10 Most Iconic Classic Rock Concerts Of All Time
The Beatles live at Shea Stadium - avioleci / youtube
Apart from new releases of songs and albums, one thing that’s always been the subject of anticipation for rock fans is concerts. No matter the artist, concerts have always been a thing of enjoyment not only for the fans but for performers as well, as it was an avenue for them to showcase their music and connect with their fanbase at the same time. With that, here are some of the most iconic rock concerts to ever have happened in history.
Monterey Pop Festival
A big part of the Hippie counterculture was the Monterey Pop Festival that happened from July 16th to 18th, 1967. It was an avenue for fans to experience new and varied musical styles, with names like Jimi Hendrix and The Experience, Ravi Shankar, Jefferson Airplane, and more fit the diverse bill of performers for the said concerts.
Another fundraising event that successfully gathered some of rock music’s biggest names was Live Aid on July 13, 1985. Some of the most memorable performances in this charity event were Queen’s fiery set and Led Zeppelin’s sudden reunion, with Genesis’ Phil Collins sitting in the place of the late John Bonham.
Johnny Cash at San Quentin
Cash chose a unique setting for his concert on February 4, 1969, by gathering an audience at San Quentin Penitentiary. He isn’t new to this kind of audience, however, thanks to his experience in Folsom Prison. The prisoners loved his show so much that the song “San Quentin” got an encore request.
Altamont Speedway Free Festival
Probably one of the most notorious concerts to have happened in rock history was the Altamont Festival of December 6, 1969. Delays and fights between the audience and the Hell’s Angels broke, as the latter was taken in as the festival’s security team. The case of Meredith Hunter being attacked by the Hell’s Angels member Alan Passaro happened during the Rolling Stones’ set and was caught on camera with the footage making its way into their documentary.
The US Festival
Happening in the course of three days, September 3rd to 5th of 1982, the US Festival was spearheaded by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who brought the event to San Bernardino, California. The festival aimed to promote community activism and international relations in the midst of the Cold War, featuring artists such as Pat Benatar, The Ramones, Fleetwood Mac, among others.
The Concert in Central Park
This particular concert saw the reunion of the iconic duo, Simon & Garfunkel, on September 19, 1981, which was also a charity performance as well. While the tensions between the two were evident from the start, it didn’t stop them from providing an entertaining number that would go down on history books.
Freddie Mercury Tribute Show
Held in tribute to the late Freddie Mercury, who passed in 1991, the Freddie Mercury Tribute Show was spearheaded by the remaining members of Queen on April 20th, 1992. Names like Elton John, Axl Rose, and Tommy Iommi were in the bill, which also helped in promoting AIDS awareness during a time of rampant misinformation.
James Brown Saves Boston
Funk extraordinaire James Brown dished out one of the most indulgent concerts in the midst of civil unrest with his performance at the Boston Garden on April 4, 1968. The show was broadcasted on TV to keep fans in the safety of their homes, but a confrontation between fans and law enforcement got Brown entangled as they took the stage in the middle of his concert.
One of the biggest outdoor rock festivals to have ever happened was on Woodstock, which lasted from August 15th to the 18th in 1969. A staple for Hippie culture and the sixties in general, Woodstock paved the way for the liberation of the youth from practices of old.
Beatlemania at Shea Stadium
The deafening screams of fans at Shea Stadium on August 15, 1965, was a sign that the Beatles had easily become the most famous band in the world during their heyday. The band capitalized on their exposure at the Ed Sullivan Show and made sure to leave a mark on American soil of how they brought the British Invasion’s goods with them.