“Music is a world within itself, it’s a language we all understand.” – Stevie Wonder
I wish I’d seen the Talking Heads live.
I also regret not seeing Willie Nelson, AC/DC, or the Stones, and I feel like time’s running out on both me and them.
Friends of mine regret not having ever seen J.J. Cale, Queen, The Clash, the Ramones, Willie Nelson, Ozzy, Prince, Clapton, Neil Young, Alice Cooper, Foreigner, Genesis, Van Halen, Pink Floyd, Rage against the Machine, and No Doubt.
Nirvana, the Rolling Stones, Sublime, Michael Jackson, Elvis, and the original Lynyrd Skynyrd all got multiple votes in this category.
Led Zeppelin got the most votes for act people regret never having seen.
If the response I got from my friends when I asked them to tell me about their favorite concert experiences, is any indication, live music touches many of us; lives with us for a long time, and count among our fondest memories.
Like many of my friends, I’ve seen a bunch of what would now be called classic rock acts over the years: Dylan, Springsteen, Clapton, Bowie, Buffett, Ozzy, Pink Floyd, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Stevie Nicks, Kiss, Cheap Trick, Rod Stewart, John Mellencamp, Joan Jett, Jackson Browne, Bruce Hornsby, Elton John, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Genesis, Grateful Dead, Molly Hatchet, .38 Special, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and U2.
But I’ve also seen blues acts like Muddy Waters, Keb Mo’, and Robert Cray.
Nineties headliners like Counting Crows, Everclear, and my daughter’s first concert, The Wallflowers.
Alt country performers John Hiatt and Todd Snider. We’ve got tickets to see Southern Culture on the Skids next week.
I’ve seen Bootsy Collins, Flogging Molly, and Snoop Dogg.
Some bands or solo performers have classic onstage moments their fans will never forget seeing live. For Jeannie it was seeing the famous Judas Priest motorcycle. For Dana, seeing Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee “rotating while playing drums at the top of the Capital Center” was “very, very cool.” For Cathy it was Phil Collins…”He was playing pocket pool on the Megatron while singing I Can’t Dance…man, that guy can entertain!”
But there was another factor that came up a lot when we talked about our favorite concerts.
Michelle saw Aerosmith with Liz and Debbie. They don’t remember much of the show, but they remember having such a good time they couldn’t find their way home afterwards.
Robin F. says one of the best shows she ever saw was Cher, not only because she is a “great entertainer” but because she was with Miss Betty Schulz and Donna K. and “we had a blast. Betty’s first concert, and oh, the sights we saw. Donna K. and I laughed so much.”
I even got a mention. My friend Giselle said, “U2. The best concert I saw I had the privilege of seeing with you, Donna, Mark, Theresa, maybe even Glen…unfortunately Donna missed the concert – oh lord! Theresa and I got lost on Amtrack. Can you remember that? I thought there was supposed to be safety in numbers!”
Seems like a lot of my friends get lost on their way to and from shows…
Cathy’s favorite concert-going companion is Lana. Cathy said, “We have seen many shows together and she hangs right with me to “get to the front row” – which we’ve done many times. I have autographed drum sticks from Jason Bonham that I caught when he threw them into the audience, and I even once caught a drum cover at a Judas Priest/Iron Maiden concert. The best though, was when Lana caught guitar pick from Foreigner’s Mick Jones…in her cleavage! Sorry, Lana, but that was just too good not to tell…”
Suzanne remembers a great show, but only because of the people who were with her: “I think my favorite concert was one where a bunch of us went together to Merriweather! We were all under the pavilion together and took up a couple rows. I can’t even remember who we saw, but we were all together. Who was it, Bonnie? Janice? Brent?”
Diana loved seeing a lineup of bands in Crisfield recently. “That was great,” she said. “Mostly because of the group of friends I was with.”
And Bonnie, B-b-b-b-b-Bonnie and the Jets, put it this way…”But what made all those concerts great, was the friends who were by my side at each one.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Rock on, friends,
Thanks for sticking with me.