10 Iconic Final Concerts Plus The End Of Beatlemania


5. Led Zeppelin
Final Performance: July 7, 1980

Once again, Germany bore witness to the last concert by a legendary rock band when Led Zeppelin played their last gig with John Bonham in Berlin on July 7, 1980. It was the last date of a European jaunt that the band hoped would tighten them up into high gear for a planned American trek to come.

By this time, the emergence of punk had cast Zep as rock dinosaurs, and in response the band excised most of its showier, solo-heavy numbers, such as "Moby Dick." Good thing, too, because Bonham was in rough shape. Earlier in the tour in Munich, the drummer collapsed onstage early in the set and had to be rushed to the hospital. The original lineup's final tune together was a loose, metallic version of "Whole Lotta Love." The three surviving members wouldn't perform together again until Live Aid five years later.

4. The Band
Final Performance: November 26, 1976

Most of the concerts on this list were more or less ordinary gigs that only gained significance later. Then there's this one. When the Band decided to call it quits in 1976, it was planned as an event from the very beginning. Not only did the show feature more than a dozen guest stars from Muddy Waters to Ringo Starr, but it was filmed for a documentary release directed by none other than Martin Scorsese.

The resulting movie, The Last Waltz, is one of the greatest and most influential concert films of all time. While the Band's encore performance of Marvin Gaye's "Don't Do It" may have been the concert's highlight, for our money the documentary's filmmaking highlight was the rotoscoping out of a massive booger of cocaine dangling from Neil Young's nose.


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3 comments
ClassicRockBob
ClassicRockBob

Actually, the Band's final performances together came after the taping of The Last Waltz when the five members reconvened in a studio a couple of weeks later and were recorded/filmed playing "The Weight" with the Staples Singers, "Evangeline" with Emmylou Harris, and their own "Last Waltz theme," all of which are included in the film. The story goes that some members felt that the concert itself did not reflect the country and gospel influences of the Band. Also, the other four members not named Robbie Robertson weren't too keen on breaking up in the first place.

RickyB
RickyB

no Grateful Dead??

NathanSmith
NathanSmith

 @RickyB I'm not a Deadhead myself, but I've read that the band's '95 shows weren't quite up to par in many fans' estimation. What do you think?

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