Music is one of the most universally enjoyed things on the planet. From the rural villages of Tanzania to NYC’s Madison Square Garden, it has an unparalleled way of bringing people together. I love concerts and have been to more than 100 in my life. Since moving to Southeast Asia in September 2012, the lack of shows in my area has been an expat compromise and something I miss most about living in the US. Although continuing to get my fix has required some creativity, the reduced frequency has led to a greater appreciation of concerts, as well as to this countdown of my Top 10 favorite!
Aside from the obvious criteria of me attending the event, I have also limited the choices to one per artist. I could have easily chosen multiple Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam or Tom Petty shows. The below entries are a purely personal opinion based on my experience. I did not receive any financial compensation. Unfortunately, amateur concert footage rarely turns out nice, but I’ve given it my best shot – I took all of the displayed photos and videos (with an iPhone). Let’s rock ‘n roll!
10.) James Taylor | The Star Performing Arts Centre | Singapore | February 2017
Does music come any smoother than JT? At 70 years young, he’s still at the top of his game.
9.) Foo Fighters | HSBC Arena | Buffalo, USA | September 2011
Dave Grohl is among the most overall talented artists in history. A creative group of Italian musicians paid tribute to the Foo Fighters in 2015 with one of the coolest videos I had seen in a while.
8.) Bruce Springsteen | Quicken Loans Arena | Cleveland, USA | April 2012
I caught Bruce on his Wrecking Ball tour in 2012. Early in the show, we snuck into seats on the floor but eventually got kicked out and had to return to the nosebleeds.
7.) Tom Petty | Darien Lake Performing Arts Center | Darien Lake, USA | August 2010
The world lost a legend in October 2017. Tom Petty was one of the greatest entertainers of this generation. I saw him three times but wish it was 300 times.
6.) Aerosmith | Gardens by the Bay | Singapore | May 2013
Steven Tyler gave a shout out to Marina Bay Sands during a show in Singapore. I think Dream On is one of the best lives songs ever.
5.) Elton John & Billy Joel | Scottrade Center | St. Louis, USA | May 2009
Elton John and Billy Joel together on stage took the ‘dueling piano’ concept to a level that I’m not sure any other duo will touch. I enjoyed some mother-son bonding time at this show. She knew even more songs than me.
4.) U2 | Busch Stadium | St. Louis, USA | July 2011
The U2 360° Tour was supported by an extraordinary claw-like stage. It was a blast experiencing Bono’s spectacle from approximately second base of Baseball Heaven.
3.) Red Hot Chili Peppers | Ciudad del Rock | Madrid, Spain | July 2012
The concert Gods were in my corner that night as I managed to scalp a ticket to the sold-out show. Running with the Bulls two days later made for a killer visit to Spain.
2.) Pearl Jam | Hyde Park | London, UK | June 2010
Eddie Vedder and co + Hyde Park = one hell of a memory. What a time to be ALIVE!
1.) Dave Matthews Band | GrandWest Arena | Cape Town, South Africa | November 2013
I’ve seen DMB 13 times. As a Johannesburg native, when Dave announced the band’s first ever South Africa show, World War III couldn’t have kept me away.
*(not so) Honorable mention*
Following our day at Balesin, my brother and two buddies caught Britney Spears at the Mall of Asia in Manila. It was horrible and fantastic and hilarious all at once. #noshame
What’s the best concert you’ve been to?