The Eleven Greatest Record Store Performances, Part Two (The Top 5)

Steve Wiley is Up on the Sun's resident Record Store Geek. Biweekly, he shares stories of great music and whacky characters from his continuing 27 years in Valley record stores and the always-zany music biz.

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Steve Wiley
Blackalicious and guests entertain a huge crowd at ASU's Hayden Lawn

Welcome back, my friends. When I last left you, I was discussing my favorite record store performances of all time.

I had such a great time telling the stories, that my editor decided to break into two parts (a blogging first for me). So I was able to tell the stories of numbers 7-11, featuring Guttermouth, Pete Yorn, The Refreshments, and more. Hopefully you enjoyed them.

Here's the good news, the next five are even better (especially the top two)

So hold on to your hats. Here comes the Top Five In-store Performance of All-time (cause kids.... dig... hyperbole).

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Steve Wiley
The Format plays to an overflow crowd at Hoodlums ASU

5. Barenaked Ladies (Zia/ASU)

I knew that I loved the BNL debut album, the still-awesome Gordon, so I was really stoked for the show. What I didn't know was how popular the band was on campus, or more importantly, how fantastic they were live.

See Also: Record Store 101: Play These Albums, Sell These Records

Turns out this whacky group of Canadians was one of the first to use the Internet to exchange music from their live shows, so their stage shows were not foreign to ASU kids when they played Zia. The stage area was packed, and the Ladies and their crowd did not disappoint. They played a ton of songs and closed with their hit, "If I Had a Million Dollars," which included a number of people throwing Kraft Macaroni and Cheese during its mention in the song's lyrics.

Note: Later that evening at Hayden Square, they got down to their underwear for the encore, to the delight of the entire crowd.

4. The Format (Hoodlums/ASU)

Another street date performance from a band that didn't forget the indie store that helped break them. Nate (now a national big shot with his new band, Fun.) and Sam played the MU stage the day that Interventions and Lullabies was released in what ultimately may have been our biggest indoor show ever (counting the crowds is pure guesswork).

We had brought in 500 copies of the CD to sell, figuring they would last us all week. They all sold in ONE DAY. Still our biggest-selling single day total ever.

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