We hear a song, purchase/download some music; it raises our awareness of the band and then we become a fan. The concert is the culmination of our musical inclinations. It is the holy grail of the musical experience. At least, in our mind, it is.
The concert is the musical equivalent of craps (the game of chance, not Jack in the Box 2 for $1 greasy tacos passing through your bowels)
Some nights go like this:
You purchase your ticket with the expectation that it will be musical bliss and a night to remember. You get there, fight the crowd, listen to the mediocre, at best, opening act, and wait impatiently for the headlining show. After what seems like an eternity, out stumbles the drunk/high lead singer, forgets the words to your favorite song, becomes enraged at the crowds displeasure and walks of the stage giving you the double fisted one finger salute.
While other nights go like this:
You show up at some little dive barbeque joint and begin to think the show has been canceled because there are only four cars in the parking lot. You go in, order some food and a beer, take you pick of the abundantly available tables and notice two chairs on the stage and a couple of guitars. You take a seat, sip your bear and out strolls the singer and his buddy and the play for several hours, come sit down and thank you for coming to the show and take your request and play it before the night is over.
I’ve regaled you with some stories of concerts from my past and touted the greatness of Austin City Limits Music Festival but today, I’m going to chronologically list the concerts, to the best of my recollection, I’ve attended over the years.
|7th grade, first concert to attend and broke my ankle that afternoon after being chased by a large classmate who took off his belt and began swinging it at me. I left the hospital on crutches and planned on going to concert while my mother drove along beside me screaming at me to get in the car. Being 12 and disabled, mom won and I missed the concert. I did, however, get the t shirt as a consolation prize from my buddy who I gave the ticket to.|
|My first official concert that I actually got to attend. Reunion Arena in Dallas, TX. Oddly enough, I do not remember much about the concert other than it kicked much 14 year old musical butt.|
|This period was the high school years and while there are funny stories, time has blurred the lines a bit.
Various country acts at Billy Bobs
|Some of my buddies were really in to country music and I would often tag along because I had nothing else to do and wanted to make some new female acquaintances. The Shenandoah concert was particularly memorable, not because the concert was good, in fact, I never actually saw them. I got kicked out of the bar because I was 18 and using a fake ID to buy beer. My buddies, of course, stayed and watched the show. The crushing event of the night was that the girl I took to the show also stayed inside and I sat alone in the back of my friend’s truck for several hours. The night was not a total loss, because I drank all of the beer in the cooler while sitting in the parking lot of Billy Bob’s.|
|1993-1995||Lots of local acts in the musical mecca of Denton, TX
|The Rush show stands out for two reasons:To procure the tickets for this concert, my buddy and I left Denton very, very early on a Saturday morning after a very, very, late Friday night to go to Lewisville Mall to get tickets. We arrived way too early and drove to Braums and got a double order of biscuits and gravy. While this might not read as funny as it was, we were way hung over and those biscuits and gravy were the magic elixir that restored our health. Night of the concert we pick up our dates, have dinner and head to Dallas. There is mild drinking, as colleges kids are known to do, and before you know it, we are on the floor of Reunion Arena basking in the glory of Rush. On the way home there is some conversation of the concert and the girl that I took begins to nod off a bit and then suddenly hurls into and on the door. We stop and ask if she is ok and she looks at us as if nothing happened and denies what is clearly on her chin, clothes, seat, floor, and of course door. We get home she gets out like nothing happened.|
|1995-2005||The Dave Matthews BandMetallica
G. Love & Special Sauce
Robert Earl Keen
|All pretty good shows and some artist like Dave Matthews and Pat Green I’ve seen multiple times. The one stand out concert story is this:A group of folks went to see Willie Nelson at Lone Star Park which is an outdoor horse track. His stage was set back a bit and there were risers and bleachers that elevated the fans to better see the stage. I am walking up, wearing loose cargo shorts and minding my own business, when I feel something moving up my leg and heading north central. I look down and there is an older woman with her hand up my shorts grabbing my junk. I jump up and swat at her as if she is some form of annoying insect and she looks up, smiles with what teeth she has left and says “Oh, excuse me” as if she had accidently bumped into me as were passing on a sidewalk. She then turned and walked away as if nothing had happened.|
|2006-Present||Pearl JamBen Harper
G. Love & Special Sauce
Robert Plant & Allison Krause
Cross Canadian Ragweed
The Tragically Hip
The Eli Young Band
|Damien RiceDonovan Frankenreiter
The Black Keys
Queens of the Stone Age
Iron & Wine
The Dead Weather
|The majority of these artists have been seen at the Austin City Limits Music Festival which is an annual pilgrimage for me. Some artist I have seen both at ACL and their own headlining tour.|
So, there you have it, a little stroll down concert memory lane. Let me know about some of your favorite or at least memorable concert experiences and who is a must see when they roll through town.
Great music awaits!