Top 10 Vintage Rock
Concerts Of 2016

I think we can all agree that 2016 was a banner year for concerts. And we saw and reviewed lots of them. We didn't make it to Desert Trip, but we did see the Who and Neil Young at smaller shows that took place around the festival. It was almost like being there. In the meantime, check out our 10 favorite shows, in order of appearance, of the year.

Black Sabbath
Rival Sons

February 11, 2016
The Forum
Los Angeles, CA

Review by Shawn Perry

If this really is “The End” for Black Sabbath, they’re certainly going out the right way with sold-out concerts, a solid opening act, and a full campaign of merchandise and swag to make it a worthy memory. I thought I’d got my Black Sabbath fix three years earlier when they came through the Southland behind their final studio album 13. But then came the announcement of “The End” and the urge to see them one more time, my sixteenth since 1974, churned away at my insides. Plus, I was a fan of the supporting band Rival Sons, who landed the gig at the 2015 Classic Rock Roll of Honours Awards in Los Angeles. Press invites were limited, so I wrangled a ticket in the nosebleeds through a friend of a friend of a friend, and drove over to the Forum for my final goodbyes.

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Bruce Springsteen
& The E Street Band

March 19, 2016
Los Angeles Sports Arena
Los Angeles, CA

Review & Photos by Shawn Perry

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band wrapped up their three-night stand at the Los Angeles Sports Arena with an epic four-hour set that included 1980’s The River album in its entirety as its centerpiece. Hard to fathom I was there to witness it. The last time I had seen the Boss and the E Streeters was in 2009, when they blew through town for two nights behind the Working On A Dream album. It was the last tour for Clarence Clemons. Before that, I caught a short solo spot on a bill he shared with Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne at the Shrine Auditorium in the 90s; before that, I went to my first Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert on one of seven nights he played supporting 1984’s Born In The USA.

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David Gilmour

March 24, 25 & 27, 2016
Hollywood Bowl & The Forum
Los Angeles, CA

Review by Shawn Perry
Photos by Ron Lyon

It’s becoming ever more apparent that many of our musical heroes are aging and fading into the scenery (or as 2016 has proven, passing away at an alarming rate). This is why it’s vital to covet those who are still among us. Neil Young, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan are as active as ever, still touring, still in the press, even still making records — even though no one is buying them anymore. Innumerable others are scrapping by, their best years behind them, finding opportunities on the fair, casino and corporate circuits to keep the show afloat. And then there’s the case of David Gilmour.

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Iron Maiden

April 15, 2016
The Forum
Los Angeles, CA

Review by Shawn Perry
Live Photos by John McMurtrie

Look in the sky…it’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s Iron Maiden. Indeed, the British metal band’s arrival aboard their own ‘Ed Force One' 747 tour jet was reminiscent of the Beatles when they touched down at JFK airport in 1964. Granted, there wasn’t a press conference or thousands of anxious, prepubescent fans waiting on the tarmac to greet the band when the jet, commandeered by lead singer Bruce Dickinson, landed. But its presence at LAX elicited a surge of excitement for fans around the Southland. It meant that Iron Maiden was in town and, in their own take-no-prisoners fashion, ready to set up shop for two days of heavy metal madness.

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50 Years of Jeff Beck

August 10, 2016
Hollywood Bowl
Hollywood, CA

Review by Shawn Perry

How do you celebrate 50 years as one of the world’s most revered guitarists? If you’re Jeff Beck, you make a new, edgy record, put out a stylish coffee table book, and invite a few friends over to the Hollywood Bowl for a career retrospective. I was only too happy to attend and be a part of it.

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Journey & Santana

August 28, 2016
The Forum
Los Angeles, CA

Review by Shawn Perry
Photos by Alex Kluft

I have to admit that when I attended the Santana and Journey concert at the Forum, I half expected Gregg Rolie, Michael Shrieve, Michael Carabello and Neal Schon to come strolling up in the middle of Santana’s set to play a few numbers from Santana IV, their 2016 reunion album. That didn’t pan out, although Schon did join Santana for a couple songs (more on that later). Either way, it was a winning combination — two of the Bay area’s finest, a regular San Francisco Fest, as it’s been called, especially when you throw the Doobie Brothers and Steve Miller into the mix (that happened a week later at the ATT Ballpark in San Francisco).

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Jeff Lynne's ELO

September 11, 2016
Hollywood Bowl
Hollywood, CA

Review by Shawn Perry
Photos by Mathew Imaging

Jeff Lynne and Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) are interchangeable, joined at the hip, together forever, you can’t have one without the other. Former members have tried to resuscitate the name in some form or another. Yet, as much credibility as drummer Bev Bevan may bring to the ELO name, it was, is and will always be Jeff Lynne’s baby.

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The Who

October 6, 2016
Santa Barbara Bowl
Santa Barbara, CA

Review by Shawn Perry

I may have missed the memory of a lifetime by blowing off Desert Trip, but that doesn’t mean I had to miss the Who. Believe me, when it was first announced, I felt the tug to travel to the Indio Polo Grounds where they put on Coachella and commune in the dusty and windy heat with my classic rock brethren, seeing six of the biggest and baddest in one epic swoop. Time, expense and logistics kept me away. So the day before it began, I drove north to the intimate sanctuary of the Santa Barbara Bowl where the Who played before their Desert Trip slot on Sunday.

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Neil Young + Promise of the Real

October 12, 2016
Fox Theater
Pomona, CA

Review by Shawn Perry
Photos by Kimberly Annette

I did it again! I saw another one of the six acts from Desert Trip the week of Desert Trip without going to Desert Trip (you get all that?). You’d think a $7 million paycheck for two back-to-back weekend spots would translate into a nice weeklong vacation, but no — apparently some of these guys need a pick-up gig or two to tide them over. Seeing the Who last week before their Sunday Desert Trip slot saved me a trip to Indio (Roger Waters de dammed). Catching Neil Young with Promise of the Real for one of the two midweek shows at the Fox Theater in Pomona made up for missing Saturday (Paul McCartney at Pappy & Harriet’s or Desert Trip would have been fun, but I’ll live with the memory of going to the ex-Beatle’s gig at Dodger Stadium in 2014).

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Anderson Rabin Wakeman

November 22, 2016
Orpheum Theatre
Los Angeles, CA

Review by Shawn Perry
Photos by Ron Lyon

“More Yes than Yes” is how some have described the experience of seeing Anderson Rabin Wakeman. That’s debatable, but certainly not without merit and credibility. After all, Jon Anderson is the original singer of Yes; keyboardist Rick Wakeman was in and out of the group and part of the so-called “classic” lineup; and Trevor Rabin helped revive Yes as their guitarist, second vocalist and songwriter during the 80s.

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