I suppose to really be able to make the claim that you are completely with it you have to have had some great concert going experiences. Usually the earlier you see an act the more hip you seem. Someone out there saw The Beatles at the Cavern Club, The Who at The Marquee, or The Doors at The Whiskey A Go Go. Although time has brought esteem to anyone lucky enough to have seen The Beatles in person, the smaller the show the more status you deserve. The Fab Four’s Shea Stadium sell out and their final performance at Candlestick Park are huge historically and it would be cool to have been there, but chances are those people didn’t really hear much music. I can’t stand the Greatful Dead, but I would have to give props to anyone that saw them playing Golden Gate Park in the Summer of Love.
I’m pretty proud of my musical tastes, but I haven’t really been lucky or cool enough to be at the right place at the right time for many big time history worthy gigs. I did see the Jackson 5 in 1973 when I was eight or so, but all I really remember about that night was a really young Janet doing her Mae West impression. Nevertheless, even from an early age I was proud of the fact that I had a Jackson’s poster on my wall, while having no interest in the Osmonds whatsoever.
Probably the coolest concert I ever attended was an Elvis Costello show in Chicago during the mid ‘80s. He had this huge spinning wheel, with his own and other people’s songs on it. Fans were picked from the audience to spin it and whatever song came up on the wheel would be the one the band played. I think I also got to see Prince at his peak when he had Sheila E in his band around the time of his Sign ‘O the Times album.
Sadly I have tons of shows to forever be embarrassed over. I think I saw Asia like three times in high school. I saw the Clash without Mick Jones. I saw the Who without Keith Moon. I saw both Roger Waters and David Gilmore do solo shows after breaking up Pink Floyd. I saw Yes without Steve Howe. One time I excitedly brought my friends to see the Fleshtones incredible stage show at a small club, and we were forced to watch their entire show without ailing lead singer Peter Zaremba. It was a lot like seeing Cream without Eric Clapton. It’s all pretty pathetic, but at least I never paid money to see Rush.
Here are the twelve gigs I’d most like to have been at in chronological order.