This list thing got me thinking... what were MY personal favorites of all time?
I guess it would be proper to include my first two concerts, as they were fresh experiences, and ones I can look back at with complete happiness.
Please note that these are NOT in order of favorite to (less) favorite. I am going to go in a chronological order of sorts.
1. BREAD: Yes, you heard it... BREAD. Now, I am not positive, but if I understand correctly, this was the last concert they played before breaking up. I was 11 years old, and was able to leave the Priesthood Preview (an LDS Church meeting for 11 year old boys, prior to receiving the Priesthood) a little early in order to go to the concert. I even remember the opening artist (Ian Matthews), although I don't remember anything about his performance. I only remember seeing his records in the Fred Meyer/Grand Central cut-out bins, the years following the concert. What I do remember about the show is one of the encore songs, MOTHER FREEDOM. I remember the row of girls in front of us (What?? GIRLS at a BREAD concert??) going completely nuts when they played that song. Anyhow, as embarrassed as I was, back in high school, telling people that my first concert was BREAD, I am now proud of that fact.
2. BOW WOW WOW: Okay, for years, I considered THIS to be my first "real" concert. I guess the fact that is was my first concert "by choice" would qualify this as my first REAL concert. Yes, BOW WOW WOW, in support of their great album, "When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going", was fantastic. The Union Ballroom on the campus of the University of Utah, the venue. I remember it was originally scheduled for Saturday night, but the concert was postponed to Sunday night. I recall going to dad and telling him about that, and having him put the old guilt complex on me. "Well, I will leave the decision up to you. You know what is right". It's a church thing. Anyhow, I remember just not feeling right about leaving my best friend Kim, and his father, Ron Simpson, hanging... SO I WENT! Sorry dad, I know you were disappointed in me. The other thing I recall is how the guitarist had two guitars. He had a Fender Telecaster, and when playing that guitar, he would merely chew gum and stand in one spot. Now, when he had his big Gretsch in hand, he was all over the place, including the floor. He has since passed away from the complications of diabetes, which wouldn't bode well with a wild rock'n'roll life.
THE TUBES: The year 1983, the Special Events Center on the U of U campus, the OUTSIDE INSIDE tour. Now, if any of wonder why The Tubes would be on this list, just go see them. Even though they now play clubs, they are probably still insane. That show was one of the most theatrical events I have ever seen. Right down to Fee Waybill getting buried in a wall of fake amplifiers, whilst dressed as his classic "Quay Lude" character. "White Punks On Dope" was the song. They even threw the crowd for a loop when they had one of their backup singers/dancers go down in the crowd for "Mr. Hate". During this song, he pulls the girl out of the crowd, while wearing a ski mask. We are all thinking that this is an actual girl from the crowd, when he ties her to an amp, and begins to grope her. She eventually breaks free, gets the gun in his hand, and shoots him in the chest. Now, with the blood pack in his shirt being broken, and the appearance of him being shot, this was a show that could rival KISS.
ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN/THE FLESHTONES/BILLY BRAGG
September, 1984; Kingsbury Hall on the University of Utah campus. The concert was in support of OCEAN RAIN, which is one of my favorite albums of all time, although it is currently not on the blog list. Anyhow, prior to the concert I had been fond of several Bunnymen songs, and had become a huge fan of The Fleshtones, a band out of New York who had taken the sounds of the 60's and mixed them with Garage Rock. They were America's premier "party band", if I recall correctly. That was their claim, that was MY claim. Anyhow, after The Fleshtones played, complete with vocalist Peter Zaremba climbing around on the equipment, playing his tambourine in an excited fashion, came this skinny, pasty British guy. He wandered out to the stage with his guitar, and a variety of instruments about his person, in the vein of a classic "one man band". Nobody knew who he was, nor could we figure out why he wanted to sing a "song about sperm", but we were mildly amused. At least I THINK we were. Truth be told, there were several people who began throwing money at the stage. This continued, and even progressed to the point where Billy Bragg stopped playing and proceeded to pick up the change that was being heaved at him. I remember him getting extra excited about the silver dollar that he picked up and showed to the crowd. Anyhow, after he was literally REMOVED from the stage (the only time I have ever encountered that), we waited in anticipation for Echo & The Bunnyment. When the time came, we were treated to an incredibly atmospheric stage, including large cloth streamers hanging from the sealing, across the stage. To see what I am describing, you need to see the video for "THE KILLING MOON". Now, where OCEAN RAIN had a significant amount of string arrangements, they actually played fewer songs from the brilliant album than I was hoping. However, they were such a capable live band, that I was engaged in several songs that I did not know. If I were to go back and see the concert again, it would probably be the crown jewel in my favorite concerts. Or close. I remember Ian McCulloch working over a cigarette and bottle of beer when he wasn't playing guitar. You wouldn't see that in the world of today. Unless it was at a private club. Anyhow, to sum it up, it was a fantastic concert, indeed.
To be continued in another post...