As a huge live music fan, this is a fun topic for me to talk about. All the performances mentioned happened in my lifetime. I am sure it would have been great to see Elvis or the Beatles during their heydays too, but I am not so familiar with their tours or performances. So that is why they are not included here. So in no particular order, here are performances I wish I had seen in person:
Blondie’s “The Hunter” tour
One of my all-time favorite groups, this was the last tour before they broke up in the 80’s… I think they even broke up during this tour. They were coming off a string of commercially successful albums (Parallel Lines, Eat to the Beat, AutoAmerican, “Call Me”); and this was the most successful version of the band as far as the lineup of the members. This tour played the Greek Theater in Los Angeles.
Bee Gee’s “Spirits Having Flown” tour
They had just come off the successful “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack, and this was their first album since that breakthrough. This album had hits too: Tragedy, Love You Inside Out and Too Much Heaven. This tour stopped at Dodger Stadium.
Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls” tour
Donna was also celebrating back to back hit albums at this point. She had shown the world how great a live performer she was on the “Live and More” album. The tour for this fantastic double album I am sure was amazing. This tour stopped at the Hollywood Bowl.
Madonna’s “The Virgin Tour”
The first tour from the material girl. Tickets sold out so fast… I wasn’t able to get any. These would be the smallest venues she would ever play on a regular tour. And she has been at it for over 30 years now. It was just her, 2 backup dancers and the band, but you could tell from her performance this was someone to be taken seriously… with how she commanded the stage. This tour stopped at the Universal Amphitheatre and the Pacific Amphitheatre too.
Madonna’s “The Girlie Show”
Madonna was on the outs in the US during this tour. There had been a backlash after the Sex book and the “Erotica” album. There were a couple of US dates on this tour, but most of it was outside of the US. It would have been excellent to be there. No Los Angeles area performances.
The bi-coastal concerts to benefit hunger relief in Africa. Simultaneous concerts in both Philadelphia and London, this was the TV event of 1985. Anyone who is anyone was on this show: Queen, Madonna, Thompson Twins, Duran Duran, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner and so much more. It would have been great to say you saw part of it in person.
One of the greatest soul singers of the last century — he was one of those people who could sing practically anything. I never followed his career that closely… so I can’t single out a single tour from him. But when he died, I regretted never having the chance to see him perform live. Performed Hollywood Bowl, Universal and more in Los Angeles area.
Diana Ross “Concert in Central Park”
I remember seeing this performance on TV… the day with the rain and the makeup show too. Diana was a true trouper and definitely made sure the show went on. I have seen Diana a few times at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, but that show would have been fun to be at.
So that’s my list. What performers and tours did you miss? I would love to hear from you.
KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.