The Doctor wrote: I’ve never been much of a one for live gigs but those I have been to have generally been a letdown.
I was disappointed with Peter Gabriel at the NEC in 1987. We were sat in tiered seating quite a way from the stage and the music had to compete with the constant whine and hum of the air conditioning fans. This was a day or two after seeing Genesis (with Paul Young supporting) at Roundhay Park, Leeds. The sound quality was pretty rubbish there too but I guess that was in the open air which is a bit of an excuse.
Morrissey at the Pavilions a couple of years ago was also somewhat spoiled by poor/fuzzy sound quality.
You were very unlucky with Genesis and Gabriel. I must have seen Genesis a dozen or more times and apart from the very early days when Mellotrons could be very temperamental, the sound has always been amazing. Ditto Gabriel. Open air gigs can be very hit and miss though, especially at park type venues where the sound can drift. The other thing you miss out on in open air gigs is the amazing light show that bands like Genesis, Floyd etc. used to put on, or at least until the last hour anyway!
The Pavilions can be crap, that’s for sure. Don’t know why, but the acoustics often aren’t great there. Sometimes you actually wonder WTF the guys on the mixing desk are actually listening to!
I’ve always had a real buzz from live music though, but really prefer smaller 2-3000 iconic venues like Sheffield City Hall and similar. Unfortunately since the advent of arena/stadium gigs, the major bands generally don’t play the smaller venues anymore which is a great pity.