Let’s go to a concert

Whether it is a local band or one who has sold millions of songs, attending a venue to hear live music is thrilling and makes you feel alive. My wife and I have stumbled into live music on vacation which was a treat and we have made special plans to attend artists of renown. We have even gone to see our friend play piano in one of his bands  on very short notice. This post is dedicated to him as he suffered a stoke yesterday and may not make it. We are thinking good thoughts for him and his family.

Let’s honor him together and take a trip down memory lane. Please feel free to offer some of your thoughts and experiences.Together, my wife and I have seen some fairly big name performers and with very few exceptions were worth trip. I have even taken my boys to see some artists that my wife has not cared for, but were excellent to us – I could not drag her to see ACDC, Styx or Rush, for example, but we enjoyed the heck out of them. Yet, I was able to get her to see the Allman Brothers, which was well worth the effort.

Some of the well-known artists we have been fortunate enough to see include: Bruce Springsteen, who will leave you worn out, but you could hear just one more; Paul McCartney, from which I had to text my Beatles fanatical brother to guess where we were, Elton John, where we saw three generations of fans singing word for word with Elton; Eric Clapton, who brought along Buddy Guy and Derek Trucks for kicks; Tina Turner, the best performer around; Heart, led by Ann Wilson, one of the greatest Rock and Roll singers around; Tom Petty, who is so very underrated even with his tremendous body of work; Steve Winwood, what a thrill; Rod Stewart, who my wife had to see, but I enjoyed as well; Bob Seger, one of my all time favorites where we got tickets in the nose bleed section; KD Lang (once with Tony Bennett),  who can sing almost anything and does the best version of “Hallelujah” you will ever hear; Bonnie Raitt, God she is great; Peter, Paul and Mary, a wonderful treat, Chicago, where it rained half the concert, and George Benson, a great guitarist and performer.

In some smaller venues, we saw Mary Chapin Carpenter, who is genuine, talented and funny; Elvis Costello, who my wife did not want to see, but enjoyed immensely; James Taylor, several times and always a treat; Jimmy Buffett, who is especially entertaining when seen with your drunk brother-in-law; Jackson Browne, who actually disappointed (avoid the first concert tour date), but whose music I love nonetheless and Flogging Molly, which was a wonderfully unique experience. We also saw: Arlo Guthrie (twice), Marcia Ball (go see her if you can), Marshall Tucker (a band with a tragic history), Altan, a neat Irish band, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Foreplay, Harry Connick, Jr. and I am sure I am leaving off several others. My wife has gone to several with my daughter that were interesting from Owl City to Emilie Autumn, who apparently throws muffins at her audience.

Yet, we have seen some nice local bands that were a thrill, from Jazz to Blues to Swing to Pop. We have bought their CDs to honor their performance and help them out. But, the CDs also provide some memories taking us back to Montreal, New Orleans, Killarney, San Francisco, Blowing Rock or even home in Charlotte or Winston-Salem when we lived there. There is a Cajun restaurant in my home city that has live music every day. A neat memory of ours is my oldest son being asked to sing along with an Irish family in a pub near Watertown, Ireland as he was the lone American who knew the words to a song.

Music heard at home or in your car is a wonderful experience, but hearing live music makes it memorable. My wife won’t listen to Elvis Costello at home, but she enjoyed his concert, e.g. Yet, let me close with a tribute and memory of our friend Eddie, who had the stroke. Eddie plays in several groups, but the last time we heard him play was at his oldest daughter’s wedding a few months ago. It was also memorable as my wife played social director and got everyone up to dance, including Eddie’s mother. God be with you Eddie. You make us feel better about our lives with your music.

So, let me hear from all of you. What are some of your memorable experiences? Have you seen some of same folks? Do you have friends that play?


7 thoughts on “Let’s go to a concert

  1. Judy Collins, Carole King, James Taylor, Harry Connick, Jr., Huey Lewis and the News!!! (wow), Johnny Cash, Statler Brothers, Sergio Mendez & Brazil 66 (does that age me?), THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS (now I’m giving away my age), Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (and yes…we all sang ALL the words with them), John Denver (oh…geez I’m really old), Tom Petty, Red Hot Chili Peppers (not impressed). However…Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones was the ultimate. I lost 5 pounds just watching Mick lose 5 pounds!!!! Unforgettable that Mick!
    I, too, play the piano like your wonderful friend, Eddie. My thoughts are with you, BTG.

    • Thanks Raye. Does Mick have a spare five pounds to lose? I would love to see the Stones and Judy Collins, Carole King, but in the right venue. I bet Huey Lewis and the News put on a good concert. They have a lot of energy. Can you play well? What is your music preference to play?

  2. wow, what a marathon of talent you listed here, and how fortunate that i’m online at this very late hour of the night (morning) playing catch up!

    when in town on monday, i saw that wordpress had a prompt about music, and i was sure that you’d written this one for the wp queue. it’s perfect!


  3. All, I wanted to update everyone that our friend Eddie did not make it. If he had lived, he would have been incapacitated for the remainder of his life. Since his father-in-law was in a similar boat for thirty years, he would not have wanted that burden on his wife, who was the caretaker for her father for all of those years. And, he said when his father-in-law passed, if it ever happened to him and he could not play his music, then life would be less meaningful. Eddie was a fine man and will be missed. He leaves behind a wonderful wife, three terrific daughters and many friends. BTG

  4. I’m not much for live popular music performances. I’ve enjoyed a few in recent years, namely Richard Thompson and Josh Ritter. But the performance I will cherish forever, was that of violinist Itzhak Perlman, performing on a high school auditorium stage, back in the days before Boise had a beautiful performing arts venue worthy of his artistry.

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