Aerosmith blew away the headliner Mott the Hoople when I saw them.
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Years ago, at a concert in Ann Arbor, Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen upstaged (in my wife's mind, not mine, though it was close) the Byrds (in their Sweetheart of the Rodeo days). And I remember an old Wolman Rink Schaeffer concert where the James Cotton Blues Band upstaged the original version of Blood Sweat and Tears. I'm going back a long way...
I think it was Jan.1969 and we went to the Fillmore East to see Iron Butterfly who was headlining the concert.
There were three acts on the bill. Opening was The Youngbloods who were good. We never heard of the second act but from the moment they kicked into their first number to the last slashing guitar chord Led Zeppelin blew the house down. Last up, it was Iron Butterfly who in comparison seemed like a bunch of old ladies in wheelchairs. And they knew it!
It seems Zep's first album was released that week and this was one of their first US gigs. That Monday after, I ran down to my local record store (remember them?) to get the lp but it was already on backorder!
It's a bit sad that Iron Butterfly had such bad luck.
Many years ago, pre-Buckingham/Nicks Fleetwood Mac, with Peter Green playing blues guitar opened for original Ozzy Osbourne Black Sabbath. No contest. Mac.
As for that Commander Cody/Byrds concert, I saw that tour in South Florida. I had backstage passes and stood on stage. Sorry, Rcprince, Cody was fun, but the Byrds . . . stellar.
Biggest mismatch -- my younger sister went to see The Monkees. Jimi Hendrix opened. Need I say more.
Ncarv, I agree with you, of the two of us my wife was the one who preferred the Commander. Also, I think CC was a local favorite in Ann Arbor at the time, might have had something to do with it. Me, I was mezmerized by the late Clarence White's guitar work, and the Byrds had always been my favorite band from the 60s, so it was no contest for me.
The Duke's post brings back fond memories of those old Filmore East concerts. Really, they had great acts, and not just one headliner either.
Better? Memorable might be a better word for the 3 that come to mind.
Peter Frampton opening for ZZ Top. Same year as the live album (I think) but in Freedom Hall, Louisville, KY.
Tania Tucker opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Also in Louisville. She was also first on the bill for Frampton/ZZ Top.
INXS opening for Men at Work. Timberwolf in Cincinnati the year Shabooh Shoobah came out.
This was long ago, when Bon Scott was alive, ACDC opened for Ted Nugent at an outdoor concert in Rockford, IL, and they just burned the place down. Just a great bit of showmanship with a killing beat that no one could have surpassed. And they made sure of it. Show over.
Lesson learned: Always back pride with talent.
Jay Ferguson, ex of Spirit, blew the Doobies off the stage on a nightly basis in support of his Thunder Island album. I used to work for Jay as his lighting designer. He had a remarkably tight band and he was a one man wrecking crew on stage. The press coverage started to become embarassing for the Doobie Brothers so we came off their tour and started headlining our own in smaller venues.
Pacific Gas and Electric opened for John Mayall at the Kinetic Playground (Aaron Russo's Electric Theater) in Chicago around 1969 and came out smokin'. I don't remember Mayall's lineup of band members at the time but do remember him being upset with the bass player's volume. PG & E went on to return many times, gathered a loyal following and never had a bad night any of the many times I heard them.
At a multi-performer benefit for Bill Bradley's first run for office, Paul Simon was supposed to open and close the show, with several acrs in between his two sets. Patti Smith was next to last on the schedule and was so overwhelming that Simon didn't even try. He skipped the last set entirely and just intoduced " Biiill Braaaadley" in his best MC voice.
As a funny aside, Bradley was apparently unready for the early introduction and a few akward moments passed after Simon's dramatic intro. As the stage full of performers looked around in confusion for the real "headliner", Patti Smith pipes up
"So where the fuck is the guy?"
It was priceless.
Back in the early '70's the headliner was Jethro Tull. The opening band was Steeleye Span. Never heard of them...no one had.
They were pure magic. I can't say they blew away Tull, but they were a very hard act to follow. So much so the crowd kept applauding and yelling for more, that the concert went for a VERY long time.
Tull was, of course, not a letdown (I think it was the Aqualung Tour), and after a great headliner act, Ian Anderson brought back Steeleye Span and both bands played together.
Their synergy was incredible.
Steve Morse Band opening for Rush Worcester, MA 1985(?) for the Power Windows tour.
Morse and Co. did a version of Dazed and Confused from the second half, the instrumental section, that nailed absolutely every note and nuance of Pages studio version solo, simply frightening and scary as I remember. Totally unexpected and the audience was in shock.
Rush was good but they didn't top that one that night.
Please tell me there were others that were also at that same show.
1968....minneapolis armory...a local band-white lightning-opened for creedence clearwater revival. first time i had heard them. creedence played 2 25 minute semi-psych droners. white lightning had the flair and dash of the early who along with a singer who could do a pretty good jim morrison....no contest
"Blown off the stage" is too strong but a couple years ago Susan Tedeschi followed by Koko Taylor and Buddy Guy. Buddy is still an amazing guitarist but they both brought Susan back on stage for duets and virtually passed the torch.
The oddest double bill was Joe Cocker and SRV. Completely different styles. Cocker had Ray Charles-like precision while I doubt SRV ever played a song the same way twice. Still, the best concert ever. That was the last road trip for SRV.
gotta jump in....i saw the monkees on a reunion tour and they were great....when a bunch of guys play a great band long enough, they actually become a great band....'i'm not a real doctor, but i play one on tv'...... buck dharma has done more in 2 minutes than some well respected guitarists have done in a lifetime.......bruce springsteen played warm up for sha na na.
20 years ago or so in Red Bank, NJ. Chick Corea was supposed to play. Some weak excuse that his plane was delayed (nice, way to cut it close...) The program organizer was desperate and made a invitation to the audience to give it crack. Anyway, the guy was SOOOO much better then Corea that 1/2 the audience walked out half way into his abbreviated set.