All of these are real shows, researched by yours truly and listed in alphabetical order by artist. Naturally, this is just a select few of the shows I'd go back to if I had a time machine. Oh H.G. Wells, how I need you so… – Tom b.
ARTIST: Bad Brains
DATE: February 25, 1981
CITY/VENUE: New York, NY / CBGB
While I love the Bad Brains' reggae, I love me more this era of their hardcore heyday. Still dripping with the swagger of young punks changing the face of music – long before pits, jocks and the mainstream hit the Bowery.
ARTIST: The Band
DATE: July 10, 1970
CITY/VENUE: Los Angeles, CA / Hollywood Bowl
Their first two albums are so amazing and this show was the height of both their fame and creative influence (they were the cover of Time magazine this year). Under the stars, hopped up on wine and pot with Robbie, Levon, Rick & Co. taking me and the crowd down to Dixie via N. Highland. Simply a must.
ARTIST: Black Sabbath
DATE: March 10, 1972
CITY/VENUE: San Francisco / Winterland Arena
Touring on what would be their last "perfect" album with Ozzy, Vol. 4 (even though many classic songs were still to come… "Dirty Women," anyone?), I'd love to catch this band before cocaine took them over completely and while their evil riffage was still at its height.
ARTIST: Iron Maiden
DATE: December 23, 1981
CITY/VENUE: London, England / The Ruskin Arms
This was a secret club show, the final concert of the Killers world tour – only with new vocalist Bruce Dickinson on vocals who joined the band just 3 months prior. The band also treated the fans to two new, yet-to-be-released songs in "Run to the Hills" and "The Prisoner" that night. The Ruskin Arms was where they got their start before signing with EMI, so it was a "thank you" gig to their heartiest of fans. So yeah, enough said.
ARTIST: Joy Division
DATE: May 2, 1980
CITY/VENUE: Birmingham, England / High Hall
While not the band's final show, they played their rare track, "Ceremony," at this concert (the concert was recorded and released on Still). Sadly, the band were history only 16 days later after Ian took his own life. They had only just begun.
ARTIST: The Misfits
DATE: August 9, 1978
CITY/VENUE: New York, NY / Max's Kansas City
The Static Age line-up featuring Glenn, Franché, Jerry and Mr. Jim playing at the legendary Max's Kansas City in NYC several months before they play their highly-bootlegged Max's Christmas show. No Doyle, no speed – just some of the greatest songs ever written, sloppily performed by a bunch of reckless novices. Pure greatness.
ARTIST: The Ozzy Osbourne Band
DATE: March 6, 1982
CITY/VENUE: Birmingham, AL / Boutwell Auditorium
Randy Rhoads' third to last show before his untimely death. This concert offers me a chance to see them play in a town I lived in while also seeing one of rock's most talented line-ups perform the best material from two of metal's greatest albums. One only needs to say "Randy" when talking guitar for someone to know you're talking about Mr. Rhoads. Now that's a legend.
ARTIST: Pink Floyd
DATE: July 3, 1977
CITY/VENUE: New York, NY / Madison Square Garden
Sure, seeing them tour on DSOTM would be awesome but with the band having both Wish You Were Here and Animals out as well, the live set still sees the entire DSOTM and most of the newer two albums being performed. Plus, most of this tour was in outdoor stadiums, which diminishes the experience, so seeing them in an arena is about as cozy as it would ever be again for Pink Floyd.
ARTIST: The Smiths
DATE: October 30, 1986
CITY/VENUE: Manchester, England / Free Trade Hall
The Smiths in their hometown touring on The Queen Is Dead. Talk about "enough said." An essential time-travel concert if there ever was one. Can you please play "The Draize Train"? Oh, yes they can.
ARTIST: Van Halen
DATE: July 20, 1981
CITY/VENUE: Philadelphia, PA / The Spectrum
A rock and roll city, the venue of my childhood rock 'n roll dreams, and a band touring on their last great album, Fair Warning. Sure, I could have gone back in time to see them at the Whisky on New Year's Eve of '77 but then I wouldn't have heard "Unchained," "D.O.A.," "Everybody Wants Some" or "Mean Streets."
And how about you, my friends?