Why I am…*

10 Jun

… in love with live music.

I grew up in a music household; The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Otis Redding and countless other artists and bands, all on vinyl, would often serve as my alarm when I was a young child. To this day there’s nothing quite like the sound of The Beatles on a crackly record, a little bit of a grainy sound, a whole lot of heart and soul.

As technology changed, so did the sound of the music in our house. CDs, surround sound, HD radio.

My dad has been in a band for as long as I can remember; a master of the bass, he is. My brother followed suit with violin, cello, stand-up orchestra bass and (regular) bass. They both have unspoken contests to see who can own more musical equipment. My mother is a lark on a piano and I myself have dabbled in flute, piccolo and piano.

While I may not be as musically talented as the rest of my family, there is one thing I can always appreciate: live music. I attended my first concert my sophomore year in high school, though throughout the years I caught a few on TV (like The New Kids on the Block in 1990 which my mom made me turn it off because the Wahlberg was taking his shirt off… I was only seven so it was deemed inappropriate. Funny how I still remember that). At any rate, after my first concert, I started to crave the experience.

I’ve seen a variety of concerts over the years:

* PointFest: a huge moshpit and boozefest with tons of rocker bands but oh so amazing. The Urge, They Might Be Giants, Cowboy Mouth were my favorites that year.  * Memphis in May (2003) : Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Maroon 5, Willie Nelson, Nappy Roots, Wilco, Seether, Evanesence and much, much more. (This is when I fell in love with Memphis and smuggling cameras into shows). * Dave Matthews Band, nine or ten times and counting. If you don’t believe in love and world peace, attend a DMB show. That will surely convert you. * Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Purely for the experience. Not a huge fan of his music but a great crowd. * Cher. Tickets were $20. I was a senior in college. Total win-win, plus the Village Boys were the opening act. Turns out she puts on a fabulous show. * Pearl Jam. AMAZING live. There was a lady who was signing the entire event for a deaf child and Eddie Veder brought her on stage, sang to her and then she got his shirt. * The Killers. Just wow. * The Decemberists. I didn’t love them at first, but this converted me. * Hinder, Finger Eleven. Went with a friend, fell for Finger Eleven. * The Goo Goo Dolls. Random, right? * Journey, the new version. * The Counting Crows; always wanted to see them in concert and they were totally amazing and awe-inspiring. * Def Leppard, went mostly to hear “Pour Some Sugar” live. * Chuck Berry: a St. Louis Legend. He still performs every six weeks and I’d love to go see him again.  * Live.  * Jason Mraz. * The Blackeyed Peas. All thanks to Live on the Levee, a free concert series each summer. I also saw some repeats through this including John Mayer and Sheryl Crow. * Backstreet Boys. * New Kids on the Block. * Jimmy Buffet. * The Police. * The Black Crowes. * Stomp!

It’s true that sometimes I go to a concert purely for the experience, not because I’m totally in love with the band/music/performer.

It’s a total package deal: The lights. The crowd. The oneness. The feeling that if you can get all these people in one space to appreciate music, surely we can learn to appreciate one another more. The music. The rocking out. The humidity that is synonmous with our outdoor amphitheater. The merchandise booth (it may be overpriced but I almost always purchase a memento from the event). The feeling of invincibility listening to music you love or at the very least can appreciate. After this Friday I’ll be adding Harry Connick Jr to the list of concerts I’ve seen; I’ve been hoping to see him for the last three years.

Are you a concert person? Favorite concert of all time? Any artists on your must-see list?

* Title of this post borrowed from one of Dave Matthew’s Bands songs on his latest album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. All Photos linked to their origin via weheartit.com

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14 Responses to “Why I am…*”

  1. Emily Jane June 10, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    Oh, live music is incredible! My dad is the reason I love music so much (we still share the same taste to this day), and there’s nothing better than seeing a beloved artist performing live. My first “WOW” concert moment was when I was in England 3 years ago and saw Muse at Wembley Stadium. Surrounded by 70,000 other people clapping to the same beats, awestruck by aerial trapeze artists released in balloons over the audience, one of the most impressive lightshows I’ve ever seen. Pianos rising from the ground and perfect falsetto making my heart beat faster. Amazing moment. Though that was the biggest, my absolute favourite had to be possibly the most intimate concert I’ve ever been to. D & I travelled to Toronto in February to see a relatively unknown at the time English band (Mumford and Sons). They hadn’t even released an album this side of the pond yet, but we got there to find they’d sold out. They’re one of my favourite bands ever, and to see their raw passion, amazing talent, and totally humble surprise and appreciation of all the people who’d actually shown up and sold them out was one of the best experiences of my life :)

  2. MASHley June 10, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    ash – impressive list. and no the goo goo dolls could never be random. love their stuff.

