Favorite Music Experience
I can narrow it down to two. My favorite band is probably The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. I saw them twice back in the 70's, once headlining in London and the second time opening for Jethro Tull in Charleston West Virginia. It's the second time that is the case here, just because of the situation.
They were the opening act. SAHB were legendary for their ability to steal an audience out from under the headliners. They opened for Slade in the early 70s, when Slade was the biggest thing in England. One particularly rough night Alex walked up to the mic and said "I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that this is our last song." The audience cheered, Alex grinned. The cheering stopped, why was this guy happy about this reaction? "The bad news is that it's a f&%$ing long one." A lot of Alex's early fan base was made up of Slade fans that they won over during that tour.
When I saw them the second time, they were trying to break through in the US. They never quite made it, but they did win over a lot of lifetime fans.
The show was in one of those big barn halls that seat around 10,000 to 18,000. I was in the same room in 2011, and it hadn't changed much in 35 years.
SAHB had their gear set up in front of Tull's. The drums on one side, the keyboards on the other. In the middle was a raised platform, probably 10 feet up, with a mock brick wall with Vambo Rools spray painted on it. I heard several people wonder about this. My comment, just wait, you'll see.
At 8pm the audience was greeted with the sound of bagpipes ... from the back of the hall. This made the entire audience turn around to find out what was going on. It was two pipers, who then proceeded to march to the front of the stage. In the meantime the band came on and when the pipers got to the stage and finished their song, the band just exploded over the audience. By the end of the show Alex had the entire audience standing up and waving back and forth in time with their last song. They left them screaming for more.
Second Favorite Music Experience
A close second was the year before in London at the Royal Albert Hall. I have been a Benny Goodman fan since I was very young, mostly because my Dad was such a fan. I had this one chance to see him play.
It was the Benny Goodman Sextet. Benny on Clarinet, Piano, Vibes, Saxophone, Drums and the amazing Slam Stewart on Bass. It was an hour of the Sextet. After a certain point Benny stepped up to the mic and said "we need a trumpet for this next song". A trumpet player came on and did a piece. Then Benny said "we need a couple of trombone players." The audience got it and started to applaud every extra musician as they entered. After a handful of songs there was an entire big band on the stage and they played for another hour, this time big band charts. One of the most amazing shows I have ever seen. I got all my favorites, from the small group stuff to big band, all in one show.