The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Long Live Live Music

with 8 comments

It’s going to be kind of a slow day at The Second Disc, as your roving reporter has tickets to see a-ha play to a sold-out crowd in New York City. Their Ending on a High Note Tour has been a top draw for ’80s pop fans, but it’s also led to a lot of thought concerning concerts and what they mean to us – not just as a reissue fan, but as a lover of music in general.

While The Second Disc may be a haven for all the expanded and remastered news and commentary you can shake your SACD player at, I can’t overstate how much joy there is in buying a ticket to a live venue and coming back with great stories and memories for years to come. Personally, in my six years of going to concerts, there isn’t a show I’ve gone to where I’ve come back just shrugging my shoulders.

And in those six years, I’ve been particularly lucky. In 2006, I was able to attend the last of 12 sold-out Madison Square Garden dates for Billy Joel – a venue record for one tour that earned him his own number hanging above the rafters. His set list was fantastic, avoiding the typical hits-revue fare of his fellow vintage acts (Elton John, I’m looking at you) and drawing from album cuts from favorites Glass Houses and The Nylon Curtain. (It’s also the only show I’ve been to that was ever partially commercially released through the great 12 Gardens Live double-disc set from that summer).

Then there was The Police. My favorite band in high school, and a group that had been defunct since the 1980s. If you told my 16-year-old self not only that Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland would reunite but that I would catch them twice, I might have fainted.

Those are but a few stories in the patchwork of my musical life. It’s hoped that you, the reader, are smiling as you read this and think of your own experiences. Little things like being able to stay out late to see your favorite band, buying your first beer, taking off from work to get to that show extra-early and getting lost on the way home and laughing about it with friends all those years later.

We all hear stories about how our beloved record industry is dying. But how can you catch a great live show and not see anything but life itself? The Second Disc will always be devoted to the preservation of ideas on a record, their history and meaning – but we would be remiss if we didn’t implore you to make some memories at a concert every once in awhile. Together, our experiences make up the best of the gifts music has to offer us.

Friends: what are your favorite live musical memories? Which acts would you love to see hit the road? Ever seen a gig caught on tape later on? Share your stories here!

Written by Mike Duquette

May 6, 2010 at 10:37

Posted in Features, Open Forum

8 Responses

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  1. EXTREMELY JEALOUS that you’re seeing a-ha. I’m in Colorado and the closest they’re getting to me is Chicago. Just can’t do it.


    May 6, 2010 at 11:11

  2. My best memory is first time I saw Boston. For someone my age (45), it was like seeing The Beatles. The crowd was screaming the entire show. During the quitter passages in the Third Stage album (which they played in its entry), you couldn’t hear them.
    I regret that I never saw ELO, and Toto. I’m looking forward to seeing Asia for the first time, and would love to see a-ha.
    I saw Debbie Gibson at the Omni in Atlanta in 1989. The majority of that show was released on the “Live Around the World” VHS.


    May 6, 2010 at 12:20

  3. Speaking of a-ha, the DELUXE EDITION tracklists are out, courtesy of Rhino. Fabulous! Tons of unreleased stuff….

    Take On Me
    Train Of Thought
    Hunting High And Low
    The Blue Sky
    Living A Boy’s Adventure Tale
    The Sun Always Shines On T.V.
    And You Tell Me
    Love Is Reason
    I Dream Myself Alive
    Here I Stand And Face The Rain
    Bonus Tracks
    The Sun Always Shines On T.V. – 12-inch Tarney Mix
    Train Of Thought – Steve Thompson Mix
    Hunting High And Low – Extended Remix
    Take On Me – 1984 Original Version
    Disc 2
    Stop And Make Your Mind Up – 12” B-Side
    Nothing To It*
    What’s That You’re Doing To Yourself*
    Lesson One – Early 1982 Take on Me Demo*
    The Love GoodBye
    Train Of Thought – Demo*
    Hunting High And Low – Up-Tempo Demo*
    Blue Sky – (Demo) Single B-Side
    The Sun Always Shine on T.V. – Demo*
    And You Tell Me – (Demo) Single B-Side
    Love is Reason – Demo*
    I Dream Myself Alive – Demo*
    Here I Stand and Face the Rain – Demo*
    Driftwood – Single B-Side
    All The Planes That Come In On The Quiet *
    Go To Sleep
    Never Never
    Dot the I
    Monday Mourning
    Days On End
    Presenting Lily Mars
    Scoundrel Days
    The Swing Of Things
    I’ve Been Losing You
    Manhattan Skyline
    Cry Wolf
    We’re Looking For The Whales
    The Weight Of The Wind
    Maybe, Maybe
    Soft Rains Of April
    Bonus Tracks
    Cry Wolf – Extended Version
    Manhattan Skyline – Extended Version
    Disc 2
    Scoundrel Days – Octogon Demo*
    The Swing Of Things – Demo #3*
    I’ve Been Losing You – Octogon Demo*
    October – Demo*
    Manhattan Skyline – Demo*
    Cry Wolf – Demo*
    We’re Looking For The Whales– 1984 Demo*
    The Weight Of The Wind – Demo*
    Maybe, Maybe – Demo*
    Soft Rains Of April – Piano Demo*
    This Alone is Love – (Original Version) B-Side
    Scoundrel Days – 1984 Demo*
    Train of Thought – Live In Croydon*
    I’ve Been Losing You – Live In Croydon *
    Blue Sky – Live In Croydon*
    Looking for The Whales – Live In Croydon, B-Side
    Cry Wolf – Live In Croydon


    May 6, 2010 at 16:02

  4. My top 25 shows:

    Shows I’ve been to you can buy or purchase downloads:


    May 6, 2010 at 16:43

  5. I’ve seen a few bands The Who, Buckcherry, Union(John Corabi, Bruce Kulick), John Eddie, Bruce Springsteen, Rush, Elton John and Billy Joel, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Velvet Revolver, Heaven And Hell, Judas Priest, Roger Waters, Peter Gabriel and John Entwistle to name a few. My top favorite is a tie, KISS in 1989 (first real concert) and in 2003. The KISS farewell tour show in Trenton, NJ was the worst KISS show I have seen (7 shows make-up and non make-up). Ace was terrible, Peter was leaving and it had no energy and I vowed never to see another KISS show. My friends invite me to see Aerosmith/KISS show at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel and I agree. My faith in KISS was renewed and they blew Areosmith off the stage (very hard to do). I get the feeling that KISS took uop the challange of opening and dared Aerosmith to top them. Awesome.