  3. rachieannie June 10, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    I will be honest and say that live concerts have never really been my thing. I’ve been to a couple, mostly with my youth group when I was in high school or at a conference, but I have never bought tickets and gone to a “real, live, grown-up” concert. Not sure that will ever really change either as I don’t think that’s hubby’s scene either. Ah well, I’ll just live vicariously through you.

    Oh and the concert I was most jealous of on your list? Journey. Don’t know what it is about them but I love them. Cranked through that Greatest Hits CD a time or two.

  4. nova June 10, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    I was a big concert-goer in the 80s: Cure, Depeche Mode (even partied with them!), Duran Duran…. and in the 90s I took my little sister to see New Kids. I haven’t been to a concert since the late 90s (I went to see the Cure again), but I think if I could, I’d like to see Madonna in concert or Prince.

    Yes, I know… I am forever and always an 80s chick.

  5. Habbala June 10, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    My BEST concert experience was maroon5 when I was 20. I got VIP tickets where we got to go to the sound check, meet the band, and then while everyone was waiting for general admission doors to open we got to run off for cocktails with friends we made doing the VIP thing. Then they let US in first, so we were in the front row. Incredible.

  6. Jessica June 10, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    I love this list! you have seen SO many great shows. I want to go to one with you so I can fully enjoy it :)

  7. Akirah June 10, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

    I LOVE live music. So much, I just got back from an Ingrid Micahelson concert that I went to by myself. I couldn’t secure a “date,” but that won’t stop me. It was a free concert too…I couldn’t pass that up!

  8. freedownloadfont June 10, 2010 at 11:47 pm #

    Your blog template looks awesome!

  9. Amy --- Just A Titch June 10, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    Few things compare to a live show. Love them so much.

  10. Imogen June 11, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    Oh, I love concerts too!

    The last one I went to was “James” and they were amazing :)

    Wish I could go see the Cranberries and Aerosmith this month but don’t think I’ll be able to make it -since both will take place in Athens & on weekdays, no less :(

  11. Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks June 11, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    I don’t consider myself a live music person, even though I’ve been to my fair share of concerts. Starting with Billy Joel when I was 7 leading up to my most recent show with the Black Eyed Peas. I’ve seen the Indigo Girls, Phil Collins, Steve Miller Band, John Legend, Common, Joss Stone, Modest Mouse, Pete Yorn, Los Lonely Boys, Mark Broussard, REM, Vince Gill, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Dave Matthews solo and with his Band, Creed, Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Ben Folds and I’m sure others that aren’t coming to mind right now. I guess I don’t consider myself a live music junkie, because I tend to skip the smaller, local shows in preference for one or two bigger shows each year.

  12. Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks June 11, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    OMG, and now that I’ve read the other comments, how could I forget mentioning Maroon 5, Everlast, Prince, Madonna … where’s my head?!? =)

  13. mandy June 11, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    I love this post and it took me on a fun trip down memory lane trying to remember all the shows I ‘ve seen over the years. I’m a huge live music fan. Everything from big four day music festivals, to big concert venues, to more intimate smaller ones. Love them all. My favorite ones are definitely open air ones though. My summer is filled with concerts and friends, that makes me incredibly happy.

  14. Lisa from Lisa's Yarns June 11, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    See, this is just another reason why we should live closer together. I love going to shows but don’t really have many friends who love it as much as I do… I might start going to shows alone.

    All-time favorite concert was seeing Ben Folds in Brisbane, Australia when I was studying abroad. he pounded away at the key board so hard & passionately, the foot pedal broke by the end of the concert. It was awesome.

    I also love seeing Damien Rice & Brandi Carlile. Seeing Damien Rice in Ireland some day is on my bucket list. Brandi Carlile plays at the state fair this summer – her concert is actually the Sunday of the weekend you are here. You shoudl stay another night & go with me! :)

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