Dean Clough

December 31, 2021

Portico Darwin: IT'S ALIVE!

I've always liked live albums, from the earliest days.  I have vivid memories of Frankie Huttner (that's his real,  non-newsletter name) bringing over his new copy of Frampton Comes Alive.  We were 12 - gosh, am I dating myself?  I prefer the energy of a live album and they often give one a more exciting greatest hits collection for the band from the era of the recording.   

So for this wacky New Year's Eve - where you may find yourself staying home unexpectedly (like us) - here are my 25 favorites, in alphabetical order.  I've linked to Spotify streams on the ones that are lesser-known yet still Diamond Certified for your listening pleasure.  

  1. AC/DC:  If You Want Blood You've Got It
  2. Alice Cooper:  The Alice Cooper Show
  3. Allman Brothers:  Live at Fillmore East
  4. Blue Oyster Cult:  Some Enchanted Evening
  5. Cheap Trick:  At Budokan
  6. Foghat:  Live
  7. George Harrison:  Live in Japan (!)
  8. Joe Jackson:  Live 1980 - 1986 (arguably the best of all on this list - seriously)
  9. Journey:  Captured
  10. Lynyrd Skynyrd:  One More From the Road
  11. Kinks:  One For The Road
  12. Neil Young & Crazy Horse:  Live Rust
  13. Pat Travers:  Go For What You Know
  14. Pete Townshend:  Deep End Live (it's really something if you haven't heard it)
  15. Peter Frampton:  Frampton Comes Alive
  16. Rush:  All The World's a Stage
  17. Sheryl Crow and Friends:  Live From Central Park (best guest stars of any live album)
  18. Simple Minds:  Live In The City of Light
  19. Steve Miller:  Breaking Ground
  20. Talking Heads:  Name of This Band is Talking Heads (better than Stop Making Sense to this listener)
  21. Ted Nugent:  Double Live Gonzo
  22. Thin Lizzy:  Live and Dangerous
  23. U2:  Under a Blood Red Sky  (Rattle and Hum?  Uh, no.)
  24. UFO:  Strangers In The Night
  25. Who:  Live at The Isle of Wight Festival 1970 (puts Live at Leeds to shame)

Oh, OK, for you sophisticates out there reading this, of which I know there are many:

  • Chris Botti:  Botti in Boston
  • Keith Jarrett:  The Koln Concert
  • Modern Jazz Quartet:  Dedicated to Connie
  • Duke Ellington:  At Newport 1965
  • New York Philharmonic & Vladimir Horowitz:  Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3

Not so unwashed.  And OMFG, so true.


Sorry, back to a more appropriate holiday tone.

Getting this from someone with her travel cred?  Well, let's just say it made the flight hassles we had getting there and back worth it.  

"Thank you, Portico, for this comprehensive review of LA travel.  I would have thought you were a native had you not mentioned living in SF the past 30 years."

No, thank you, Dr. Doreen!

Sure enough, Hunter Deuce did take exception to my not choosing John Fogerty and "Centerfield" for Wednesday's baseball post.  In fact, he expressed his displeasure with a guttural GIF from his huge collection of the same.  But rather than escalate an unfortunate situation, and in the spirit of the dawning new year, I will dial it down.


Happy New Year - I am sincerely grateful that you are reading this.

Let's do something a touch different, yet something that works perfectly with today's topic.  And it might just give you an additional entertainment option for NYE.

You're probably sitting there asking yourself, "OK, Portico, you've shared your favorite live recordings, but what was your favorite live concert?"  Glad you asked!

Well, Elton John at SPAC, Foo Fighters at The Fillmore, Guided by Voices at Bimbo's, and Joe Jackson at Paolo Soleri are all up there.  But:

For literally decades, so many would breathlessly drone on about this guy's (or his original band's) shows.  Like "OMG, we're taking the week off and going to 3 concerts in 3 cities!" or "Oh Portico, you just HAVE to see him live - it's an other-worldly experience!". 

Well, in 2017 and as a guest of someone that will remain nameless here, we did see a Roger Waters concert, and I'll be damned if it wasn't the best concert I'd ever seen.  I was prepared for neither the extreme A/V fidelity, nor the emotion I felt hearing songs I'd heard millions of times before - but never like this.  Every one in attendance kept talking about the show for hours afterwards - a rare occurrence over the approximately 1 jillion concerts I've witnessed.

I own this at YouTube, so I am hoping you can watch it in its entirety, if you're so inclined, via this shared link.

Roger Waters:  Us + Them 2017 Tour (Complete Concert)

Here are some fun photos I took at the show - as you can see, we were right behind the soundboard.

About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.