Could we have 1/2 a million people together for three days now? NO, everyone would get ticked off and kill each other! At Woodstock, there were no deaths and 2 births. More people left than arrived! Plus, Jimi Hendrix, the Who, Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, all of these bands changed music! How is this not better than X Japan? - gibsonrock53

The winner by a mile. Its just a fact that Jimi Hendrix alone was more memorable and more spectacular than Freddie Mercury; add in the rest of the stellar lineup turning in lifetime best performances, plus the stars be aligned in a way that will never happen again, and Woodstock is the tops among all live concerts in history.

The history of music should be counted before woodstock and after woodstock. Three days that changed the world.

good

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6 15th L'Anniversary (L'Arc~en~Ciel - Tokyo Dome Nov 25-26th 2006)

A moment of glory... after nearly two years without any real concert, these guys gave all of themselves to show us what a real performance is... all that because of their 15th anniversary. Amazing... pure magic.

The production of this Live is of such quality that everything is just perfect, from the performance, lightning, sound, wardrobe to the feeling of the Concert.

the best concert of theirs and they prove that they are strong and great. they played their epic songs here esp the rare ones I'm in pain and bye bye - ronluna

Best moment in my life

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7 Bon Jovi (Wembley 1995)

Wow 3 nights straight you gotta hand it to these guys their awesome. And they don't give up easily don't you think

3 night show and about 50 Songs played. The DVD of this concert is amazing - richie4life

Just magic... no words to describe it! Best concert ever!

Best concert then ever! The greatest even of hard rock history! By Paola S.

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8 Led Zeppelin (Madison Square Garden 1973)

How is this not in the top ten! One of the best proformances of one of the best live bands ever! Just look up "Stairway" from this show on YouTube. Plant is on and Page wrecks it for 2:40 during the solo... With his eyes closed!

The band at their prime. All the best material is shown in this powerhouse performance
Metallica at seattle is still one of my very favorite concerts

The song remains the same. This one of the best live performances of all time, second only to The Who Live at Leeds

" Truly was a Stairway to Heaven "

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9 The Monterey International Pop Festival (Monterey, Calif. 1967)

The Monterey International Pop Festival, the first rock festival ever held in 1967 two years before Woodstock. Playing at Monterey were The Mamas & the Papas (they also helped organize it), Simon and Garfunkel, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Association, The Animals, Canned Heat, Otis Redding, Country Joe and the Fish, Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and many more. Cool, huh? - Blue_Devereaux

10 Metallica (Seattle 1989)

Everything is perfect in this concert..
Drum sound, guitar, and hetfield's beastly fantastic voice!
Includes a fantastic set list, with legendary performances, like when they tear down lady Justice at the end of "... And Justice For All", always sends shivers down my spine.

Greatest Concert Ever.

The prime of Metallica playing one of the greatest concerts! Should be up there with Woodstock! - gibsonrock53

This is just Metallica at it's best... how could you NOT like this? I mean, the crowd was wild...

Would kill to go back in time and go to this

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The Contenders

11 Deep Purple (Made In Japan 1972)

, Child In Time, if that doesn't make you shiver with emotion, you ain't got no business voting for music. One of THE best performances ever.

The best live album EVER.

Space truckin�' is beyond and above any comparition

This was the PEAK of the creativity, technique, improvisation and energy of Deep Purple, at the classic MK II.

It's considered one of the BEST live Rock albums in history, with a good reason. (The best, in my opinion)
So many definitive live versions of their songs are in this album, especially Child In Time (SUPERB VOCALS! ) and Highway Star (the improvisations at keyboards/guitar and the Energy sounds breathtaking here)
Everything was right in the point, so perfect.

12 Nirvana (MTV Unplugged 1993)

I agree one of the best concerts of all time, and the fact they did it their way against everything MTV told them makes it so much better. I won't pretend to be well versed in all the concerts listed above, but to say Linkin Park (who I like) and Bon Jovi (seriously) are above this performance seems comical. For what it's worth, from what I've heard that Monterey festival should by far be first, so many influential artists first showed their chops there.

The best thing about this is that it's considered one of the best live performances of all time, and they didn't even play Teen Spirit. That's saying something about Nirvana...

The whole live experience: the music, the vibe, and even the interaction with the fans from Kurt makes this the best concert that I have ever seen (and I've seen a lot).

This was the best concert on MTV. Nirvana was one of the best rock bands of all time. KC was a Legend.

