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Thread: Best Free Concert You've Been To

  1. #51
    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    Reading about music in cathedrals triggered the memory of seeing organist Jon Gilleck play the organ music of Messiaen at the Cathedral of St.John The Divine,NYC.(circa 1978)

    Free.
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  2. #52
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    ^^^^

    I saw that garbarek / hilliards gig!!! It really WAS fabulous and I had completely forgotten it. Thank you for sharing your nice tribute to your Dad, and thanks for the reminder!!
    Steve F.

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  3. #53
    Free shows were common in phila back in the day not so much anymore...
    One of the greatest shows that I saw for free (and was free for anyone who showed up) was recently on my mind due to Greg Allmans passing was a show in Fairmount park summer of 1985.

    Greg Allman's solo band came on first played about 1 hour 30 mins .

    Then the Dickey Betts band came on and played a full set as well

    And finally after a short break they all came out together and played a set of Allmans Bros material...!!!!!!I was just a few feet from the stage !!!

    I saw several other free shows that were cool but none as good as that...!!!!

  4. #54
    Parkpop in The Hague, probably 1984 with Midnight Oil, at that point only known to few, so I had a great view.
    Xymphonia Open Air 1994 with Egdon Heath, Jadis, Enchant, Ivanhoe and Asgard. Still have that t-shirt somewhere.

  5. #55
    I saw the Little River Band at The University of Massachusetts-Amherst on August 09, 1978. The band had put up flyers around the campus. They set up on the grass by the Campus Center Pond on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon. They played for about an hour...11 tracks. Attendance was pretty good for a time of the year when school was not in session...about 100 people on blankets and chairs on the lawn. At one point the band announced "we talk funny?...that's 'cause we're from Australia..."just down 91 (Route 91) a ways...a little village just the other side of Holyoke." OK..fair enough. About a year later I was listening to a King Biscuit Flower Hour show...LRB...and here comes the same announcement. HOT DAMN...I was there!!! They didn't announce that they were recording. What a thrill then and later to hear it again. Got a download of it too.

  6. #56
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    I go to mainly one free two-days festival (well, it hasn't been for two years anymore, as they request you contribute around 5€)

    Brosella 's Saturday is dedicated to folk music and the Sunday is jazz-inflicted...

    Too many good shows to list over the years.

    There are also Fêtes de la Musique (Fr & Bel), for sources of free-concerts, but let's face it: too many people just there for the hell of it and the musical focus is simply not there (anything goes, especially in the pop dimension).
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  7. #57
    Yes and Kansas, at the Chicago food festival many years ago.
    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  8. #58
    Member Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Can I count Woodstock since I had tickets, but when I got there, nobody was there to take them.

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington View Post
    Can I count Woodstock since I had tickets, but when I got there, nobody was there to take them.
    Isn't there an announcement on the Woodstock record : "From now on this is a free festival." ?

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  10. #60
    Queen in Hyde Park, London, in 1976 - and it was my very first gig!

  11. #61
    Member Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    There is an announcement. Most of the people I talked to at the festival were going to buy tickets at the door. They were the ones that got the best deal.

  12. #62
    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    ^^^^ YUP! That was our situation.
    "My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician, and to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference"

    President Harry S. Truman

  13. #63
    Member Mythos's Avatar
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    Free is good!

    I won tickets from a local radio station to see Hawkwind - Space Ritual in 1973, is was by far the best.

    But I also won tickets to see Fleetwood Mac (when they were a blues band) with the Climax Blues Band (think FM Live)

    And (back around 1975) at the Free Don Kirschner's Rock Concert Tapings I saw:
    Focus
    Rush
    T-Rex
    UFO
    Golden Earring

  14. #64
    Member Mythos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington View Post
    Can I count Woodstock since I had tickets, but when I got there, nobody was there to take them.
    Sorry Jack, but you paid...lol

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by proggy_jazzer View Post
    I've been fortunate to have seen more great jazz and jazz-related artists at free festivals and concerts at academic institutions than I could possibly list. But one of the coolest things I happened into was at Six Flags (STL, I think) while I was on a trip with a group from my church, 1975 or 76, I think. My buddies and I were wandering around the grounds on our own and walked by the amphitheater as a group was sound-checking for a concert later that day. Kansas, supporting Masque. Needless to say, we blew off the rides and stayed to listen.
    Wait, you passed up a chance to ride the Screamin' Eagle, for Kansas?!

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Obarmoth View Post
    Queen in Hyde Park, London, in 1976 - and it was my very first gig!
    Please tell me you arrived early enough to see Steve Hillage perform!

  17. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington View Post
    Can I count Woodstock since I had tickets, but when I got there, nobody was there to take them.
    I gues back in 89, for the 20th anniversary of Woodstock, Geraldo Rivera did a special show where he had some of the people who played, I forget who he had, and theyt alked about the fest, etc, etc. Anyway, as it happened, one of his producers (or his director or some other "behind the scenes" guy) had not only attended the fest, but had bought tickets, which he kept in a little silver jewel box, like you'd put expensive jewelry in.

    So, Geraldo whips out the jewel box, opens it, and you see the three tickets, one for each day of the fest, with perforations separating them, but all three still joined (presumably the plan was each day of the fest, you'd show up and whoever was taking tickets at the entrance would take that day's ticket or whatever). So not being content to simply show this on air, Geraldo, has the nerve to lift the tickets up out of the case with his bare fingers, at which point, one of the perforations gave way, causing one of the tickets to become detached. You should have heard the collective gasp of the audience!

