Concerts, a retrospective

by Ginger on May 18, 2009

in Entertain Me

Next week is my wedding anniversary, and because I am an awesome wife, I got my husband an awesome anniversary gift…

I got him tickets to see Nine Inch Nails/Janes Addiction this past Saturday, since he’s a huge NIN fan and I knew he would have an amazing time. But more importantly, I got him tickets to see NIN/JA with his best friend, and not with me. Yes, I got my husband an anniversary gift that included a night out without me. N.C. hasn’t been to a ton of big concerts, and I really wanted him to totally enjoy it, not worry about whether I was having fun/comfortable/etc.

It got me thinking about all the big concerts I’ve been to over the years, and the list is sort of…well maybe not what you’d think for a 29 year old female. But each concert was amazing in it’s own way. Here, then, is today’s list–7 (well really 8) big arena concerts I’ve attended over the years:

  1. Debbie Gibson was the first concert I remember going to as a pre-teen. I had really wanted to go to the NKOTB concert, but my mom couldn’t get tickets. I think she felt bad, and so got us tickets to see Debbie instead. We had horrible seats, and the shrill screaming still echoes in my head, but I remember being so excited that my mom would take me to a concert, and having a great time with her. Oh, the memories of denim jackets and aqua netted hair!
  2. Paul McCartney was a bit of a surprise to me. My parents got tickets to this concert when I was probably 13 or so, and I “had” to go along. Not that that was the end of the world–I grew up listening to the Beatles, and went through a period in 7th grade where that’s almost all I listened too–but I wasn’t convinced the concert was going to be that good. I mean, Paul was so OLD (ah, the stupidity of youth) and he wasn’t the Beatles anymore, it was Paul McCartney and Wings, so how good could they be? To this day, this is one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen in my life. And his live version of Live and Let Die in the middle of the concert was so good that I immediately (and still) proclaimed it better than the Gun’s and Roses version. Everyone should see a concert where a rock song gives you chills.
  3. Harry Connick Jr. Ahhh, Harry. I had such a crush on Harry when I was in high school, and getting the chance to see him was such a dream come true for me at that time. Of course, there was a little disappointment, because he was touring for his “rock” album, and so didn’t play many of the jazzy songs that I adored him for, but that didn’t matter–he wore jeans and a wife beater, and I actually got to stand right next to the stage! Swoon. And even though his rock album isn’t his best, I still contend that he’s an amazing musician and performer that is somewhat underrated.
  4. Dave Matthews Band. I’ve seen Dave in concert twice, once in college and again last year. I got turned onto DMB by someone I dated and have never looked back. I know a lot of people don’t like Dave’s music, but you have to admit, he’s a music machine–they tour constantly, and because of that, their live performances are an examination of how a group of musicians can “talk” to each other on stage. They riff, they improv, they solo, and it pretty much always sounds as good if not better live than the studio albums. If only there weren’t so many douchebags who go to DMB concerts.
  5. Billy Joel–ah the piano man. I went and saw him in college, with perhaps the worst seats I’ve ever had at a concert (we were 3 rows from the top of the arena, behind the stage, and the angle was so steep, we literally couldn’t anything that didn’t happen on the front 1/3 of the stage). But damn it sounded good.
  6. Fleetwood Mac. I saw Fleetwood Mac with my mom and a few of her friends when I was about 23. I was actually really excited about the concert (another group I grew up listening to), but unfortunately I hurt my back on the way there, which meant that I was drugged up on painkillers and muscle relaxers during the show. Which, come to think of it, might be more appropriate for FM than being stone cold sober.
  7. Dixie Chicks. My best friend from high school and I got ourselves to the Dixie Chicks concert (this was before all the brouhaha with them) one summer in college, and proceeded to have the best, most girly time. It was a great concert, with great musicians playing on the road with them. I love watching musicians who are super skilled at their instruments, and there was no lack of that at this concert. But perhaps the best part was enjoying it with my friend, and being so silly and giggly and into it together. What better way to see a concert?

What concerts stand out in your memory? What makes a concert stand out for you–is it the music, the atmosphere, who you see it with, or some other element?

As always, more lists can be found over at abdpbt:


abdpbt May 18, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Ahh, I’d have liked to have seen Jane’s Addiction back in the day. I would say my favorite concert was Morrissey at the Santa Barbara Bowl, since it was such a small venue and I was OBSESSED with him at the time. I saw him twice that year, and at the Forum in LA he had David Bowie as a special guest, so that was cool.

Other good ones: The Killers, The Pixies (a small venue, also), Social Distortion.

abdpbt´s last blog post..22 Lists That Are Mostly Blank

Katherine May 18, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Most of my concerts of late have been country. The best part of them being not having to pay for the tickets…ah to have a friend with connections to publicists who are looking to suck up.

DMB in college…worst drive ever!

Jamie May 19, 2009 at 7:33 am

My first concert ever was No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom tour. I was in 6th grade.

I’ve been to a ton of small band shows but the bigger ones I’ve been to are Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. Both also awesome. Justin was the best show I have EVER been too though.

Jamie´s last blog post..calm my puppy mama nerves

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