Sometimes, posts just start out from the strangest sources. This one starts with something I saw during the Meat Wagon Rampage of last weekend. Rampage is probably the completely wrong word...as far as I know, there was never a tour shirt with the perfect name. So. Anywho.
I was following the #momo tag on Twitter cause that's what any sane person does on a Sunday in Minnesota, right? Which by the way isn't exactly a clear channel and if you follow the link, it will be a while before you find the conversations, but again, I'm veering WAY off course. (I'm sensing a trend)
I'll just share with you the screen cap of the particular item I'm talking about today.
I got to thinking about what she was asking. I've been to some really great concerts, concert festivals and bar acts. There's a good chance I'll be stone cold deaf in the nursing home. Let's recap the concerts that come to my mind:
First Concert: Judas Priest with opening act Great White. Some time in high school.
My first concert. Let's rephrase that, this was my first REAL rock concert. I've probably seen enough things at church and school that were called concerts to know what truly miserable a concert could be. (I'm picky...get over it)
Since, in the aspect of time, this was my first one ever, a benchmark may have been improperly set. Great White was/is probably the worst band I've ever seen live. They were horrible. This did predate "Once Bitten/Twice Shy" but I'm quite sure that that song sucked enough to not move the bar at all.
On the other hand, Judas Priest was FANTASTIC. This was the Defenders of the Faith tour, complete with gigantic mechanical stage monster. Heavy Metal HEAVEN!
There were a few more in there that I don't recall much from. Must have been money well spent. I remember seeing Deep Purple on the Perfect Strangers tour. Can't recall one minute of it.
We move along to college. I scraped together enough actual currency to get a ticket to the U2 Joshua Tree tour. I think the Bodeens opened for them. This concert was everything I expected. The band sounded great and to be honest, the Bodeens were pretty good too.
Oh my god! They are playing something from their next album! This song must be BRAND NEW!!!Yes, to these girls, the Joshua Tree was U2's debut album. Sigh. They did tell us they were U2's biggest fans.
Concerts off campus were tough to come by in college. Seems they only accept real money, which I didn't have. IOU's didn't work, and flattery got me no where. Junior year, I did get to go to one that stands out though.
Prince: We won't ask
Although my taste has always leaned rock/blues, I still was a fan of Prince. Darling Nikki is a teenage boys dream song. Prince grew up here in Minnesota. Much like the rest of us twisted masochists, he's lived here most of his life. Before he embarked on large world tours, he'd often do some warm up concerts here in MN. My guess this how they typical got set up went:
So that's the background, here's the story. My buddy Kirk stops by my dorm room. His dad called him and asked if he could use two tickets to one of these warm up concerts from Prince. Kirk asks his dad, "Um, they free?" ($10 is 2 cases of beer...yikes!) "Yes they are, but when you are done at the show, don't ask." Whatever...FREE CONCERT TICKETS!phone ringingStadium Dude: Hello, St. Paul Civic Center.Prince: Yo, it's Prince. I'm going on tour, you booked Friday night?Stadium Dude: Nope.Prince: Cool, pencil me in. Be there about 6 to set up, concert at 8.Stadium Dude: Got you penciled in. Usual price for tickets?Prince: 10 bucks OK?Stadium Dude: You da man.click
It looked like we had seats in the first level of risers. Not main floor...bummer. Neither of us had ever been main floor. We walked around looking for our seats and then things started coming together. Yep, we were in the 10th row of the first section of risers but here's the best part, we 6 feet from Prince's piano. HOLY SHIT! We were eye level to princes piano with not one single person between us and the piano. We didn't ask where the tickets came from. His dad got a very warm thank you. Oh, that concert rocked too.
Lollapalooza: Three years of every band I wanted to see.
- 1991: Main Stage: Jane's Addiction, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Living Colour, Nine Inch Nails, Ice-T & Body Count, Butthole Surfers, Rollins Band, Violent Femmes, Fishbone, Emergency Broadcast Network
- 1992: Main Stage: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ministry, Ice Cube, Soundgarden, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Pearl Jam, Lush | Side Stage: Jim Rose Circus, Sharkbait, Archie Bell, Porno for Pyros, Basehead, Cypress Hill, House of Pain, Sweaty Nipples, Arson Garden, Seaweed, Seam, Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E., The Look People, Stone Temple Pilots, The Vulgar Boatmen, Truly, Skrew, Tribe, The Authority, Samba Hell, Café Tacuba, Rage Against the Machine
- 1993: Main Stage: Primus, Alice in Chains, Dinosaur Jr., Fishbone, Arrested Development, Front 242, Babes in Toyland, Tool, Rage Against the Machine
1992, I don't remember catching Rage Against the Machine. The main stage had my attention most of the day, but in 1993, I did catch them. They blew me away. This marks the first time I ever saw a band at one of these festivals and went to the music store the very next day to buy an album. I would have bought it the same day if I could.
People who read this blog won't know this about me, but people that know me in person might recognize this. One of my life long goals is to be the only guy in the old folks home without a single tattoo or body piercing. So far so good. During the festival of 1992, this pierced & tattooed kid walks up to me:
"Dude! You are such a conformist! Look at you! You've got nothin'!"It was shortly after this that I met the one that would transform my life. When I talk about music and concerts, my brain just floods with ideas. Before I tell you about the best concert I've ever attended, I'll tell you the stories of the best concerts since that big turn in a young mans life called marriage. But that's gonna be a whole other post....
"What the hell are you talking about?" I asked.
"No tattoos, no earrings? How can a conformist like you be here?"
"Ah! I get it," I replied, "You're an idiot! Have you looked around? Everyone looks like you. Am I really the conformist or are you?"
He looks at me with the most puzzled stare.
"Whatever." (well played genius)