Best concerts of my life

I was thinking about the great concerts I've had the luck to go to in my life - as far as I can remember, these were the best five:

1) Pearl Jam, 1995, Vitalogy tour, Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Amazing show, clearly outstanding. Mudhoney opened - woohoo! Although clearly there were people who really just wanted PJ to come on and seemed unenthused about Mudhoney. Here's the setlist (wow, mining facts of my personal history from the Internet):
Set: Release, Go, Last Exit, Spin the Black Circle, Tremor Christ, Corduroy, Not for You, Lukin, Even Flow, Dissident, Animal, Deep, Jeremy, Rearviewmirror, Immortality, Alive, jam/Blood

Encore 1: Daughter/(ABitW-II)/(W.M.A.)/(Little Wing teaser), Why Go, Porch

Encore 2: Sonic Reducer (source)
They kept announcing that the show wouldn't continue if the crowd continued moshing. We did it anyway. My lasting memory was that people took turns to go on stage to shake Eddie Vedder's hand. That, and I and my friend Eugene jumped so hard on one of the chairs of the stadium that it broke. Brilliant.

Before "Blood", Pearl Jam did a funny parody of Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting" - again the wonder of the Internet is that such things are preserved forever, including the crude lyrics of the parody. Oh, and here's BigO's pre-show interview with Vedder.

2) The Rolling Stones, Forty Licks tour, Singapore Indoor Stadium, March 2003. At the time, the most expensive tickets for a concert ever in Singapore at S$500, although I think the Eagles came this year and tied/broke that record. At that time I was a poor conscripted soldier and couldn't afford to go, but at the last minute I got a couple of near-front-row seats from friends of friends who had comps. First Stones concert in Singapore since the 1960s, before Singapore's independence. Just after this concert they cancelled the Stones concerts in Beijing and Hong Kong due to SARS.

Clearly the Stones are masters of putting on a show: huge video wall (featuring a woman riding the Stones' tongue logo, natch), giant inflatable women, and of course their own inimitable selves. Mick was in form, so much energy, Keef was great, and Ron Wood had this camera attached to the end of his guitar that was really fun to look at. Now when I think of "Honky Tonk Woman" and "Gimme Shelter", I think of the versions I heard at this concert rather than the album versions. It's just a shot away...

3) Metallica, Black Album tour, Singapore Indoor Stadium, April 1993. When that "Enter Sandman" riff first played it was electric. And given that I always thought of myself as more of an "alternative" kid rather than someone into metal, I was kind of surprised by how many of the words to Metallica songs I knew. A hardcore concert.

4) The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Irving Plaza New York, May 2003. The only one in my list here that's set in a small venue, unfortunately: bands tend not to come to Singapore unless they can sell out a big venue. Karen O has charisma and stage presence to burn. She spat water all over the front row. They loved it.

5) Paul Simon, Graceland tour, Singapore Indoor Stadium. My parents used to love to bring me along to concerts when I was younger - with them I saw the Simon & Garfunkel reunion tour in '93 and the Elton John tour the day after Freddie Mercury died (he sang "The Show Must Go On" in tribute), and this one. I was only about 10 years old, but it was the first concert I can remember going to, and I remember singing along to "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard", "You Can Call Me Al", and "The Boxer". Ah, the songs of my youth. And Simon puts on a great show.

The first concert I ever saw without my parents was Hammer on his 2 Legit 2 Quit tour - my friend Jigx won tickets in a radio contest. Funny in retrospect. Strange that I can't remember seeing that many memorable concerts in America, I did go to see a lot of stuff.


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