Category Archives: Music

Uncle Joel’s YouTube Concert Series: Songs from before I was born

The YouTube is possibly the greatest boon for music lovers in the history of the world. Some might point out that Napster or BitTorrent or iTunes made it easier to acquire and collect music, but acquisition and collection are not the same things as love.

Here, then, is a lovingly-curated concert series of a few of my favorite performances. Today’s series is called “Songs from before I was born.”

1. Led Zeppelin – Dazed and Confused – Denmark 1969

When I was 17, I would have told you that Led Zeppelin was the greatest rock band of all time. Now that I’m twice that age (and more), I can’t say that I disagree. The YouTube is full of great live Zeppelin performances, but this early set (which contains 4 other videos), performed in a pitch-black auditorium in front of a few dozen Danes sitting passively on the floor, is stripped down and near-perfect.

2. Chicago Transit Authority – I’m a Man – Beat Club 1968 (?)

If you’re my age, you probably think of Chicago as purveyors of cheesy 80s soft rock and love themes from Karate Kid sequels. Thanks to the YouTube, you can see that there was a point in the distant past where they absolutely killed it.

3. Edgar Winter Group – Frankenstein

Yes, Edgar Winter is a creepy Scientologist albino with a keytar, and, yes, Rick Derringer is approximately 3 feet tall, but Edgar keeps switching instruments mid-song like some sort of albino Scientologist maniac, and this is a fantastic jam.

4. Beatles – Ticket to Ride – Shea Stadium 1965

This seems to be the sweet spot, where they were absolutely huge but hadn’t gotten super-weird yet. That crowd is insane, and the music is perfectly done.

[The only good version I can find has embedding disabled. Jerks.]

5. Seals & Crofts – Summer Breeze – Live 1973 Midnight Special

As far as I’m concerned, hippies have only ever done two good things. One is putting cookie dough in ice cream. The other is this song.

Next time in the concert series: “Hair Metal / Crunk.”