This book presents an analysis of 100 rock concert performances and attempts to answer the question "What makes a truly great rock performance?" Author Peter Smith, an experienced concert goer, delves into his own recollections of experiencing rock performances over the last 50+ years and, with the support of his daughter, Laura Smith, analyzes 100 selected performances covering the themes of icons, persona, energy, fandom, venues, communities, politics, art-rock, authenticity and maturity. The approach taken is based upon qualitative analysis, reflection, and autoethnography. The selected performances cover a range of diverse acts such as the Rolling Stones, ABBA, Sex Pistols, Barbara Streisand, David Bowie, and the like.
Peter Smith is emeritus professor at the University of Sunderland.
Laura Smith is a sociologist, teacher, and musician.
Chapter 1 Methodological Approach
Chapter 2 Icons
Chapter 3 Persona
Chapter 4 Energy
Chapter 5 Fandom
Chapter 6 Venues
Chapter 7 Communities
Chapter 8 Politics
Chapter 9 Art-rock
Chapter 10 Authenticity
Chapter 11 Maturity
Overall, the book is an interesting read, and the author readily recognizes a personal bias, which is inherent in any “top 100”–type list…. [T]he data set Smith created with his post-show blogging gives readers insight into concert experiences that could not otherwise be accessed. The book is a solid addition to the "For the Record: Lexington Studies in Rock and Popular Music" series. Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers.
The live rock concert is where Peter Smith lived more than 2000 times, and we all know the live show is nonpareil. Every page of his inquisitive, careful assessments of his experiences gave me my own moments for better reflection on what makes or breaks the live performance. Long live the live concert!
1/31/23, Choice: This book was included in a roundup of top community college titles.