Okay, I’m not obsessed with concerts, but I sure do like to go to them! I went to my first concert with my much older cousin and her stepdaughter. The headliners were ‘Kool & the Gang’. That show was in a small venue in Louisville, Kentucky. Recently I saw ‘Kool & the Gang’ for the second time when the opened for ‘Van Halen’ at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, talk about full circle.
During the early years I went to shows with my older brother yearly in downtown Indianapolis. We went to the ‘Fresh Fest’ and I saw ‘The Fat Boys’ and many other early rap and R&B artists. During my freshman year of high school I went to my first rock concert, ‘Genesis’ during the Invisible Touch Tour. The next year I went to see ‘INXS’ during their Kick Tour and recall my dad not being too happy with me when my friend and I exited the arena around 12:30am and he had to drive us home.
These were just some of the first shows that I was lucky to experience. I went to at least one show from age 10 to the year I gave birth to my daughter. And I distinctly remember going to see ‘The Barenaked Ladies’ perform in a Border’s Bookstore less than a week after my first c-section delivery. What can I say, I am dedicated.
During the college years a favorite show was ‘Erasure’. I loved their glamour and the stage show they put on – plus all the costumes of the audience was always fun to see. I went to see them twice. I have always enjoyed a good ‘U2’ show. They have been a band I’ve listened to since grade school as my older brothers listened to the ‘War’ album and those following. I have probably seen U2 perform at least 7 or 8 times with the last concert I saw, the ‘360° Tour’ being the most spectacular of their shows that I have seen. The set, the music, the message, wow! Pictured above is the set before the sunset.
I started listening to ‘The Barenaked Ladies’ when I lived in Buffalo, New York which is located just a few minutes away from Canada. The ‘Ladies’ are a Canadian band who at the time were also very popular on the East coast of the United States. The first time I saw them was in a little tiny venue in Hollywood and I fell in love with their funny and entertaining live show. I have probably seen them perform 10 times, with my favorite being up in Sacramento, California when they did a small outdoor show at a hotel. It was such a nice and relaxed setting. So relaxing that I ran into and talked with the bassist, Jim Creeggan, after the show putting up his instrument in the car.
Other shows that I still recall vividly include watching ‘Porno for Pyros’ play in downtown Los Angeles at a small venue, and the early years of the Coachella concert which is a Woodstock type of show held out in the desert of Palm Springs, California. That year the headliners were ‘Jane’s Addiction’ and other bands that played included: ‘Weezer’, ‘Fatboy Slim’, ‘Chemical Brothers’ and ‘the Roots’. That show was a good 12 hours of listening to tunes out in the desert, hot sun, lots of people, lots of craziness. I also really enjoyed going a couple of times to see ‘the B52’s’ shows at Deer Creek, which is an outside concert venue in Indiana.
For the record I’ve only seen one concert out of the country. I went to see ‘Whitney Houston’ perform with a friend of mine who lives in Germany back when I lived in Switzerland. His company had a big group going from Stuttgart to Berlin for the outdoor show. It was a good show and definitely worth the weekend trip to go!
For fun I had to grab an old scrap book which I started in the mid-‘90’s to see what tickets I had saved. Here is what I saw: ‘The Who’, ‘Dave Matthews Band’, ‘The Cranberries’, ‘Depeche Mode’, ‘Smash Mouth’, ‘the Violent Femmes’, ‘Green Day’, ‘The Ocean Blue’, ‘David Bowie’ opening for ‘Nine Inch Nails’, ‘The Refreshments’, ‘The Smashing Pumpkins’ and ‘Natalie Merchant’.
The one band I never saw that I really enjoyed and still enjoy listening to is ‘Nirvana’. I missed one of their Los Angeles shows by days due to being back home on a Christmas break in college. I think Kurt Cobain was a genius and am still sad about his passing.
I can’t read music or play music, but I sure can enjoy a good concert!
Topic tomorrow: Why can’t I speak better Italian???