Concerts, concerts and more concerts

On the way to work the other day my 4 year old son Matteo asked me which band was playing on the CD that we were listening to. It was an Irish band, The Cranberries. He then asked me if I had ever seen them in concert. I took a moment to reflect and eventually I said yes. Then he asked me who I went to this concert with and I knew that answer immediately, Kathy. I even remember the venue – The Greek Theater at Griffith Park.

From that random question I started to think back on all the concerts I have attended. I made it a point to attend at least 1 concert each year since that first concert until the year I had my daughter Malina – and that was the year that I somehow drove to local bookstore, less than a week after being able to drive (after having a cesarean section (c-section)), to see the Barenaked Ladies sing a few songs promoting a children’s album that they had just released. I left Max at home with Malina and was off!!

There is something about music that makes me extremely happy. Seeing music live makes me even happier! I have gone to concerts alone, driven 2 hours down to San Diego after work to see a show with friends (and then proceeded to drive back to Los Angeles to go to work the next day), I have been to just one concert in Europe (Germany to be exact), and driven all the way to Sacramento for a weekend to catch a concert that was at a hotel, and the stories go on and on as to the crazy things I have done to see a live show.

I am a very organized person…. I keep way too many items that I should throw away. Included in these items are concert tickets! Yes, I have saved almost every concert ticket that I have ever bought. With that being said the last 7 years (since having kids) has thrown me on my bottom and I do not have everything so organized as I once did. I have placed the last 7 years of knick-knacks in boxes that are just waiting to be put in a scrap book. The reason I have mentioned my scrapbooks is that right now I am going to list all the concerts I went to pre-kids just to have an organized record of it all and to see how many concerts I have attended.

I still remember my first concert was Kool and the Gang and I went with two of my cousins. By chance I saw Kool and the Gang open for Van Halen 2 years ago with Max. Talk about full circle. I will guess that I have seen many Barenaked Ladies concerts and the first show that I saw them perform at was at the American Legion in Hollywood- great small venue. The last saw I saw them perform at was the Santa Monica Civic Center in Santa Monica- that was a Christmas show…. For those who do not know the Barenaked Ladies they are a Canadian band that I first heard living in Western New York in a town that was 10 minutes from the Canadian border. Okay I am rambling… can you tell I’m excited???


Here goes nothing….


Kool and the Gang, NYC Fresh Fest III, Midnight Star & Whoodini, Genesis, INXS, Debbie Gibson, Steve Miller Band- (2 concerts), Billie Joel, B- 52’s – (3 concerts), USC Homecoming Concert, EMF, U2 – (4 concerts), Erasure (2 concerts), Ocean Blue– (2 concerts), Depeche Mode– (2 concerts), Lollapalooza 1994, I Mother Earth, Barenaked Ladies – (8 concerts), Natalie Merchant, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Refreshments, Porno For Pyros, David Bowie with Nine Inch Nails, Green Day, Whitney Houston, Violent Femmes, Jane’s Addiction, Smash Mouth, The Cranberries, Coachella, Dave Matthew’s Band, and The Who.

Recently I have seen Blink 182 (2 shows) and one day when I organize my boxes of knick-knacks I will recall what else I have been to… How fun it was to put this list together. No surprise to me the Barenaked Ladies are the group I have seen most- 8 shows and in second place is U2, a band that I have been listening to since I was 8 years old thanks to my brothers playing their “War” album before I was even double digits in age. I even wrote an English paper in college about U2‘s album “War” back in the day (I would love to see that now). For the record my total concerts is 49 from this post- that is without most of the last 7 years that I have settled into parenthood. I hope you have enjoyed this musical journey with me today… Feel free to let me know your favorite concert or your favorite bands if you wish!

(day 360)

Advertisements

Staying “Young” with Blink 182

the marquee

I was very lucky to score 2 tickets to one of the 5 shows that Blink 182 played in Los Angeles over the last week on their tour celebrating the 20 year release of their “Untitled” album. When the tickets went on sell the first 2 shows were sold out in about 10 minutes. Shortly after another 3 shows were added at a different venue. My friend and I decided to go for show #3 at The Wiltern in Koreatown (Los Angeles).

Age range at the show: around 12 to 50+. Yes, I fit in that range- definitely more toward the higher end these days. My husband once asked me if I was too old to keep going to concerts and I said “no”. (We have been to 2 or 3 concerts together too over the years). I have been going to concerts since I was 12 years old and only took a break from a yearly show when my kids were very young. Tom, Mark and Travis put on a great show.

We were in the balcony level as we wanted reserved seating. The seats were good.. I could see everything! The show was great—I think “I Miss You” is my favorite song. My ears were ringing for a day after the concert, and I don’t know how I woke up, dressed two kids and myself, and made it to work on time- but I am a professional who can balance it all out as needed. Thanks Blink 182 for an awesome evening where I took the opportunity to be young again rocking it out with you guys from Poway (San Diego County) California one more time (hopefully not my last)!

outside the theatre

mia inside the theatre

Travis

group shot

Tom

group shot 2

travis 2

group shot 3

mark & special guest

mark

confetti time

confetti time 2

after the show

(day 339)

The Coachella Music Experience

Coachella

Over the last week I have been hearing on the radio about a rather large music festival being held in the desert of Southern California. It is called Coachella and is a concert similar to the Woodstock or Lollapaloza festivals. There are bands playing on various stages with tons of activities going on and lots of people everywhere.

I love music and I love concerts. I plan on taking the kids to their first big concert this year. It will be a mellow group for sure, but it will be an official concert experience either at The Greek Theater or The Hollywood Bowl, both of which are outdoor venues that can cater to all age groups. I am so excited to take them to a show!! I went to my first concert at age 11 and they are starting out even younger.

I had the chance to attend Coachella in my late 20’s when it was a one day event. Researching a little I discovered this was the 2nd year of the festival being held and the only year it was a one day event. I don’t think I would have been able to survive the event running any longer! (Currently it is a two weekend event running from Friday – Sunday). Also please note that it is extremely hot in the desert during the month of April when the concert goes on so you really are forced to hydrate.

My girlfriend and I drove out to the Palm Springs area the night before and stayed at a cheap motel that we were able to book online at the last minute. The next morning we woke up and drove 20 minutes east to the Empire Polo Field in Indio (California). It was a crazy experience!! We watched bands play for at least 15 hours. I love my beer, but it was so hot that I had to refresh on water after only a few hours at the event. I still remember hiding out in the tent with techno music for a while to cool off and listening to Jason Bentley jam. He is a famous DJ in Los Angeles. I also remember that at one point my girlfriend and I separated for at least an hour before our paths crossed again (and those were the days before cell phones were as popular as they are now).

The largest bands that were highlighted that day included: Jane’s Addiction, Weezer, Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers and the Roots. I probably won’t return to Coachella.. my kids will be the next generation of the family to experience the craziness when they are older!! For now I will enjoy hearing some of the highlights on the radio & watch online of the weekend concert in the Southern California desert.

Lili with the masses

My friend Lili with the crowd behind her

Lipstick melting

It was so hot in the desert that April that my lipstick melted!

(day 126)

My pseudo obsession with concerts

Concert Time!

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???

(day 12)