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Friday, March 15, 2013

Who have you seen live? (Updated)

The following is a list of all the concerts (at least, of artists who have had albums released) that I've seen in my life (so far). While this is not an official "meme", if you feel moved to I'd be interested in reading about your concert/live-music experiences. It doesn't have to be as detailed as the following. :o) Consider it an excuse to take a fun walk down memory lane.

Note: I am bad with dates, so until the shows started getting recent enough to accurately carbon date with Google, all dates are approximate.

Note: Some of the best live shows with music that I've ever seen, in any venue, in any format, remain the five Cirque du Soleil shows I've seen (Quidam three times, Dralion once, Delirium once). But for this post I am talking about "pure" musical artists/bands.
"We're ready, Mr. Music!"
- random kid in Romper Room
  • Elvin Bishop - ca. 1976-7 in Denver's McNichols arena, opening for E.L.O. I wasn't a fan, especially not of Fooled Around and Fell in Love, although I remember I Strut My Stuff from the concert favorably.
  • E.L.O. - ca. 1976-7 in Denver's McNichols arena. What can I say? I was into "progressive/art rock" in the 1970s. I got better. :o) I, uh, actually don't have very many memories of this concert, because, um (looks sideways), um...never mind. It was the middle '70s in Colorado, OK?
  • Ramsey Lewis - ca. 1977-8 in Ft. Collins with my folks. It was cool. I grew up hearing a lot of music in the house; my parents actually have a pretty wide spectrum of tastes in music (part of where I get it from). Anyway, Ramsey Lewis was on the "hi-fi console" "playlist" a lot, and we got to see him live as a family and it was good.
  • Firefall - ca. 1977-8, opening for Fleetwood Mac in CU's Folsom Field. They're from Boulder. I grew up in Boulder and came of age at their peak, but at the time I thought they sucked. I still think so, actually. Bring out Fleetwood Mac!
  • Bob Seger - I was reminded by a thread on Facebook that the Fleetwood Mac concert also had Bob Seger as an opener. You can determine my feelings about Bob Seger then and now by the fact that I had forgotten that I'd seen him live.
  • Fleetwood Mac - ca. 1977-8, CU's Folsom Field. During the second "white album" (Rumours) tour (actually, the third white album, if you count 'em like I do). It was great. It started to rain and given the general admission on the field, I actually ended up right up at the stage while they continued to play (they were under cover - we were not). While at the time the 17-year-old me lusted for Stevie Nicks, I've since come to really appreciate the incarnation of the band from that era for Christine McVie's voice and of course Lindsey Buckingham'spop craftsmanship.
  • Leon Redbone - got to see the great crooner of songs of times past at M.U.'s Jesse Hall ca. 1982 or so.
  • Dave Brubeck - OK, so my earliest musical memory ever (five? younger?) is the still-awesome Time Out album, which my parents listened to, a lot. Got to see Brubeck with them at Jesse Hall ca. 1982-3.
  • Canadian Brass - saw them with my folks at M.U.'s Jesse Hall sometime in the early-to-mid 1980s.
  • 3 - got dragged to this undead reincarnation of E.L.P. around 1988 in KC by my then sister-in-law. It was dreadful. Luckily, someone found a stake and drove it through their hearts.
  • John McCutcheon - Saw him play at the KC Unitarian Church in the late 1980's/early 1990's.[this entry added 6/29/2008]
  • The Millions (x2) - this band you've never heard of was out of Nebraska and was popular in the club scene in KC at the turn of the '90s. Saw them open for Pylon (below) and then saw them in an illegal show (they'd call it a rave now) in an abandoned warehouse in the industrial bottoms of KC - until the cops came and closed the thing down. Loved the band's atmospheric sound. Very much a sound of the times.
  • Pylon - saw them in a club in KC around 1990. R.E.M. had this to say about them on their cover of Pylon's "Crazy" (on Dead Letter Office) - "I remember hearing their version on the radio the day that Chronic Town came out and being suddenly depressed by how much better it was than our record." Hey, if R.E.M. says that about somebody, you have to go see them, yes? Good band.
  • Neil Young - one of my long-time favorite artists. Saw him at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, KS, in January, 1989, with my Dad (another forever fan) and Gabe. He did an acoustic set and then came on with "the Restless" (Frank Sampedro, Ben Keith, Rick Rosas, Chad Cromwell) and rocked the house. There was a dude about two rows behind us passed out for the entire concert who woke up during the final encores clapping and yelling.
  • Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians - opened for R.E.M. at the Kemper arena on March 4, 1989 (hey, I can date this one!). This was the So You Think You're In Love era. Whatever.
  • R.E.M. - Kemper arena3/4/1989. The Green tour. They opened with Pop Song 89 ("Hello, how are you" - big "Hello" projected on the screen). Went with my friend Gabe and my dad (really).
  • Feelies - absolutely one of my favorite bands. I am listening to them now as I type. I was introduced to them by my friend Gabe in anticipation of this concert at Memorial Hall in KC, KS on April 10, 1991. They did a great cover of Neil Young's Sedan Delivery.
  • Lou Reed - Memorial Hall, Kansas City, KS, 4/10/1991, for the New York tour. Great show. My ears rang for days.
  • Kathy Mattea - opened for Clint Black at the Missouri State Fair about 1990. Much better than Mr. Black. She introduced the song Harley during this tour.
