You always see these lists everywhere - Favorite rock bands, vehicles I used to own, best recipes, favorite expressions (you know, "gag my with a spoon", "FACIAL")... on and on it goes, reluctantly and with a momentum entirely of its own. I already compiled a list of my favorite rock concerts a couple of years ago.
Well, how about a list of the absolute WORST rock concerts I've ever seen. I have all my ticket stubs showcased on my bedroom wall, so it was easy for me to walk around and pick them out. I would encourage others to make a similar list. I'll try to offer a brief explanation of why the show sucked. I'll also avoid targeting shitty bands, Jimmy Buffett and various country acts - what purpose would this possibly serve.
These are listed in no particular order.
10. Deep Purple & The Scorpions, June 15, 2002, Post Gazette Pavilion
I wouldn't classify this show as poor, but rather oddly pathetic. What desperate promoter conjured up this pairing? This was when The Scorpions came out with those horrible songs - Winds of Change and Gorky Park. When I saw these large, toothless morons swaying to that Winds of Change song, I bolted for the car and procured a much needed beverage. You think of great bands that have become absolute jokes - Aerosmith, Van Halen/Hagar, and The Scorpions are right up there.
9. Allman Brothers - Post Gazette (I think it was the 2003 show).
I love the Allman Brothers. Seen them about 10 times. There was one show that was really uninspiring. I'm sure their fans who go see them in Burgettstown every year know which year I'm talking about.
8. The Artist Formerly Known As Prince - 1997, Mellon Arena
I saw his Musicology Tour in 2004 at Mellon and it was one of the best concerts I've ever seen. This show was blatantly lame. First off, the venue was half full. He was at the peak of his Jehovah's Witness phase and properly referred to as The Artist. He wouldn't play any of his racy material and he refused to curse on stage, so he had the audience yell out words like "damn" or "hell." What the fuck? What was this? Although he's a weirdo, Prince is fantastic. But this tour he was straight weirdo.
7. Rusted Root - Wheeling Civic Center (I think it was 1996 or 97)
Rusted Root (I like to call them Rusted Soot) came to town riding the wave of that crappy "Simmy's on the Way" song. There's something embarrassing about going to see a concert in Wheeling. After the show, I feel like my mom's supposed to discreetly pick me up and tell me it's time for bed. This was the show where a Wheeling Jesuit girl bit the dust in the restroom and had to got to the emergency room so they could wire her jaw shut. I remember partying on the Island that night at Smitty's house. Long night for everyone.
6. Santana - Post Gazette Pavilion, 2003
This was the year Santana teamed up with all those crappy Top 40 bands - Goo Goo Dolls, the Matchbox 20 fag, Third Eye Blind. He released this horrible collaborative cd with all these endlessly regurgitated pop songs. Rest assured, he played them all to a crowd of rabid 40 year old women who had no idea his first name was Carlos.
5. Beat Bash - Post Gazette Pavillion, August 25, 2001
I'm still not sure what this was, why I was there or who I was with. I ight have zipped up just to scalp. Lots of Eminem, fake wanna-be thugs all over the parking lot. Not sure who played but I vaguely remember something called Kool-Aid and JoJo. This concert may have been a contributing factor to 9/11.
4. Grateful Dead - 3-18-91, Cap Center - Landover, Maryland
Everyone loves a Dead show, right??? Well this one totally sucked. Jerry kept forgetting lyrics and the band just sounded horrible. Setlist was boring and uninspired too. Couldn't even compensate through partying at the campground (Greenbelt) because we were continually harassed by militant park rangers. They even took our beer.
3. Anthrax, Exodus & Helloween - Hara Arena, Dayton, Ohio 4-24-89
Of all the top tier trash bands, Anthrax was always out of place. The only thing I remember was being embarrased to cheer, clap or applaud. Not a good sign.
2. The Other Ones - Mellon Arena, November 29, 2002
This was one of those early Phil and Friends shows. Plain awful. We had a good time though. For a while, we were behind the stage until security tossed us out. I hate to say this, but from what I've seen, the remaining members of the Grateful Dead and their affiliate members have become a colossal joke. You gotta know when to hang it up. Here's an idea - don't tour during the winter. So at the very least, we can enjoy the tailgating weather.
1. David Bowie & Nine Inch Nails - Starlake Ampitheatre, September 23, 1995
This was the year they collaborated. I think it was called "Tin Can Project" or something to that effect. We were so psyched. Instead, they played only the new material. You could see the disappointment in the entire crowd. After the show, everyone bitched on the way to their vehicles. You don't see that very often.
Honorable Mention - What else could it be but the Grateful Dead Blizzard Show. 3-20-94, Richfield Coliseum, Cleveland, Ohio
They canceled the show the night before and everyone partied their asses off at any hotel, rest stop, Taco Bell, wherever... Fuck it! State of Emergency and, ohhh yeah, the Dead comes to town. We were totally psyched. It might have been one hell of a party, but let's be honest. That show sucked.