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13 Linkin Park (Live in Milton Keynes, UK 2008)

This is the best live performance I have ever seen. Chester Bennington is just amazing and the only person I know that sings better live than in studio. If you don't like Linkin Park then go to hell. - lukestheman4

Linkin Park are the greatest performers of all time. To see their concerts is once in a life time opportunity...!

Breaking The Habit is the best from this concert. When this song ends and Chester finishes the song... He have style like the others from the band.

Best band ever

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14 Pink Floyd (PULSE 1995)

I can't take this list nor this website very seriously if the Pink Floyd PULSE concert isn't at or near the top. Come on? 36?

Here is to never returning to this failed website!
SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND!

You missed the mark on this one. Should have been way higher. The performance was flawless, the sound excellent and the film/lights & laser show was really unbelievable, even by today's standards. David Gilmour's guitar solo on Comfortably Numb is still considered one of the greatest solos in rock history.

Music that will live on as long as Beethoven, performed by the best live musicians of the genre, with a stage show that trumps everything. I was fortunate enough to see the show on tour in Oslo, and got the terrific add-on of "Marooned". I have been to a lot of concerts and live shows, indoors and out. Nothing has been in the same league as this. As others have commented, this belongs in the top three.

Should be number 1

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15 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert (1992)

Hands down the greatest energy and enthusiasm from the audience and the artists involved. A fitting tribute that is unmatched to date. An emotional, yet conclusive gig demonstrating that Freddie was not only one of the most loved and respected musicians for that time, but also had such a powerful voice that none of his peers alike could even remotely compete with.

This must be in top 3

It's THE BEST!

The best

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16 Lollapalooza I (1991)

Living Colour, The Rollins Band, Butthole Surfers, Nine Inch Nails, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Jane's Addiction. Finally a redefinition of what music could and should be.

17 Led Zeppelin (Royal Albert Hall 1970)

Best live band ever no comparison should be no. 1

Raw talent..no frills, just pure innovation and rock!

The greatest band ever. By far

18 Iron Maiden (Rock in Rio 2001)

Now THIS is what I call a live show. A great live album to go with Brave New World. - IronSabbathPriest

I wish I could've been there - bobbythebrony

Deserves to be at the top... #1

19 Pink Floyd (Live at Pompeii 1972)
20 August Jam (Charlotte Motor Speedway 1974)

Would love so much to see photos of that concert. I was there. I scaled the wall to the press box building to the roof. There was a roof hatch door. We opened it (broke in). We got chairs to place on the roof. I had a leather reclining lazy boy lounger sitting on a press table on the roof of that building. Yes, it did fit through the hatch. I most certainly had the best, most comfortable seat among 250,000 people. Just by luck and a nimble wall climb. I was high as a kite! The only one higher than me (in altitude) were the guys flying the helicopter.

Awesome this hit the top 10. I was 18 and drove from Kingsport, TN with my boyfriend (future 1st husband). I can see all the cars, even now, parked in the grassy median of the highway. It took us awhile to walk to the speedway, but right before we got there people had crashed the gate and we got in free! I remember people in the ticket booths in the bleacher stands selling Mr. Natural. Laugh out loud We went down on the speedway floor and on occasion would walk up to the stage. Remember Emerson, Lake and Palmer and the rotating piano? What a great time. Haven't seen or been to another weekend concert like that since. Better not share everything else we did! It was the 70s, after all.

I was 16 and I hitch hiked from Montgomery Alabama. Most amazing music event of my life. We camped dead center of the quad speakers. What an experience!

I was there, camped in the car fri. Nite. Had tix, however did not need them, walked over the gates that were on the ground sat. Morning. Great Show. You could get anything you want, kinda like Alice's Resturant...

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List Stats

11,000 votes
237 listings
10 years, 101 days old

Top Remixes (11)

1. The Monterey International Pop Festival (Monterey, Calif. 1967)
2. Woodstock (Bethel, New York 1969)
3. Lollapalooza I (1991)
Blue_Devereaux
1. Queen (Wembley Stadium 1986)
2. Woodstock (Bethel, New York 1969)
3. Led Zeppelin (Royal Albert Hall 1970)
BeatlesFan1964
1. X Japan - The Last Live (Tokyo Dôme - 1997.12.31)
2. 15th L'Anniversary (L'Arc~en~Ciel - Tokyo Dome Nov 25-26th 2006)
3. L'Arc~en~Ciel (AsiaLive 2005)
EvilAngel

WRemix
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