  • Clint Black - dragged to this event at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia around 1990. I do not like mainstream country (roots country - Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, yes. Alternatwang, yes. Commercial country, no.) It sucked. What really pissed me off was for an encore he and his band did a great blues number and I remembered thinking, "You could have done that? And instead you gave us an hour of that shit-kicking cracker music?")
  • Joey Skidmore - my brush with greatness, 'cause he's my friend Calvin's stepbrother (and taught me to drink Stingers). Yes, the Joey Skidmore. Creator of Buttsteak. Saw him in a club in KC for the Welcome to Humansville album release party.
  • Emmy Lou Harris - saw her at a free outdoor concert at Crown Center sometime in 1990-91.
  • Chris Isaak (x2) - what a great performer! All the women love him; all the men want to be him. Puts on a great show, has a great voice. Saw him first in Boulder in the early 1990s at the Fox on the Hill. Then at Sybase's 10th anniversary Christmas party in 1995 (really).
  • Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown - opened for Taj Mahal and Michelle Shocked at Macky Auditorium sometime in the early 1990s. First time I'd ever heard of him (sorry), but he put on a good gig. Too bad I was distracting waiting for the next two acts.
  • Taj Mahal - I've liked Taj since I was a teenager, so getting to see him and Michelle Shocked in one evening (and even play together during an encore) was most excellent!
  • Michelle Shocked - I've loved Michelle ever since I heard the Texas Campfire Tapes. Considering her opening acts and that Alison Brown was in her band at the time and the fact this was at the height of her albums (the tour was in support of Arkansas Traveler, if I recall correctly), all I can say is, great show! Too bad you weren't there.
  • Joe Sample - I had never heard of this jazz pianist until my friend Guido dragged Gregg and I to his show at Yoshi's in 1995. Excellent venue, excellent sushi, excellent seats, excellent friends, excellent music.
  • Brian Ferry - what a suave m-----f-----. Great voice, too. See comments about Chris Isaak, above. Saw him at Macky in Boulder sometime in the late 1990s. They did Avalon, that was enough.
  • Elton John - saw him with Billy Joel in 2001. Good show. They did a set with both bands on stage, then each did a solo set (and each covered one of the other's songs), and then they did a finale set with both bands on stage again. Fun. While I am not an ongoing fan, his greatest hits (first volume) was one of the first LPs I ever bought with my own money. The stuff up until he split from Bernie Taupin still stands on its own.
  • Billy Joel (x2) - my lovely wife has been a Billy Joel fan forever, and I have taken her to his concerts twice now. First at Kemper in KC in April, 2001 for the Face to Face tour with Elton John. Then this past winter we saw him at the Sprint Center in KC (11th row back! I was a Good Husband). I have to admit that while I am not the world's greatest Billy Joel fan, I do enjoy his concerts as well as seeing him talk about his craft on Actors Studio.
  • Alabama 3 (x2) - saw them in Norwich, England around 2003 because some co-workers convinced me and then saw them again at London's Astoria on December 14, 2004 (there's a remote possibility you'd see me somewhere in the crowd during that movie - I haven't seen it yet). All I can say about them is "Wow". You know A3 (if you know them at all) as the band that did the theme songfor The Sopranos (Woke Up This Morning) But they are so much more (and so much weirder) than that. One great review I read about them once said it was like they had taken all sorts of American blues, country, roots rock, religion, Elvis and whatnot and without any cultural context had put it all in a blender set on "High", mixed it up and then poured it out. Exactly. Along with the Feelies, probably my favorite band in this list.
[Updated November 12, 2010]
  • Anne McCue - Les and I love (lovelovelove) Anne McCue. She's an awesome songwriter and a great guitarist. I got to see her in a small venue in NYC on August 9, 2010, and she even signed a CD for Les, who was very jealous for not getting to go.
  • Sarah Jaffe - Sarah played at the Living Room before Anne McCue (she didn't "open" for Anne - the club doesn't work that way). I had never heard (of) her before, but am a fan after listening to her set. If you like singer-songwriters (and I do), then you'll like Sarah.
[Updated July 18, 2011]
  • Interpol - opening act for U2. Good from what we heard, although their "sound" got a bit repetitious by the end of the set. Maybe it was just me.
  • U2 - finally got to see them during their 360° tour at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Now Les and I can scratch that off our respective bucket lists. Awesome show, even if it was freakin' HOT (90+ degrees in the shade, even after 9:00pm).
[Updated March 15, 2013]
  • Liverpool Legends - a Beatles tribute band we saw at the Main Street Music Hall in Osage Beach on March 8. 2013. We took the three youngest as part of Gloria's birthday present (she's a big Beatles fan). They were much better than I expected, and it was a good time had by all.
  • Moon Hooch - opening act for They Might Be Giants. Think "house" music but with two saxes and drums. I went in not even caring who was opening for TMBG and walked out a huge fan of these guys.
  • They Might Be Giants - took the three youngest last night (some folks from our church went as well) to see them at the Blue Note in Columbia. A great show full of "nerd rock" songs and lyrics. The crowd was very familiar with their music and there was a lot of singing and dancing along. Good times. We are now raising three more TMBG fans.


