Best Rock Concerts of All Time

Best Rock Concerts of All Time

While everyone has their own personal favorite in regards to concerts they’ve attended, some concerts have long been regarded as some of the best concerts in the rock industry.


Bruce Springsteen – The Roxy – July 1978

In the late 70s and early 80s Springsteen was known for playing extremely long shows, north of three hours, and his concert at the Roxy was no exception.  The Roxy was right before the peak of his career and between the songs and the stories put on that night, this night definitely pushed him to fame.  Closing his concert with his own rendition of ‘Twist & Shout’ left everybody leaving that night wanting more, and excited for the future of Springsteen.  Following this concert, custom round buttons in memory of that night’s concert were a hit among fans.

Woodstock Festival – August 1969

Even though the festival showcased multiple artists, you can’t mention the Woodstock Festival of 1969 without mentioning the magnificent artists that made the record books. Artists such as, Santana, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, and Crosby, Stills & Nash, have all been said to have played some of their best shows ever at Woodstock. Woodstock memorabilia can still be floating around for collectors, with pinbacks sellings for as much as $75.


Jimi Hendrix – Monterey Pop Festival – June 1967

At the time of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, Hendrix was still relatively new to the music industry. Fans that clung to after his first album, Are You Experienced, flocked to see him perform live.  With ’67 regarded as the ‘Summer Of Love’ Hendrix also transformed that summer as a time when new steel rock music started to be accepted. The ways that Hendrix interacted with his guitar at the close of the festival has been a favorite memory of Hendrix fans and rock fans alike since.  He engaged in a sort of ‘guitar acrobatics’ while performing a cover of Wild Thing by Troggs, and closed out his show by dry humping his instrument, torching it in flames, and then smashing it onstage.


The Beatles – Shea Stadium – August 1965

For those that weren’t around in the time of The Beatles, many people are surprised to learn that they really didn’t perform too many concerts.  This concert at Shea Stadium has widely been considered the night that launched them to worldwide fame.  This was their largest concert to date and it was almost filmed and later broadcast around the world.  A year later, the Beatles ceased live performances and returned to the studio to create many of the classics we know and love today.


Bob Dylan – Newport Folk Festival – July 1965

While many of the other concerts listed here are well known for positive reasons, the next two have gone down in the rock concert books for not the greatest reasons.  Bob Dylan was no stranger to the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island, having played their the past two years with great success.  On July 25th 1965, Bob Dylan and his band decided to try something new.  Dylan took the stage with five other band members and something happened that had never happened before at any other Bob Dylan concert – they plugged their instruments in.  Dylan had decided to turn his acoustic masterpieces into new, electric creations, which quickly led to him being booed off the stage.  He wasn’t invited back for almost 40 years.

U2 – LA Liquor Store Rooftop – March 1987

While this concert was very short lived, it became infamous for the Where The Streets Have No Name music video, and was a real show of fan support for U2.  The group was only four songs into an impromptu performance on the rooftop of an LA liquor store until it was cut off by city police.  With a packed rooftop, fans began gathering in the streets below to catch a glimpse of this epic moment, effectively stopping traffic for blocks and causing quite the uprising.  This large crowd, who did not want this concert to end, proved to be quite the hassle to break up for LAPD.

Final Thought

If the concert you were thinking of didn’t make the list. Comment below on what concert you think was the best of all time.



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