Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

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Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by Sodbuster J on Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:21 pm

I went to see an Uli Jon Roth show the other night. It was truely jaw-dropping. After 2hrs of Sky Guitar playing his old Scorpions material, Michael Angelo Batio joined the encore and they proceeded to play numerous Hendrix tunes. Got me thinking bout what/who have YOU seen live that blew YOU away....

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by Barry on Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:01 pm

Kenny Burrell.
In an intimate night club in Toronto.
About a million years ago.

OMG! I just checked. He's now 81!!

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by Iceman on Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:29 pm

Best live gig up close and personal was seeing Frank Marino do 3 sets in a divey little bar in a suburb of Minneapolis back 20+ years ago.

I stood about 5 feet away from him the entire show and it is the yardstick I hold up to any live show I've ever seen before that or since then.

He is in my top 3 as far as underrated players go of any style or genre.

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by corsair on Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:55 am

Ritchie Blackmore. He had it all, chops, tricks, tone, style....

NZ guy called James Wilkinson mesmerised me some years back with his acoustic chops...

Another kiwi, Dave Dobbyn with Th"Dudes before he got really big on his own

... and Ian Moss, guitarist with Aussie rockers Cold Chisel who was really an Antipodean version of Blackmore; chops, tone, tricks,

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by gittarasaurus on Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:39 pm

maybe the most mind blowing night of guitar music i ever saw was October 9, 1983, with the acoustic trio; Paco DiLucia, John McLaughlin, & Al DiMeola. and opening act; Steve Morse on solo acoustic guitar

Steve Morse opened the show with a set about 20 min long. some of his compositions and some classical numbers.

Then came the program with the trio.
first, each one came out and performed solo
then there were duets of every combination
and then they came out with a full set of music as a trio
and when that was still not enough, Steve Morse comes out to join them on the encores for a couple pieces with all four playing together to close the show.

well over 2 hours of amazing, beautiful music
(i recorded it too! i still have the tapes around here somewhere...)

this is from the tour they did in '81 Spain
(a tour which i also recorded one of the shows)


Last edited by gittarasaurus on Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:44 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add a link)

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by corsair on Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:12 pm

I bought "A night in San Francisco" by those three when it came out and was utterly blown away by the music; seeing 'em live would have been just SO cool!

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by sean on Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:44 pm

Allan Holdsworth in Portsmouth, England, in 1988 playing a whole set of Synthaxe material. I was a teenager and the music just blew me away. I've seen him play regular guitar sets several times since, but that one was special.

Also Jeff Beck on the Guitar Shop tour around the same time, with Terry Bozzio.

I didn't get to see Frank Zappa play, but I saw Zappa Plays Zappa at the Albert Hall in London, and it started off with Frank playing on the big video screen while the live band accompanied. That was pretty cool too. Also some of the stuff Dweezil has to play in that band is amazing.

Also seen good sets from Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Eric Johnson, Pat Metheny, Eric Clapton, Andy Summers, Jim Hall, John Scofield, BB King, Buddy Guy, and Mark Knopfler, among others. Had tickets to see SRV but he died before I could get to see him.


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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by Sodbuster J on Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:50 pm

I saw Holdsworth about a year ago... He didn't play the synthaxe, but was amazing nonetheless! I have heard nothing but praise about Zappa Plays Zappa, will have to check it out if the opportunity ever presents itself in my neck of the woods. Speaking of my neck of the woods & SRV, I only live an hours drive from the venue where SRV passed away and had the chance to go to his last show ever...passed it up for a GIRL....(misguided youth!!!)

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by J.a.c.aranda87 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:13 am

I'll be seeing Rush for the fourth time when August rolls around and they are always fantastic, but the last time I saw them (Chicago, Clockwork Angels) was the best so far. They played The Analog Kid about fifth or sixth in the first set and Alex was on fire! He absolutely NAILED the solo and when he finished, the entire United Center erupted. He had a huge grin on his face too. Great moment.

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by corsair on Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:46 am

Yep; I saw them in England in 2011 for the first time. I couldn't believe just how much fun they still seemed to be having onstage after all those years on the road!

They played one or two tracks form Clockwork Angels and I liked them; they seemed to be a return to the rock'n'roll of old...

However, as good as Lifeson is - and I think he's very good indeed! - seeing Blackmore at the height of DPs fame was, and still is, pretty much a life defining moment for me!

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by Sodbuster J on Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:19 am

I must admit that when I first posted this topic, I was convinced someone would have mentioned SRV, and surely there is a forum member mature enough to have seen Hendrix live...

