One of the great thrills of music is when the musicians and audience are in the moment. Where nothing else matters other than the next note. Where time stands still as you are covered in the warmth of live music. Usually that feeling is very fleeting but through the magic of recordings sometimes those great evenings are recorded for posterity and go on to define a musicians career. I know there are many horrible rock, pop, metal, etc live records. But what are the really good ones? Which ones put you in front of the stage while the band takes you to another place?
Here are a few you should check out or revisit.
Jimi Hendrix - Band of Gypsys
The band features: Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums. The music is on fire here. Every note cuts to the core. The guitar effects are spectacular. The performance of "Machine Gun" is definitive, a radio play, novel and rock opera all in one. One of the greatest live cuts of all time. And unfortunately the message is just as relevant today as it was then.
Allman Brothers Band - At Fillmore East
A 2 LP set recorded with the original line up. This is as much jazz as it is rock, blues and soul. Duane Allman's guitar sounds like a cry from the wilderness, like the wind through the trees, like water crashing onto the beach. His brother Gregg on keyboards and vocals provides tremendous backing. 10,15 and 20 minute tracks fly by as if they just got started. What a show this must have been to see live.
Santana - Lotus
A 3LP that has no excess. The band is starting to change but Carlos Santana is still on top of his game. Latin rock at its finest.
Grateful Dead - Live/Dead
A 2 Lp set. Features terrific performances of "Dark Star" and "St. Stephen". There was lots of life in the Dead at this point.
Osibia - Black Magic Night Live at the Royal Festival Hall
More percussion than guitar driven but fits in nicely with these other albums. Afro-latin, jazz fusion. This is great!
What live albums do it for you?