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The Mobile Lawyer -- One Lap, No Jetlag: Favorite Concerts

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Favorite Concerts

I was having a conversation recently about the best concerts we had seen. And I recalled this was an occasional subject of conversation while traveling -- along with "what was your first concert?" And that can lead to some interesting and amusing answers.

Though I might edit this list if I think of any others that I can't recall now, these are my favorite 5 concerts that I've attended:

1 -- Simon and Garfunkel (1983). Also my first concert. I was late to an appreciation of music. I didn't buy my first album (actually a cassette tape) until I was a sophomore in high school. Simon and Garfunkel did a series of reunion concerts in the mid-80s and my first concert was seeing them outside Washington D.C. Then my second concert was seeing them two days later Dallas. Pretty good start to my concert lifetime.

2 -- Pink Floyd (1988). Another reunion tour, but this time without one of the two major forces behind the band, Roger Waters. He and David Gilmour apparently despise each other with the burning passion of the sun. Didn't inhibit the excellence of the show in Austin.

3 -- U2 (1985). I've seen U2 twice. The first time was back on their Unforgettable Fire tour in Dallas and then saw them much later on their Pop tour in 1997 in Seattle. The first show was the more memorable (The Edge had to sing a bunch of songs in the later tour because Bono's voice was a little blown out) and especially memorable for me because of one of Bono's comments between songs. They had just hit it big time with this album, and were set to be one of the big bands at Live Aid later that year. Bono joked mid-concert to the sell out crowd, "where were all you fans when we played to a half empty show at Billy Bob's two years ago?"

4 -- Eric Clapton (2005). This was a concert tour that got very, very mixed reviews from my friends. I had a number of friends that hated it. I flew out to San Francisco and saw them him out there. I think the main reason that some hated this concert, including about half of the audience that I saw it with, was that they didn't know what Clapton was up to. The first half of the concert was old school blues covers of guys like Robert Johnson and others from decades long gone by. A good number of people around me kept asking: "is that a Clapton song?" Then in the second half of the show, he came out and played pretty much every single one of his greatest hits. I hate it when legends come out and only play a few of their classic songs, and instead play a bunch of songs off their latest album. Frankly, most times the most recent stuff isn't that great -- we came to see you play your time-tested stuff. Clapton did just that. For about two hours.

5 -- Big Head Todd and the Monsters (2008). Went to see them at Red Rocks before I took off on my trip. I really enjoy everything they've done and they put on a hell of a live show. The lead singer's voice is so damn velvety smooth and is a perfect bluesy/rock base voice. Great band and makes the top 5 also because of the venue. Red Rocks is one of the best places to see a concert in the world. Amazing.

I would LOVE to see other's lists of their favorite shows of all time. Thanks!



At August 15, 2010 at 12:30 PM , Anonymous Joel said...

My favorite concerts were the KROQ Acoustic Christmas concerts in Los Angeles. Every year, multiple bands (10 or more) played a few songs - some big bands, some flash in the pans but always a great time. A Who's Who in 90s alternative rock. In 1995, it turned into the longest show ever at the Universal (now Gibson) Amphitheatre - from 6pm until after 2am. After that, they split it into 2 nights.

Saw all my favorites (at the time) at those concerts. Siouxsie & the Banshees, the Cure, Duran Duran, Foo Fighters, Adam Ant, Korn, Depeche Mode, Garbage, Rob Zombie, Linkin Park.

and the best part - I got to meet Johnny Rotten backstage one year.

At August 16, 2010 at 11:47 AM , Anonymous Jen said...

Most memorable: 2005 Bruce Springstein, Devils & Dust solo tour.
He played small venues on this solo tour, so we saw him in LA at the Pantages Theater (2500 seats). He had a 2 seat max. for tickets, so we felt lucky to even get seats as we settled into the LAST row. We were there early and sitting in our seats with binoculars in hand as most of the crowd was out in the lobby trying to spot all the celebrities that were in attendance. A guy sits down next to me and strikes up an odd conversation... I was amused... Chris was not. After 10-15 minutes, he gets around to asking me how I think those people up front got their tickets...
"Hmmmm. I don't know, but it must be amazing."
"Would you like to sit down there?"
"Uh, yeah."
"Show me your tickets."
He proceeds to tell us that he is one of Springstein's road managers and he is trading our tickets for FRONT ROW seats. He does this at every show for about 10 fans (who are seated in the back).
The show was like no other one I have ever seen. Springstein didn't want anyone clapping along or standing during the show. So, we were seated the whole time and it was incredible. It was like he was playing to us in our living room!!!

At August 17, 2010 at 2:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite concerts:

1. Van Morrison at Marlay Park in Dublin, Ireland, summer 2001.

2. My first Willie Nelson concert, Memphis in May, 2001

3, 4. Greg Brown, Austin, TX 2009 - two night show, 250 seats. Best ever. If you don't know Greg Brown, you should.

At August 17, 2010 at 9:50 PM , Blogger SoloTraveler said...

thanks for the feedback -- repost the link to friends -- would love to have more comments and stories!


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