    OK, it's a dumb story, but it's one that stuck in my mind all these years.

  18. #68
    Well, I don't think I really have anything that compares to what you guys are. I've on occasion had friends treated me when they had extra tickets to a show. That's how I saw Steve Hackett in 2010 (just a couple weeks after his second NEARfest performance, I believe), also how I saw Zappa Plays Zappa the second time I saw them (in either 2010 or 2011).

    And I guess since the Ian Anderson Thick As A Brick II show (where he played both albums in their entirety) and an oldies show that featured The Turtles (which was basically Flo and Eddie plus backup musicians), Mickey Dolenz, and two or three others band whose names I can never remember (I think one of them was the group that sang Let's Live For Today) were being held at an amphitheater literally around the corner and down the street from my house, I got treated to those as well.

    Oh, yeah, and then there was Magma, Richard Pinhas, Miriodor, and Univers Zero in Washington DC in 2010. One of my friends took pity on me and bought me a ticket for the Magma show, then while we were there at La Maison Francais, my friend asks if I want to come back the following week to see the other three perform. A few years later, when I was working again, I tried to pay my friend back, but she refused to let me, and said it was a "birthday present". Damn, that's probably one of the two or three best birthday presents I've ever had.

    There's also been a handful of shows where I worked the merchandise table, so I got in for free, because I was part of "the crew" or whatever you want to say. I've done this a handful of times for Syzygy, including their 3RP performance and also when they played at A Day Of Prog the following year. Richard Pinhas, playing in a small shopping center in the Asiatown part of Cleveland, was another example (I was also a roadie that day, helping to set up the PA and tear it down again after the show). I can't remember if I paid to get in to the Rocket Scientists show back in 2009 or not (I might have paid, and then got drafted in at the last minute to run the table, which I'm always happy to do, especially in small venues).

    There's been a handful of instances where I won tickets on the radio, I think that's what happened when I saw Edie Brickell And New Bohemians when they were touring behind their second album. There were a few others, but I can't think of which ones off hand. I think Uz Jse Doma was another one that I won tickets for (and the venue punked out and said I only won a single ticket, so I had to shovel out cash for my friend to get in that I brought...who's ever heard of only giving away one ticket for a show?!). Dick Dale back in 93 or 94 I think I also won tickets for.

    Every year for most of the 1980's (and maybe earlier), there used to be a big street fair on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights. They'd block off the street between Euclid Heights Blvd and Mayfield Road, and have three or four stages, food stalls, etc. But those were pretty much just local bands. Some of them I liked, but nothing too special. I remember seeing the Rick Ray Band one year, which was pretty cool. I can't remember if it was the same year or another one, but one time there was a guy with an Electro-Harmonix 16 Second Delay and a BC Rich Mockingbird (one with all the extra knobs and switches) basically doing Frippertronics style ambient looping.

    Oh, shit, I almost forgot seeing Steve Hackett at Borders bookstore at Severence Center, back in 2003, a couple days before The Big Black Out (you remember The Big Black Out, don't you? When a big chunk of Ohio, Pennsylvania, NY, and part of Canada had a total power failure. That was kinda cool. Steve came with a couple nylon guitars, and did a short set of tunes in the cafe. I remember at one point he acknowledged the cash registers that were still running, since the cafe was still serving customers. He says, "I don't know too many Pink Floyd songs, but I'll do my best". He also commented about people asking if "the group" will ever get back together. Funny, he never said which group he was talking about, but of course we all seemed to know which one. Then afterwards he signed autographs for something like 3 hours. I believe he was there at least an hour after the store closed, because the line was so long (course, it didn't help you had people who brought like every single record he ever played on, compilations and singles included, and asked him to sign all of them!).

  19. #69
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    Second Sufis, on the steps outside the Trenton venue, at NEARfest 2003.

    neil

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    I saw Silverhead open for ELP and Doctor Feelgood open for Gentle Giant.

    See you and raise you, pal.
    Louie's Rock City? What looked like an old Grocery Store.. I was there.. Feelgood got booed off the stage after just a few numbers.. Somewhere I still have the ticket stub..

  21. #71
    Sonny Rollins Quintet 1994
    Ed Palermo Big Band w/ Nappy Brock 2007
    Return To Forever 2011
    Larry Coryell/Mark Egan/Paul Wertico 2002
    Flora Purim & Airto 2001
    Jean Luc Ponty 1998
    The Brecker Brothers 1992

  22. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Please tell me you arrived early enough to see Steve Hillage perform!
    Nope - only Kiki Dee with a cardboard cutout of Elton John!

  23. #73
    Member Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mythos View Post
    Sorry Jack, but you paid...lol
    I did pay. What I got was much more than a memory, as this concert changed my musical tastes forever. I got a lifetime of great music listening and friendships that go along with it. $21.00 well spent.

  24. #74
    Chronic Overspender zombywoof's Avatar
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    That's easy!

    Richard Thompson Trio at the Pittsburgh Arts Fest.
    Check out Colouratura's sophomore release Unfamiliar Skies - out this spring on Melodic Revolution Records!

    colouratura.bandcamp.com

  25. #75
    Talking Heads - Lower Sproul Plaza, UC Berkeley, approx. 1977-8.
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

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