Thursday, June 22, 2006

Thursday Thirteen - Favorite Concert

Today’s Thursday Thirteen, coming over from Winged Emotion, is a favorite topic for me: the 13 favorite concerts I’ve been to, or groups I would like to see. I’m going to stick with concerts I’ve been to, having been to a few hundred concerts at this point, and making a point of not having regrets.  So, in reverse order of favorite to least favorite,  here goes:

13. The Eagles – I had always wanted to see the Eagles, but had never been in the right place at the right time, so when they started touring again a few years ago, I made a point of seeing their show in Boston.  They weren’t as tight as they once were, and I think that Joe Walsh has lost a bit of the passion that made the group so incredible, but it was a great nostalgic concert nonetheless.

12. Harry Chapin – The first concert I really remember well was, at the age of 9, going to see Harry Chapin at the Valley Forge Music Fair. The small 2000 person venue was perfect for his music and his storytelling and the personal way he addressed the audience was fantastic.

11. James Taylor – I’ve seen JT a ton of times, but sitting on a lawn in Cincinnati on a hot summer day with Taylor strumming old favorites and a beautiful woman beside me is about as good as it gets in my book.

10. Three Dog Knight – I originally went to see Three Dog Knight when I was two with my family on the Philly art museum steps, but obviously didn’t remember that.  But going to see them last year at the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls was like a dream remembered.  They really are great, and if they’re coming to your town, I suggest hitting the show.

9. Aerosmith – The group had been on my list for years, but I didn’t get to see them until they played Darien Lake amusement park last summer. Wow, they really punched it out.  Great show!

8. The Grateful Dead – I’ve seen the Dead over 100 times, and I couldn’t tell you which my favorite show was.  But I had a good time at all of them (from what I remember).

7. Styx – I saw Styx at the Philly Spectrum during the Mr. Roboto tour, and was surprised and how much energy they have, and what a rocking show it was.  I’ve seen them since, but not with the original lineup, and it wasn’t the same.  But that show rocked!

6. Billy Joel/Elton John – I saw the two piano players together in Boston in 2002, and they were fantastic together.  I had seen Elton John many times, and he’s clearly my favorite of the two, but together they showed talent, fervor, and a real connection with the crowds.  I was glad to catch them.

5. U2 – I’ve seen U2 many times at this point, but my first U2 show was in Israel’s Hayarkon Park, and what a show that was. 230,000 people came out to see the band, both Palestinians and Israelis, and despite the show’s political nature, not one bit of violence broke out.  The show went well into the night, and I was an instant fan.

4. Stevie Ray Vaughan – I saw Stevie Ray in late August 1990 in Cincinnati, and the guy just jammed.  His opening act was Robert Cray, and the two jammed together for 4 of 5 songs. The concert was amazing.  Less than a week later, Vaughan died in a helicopter crash, a huge blow to the music world.

3. JFK Jam II – In the early 1980s, Philadelphia held three concerts titled “The Jams at JFK”, a stadium later condemned because they found nuclear waste under the rafters.  The second Jam, in 1981, included local favorites The Hooters, Santana, The Clash, and the headline act, The Who! What a concert!  I had never heard Santana before, and they brought the house down.  And the Who was beyond compare.  A great memory indeed.

2. Eric Clapton – I finally saw Clapton in 2002 in Philadelphia, and what a show that was.  He was always my hero, and I had only seen him when I was too young to remember the show.  For me, a long time Clapton fan, it was one of the most thrilling moments of my life to me front row center at the Spectrum with Eric Clapton seemingly playing his guitar right to me.

And the #1 concert I’ve seen is:

1. JFK Jam I – In 1980, 110,000 people attended the first Jam at JFK, consisting of local legend George Thoroughgood, Journey, and The Rolling Stones.  The Stones played for nearly four hours, with most of the concert being caught on video, later made into a movie called “Let’s Spend the Night Together”. At one point, Mick Jagger is on a catwalk which is moving out over the crowds, and he reaches out and grabs the hand of a kid on crutches who is propped up on milk crates, and indeed the kid is me.  How could I not have rock and roll fever after that?

technorati tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted by Scottage at 3:27 PM / | |