Went to two fairly big ones (for me) this past summer.
July 8th: Cheap Trick/Poison/Def Leppard at Jones Beach in NY. Outdoor theater, perfect weather, and although I'm a big fan of all three bands, Def Leppard was the big one for me. I've never been one to actively seek out concerts, so even though I've been a huge DL fan since 1983, I just never got around to seeing them - my bad entirely, I know. All I can say is, I've deprived myself of some great shows over the years, because Def Leppard can still put asses in the seats - it was packed, and based on the tee-shirts everyone had on, I'd say pretty much 95% of the audience was there to see them. For a bunch of guys either pushing 50 or already there, as in Joe Elliott's case, they had more energy than bands half their age, they sounded spectacular, and quite simply put on a hell of a show.
DL was the main draw, and Poison was the second band up. Again, great sound, tons of energy for a bunch of middle-aged guys, CC DeVille was sober, which was so great to see - he completely tore it up on a couple of guitar solos. That was one of my things I would have been really disappointed about - I just kept saying, "Oh, man, I love these guys - please don't let CC be pissing himself up on stage." He was sober as a judge, and there's no way he could have done so much intricate guitar work, while running all over the stage, if he wasn't.
Cheap Trick opened for all three, and since this thread originated as "Best Concerts/Worst Concerts", I hate to say, but Cheap Trick was the worst. Just all flabby and out of shape, both with respect to their music and their energy level. They just phoned it in, and I've been a fan of theirs since 1979, so it was disappointing. Rick Neilsen was the only one who even tried to get the crowd going. Robin Zander, Bun E. Carlos and Tom Peterson didn't even make the effort. The one song that I do have to give a ton of props for was their cover of "A Day In the Life". Normally, I'd love to Stooge-slap anyone who covers the Beatles, because I'm just never satisfied with the result, but they really did a good job with it. But that was it.
Next big one: July 17th - Paul McCartney at Citifield, Flushing, NY. A-MA-ZING! I finally, FINALLY, got to see an honest-to-god Beatle! 67 years old, and the guy was running all over the stage like he was 30. He hit the stage around 9 PM, and played till past midnight - we were exhausted, but I think he could have kept on going.
Highlights for me: He sang "Something" as a tribute to George Harrison, which since that's George's signature song, was really something. On the screen behind him, clips of he and George through the years flashed by. One of the last ones, as he was winding it up, was this shot of the two of them from around 1965, George staring straight ahead into the camera, while Paul rested his head on George's shoulder - at that point, I admit, I burst into tears, it was just so cool.
Other highlight: The only drawback was that it rained, but Paul and his band stayed put. Everyone was singing along throughout the show. But it was during "Let It Be" when it occurred to me: I'm standing here in the rain, in the dark, with thousands of other people and Paul McCartney, singing along to "Let It Be". Quite frankly, if I live to be 100, I'll never ever forget that moment.