Saturday, April 9, 2011

The joint is jumpin' all around me (Rory Gallagher)

My friend GK asked on his blog (seventies music) about first concert experiences and I posted a reply along the lines of - I'm more a listening guy than a watching guy. That is I prefer recorded sounds to the live concert experience. One of my earlier posts listed my favourite live albums.

I don't actually remember the first gig that I attended but I do have some that remain in my consciousness.

Hands down favourite gig for me is always going to be Rory Gallagher at the Auckland Town Hall in 1980. Even then I was a long term Rory fan (Irish Tour has always been a firm favourite) and he did not disappoint. He was touring behind his latest album - Top Priority and I'd been thrashing it to death throughout 1979 so I knew the songs and I knew the back catalogue. I was in a balcony seat and the whole place was jumping with excitement. An amazing show from a guitar genius who, you could tell, just lived and breathed music. The subsequent live album from that tour, 1980's Stage Struck, was a faithful reproduction of how exciting he was in concert.

The best of the rest:

Another top guitarist - George Thorogood - with the Delaware Destroyers. Also at the Town Hall. Same fever pitch feeling of connection with what was happening on stage.

Streettalk/ Split Enz at the old His Majesty's Theatre in the company of GK and his brother - Mike. Hammond Gamble played a fantastic version of the Rory song - A Million Miles Away and I was sold! The Enz did a terrific show as well with all the audience singing along. My memory has lumped this into one concert (with Golden Harvest) but maybe it was a series of events at the Theatre. Not sure.

Sonny Terry/Brownie McGhee at Nambassa - I was in the front few rows - close enough to see these guys sweat. Sonny and Brownie were old and gnarled (I remember them both being supported onto the stage) but they played a terrific set.

After hours/Waves - at The Old Maidment (Auckland University). GK and I went to this. An abiding memory is the pungent dope spell before we went in. It was a great concert and we were especially taken by After Hours with Geoff Chunn before Citizen Band days.

I have mixed memories of concerts at Western Springs. Pink Floyd (with Jacky) were good to great,and Rolling Stones (with friends Roger and Deirdre Marbeck) were past their peak but still sprightly enough during the Voodoo Lounge era. These were the pick of them at this venue.

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