    John Phillips

    May 7, 2010 at 00:24

  6. Tho’ I’m a dedicated recorded music fan, there is that special rush of magic that a great performer or group can bring to a live performance. Nothing like it, and it’s only rarely been captured on a recording (now that’s a good chat thread). I am fortunate enough to have begun my rock concert going tenure (Mom & Dad had already taken me as a kid to a myriad of symphonies, folk concerts, easy-listening superstars, etc.) with the Beatles at Red Rock Amphitheater in Denver in August 1964, thanks to my older sister. I have since attended hundreds of shows, and at one point in my life booked and produced big shows at the university I attended. It’s hard to distill all of those memories into a list of ten top shows, so I’ve crunched it down to ten top artists if witnessed(with their best shows I saw in parens.). Sure, there’s a ton more, but I’m a child of the 60s, so many are forever chemically locked in my brain. LOL But I know I had a good time!
    1. The Beatles (’64)
    2. The Rascals (really?! Yep, one of the greatest! ’68)
    3. The Who (’68 ’70’ 71 ’73 ’76 ’79 or ’80 – that last one was a good one!)
    4. The Rolling Stones (’69 pre-Altamont! ’72 ’76)
    5. Poco (’69 ’72 ’73 ’75 ’80 ’82 ’91 ’07)
    6. Procol Harum (’71 ’73)
    7. Wings (’76)
    8. Bruce Springsteen & E St. Band (’78 ’80 ’82 ’93 ’03 ’09)
    9. Graham Parker & the Rumour (’79 religious experience with only a few hundred others)
    10. Paul McCartney (’90 ’93 ’07)

    Cheers! -Sean

    Sean Anglum

    May 7, 2010 at 14:59

  7. Mike, I’m jealous that you saw Billy Joel @ MSG… That’s gotta be the best place to see him. I missed him in ’06, after years of seeing him tour behind no new material and mostly coasting on the same old hits over and over again. Then in ’06 he started playing a lot more obscurities and didn’t go about things the usual way. I have seen him six times solo starting in 1990 though, and another three with Elton John. Even when he got into a rut with the hits, it was still a good show.

    I’ve seen Springsteen, but I was actually disappointed the first time I saw him ’99. It didn’t live up to what I’d heard on bootlegs from the 70’s and 80’s. He blew me away, however, in 2006 on the “Seeger Sessions” tour. Just a joyous celebration of music. I saw him again this past year, and I was privileged to see him play the complete Born To Run album straight through… That’s a memory I will always cherish. The rest of the show was great too. Much stronger than the show I saw in ’99. I won’t miss him next time he comes around.

    I saw the Grateful Dead close to 20 times in the late 80s and early 90s… Some great road trips and “high times” for sure. While all that was fun, the music really stood out too. The Dead were on a creative roll from 1987-90. I was there for Brent Mydland’s final show in ’90, and sadly again I was there for the final GD show ever in ’95. Like Brent before him, Jerry Garcia left us just a short time later. I’ve seen most of the various offshoots of the GD over the past 15 years (I especially like Bob Weir’s band Ratdog), but it will never be quite the same. I do have plenty of great shows to listen to, however, and that keeps the vibe alive.

    Lots of other great shows… Paul Simon on the Graceland tour, me dancing on the lawn in the rain to all that great music. McCartney twice. The Stones twice. The awesome spectacle of Peter Gabriel live, the equally awesome spectacles of Roger Waters doing a complete Dark Side of the Moon a few years ago and the Roger-less Pink Floyd back in ’87. U2’s Zoo TV tour (’92) was also an amazing sight.

    My favorite concert, perhaps, was just a few years ago… Clapton’s Crossroads festival in Chicago. I don’t go to many shows anymore because they’re just too damned expensive now. But this was different… For under $100 we got 12 hours of music, almost literally, as one act followed another with barely a break. Clapton was on fire, and so were Buddy Guy, Jeff Beck, Derek Trucks, B.B. King, Robert Cray, Susan Tedeschi, and lots more. Just amazing… I wish I was going to this year’s Crossroads too.


    May 7, 2010 at 21:30

  8. I almost forgot the highlight of the Crossroads festival… Steve Winwood joining Clapton and his band! Clapton plays best when he’s being challenged, and having both Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall in his band that year certainly challenged him! Robbie Robertson came out for a number too, but his appearance was much too brief.

    Anyhow, Winwood took the show to another level as he and Clapton jammed on a bunch of Traffic, Cream and Blind Faith material. Winwood started on his primary axe, the organ, but eventually switched to guitar and he just tore the place apart when he soloed on “Dear Mr. Fantasy”… I had no idea he was that good a guitar player until that night. He was every bit Clapton’s equal up there. Unreal.

    I’m sorry that I didn’t get to see any of the full shows Eric and Steve did the following year, but I’m glad we have that live album from the shows. Well worth picking up!


    May 7, 2010 at 21:36

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