10 Greatest Shows In Rock History

Tales from the Ultimate Road Dogs.

Oasis Gallaghers
Will Fresch, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Most of the beauty behind rock records tends to be reserved for the studio. Once you're actually behind the glass and left to your own devices, you can do whatever the hell you want and end up creating some real magic on tape. If you're a real rock band though, the greatest moments that you will ever have are on the stage.

Throughout the decades, some of the best moments in rock and roll happened during live performances, where the music becomes more than just a bunch of songs being played over a couple of hours. Whereas some people like to just get by on playing their greatest hits, these artists really used the show to their advantage by using the audience as an instrument.

Since most of it is live, you also get to see different sides of the bands that weren't even possible in a studio setting, with musical pieces that are invented on the fly and certain antics that you couldn't capture with just a microphone. After all, the stage is meant for theater, so it's best that you actually step it up rather than just look at your shoes the entire time. Rock might be a style of music...but this is where the showmanship comes in.

10. Cheap Trick at Budokan

The '70s really cemented itself as the decade of the live album. While you had the studio wizards like Queen warping the sound of songs like Bohemian Rhapsody to absolute perfection, bands like KISS and Peter Frampton probably wouldn't be the stars they are now if they didn't capture the magic on stage. If you really want a taste for the brash sounds of rock and roll, Cheap Trick had you covered once they visited the land of the rising sun.

Despite their hooks being perfect for the time, Cheap Trick couldn't get arrested with any of their material in the States until they played this one date. Blowing up their songs to massive proportions, the set list for the night runs like a virtual greatest hits from a band that was just getting their feet wet. The raw performance of I Want You To Want Me alone blows the original out of the water, replacing the dorky piano solo with an electrified fireworks show by Rick Nielsen.

On the record, the crowd is practically an instrument, as you hear every single participant absolutely losing their minds whenever they kick off something like Ain't That a Shame. It might be stretching to call Cheap Trick the American Beatles, but for a brief shining moment, they became the poster children of all things power pop.

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