Erin said...

My list is humiliating compared to yours. We have rarely had the cash to see anything live since we were in high school. I've seen Billy Joel, Elton John, Chicago, Trans-siberian Orchestra (twice), a number of Christian artists, some 80's bands, and some smaller bands that you've probably not heard of. Still, there are very few worth mentioning. Heart is on my bucket list, but haven't seen them yet.

But, we are seeing Bob Seger/Jo Walsh in two weeks. :)

Jim Lehmer said...


I have decided it's time to start seeing a lot more music live again. The kids are at a good age to take them, for one, so it can be part "cultural indoctrination" and part family bonding.

Bob Seger? He's still alive? :)

Enjoy! It's good to get out.

Rick Bregitzer said...

Cheap Trick, House of Lords, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Michael Stanley Band, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Dennis DeYoung, The Lou Gramm Band, Mr. Mister, The Bangles, Grammatrain, Chris Rice, Chris Tomlin, Sixpence None The Richer, ZOEgirl, Skillet, Toby Mac, Newsong, Newsboys, Geoff Moore and the Distance, Casting Crowns, Plankeye, Dakota Motor Company, Big Tent Revival, Fireflight, For King and Country, 33 MIles, Dara McClean, Mark Schultz, Kare Jobe, We As Human, Group 1 Crew. Out of Eden, Knowdaverbs, Mercy Me, Building 428, Hawk Nelson

Jim Lehmer said...

Rick, when did you see the Bangles? Early Bangles woulda been cool.

Chris said...

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Garbage, several rock shows around the late 90s ... can't recall them though, Aerosmith, Travis Tritt,
Alabama... I'm sure others but just can't remember who! Last one I can recall going to was sure interesting - Otis Redding.

Jim Lehmer said...

Chris, that's an "interesting" mix. :) But you don't look old enough to have seen Otis Redding, since he's been dead since 1967. Or am I missing something?

Chris said...

Ah yes... got it wrong - it was Percy Sledge! I like a lot of different music and know I'm leaving out at least one classical concert, a few more rock multi-band concerts during college. And you're right, there's no way I could have seen Otis Redding - he died before I was born :)