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by IanO on Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:31 am

My 1st gig was AC/DC backed by Dokken....bought tickets for the added date as it was so good

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by gittarasaurus on Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:27 pm

i remember how my parents freaked out when i told them i wanted to go to the Woodstock festival with my cousin Greg (age19). i guess, since i was only 10yrs old, their apprehension was understandable. so no, i never got to see Jimi play since he passed away when i was still too young to attend his concerts.

i did see SRV three or four times. all of them great performances, but most shows had less than satisfactory sound systems. large venue with boomy sound and high volume is not a good mix. but that was how they did it in those days i guess.

there was one show that was a standout amazing show from the rest. Stevie's band was touring along with the Fabulous Thunderbirds. it was an outdoor show. sound was pretty good.

Stevie and his brother Jimmie did a guitar duet and it was amazing, doubly so because, they played the duet on the same guitar. just a thing of beauty to witness. brothers!
stevie & jimmie
(the sound isn't the greatest on this clip, but what the hey...)

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by Elemeno P on Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:56 pm

Sodbuster J wrote:I must admit that when I first posted this topic, I was convinced someone would have mentioned SRV, and surely there is a forum member mature enough to have seen Hendrix live...

Living 20 mins from the Texas coast, I've been going to South Padre Island for Spring Break for a LONG time. When I was 13 we went to SPI specifically to go see Joe King Corrasco. He was opening up for SRV.

We did stick around for a while after his set and "heard" him playing, but sadly wasn't paying too much attention. Crying or Very sad

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by rebuild on Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:14 am

I saw the Jimi Hendrix Exp., in April of 1969 in Frankfurt, Germany with my oldest brother. I was 10 years old. Jimi was very happy...did all the tricks...behind his back...laying on his back...with his teeth, etc. My brother took dozens of photos, (we were about 15 feet from the band), and yes...even tho' I was only 10, I was totally into Hendrix at the time because he was huge in Germany. Unfortunately, I didn't take up the guitar until 5 years later.
Still, the best I ever witnessed was Ritchie Blackmore (while in Rainbow) August 1978 at the Omni in Atlanta. Even back then, I swear this guy invented sweep picking and had the entire fretboard mastered. Blackmore is noted/popular for doing live versions of songs 2 or 3 times longer than his studio versions. Extremely educated on the guitar in his heyday.

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by PaulS on Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:48 am

I have 3 gigs burnt into my being.

#1 was Deep Purple when they were promoting the 'Burn' album, so line up #3. Richie was on top form. At this particular gig a rather curvaceous and naked young lady joined them onstage and jumped onto Richie, who promptly unslung his guitar then started to play it on her backside. I was in the second row back and had, er, quite a view.

#2 was Thin Lizzy in (I think) late 77. Wembly Arena. They were being recorded for the Live and Dangerous live album. Brian Robertson was wearing white, downlit by a spot light durinig the solo in 'Still in Love With You' and the atmosphere was totally electric.

#3 possibly made the biggest impression - one night a few mates and I were at a loose end - bored playing table tennis at the yoof club so decided to go to a small music venue locally (Queens Hotel in Westcliff if anyone remembers it) A band none of us had heard of were playing. UFO. They had a new guitar player - just come over from German, a young fellow called Michael Schenker - and were promoting a new album called Phenomenon. We were stunned.o

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by J.a.c.aranda87 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:19 pm

Wow. Some seriously great stories here! While that Rush performance really stands out, I can't believe the time I saw Tommy Emmanuel slipped my mind. Wow. What an absolutely mind-blowing experience. I was in the third row, a bit off center. Got a smile!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HhNvr8VxhI

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:53 pm

Dave Gilmour, pink floyd, Knebworth, 1990, lasers in the rain, run like hell, astonishing.

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by corsair on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:28 pm

I saw SRV in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1986, and was very disappointed indeed! If it hadn't been for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, the night would have been a complete bust - they were phenomenal and outshone Double Trouble in spades!

I saw Rory Gallagher there, too, and that was just a blitzgreig of Celtic blues; magic stuff and met him and Gerry McAvoy in a local watering hole afterwards quite by accident! A wonderful human being....

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by Sodbuster J on Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:02 am

Thanks for the reminder Sgt. I saw Gilmour w/ Pink Floyd in Madison @ the same time under similar conditions and paws blown away as we'll. Not a flashy player with a bag of tricks, but that guy could play a ukulele in a monsoon and you would have no doubt who was playing....so distinctive...and fabulous!!!

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by corsair on Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:53 am

But Pink Floyd was always Pink Floyd, not the individiual musicians; it was all about the performance! I mean, don't get me wrong, I think Gilmour is possibly the most tasteful rock guitarist ever and I was riveted by Pink Floyd when I saw them in Sydney in 1988, but I was riveted by the band, not the guitarist, good as he was!!

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by Sodbuster J on Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:16 am

I see where you are coming from Corsair...you make a valid argument. I specified LIVE performances to find out who all of you felt can deliver the goods outside of the studio. I value all your opinions, besides, this is a good reference should any of the aforementioned players show up at a venue near me or you. Very Happy

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by Sodbuster J on Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:25 am

Not to mention I love hearing all of your stories...this has been great! cheers

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:48 pm

So john are we just talking one man and his guitar on stage? Very Happy

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by colt933 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:58 pm

I saw SRV with BB King and the Fabulous Thuderbirds at the Grand Old Opry in 1985. The sound was great and SRV blew me away.

