Many of classic rock’s most legendary bands and performers rolled through the city of Boston this past year. Have a special look back with our video round-up of the 10 very best performances to come to Beantown in 2011.
10. Robert Plant at the House of Blues
He may not be open to a Led Zeppelin reunion, but Robert Plant can certainly still sing and crank out quality tunes. His latest album of mostly covers, Band of Joy, proves that. He brought the show on the road back at the beginning of 2011, hitting the House of Blues in Boston along the way. And of course, he also gave the crowd what they wanted with some Zeppelin performances.
9. Steely Dan at the Wang Theatre
Steely Dan traveled all around the world playing multiple sold-out shows at select venues with three unique and specialized sets, and Boston’s Wang Theatre was no exception. Considering how unenthusiastic the band has been about touring in the past, this latest production and tour could be Steely Dan’s greatest live triumph.
8. The Cars at the House of Blues
The Cars came back with a vengeance in 2011, with a brand-new album featuring the original members and all the euphoric nostalgia that comes with long-time Cars fandom, capped with a tour that at one point rolled through Boston at the House of Blues. Ric Ocasek & Co. may have never sounded better live!
7. John Mellencamp at the Orpheum
John Mellencamp is yet another example of a classic rock star sticking with what works for a new album – and as a result producing his best work in years. Mellencamp celebrated his latest timeless charmer with a tour that stopped in Massachusetts on multiple occasions, at one point hitting the Orpheum.
6. Rod Stewart at the TD Garden
Rod Stewart had another big year in 2011, with his massive world tour alongside Stevie Nicks and a new concert residency keeping him in Las Vegas for years to come. He also released The Best Of…The Great American Songbook celebrating the singer’s classic compilation series. Not bad for a man who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer some 11 years ago!
5. Roger Daltrey at Agganis Arena
We’re all still waiting for the next (final?) reunion of The Who, but for now we can enjoy some Roger Daltrey solo touring. He performed the classic rock opera Tommy in full for his last tour, plus plenty of Who classics. Boston University’s Agganis Arena played host this time around.
4. Bob Dylan at the House of Blues
Bob Dylan had an incredibly busy year for a man who neither recorded nor released a new studio album. Instead, he toured in support of The Witmark Demos finally escaping the vault, and also showed an affinity for playing in Massachusetts with the release of his classic 1962 performance at Brandeis University. He capped the year with a tour that made a stop at the House of Blues, a franchise that at this point could be called “The House That Bob Built.”
3. Bob Seger at the TD Garden
Bob Seger took the sort of Dylan route this year with the release of greatest hits collection Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets. He supported that with an arena tour that called the TD Garden home on tax day, April 15. He was also honored in the state of Michigan as the governor proclaimed May 28 “Bob Seger Day.” Are we allowed to celebrate here in Boston as well?
2. Allman Brothers Band at the Orpheum
The above videos show exactly why the Allman Brothers Band command more than just one night when they play major cities. This year saw the guys performing each of their classic albums Live at the Fillmore East and Eat a Peach in its entirety. Fan reactions we received sounded mostly positive. They just continue to prove themselves as one of rock and roll’s premiere live acts.
1. J. Geils Band at Bank of America Pavilion
We know…It’s something of a homer pick to put this show at #1. But ZLX had another great year in 2011, and one of the major highlights was the J. Geils Band helping us celebrate our 26th anniversary with a sold-out show at the Bank of America Pavilion. Nothing like Peter Wolf belting out classics like “Centerfold” right on the waterfront on a warm August night! And anyone who was there may agree with us 100% on that.
Did we leave out one of your favorite Boston concerts? Were you at any of these shows? Tell us about your 2011 live experiences in the comments below.