Bands I’ve Seen Live

Pointless time killer … or a way to distract myself from everything else going on that I prefer not to think about …

There was this thing going on over at Facebook where people were posting “here’s a list of 11 bands, 10 I’ve seen live, 1 I haven’t, guess which one.” And I did not participate, but it did get me thinking about all of the bands I’ve seen live over the years. I suppose some psychiatrist or sociologist could tell me why the shows I saw 45 years ago are often more vivid in my memory than something I saw just a year or two ago.

So with that in mind, here’s a list of the bands and musicians that I can remember seeing live – I’m sure I’ve forgotten dozens of opening acts, as well as dozens of bar bands, cover bands, and the local indie bands in Hong Kong (Sleeves, Bastards, Hazden, Killer Soap, Icebox, Dr. Eggs are a few that come to mind immediately). And there’s some performers, I look at the name and think to myself, I must have seen them live, but I can’t put a time or a place to it so I’ve left them off the list. There’s even some where I’ve come across pictures that I took and yet I have no memory of actually seeing them.

I’ve tossed in a few random-ish photos, all taken by me – some day I’ll have the time to get my archives organized better.

A * means I’ve seen them live more than once.

ABBA, ABC, Aerosmith*, Ian Anderson, Aztec Camera

Bangles, Jeff Beck*, Berlin, Leonard Bernstein* (as a kid, I used to go to tapings of the PBS series “Young Peoples Concerts” (or something like that) for many years), Chuck Berry, Blondie, David Blue, Blues Brothers, Blues Project, David Bowie* (Ziggy Stardust at the Rainbow, Diamond Dogs & Heroes tours), David Bromberg, Jackson Browne*, Roy Buchanan, Tim Buckley, Sam Butera, David Byrne

The Cars, Cheap Trick, Harry Chapin*, The Church, Eric Clapton*, The Clash, Joe Cocker, Coldplay, Lloyd Cole, Albert Collins, Commander Cody, Julian Cope, Chick Corea & John McLaughlin* (as “Five Peace Band” and otherwise), Elvis Costello*, Jim Croce, Crosby Stills & Nash, The Cure

Miles Davis*, Deep Purple, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends with Eric Clapton, Sandy Denny*, Dr. John, Doobie Brothers*, Bob Dylan (with The Band, on the Rolling Thunder Review, several stops along the years on the Never Ending Tour)*

Eagles, Echo & the Bunnymen, Jonathan Edwards, Electric Flag

Marianne Faithfull, Flaming Lips, Fleetwood Mac, Flo & Eddie, Focus, Fools, Steve Forbert, Robben Ford, Franken and Davis (yes, comedy, but with music – who opened for them? It was the SNL band, I think led at the time by G.E. Smith? I ended up sitting next to Pete Townshend and was too petrified to open my mouth)

Peter Gabriel, Rory Gallagher, J. Geils Band, Genesis*, Philip Glass (well, the opera Satyagraha), Steve Goodman, Gorillaz, Grateful Dead*, Grin, Stefan Grossman, Buddy Guy & Junior Wells

Hampton Grease Band, George Harrison,  Wilbert Harrison, Donny Hathaway, Helen Humes, Hello People, John Hiatt, Dan Hicks

Insect Trust

Bob James, Jefferson Airplane, Billy Joel, David Johansen, Journey

Albert King, B.B. King*, King Crimson*, Kinks, Kiss, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Al Kooper*, Kraftwerk

Adam Lambert, Lindesfarne, Little Feat, Lene Lovich, Nick Lowe

Madness, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Mansun, Marshall Tucker Band, Carolyne Mas, Dave Mason, Imelda May, John Mayall, Roger McGuinn,  James Montgomery Blues Band, Monty Python (it sort of counts, right?), Van Morrison, Mott the Hoople, Mountain, Mungo Jerry

New Riders of the Purple Sage, New York Dolls, New York Rock & Roll Ensemble, Willie Nile

Phil Ochs, Orleans

Eugene Pao, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd* (Dark Side of the Moon and Animals tours), Plasmatics, Pogues, Pretenders*, Prince


Bonnie Raitt*, Raveonettes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lou Reed, Steve Reich, Terry Reid, R.E.M., Renaissance, Rihanna, Rockpile, Rolling Stones*, Linda Ronstadt, Roxy Music*, Todd Rundgren, Leon Russell

Santana*, Boz Scaggs, Seals & Crofts, Seatrain, Patti Smith*, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes*, Bruce Springsteen* (you’ve probably guessed – I’ve seen Bruce live more times than anyone else, probably 30 or 40 times starting in January 1974 up until 2009), Steeleye Span, Steely Dan, Steppenwolf, Al Stewart, Stone Roses, Stories, Strawbs, Style Council, Supertramp

Taj Mahal, Koko Taylor, Livingston Taylor, Temptations, Thompson Twins, Robin Trower, Tubes*


Wendy Waldman, Jerry Jeff Walker, War, Weather Report, The Who*, Edgar Winter, Gary Wright

Yes*, Neil Young*

Frank Zappa (original Mothers, Flo & Eddie edition, w/ Captain Beefheart, maybe more)*, Warren Zevon


Artists that I really regret never seeing live – Velvet Underground, Led Zeppelin, Muddy Waters, Bonzo Dog Band (they opened for the Kinks at Fillmore East and to this day I still don’t understand why I didn’t go), Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Bob Marley, John Coltrane and probably dozens more.