I’m a music junky. Hard core. I generally have music on any time I’m in the car, or writing, or cooking, or exercising… or doing just about anything. If the music’s off, I tend to sing. I’m not the greatest singer, but I’m not the worst either. Any chance I get to go see someone I like, live, I grab. It’s not always easy; I have kids; there are things that keep me from just running off to attend a concert. The price of concert tickets, frankly, has made me pause more than once. I don’t know how teens do it! When I was in high school, a concert ticket ran about $25, which was big bucks for a primo act. I’m pretty sure I paid about that for The Police, in 1982. I’m guessing the Doobie Brothers were about $15 in 1979, and Journey might have been $30 in 1984. I may be off on these prices, but not by much. I was a starving college students in the 80s and I didn’t spend a lot on concerts. Frankly, $25-50 would have laid me out. I remember paying about $40 for the Eurythmics in a very small, intimate venue, and feeling like I might be sick… until they played. It was worth every penny! I could not take my eyes of Annie Lenox; she was electric!
Today, it’s not unusual to pay nearly $150 for top shows, if you want decent seats. Madonna set me back about that last year, and P!nk, this October, is more. Granted, my friends and I bought a private box for P!nk— the show sold out in the time it took to log on and start searching for seats. We reasoned that the extra money was worth the freedom to have drinks and food, tables and chairs as well… not to mention a room to dance in. P!nk requires some serious dance freedom.
I suppose I’ve always had a Concert Bucket List, but as I’ve realize that some of my favorite bands are aging just as fast as me, getting to see them has amped up a few notches in my priorities. I’ve seen U2 three times in the past ten years. The first time, I went with my 13 year old son. It was Middle Man’s (I don’t use my kids’ names here), first concert and we had a blast together. We drove to Vancouver and bought scalped tickets. I think I got extra kool points, in his young eyes for taking him, and for buying from scalpers. I took Little Man to his first concert: The Killers, also in Vancouver. I bought the “best tickets,” but was shocked to learn that we were in the “mosh pit.” I spent the entire concert trying to protect my boy from being crushed. Luckily, a giant of a man realized my kid was in the crowd, and he lifted him up over the crowd (literally), to the stage and then guarded him the rest of the show. I spent my time crushed against his sweaty back, but happy to know that Little Man was in heaven!
There are a few big names that I would still like to see, and a few that may not be as well known. Here they are, in no particular order. I’m including one of my favorite songs from each artist, for your listening pleasure:
1. Metric. I am dying to see this edgy, alternative group, but keep missing them when they come to our area. They’re young; I figure I still have time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq3-wZs64n4
2. Peter Gabriel. Ok, P.G. is probably my number one dream concert. I’ve been a fan for nearly thirty years now, and I’d do almost anything to see him live. This tops the list. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgaYgij-5TA
3. Arcade Fire– Love these guys. I love their sound, their lyrics and their ideals. I am their perfect bleeding heart fan. http://vimeo.com/17116744
4. P!nk– Love the girl! She can kick some rock butt and do it on a trapeze to boot! I have tickets for this October, but it remains on the list until the P!nk lady sings. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTCDVfMz15M
5. David Byrne– long, sad story, but my husband, Smart Guy, took me to see him this past January. He got the time wrong and we only saw the last 30-40 minutes from our amazing, third row seats. David was incredible! We got to hear Burning Down The House, We’re on a Road to Nowhere and a few other classics. He still has it! But, I’d like to see all of it. Oh, to see The Talking Heads would be the ultimate! http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x20vya_talking-heads-this-must-be-the-plac_music
6. Alt-J– newer group, I love them! Their music is edgy and clever and it’s amazing that two guys can make such a big sound. This is a luscious video and song; love it! http://vimeo.com/49588649
7. Black Keys– These guys are fantastic! Their lyrics are brilliant, their sound is a crazy mix of old Motown, Indie Rock, and Black blues. They would be fabulous in a small venue, and I’d love to be there. http://vimeo.com/36322610
8. Bon Jovi (big hair and all)- I admit it; I still have a crush on Jon Bon Jovi. He’s aged mighty fine. I’d love to be in a stadium and scream along to Livin’ On a Prayer, Wanted Dead or Alive, and and You Give Love a Bad Name. I happen to love his (newer) You Wanna Make a Memory. Hell, he’s just hot, and I’d like to see them live. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDK9QqIzhwk
9. Dave Matthews– Again, I saw him years ago, main floor, about 10 rows back. Smart Guy was post-call and slept through the entire thing, young girls screaming in his ears and all. It was so good though, and I’d love to see him again. Love me some Dave, and this is a very favorite song of his. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBT_u9YsmSA
The Fantasy Bucket List— bands that are no longer together, or who have major members who’ve died, etc or bands I wish I’d seen years ago, would include:
Talking Heads (#1); Crowded House (#2); Michael Jackson; Queen; REM; Fleetwood Mac; INXS; The Police (again); Til Tuesday; 10,000 Maniacs; The Doors
Here’s a bonus: Arcade Fire and David Bowie. If this doesn’t move you, you’ve got ice in your veins. Stunning! Oh to have been there.
Who’s on your Concert Bucket List? Who would make your fantasy list? Share your thoughts; leave a comment.
Dawn Quyle Landau is a writer who prefers to “Free fall.” Her work has appeared in Tangerine Tango, Women Writers Share Slices of Life, edited by Lisa Winkler; Cascadia Weekly; The Outlier Collective; Bucket List Publications; and in her blogs, Tales From the Motherland and The Huntington’s Chronicles. Dawn is the mother of three mostly grown, amazing and adventurous kids; and best buddy to a studly lab, named Luke. She and her husband of 27 years, live a very good life surrounded by the spectacular beauty of the Pacific North West. She pinches herself every day, and ignores the bruises. She does not actually wear glasses, she’s just silly that way.