Show and Tell: Artists’ Favorite Live Shows (Part One: Anastasio to Hunter)
Bob Marley & The Wailers, Starlight Amphitheater, Los Angeles, 1979. I was 10. As the Wailers kicked into “Get Up, Stand Up,” Peter Tosh marched out onstage. (No one knew Tosh was in the building.) This was the first time Peter and Bob had been onstage together since the original Wailers. They, of course, brought the house down. People couldn’t believe what they were seeing. I still have the poster, T-shirt and ticket stub.
Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers Band/Gov't Mule)
Frank Zappa at the Fox in Atlanta 1978. I was a senior in high school and drove to Atlanta from Asheville, N.C. It turned out to be only time I got to see him. He did two separate shows in the same night. I went to the first one. A friend of mine went to both and after let me know that they only repeated one song. That made a lasting impression on me that clearly has carried over into my own musical philosophy. Despite it being two different audiences, Frank had not only the repertoire but the mindset to play (almost) completely different concerts at a time that wasn’t at all common. In case you’re wondering, the song they repeated was “Honey, Don’t You Want a Man Like Me?”
Jimmy Herring (Widespread Panic/Aquarium Rescue Unit)
The thing that knocked me out the most in a long time was the Quebe Sisters Band. They’re three girls from Texas. All three of them play fiddles and all three of them sing like angels. They do three-part harmonies in the style of The Andrews Sisters. But what they’re doing is more like Western swing, like Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys. They’re playing ancient tunes, songs that the world needs. I mean, these girls are for real. They’re singing some of the most intricate harmonies and they’re playing timeless music from the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s. You have to see them to believe it. It’ll make the hair on your neck stand up.
The Fillmore Acid Test was the peak—none superseded it. It was all there, we were all one at long last, the good ol’ cops tried to shut it down and the Grateful Dead played on and on and on...right through the next decade and well beyond.