BLOWN AWAY: What band did you see live that completely blew you away?

Darrin Ballard writes ...

From the age of 13 to 22, I worked for the Seattle Supersonics who played in the Seattle Center Coliseum, now the Key Arena. As anyone who works in a stadium will tell you, the worker bees all help each other out. I would get autographs for the ushers and ticket takers or get them or their friends left over tickets, etc.

For this, I would be let into any event that went on at any of the venues in Seattle…I got to see hundreds of concerts, and so did my friends.

I was pretty much a hard rock, Led Zep, Aerosmith, Rush kind of guy but many of my friends would want to go to see other types of bands. While I was very disappointed in the two Led Zep and Aerosmith shows I saw (Rush was great), I was blown away by three very different bands that my friends dragged me to so I could get them in. Those were:

Fleetwood Mac: 1977

Queen: 1978

Jethro Tull: 1978 c

Those concerts convinced me to be a fan of music and great artistry coupled with a very skilled delivery.

I am an avid guitar player and the virtuosity of the guitar playing in those 3 bands was as astounding as it was different. And the changing moods that the music produced was truly magical.

While I know everyone thinks Freddie Mercury was the world’s best showman, I was expecting that. When Ian Anderson took Tull on stage I had no idea what was in store, but while it was different than Queen by a long shot, he commanded that stage like no one else I have ever seen.

Maybe, the takeaway here is that I didn’t have super high expectations for any of these three bands at the time and their live performances (in my mind) far exceeded their studio offerings. Whatever it is, I was blessed to have been “dragged” to those three concerts.


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