Concerts: the Good, the Bad, the Embarrassing

This morning I heard “Owner of a Lonely Heart” (don’t vomit, Amber) on the way to work and had a fun exchange with Furrowed Fox on Twitter (and give her some love because she had a hysterectomy in the morning and is already home and recovering. Rock star). The exchange made me think about concerts I had attended because I had attended a Yes (the band that sings “Owner of a Lonely Heart”) concert.

I like music, but I’ve never been a huge concert goer. They make me feel trapped and bored. The opening acts often suck, and traffic is always horrific.  Concerts simply aren’t something I enjoy all that much.  Nevertheless, I have been to a few.

Oddest Concert

The Yes concert. I knew one Yes song and discovered while at the concert I knew another song vaguely. The opening act for Yes was Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band (“Centerfold” from the 80s). He was skipping through the audience, drumming up participation when he got to me and my friends.  Our faces quickly shut him down and he moved on. We were not amused. We were probably also the youngest people by at least a decade in attendance.

Most Embarrassing Concert

New Kids on the Block. I truly wasn’t a huge NKOTB fan. Yes, I knew the songs…who could avoid it? I even had a favorite New Kid (Jordan 4ever), but I wasn’t obsessed to the point where I was writing fan fiction like some of my classmates (I wish I were joking).  My cousin, however, was a big fan and got tickets for herself and several others and they asked if I wanted to go. Why not? So that’s how I found myself in Charlotte at the NKOTB concert when I was 10 or something.

Coolest Concert

In 1995, my freshman year of college, I saw David Bowie and Trent Reznor. I went primarily for Trent Reznor, but Bowie was cool too. I caught a ride w/ a friend, but I was there by myself.  That concert was way cooler than I was.

Bands I’m Tired of Seeing in Concert

Aerosmith. I must have seen them at least 3 times. Retire, guys. It’s OK. I think that was one of the parts of Dazed and Confused that was so relevant to my age group: they end the movie going to get Aerosmith tickets in 1976 and in the mid-1990s, my friends and I were driving 2 hours to see Aerosmith too.

Concerts that Brand Me a Member of Gen X

  • Pearl Jam. I’ve seen them in concert 3 times.
  • Foo Fighters.  They played a smallish venue in Raleigh in 1996, and I went by myself. It was a great concert.
  • Hole. I saw them my senior year of high school. I had given blood that day and the opening night of Fiddler on the Roof was the next day, and I was playing Golde. My theater teacher didn’t want me to go, but I decided to do so. It was the first time I ever encountered a mosh pit, and I was confused because I thought a massive fight had broken out until I realized what I was seeing. I wore a slip dress, hose and Mary Janes (umm OK, KeAnne), but I did leave with an actual doll part.

Concerts I Wouldn’t Have Attended On My Own

Jimmy is a fan of virtuoso guitar players, and when Joe Satriani came to Raleigh several years ago, we attended. It was at the same venue where I saw the Foo Fighters years before, so there wasn’t seating and you could get as close as you wanted. I remember being enraptured when one of the guitar players played “Moonlight Sonata,” which although cliche, is a long-time favorite of mine from my piano playing days.

Concerts I Regret Missing

  • The Indigo Girls. I bought tickets for me and a friend, but I wasn’t a huge fan at that point and decided not to go, so I gave my ticket to my cousin as a Christmas present. I really wish I had gone now. It must have been temporary insanity.
  • Lady Gaga. Jimmy (my resident Little Monster) and I were supposed to attend Gaga’s DC concert in March but the rest of the tour was cancelled when Gaga was injured. Jimmy was crushed, and I was disappointed too because I was looking forward to the spectacle. I remember going over to my aunt’s to watch Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour on her huge satellite (we didn’t have cable), and we were all mesmerized and dumbfounded. I think the Lady Gaga concert would have elicited a similar reaction from me.
  • Nirvana/Lallapalooza. I never attended a Lallapalooza when it was relevant, and I was a huge Nirvana fan. Right before Kurt Cobain committed suicide, I had decided that if the band came to NC that year, I was going to go. Alas, we all know how that turned out 😦 Since I saw The Foo Fighters a couple of years later, I guess I kind of saw Nirvana…
  • Oasis. Amber and I had tickets to go.  On my birthday in 1996, I drove 3 hours to Charlotte and we went to the coliseum.  When we got there, we were told the concert had been cancelled. I was so PISSED! And yes, I still do look back in anger 😉

Concerts I Will Attend if They Come to NC

Eminem. I love him. I love his way with words. I do not love the homophobia he stubbornly clings to, but if he comes to NC, I’m there.

What are your memorable (positively or negatively) concerts?


  1. Bon Jovi is my absolute most favourite concert experience of all time. I’ve seen them three times and it’s always amazing!
    I was actually surprised by the Justified and Stripped tour put on by Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilara. I tagged along with my sister, not expecting to enjoy it but I did!
    Smaller venues housed some of my favourite concerts, like Great Big Sea and Treble Charger (both Canadian bands). Cyndi Lauper came to ontario a few years back and she was amazing!!!
    I’m not a huge concert goer either. They’re just soooo expensive!

  2. My first concert was Barenaked Ladiesin 1993 at the community centre of my hometown. They took the ice out for it (aka A Very Big Deal).

    I regret not going to see Weezer in 1994 when The Blue Album came out. I was too afraid to ask my parents if I could go into the city! Lame.

    Though I primarily listen to Canadian alt rock type stuff, my top 3 concerts would not indicate anything of the sort. To wit: Elton John, Neil Diamond, Beyoncé.

  3. I will always be jealous that Darcy saw Prince play in a tiny venue at a secret show in Paris.

    My favorite concert was Radiohead at The Greek. It was a relatively small venue, outside, and they played all of my favorite songs. Close second: U2 in a big arena. Bono’s voice is amazing: he sounds exactly like he does on the radio, which given his age is pretty impressive. So many great songs, too.

    Most embarassing: Poison. Twice. Not ironically. Enough said.

    Worst: it’s a tie. Pearl Jam at Golden Gate Park: Eddie Vedder sang exactly 2 songs (both unknown from a new album) before getting “sick” – supposedly food poisoning. (Yeah right.) Neil Young took over for him, which should have been awesome but this was the early 90s and I just wanted to hear “Evenflow” and “Jeremy.”

    Close second: Blues Traveler also at The Greek, which was basically a one song, 90 minute long harmonica jam session. Most boring concert, ever.

    Great topic!

  4. First concert: NKOTB in the 80s. we got the tickets for Christmas, but by the time the concert came around several months later I was kind of over them…(a few months is a long time when you’re 14)
    Favorite (and the last concert I’ve been to): U2 at a big arena on a beautiful fall day in Boston (we traveled there to see the show with friends). I was in my third trimester with B, I’d been dying to see them for YEARS and when we bought the tickets I wasn’t even pregnant yet. It was everything I’d hoped it would be and I’m so glad we went.
    Worst? When I finally FINALLY saw Counting Crows after loving them for more than 10 years and it was so meh. Adam Durwitz was really lethargic and looked unwell, his voice was blah and unexcited, he barely moved on the stage. It was phoned in and I was extremely disappointed.
    Most embarrassing: none. I fully own all my concert choices.

    I did get to see Indigo Girls in college at a music-fest—so happy I went!

Please Talk to Me: My Husband Can Tell When I Haven't Had Any Conversation All Day

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s