I've seen Eric Johnson several times in various sized venues all the way from 100 people in a tiny club up to a festival at Nashville riverfront park with 10k people and a few in-between.

I saw Pink Floyd at Vanderbilt stadium in 1994.

Dire Straits at TPAC in 1985.

It's hard to choose.

I will finally see Rush for the first time May 1 in Nashville.

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by IanO on Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:07 pm

I saw Nuno Bettencourt with Extreme many times back in the day - very impressive + seriously groovetastic playing!

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by hobster on Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:06 pm

I've seen LOTS of shows. Saw the Grateful Dead about 65 times, Jerry put on some great shows! Saw all the 80's metal guitarists, got picks from Eddie,Satch,Vai,George Lynch and others. I think the best individual performance was Steve Vai about 6 months ago in Portland. He blew me away - the man has still got it!
Some great stories on here - i think the one i envy most is the Paco/Dimeola/Mclaughlin show. Talk about sick guitar playing, everyone here should have that in their catalog.

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by gittarasaurus on Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:07 pm

i clocked a lot of miles on the road with the Dead too.
i first saw the Dead in '77, in Williamsburg VA. i lived in Maryland and we used to drive up and down the east coast to see them play, Hartford, NYC, Pittsburg, Philly, DC, Richmond, Norfolk, Hampton, Roanoke, Charlotte and more. the Dead would sometimes play for 2 or 3 weeks straight at Madison Square Garden in New York City, sell out every performance, and play a different show every night!
i even traveled to Red Rocks in Morrison CO to see them a couple times.
here is one night when i think a large portion of the audience was on a little psychedelic enhancement and maybe the band knew it, cause they were messin with our minds big time. an amazing show September 7, 1985 crank it up and dance around the house!

the old saying really is true: there is NOTHING like a Grateful Dead concert.
the boys could make some magic for sure.
sure do miss Jerry.

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by Iceman on Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:33 pm

Never got too far into the Dead although I greatly respected their love of the impromptu and improvisation.

Not quite that many around today like them and the Allman Bros. who could freeform seemingly forever at the drop of a hat.

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by hobster on Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:36 pm

Ha, somehow i'm not suprised at tour GD touring.Very Happy I still have hundreds of tapes in the closet. I moved to the west coast in 95 - a couple of weeks before Jerry died. I'm sure you know all about the Eugene connections, i used to see Kesey around here alot.
I only saw about 5 west coast shows, i came from Virginia ( i think we've discussed our east coast roots before) so i saw most shows on the east coast too. Buckeye lake, Deer creek was as far west as we went. Been to Chicago, NY,Philly,..........etc, even Birmingham Alabama to see em. I wish i saw more 80's shows, you are one lucky dude. They got banned after the Richmond show (i lived there 8 years) but i saw Jerry there in the 90's. Loved the Cap centre runs - god i miss the Dead. That red rocks show was sick by the way, they played alot of good ones in 85! You should be grateful for seeing them when they still kicked ass, and all those Zappa shows you saw - envy!

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

Post by gittarasaurus on Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:49 pm

it was quite amazing to go to the Dead shows and see the hundreds of microphone stands and the untold thousands of dollars worth of equipment people brought along to record the shows.

i've spent most of my life going to live concerts. not much of anything i like better than live music. pretty early on i realized i was seeing some amazing stuff. so in the mid 70's, i began a long career of covert recordings. i tried to record every show i attended, no matter what the venue. at this point i have over 400 concert tapes i personally recorded, sitting in the dark, holding a microphone and tape deck. it is A FRIGGING AWESOME COLLECTION! i call it The Electrostatic Retrospective Archive.

i like to share too. i've been working my way through my tapes and converting them to digital files. i have found an online data sharing website called Dropbox, where i can privately and securely post up a recording. then i can share links with anyone, and they can download the files. there is a limited amount of online storage available at one time, but it is free, so you can't beat the price. what i have to do is; post a recording, share it, then delete it to make room for the next one to be posted and shared.
if anybody is interested you can PM me and i can notify you by email when i have recordings available.

here is a sample to get you started:
i have this one posted now for download, this link will only work for another week or so until i have the next recording ready (if the link is dead and you want a copy, just send me a PM and we can work it out).


King Crimson Live
June 30, 1984
Merriweather Post Pavillion

Three Of A Perfect Pair tour
Robert Fripp
Adrian Belew
Tony Levin
Bill Bruford

i must say, this one is an exceptional recording! these are NOT MP3 files, but are full fidelity files(.wav).
i don't mind if you want to pass the recordings on, but please don't screw them up by converting to a lossy format and distributing to others.
and don't forget to support the artists who created the music too!

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Re: Best live performance by guitarist you have ever witnessed...

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