I have been to quite a few shows and concerts in my day. They have been quite varied in sound quality, energy level, performance length, venue feel, number of people at the show, seating/standing, etc.
Here are my five favourite, in alphabetical order:
Collective Soul - summer 1999, Craven, SK "Rock'n the Valley". I remember that it was a very hot day, people were squished for the headliner. The set started with the sun still out and hoses to water down the fans and ended with Ed Roland coming out alone with a single acoustic guitar, strumming away as he left the stage at the encore.
David Gray - spring 2010. This was a timely show - the 2009 album, Fugitive, was my favourite of the year. We had great seats - 3rd row from the front. The concert was at TCU place (moderately sized, good sound). The highlight of the show was the mesmorizing, extended version of Nemesis. More details of the concert were described in a previous blog entry.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - fall 2006. I tried to remember the setlist in a previous blog entry. This show was after the double cd Stadium Arcadium came out and I was musically in love with John Frusciante. It was a great show - I just wish I had floor seats.
Tragically Hip - early 1998. My first taste of music was earlier the previous summer at MuchMusic's EdgeFest. There were some decent acts at that - Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day, Tea Party, Sloan and a fairly new Foo Fighters. However compared to this show, it all seemed amateurish. The Hip were the real deal. A piece of Canadiana. Gord Downie was a genius and a raving lunatic at once. I remember the guitarist, Rob Baker, and his long hair - somewhat outragish to a conservative 16 year old version of me. I remember the way the bass player was in his old world. The rhythm machine of Johnny Fay and the backing vocals of Paul Langlois. The show came after the Phantom Power (1998) and Trouble at the Henhouse (1996) albums and was to me, the pinnacle of the Tragically Hip's fame.
TV on the Radio - summer 2009. This was at the Odeon (small club) and it was hot outside and felt like 35 degrees inside. I wanted to be close to the stage, so I sweated a ton. There was so much energy at this show. The acclaimed album Dear Science was out and I was a big fan of it. Highlight was the song DLZ.
Honourable mentions: Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Constantines, Plants and Animals