Concert memories

A while ago I discovered pages in the albums I keep my concert ticket stubs in were turning yellow. Yes, I am a music geek — I save my concert ticket stubs. Acid-free, archival-quality albums were the fix for the problem, so I bought a few. As I was transferring the tickets into the new albums, I was reminded of all those excellent shows I’ve been to. Below are some thoughts on the best:

Sting – July 10, 1988
I’ve seen Sting in concert several times now, but he never tops this show. Probably for a number of reasons: He was promoting his best album, …Nothing Like The Sun, he had an excellent backing band, and my friends and I had great seats (6th row in a 20,000 seat amphitheater). Favorite song from the show: “Englishman In New York.”

The B-52’s – December 5, 1989
Six or seven years earlier, I was blown away by the songs the B-52’s recorded, like “Private Idaho,” “Strobelight,” and “Rock Lobster.” This show was part of their Cosmic Thing tour and I couldn’t believe I was hearing those songs live, along with the new ones like “Love Shack.” What a fun show.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse – January 24, 1991
From Neil Young’s Ragged Glory tour, Neil and his band played killer versions of songs from that album and his other most recent release, Freedom. He also included some great older songs from Rust Never Sleeps and some downright classics like “Cinnamon Girl.”

Roger McGuinn – June 30, 1991
Roger was touring to promote his first record in 13 years, Back from Rio. While the new songs were great, my most vivid memory of this show is everyone sitting down during the entire concert and singing along to all those old Byrds’ songs, like “My Back Pages.”

U2 – September 13, 1992
The setting and the music made this a magical show. It was a beautiful fall evening with a full moon over Camp Randall Stadium. At times the music would swell just as soothing breezes caressed the stadium, making it seem like the wind was under the band’s control. Also adding to the magical quality was the surrealistic setting of the Zoo-TV tour. Crane-mounted Trabants (obsolete cars from former East Germany) hanging over the stage, giant video screens, and Bono wielding a huge remote control to change the channels. Most of the music was from my favorite U2 album, Achtung Baby. Although my favorite song of the night was a cover of Lou Reed’s “Satellite of Love,” which had Bono singing a duet with a video-appearing Lou Reed.

W.O.M.A.D. – September 12, 1993
Peter Gabriel’s baby, the World of Music Arts and Dance. This music festival featured Mr. Gabriel, Crowded House, P.M. Dawn, Inner Circle, James and several other bands from around the world. A true world music show.

Tragically Hip – December 12, 1998
Seeing lesser known acts in small venues play their hearts out can be a real treat. I’d seen Tragically Hip a couple of times before, but this show made them one of my favorite bands.

Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band – September 27, 2002
It was the first time I’d seen Bruce with the E-Street Band. I had previously written about this show here on my blog.

What’s your favorite concert memory?

2 comments on “Concert memories

  1. Sadly, I have only been to 3 concerts in my life. Well, maybe 4 if you count the time I saw the Beach Boys touring with John Stamos in the 80s. I willingly went to the Cher/Cyndi Lauper Tour in 2002, Dave Matthews Band in 1999 at Alpine Valley, and Bush at the Dane County Coliseum circa 1997/98. I saw Gaelic Storm play live once out in California. That was a very fun show where the band drinks more than the audience and the music is great.
    Yeah, thats me, pathetic concert goer. I really did enjoy Dave Matthews Band though. The venue was great and the atmosphere was friendly, if a little bit stoned. Now I fear my concert going days are done before they ever got started.

  2. Nothing to be ashamed of there (okay, if you ignore the John Stamos thing). I’ve seen Dave Matthews Band a couple of times and they do put on a good show.

    “Now I fear my concert going days are done before they ever got started.”

    Hey, don’t say that. I know people with kids who still go to concerts every so often.

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