Some of my favorite concerts ever

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Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert – passing away of the iconic frontman of Queen was a huge blow to rock music scene. The circumstances of his death were just as shocking. AIDS was recognized as a serious problem, which did not only affect poor third world countries as many believed. The concert itself, organized by remaining Queen members, was a grand feast for rock n’ roll fans. Plenty of big names such as Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, David Bowie and Def Leppard appeared and performed to pay tribute to the extremely talented and inspiring musician. Highlights: George Michael’s take on ‘Somebody to Love’ with a choir is absolutely stellar, Elton John and Axl Rose rocking Bohemian Rhapsody, Gary Cherone and Extreme’s amazing Queen songs medley

Last Teenage Appearance – Ozaki always had a close bond with his fans. Despite young age he rose quickly to the superstar status, he was a hero to teenagers. 1985 was the year he was about to turn 20 and enter adulthood. It certainly was a big issue for him as an artist, because he was worried about how it was going to affect the relationship he had with his audiences and what he was supposed to sing about when he’s no longer underage. The concert at Yoyogi Stadium is a wild, greatly emotional gig with the singer at the top of his game. Highlights: 15no Yoru – possibly the best version of this defining Ozaki song, over 8minutes long jam on High school rock n roll accompanied by incredible harmonica solo and the whole venue singing along the chorus.

Live Shit Binge & Purge – Seattle – For many a man Metallica ended on Kill ‘Em All. For a different bunch of headbangers Metallica ended with the release of Black Album. Less conservative fans will say that this group has had its ups and downs. For me, Metallica represents an important part of music history and it’s just my favorite band ever (simply writing this post made me hit Battery on my playlist). They never cared about these thrash-heavy-speed metal/hard rock/country tags (and neither did I) and played whatever the fuck they wanted. The lengthy tour which followed the release of Black Album received a worthy conclusion in the form of live box set which featured recordings of 3 concerts. Having said that, it is the 1989 show at Seattle Coliseum which truly shines and displays James and co. in the raw, edgy, magnificent performance. Highlights: bass solo which segues into explosive Master of Puppets, audience getting whiplash’d during Whiplash.

Monsters of Rock – Russia, Tushino Airfield 1991 – with the audience estimated at around 1.5 million the show turned out to be extraordinarily massive, and the scope of this event went far beyond the control of the Commies, who resorted to violence against people who simply wanted to enjoy music. The incidents occurred unbeknownst to performing bands: Pantera, Metallica, The Black Crowes and AC/DC. Though honestly they were already under enough pressure – they had no other choice but to offer 300 percent of their ability to the innumerous crowd gathered there. Highlights: Rock music fighting the hammer and sickle

Stevie Nicks at 1983 US Festival – After the release of Mirage Fleetwood Mac went on extended hiatus. Members followed individual careers and Stevie Nicks was the one who definitely garnered the most attention. Bella Donna and The Wild Heart albums were well-received by fans and critics alike. As a solo artist Nicks no longer had to share the spotlight with equally prominent Mac members. On Nicks’s stage her mystical and intimate aura, which we only had a glimpse of whilst she was a part of the band, really shines brightly. She captivated the hearts of hundreds of thousand people in the audience of 1983 US Festival. She waltzes around smiling and talking to the crowd, while singing the best songs she penned. Highlights: sensational How Still My Love, tearful Rhiannon

Cash Live At Folsom – Johnny Cash’s music defies any categorization and his persona emanates with sin, sorrow and redemption. The years of addiction and misdemeanor were followed by the times of compassion and repentance. The 1968 concert at Folsom Prison takes the best of both worlds. Cash sings both sad and humorous songs about love, crime and punishment, penitentiary life, longing and regret. Very vocal response of those incarcerated proves that he knew how to reach them and be honest about it. Highlights: Folsom Prison Blues serves as a really powerful opener for the show, in-the-face version of Cocaine Blues, heart-rending Send a Picture of Mother

Guns n’ Roses Live in Chicago, 1992 – Axl Rose is a prick. But he’s a kind of prick who totally turned the late 80s/early 90s music scene upside down, and man, did he rock hard. If we put aside his lack of common sense, starting every show late and the riot-inducing behavior, we’re left with good old time rock and roll that Bob Seger sang about. Rose excelled as a frontman, I believe he’s up there with Mercury, Jagger or Osbourne. Slash is one of the best guitarists I know. As long as no one throws stuff onstage or uses a camcorder in concert, Guns N’ Roses give their best. The show in Rosemont Horizon in Chicago from 1992 saw the band in a fine form (and mood). Highlights: Don’t Cry with a guest appearance from Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon, very rare performance of Coma

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