VAN HALEN – Live in Sydney, 20th April 1998

When Van Halen first appeared on the live scene in the late 70s, they revolutionised hard rock.  Artists like Led Zeppelin were playing mammoth live sets, dominated by huge solos and many other rock acts were seeming just a little…tired.  Van Halen’s combination of volume and energy was said to floor any act they were invited to support.  Just one listen to their self-titled debut album makes it easy to see why.

The power in ‘Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love’ and ‘On Fire’, combined with the jaw dropping ‘Eruption’ – during which guitarist Edward Van Halen pretty much reinvented what was considered “cool” at the time – still makes that record a thrilling listen decades on.

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MARILLION – Live @ Roskilde Festival 1983

For many years, Marillion fans had to make do with the ‘Recital of The Script’ and ‘Grendel/Web’ VHS tapes for their fix of early Marillion live footage.  Thanks to the internet, further footage promoting ‘Script For A Jester’s Tear’ later surfaced, including a brief clip from The Marquee, but this footage from the Danish Roskilde Festival might just be the most exciting yet.

It captures Camel drummer Andy Ward’s brief time occupying the drum stool, making this a vital historical document.  Ward automatically gives the performance(s) a little more energy than Mick Pointer was able (though still not quite enough if Steve Rothery’s expressions are anything to go by on occasion), but anything lacking musically is more than made up for by a ridiculously boisterous audience being tackled by Fish in a fearless mood.

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MARILLION: Chippenham Goldiggers – 12th March 1984

A lot of great Marillion shows have been made available on video, DVD and blu ray over the years.  Dozens of shows from the 90s onward have been issued via the band’s official website, but fans of Marillion’s formative years have had to make do with just two shows – neither of which show the band at their best.

‘Recital of The Script’, filmed at Hammersmith Odeon in 1983, remains the definitive document of early Marillion despite being hampered by some painfully slow drumming.  At the other end of the “Fish Years”, the 1987 festival set ‘Live at Loreley’ shows Marillion seeming rather tired and in need of a little re-invention.

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Watch: Led Zeppelin live @ Seattle Kingdome 17/7/1977 (full 3hr show)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the Led Zeppelin anthology was released in 2004, fans were given lots of reasons to get excited.  Not only was the black and white footage from Denmark ’69 available for the first time, but the double disc set also included a full set from London that same year, alongside highlights of Knebworth 1979 (full show here) and Earls Court 1975.  As has been discussed many times, fans would like to see the latter pair of shows released uncut…but it’s never going to happen.

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