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message 1: by Amy (new)

Amy | 339 comments Mod
I thought mayhap this topic might be of interest. Why not share memories and thoughts of concerts we've been to - I've always found them a great way to get to know an artist better.

So, here goes - my first concert in San Francisco was Suzanne Vega at the Fillmore. For those who haven't been, the Fillmore is one of the best venues in the city, with posters everywhere of great past concerts. The main floor is very large and has purple chandeliers, with a bar on the left side. There's also stairs leading to an area where you can grab some food, and a small "balcony" area with a few seats.

I was a huge fan of Vega in the '80's, one reason being her poetic lyrics. She is excellent in concert, although apparently she gets very nervous beforehand (oh, the wait - frequently the only bad aspect of a concert experience).

message 2: by Phillip (last edited Aug 02, 2009 06:23PM) (new)

Phillip wow, this is a hard one. i've seen a lot of shows...too many wonderful things to list.

i love the fillmore, thanks for mentioning it amy! i played there twice. that was even more fun. i used to live a block from there, across the street from the old winterland, before it was torn down (the last show there was the sex pistols on their first and last american tour...but it was a haven for all the psychedelia shows in the '60's).

i'll just list a few that really changed my life. you probably won't know any of these groups.

art ensemble of chicago at zellerbach, berkeley - completley mind blowing. i wasn't prepared for it. i had just learned about their music, but had no idea what kind of show i was in for.

ornette coleman's prime time at the western front, vancouver, b.c. - i was off my seat and dancing in the aisles the whole time. more below.

sun ra at the old mabuhay gardens, san francisco ca - this was an amazing show. i felt (just like i felt when i saw ornette) that there was this enormous tidal wave of energy throughout the whole show that was lifting everyone off the floor. i've never seen anything like these three shows. in each one i felt completely hypnotized, like some kind of shaman were inciting some sort of ritual...it was beyond anything i've ever seen.

the minutemen at the stone, san francisco, ca - this amazing punk power trio delivered probably the best rock show i've ever seen.

the clash at sprowel plaza, berkeley, ca. - a free show...i think i mentioned this before on this group. they played so great, and the whole street was blocked off...an amazing event. it was such an honor to work with joe strummer in los angeles years later. i'm still a fan.

fela kuti at the country club, los angeles - fela and his enormous band were held up at the airport. we all arrived at the club in time for the 8 pm show. about 9 pm, the management gets on the horn and says the band has been delayed, but will be there. they offered to refund our money if we wanted to leave (yeah, right!) but no one left. finally, around 11 pm, the band walks in through the club and heads back stage. everyone was cheering. about 30 minutes later they took the stage and played for three hours straight. amazing show, dancing from start to finish. a complete celebration of being alive. miraculous. none of his records represent what seeing that band live was like...i could say that about all of the bands i mentioned above.

most amazing intimate jazz show at a tiny jazz club: dexter gordon quartet (his first american tour since his long residency in europe, which lasted like 20 years) at keystone korner, san francisco.

lots more fantastic shows, too many to list, but thanks for getting this started. as a quickie, i should add the who's quadraphenia tour, bowie's aladdin sane tour and genesis' lamb lies down on broadway tour (the last one with peter gabriel), and peter gabriel's first solo tour after leaving genesis at the roxy in los angeles, with brian eno, robert fripp, tony levin and other amazing players in the band.

concert i kicked myself for not seeing:
bill evans at keystone korner. i thought, "he will be back in 6 months"....but he died four days later.

message 3: by Phillip (last edited Aug 03, 2009 11:43PM) (new)

Phillip I saw Bowie three years in a row from 1972 - 1975 and then again much later in 1983. they were all amazing shows. Mick Ronson played those shows in the 70's, and let me tell you, their collaboration brought the real fruit.

the B-52s are really fun live. I saw them in 1982, 1983 and 1991. all great shows, but the first was the best because Kate got everyone to get on the ground and do the Rock Lobster.

message 4: by Phillip (new)

Phillip I can pick that up for you VJ... I see it at amoeba from time to time. the next time I see it I'll grab it for you.

message 5: by Amy (new)

Amy | 339 comments Mod
My first concert...ooh, how my mind is creaking! I think it was Billy Joel, in good ole Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY. I loved him when I was in high school (and hey, I don't think he's that bad now). I also saw Chicago in high school - yes, I was a radio girl then (didn't get into "alternative" stuff until I was enlightened in college, though I was listening to U2 and a bit of The Smiths before that).

And...I think my only concert in college was the Rolling Stones. I just remember the big screens they were projected on - and I think it was an outdoor concert.

No wonder I went concert crazy in San Francisco!

message 6: by Phillip (last edited Aug 04, 2009 11:40AM) (new)

Phillip I've never been much of a Billy Joel fan, but I would have liked to have checked out Chicago back in the day.

My first concert experience was Rod Stewart and the Faces at the Hollywood Palladium. That was around the time Maggie May and Every Picture Tells A Story first hit the airwaves (1971), long before Rod Stewart became a pop star. Ron Wood, Denny Lane, Kenny Jones (who took over with the Who after Keith Moon died) were all in the band. It was a take no prisoners rock show; good fun.

message 7: by Amy (new)

Amy | 339 comments Mod
Ah - good point on reposting playlists - I'll do mine again soon -

message 8: by Amy (new)

Amy | 339 comments Mod
One of my favorite all-time concerts: Bjork at the Paramount. This was during her Vespertine tour (the tickets sold out in 5-10 minutes). If you haven't been there, the Paramount is a truly incredible example of Art Deco architecture, a theater in Oakland. They actually do tours of the theater on alternating Saturdays (I never did it though - sniff). A jaw-dropping entryway that's actually 2 levels (there's a balcony), gorgeous murals and floors everywhere.

And - Bjork was incredible. She had the female choir from Iceland going on, so the vocal noodlings alone were stellar. Plus, Matmos opened - bizarre dental-looking videos!

message 9: by Jerrod (new)

Jerrod (liquidazrael) War of the Gargantuan Tour, Pantera & WhiteZombie, 3 tabs of windowpane and one great 4+ hour ride through awesomeness at The Gorge. The 8 hour drive in a Geo Metro packed with 4 tall freaks sucked though.

message 10: by Phillip (new)

Phillip amy,

i love the paramount! i knew about that show through my friends drew and martin (matmos), they have done some touring as bjork's backup band. i heard that show was amazing, wish i could have caught it.

message 11: by Amy (new)

Amy | 339 comments Mod
I've missed 2 or 3 stellar concerts because I was going out of town. Cibbo Matto in Providence, RI - missed! Peter Murphy in San Francisco - missed! And, I bought tickets to see PJ Harvey in SF - and then had to go out of town for some family obligation...

For a long time I was sad that I didn't get to see Bauhaus play in Boston when I was living in Providence - but then I saw them at the Warfield (in SF). Wow! I thought that Peter Murphy would be the highlight, but actually it was Daniel Ash, jumping all around the stage and attacking his guitar like a madman. Tres sexay!

message 12: by Phillip (last edited Aug 06, 2009 08:01AM) (new)

Phillip concert i attended rob would have loved: black sabbath (original members, thank you very much!), shrine auditorium, los angeles 1973.

concert i attended amy would have loved: p.j. harvey (original power trio), at bimbo's, san francisco, 1993

concert i attended vj would have loved: dickie bett's band at the roxie (tiny club), los angeles, 1975

concert i attended rob's co-workers would have loved: bauhaus and the english beat at the greek theater, berkeley, 1983

surprise (free!) concert i stumbled into by accident that i loved: radiohead on the grounds of casa di michelangelo, florence italy; 2002

message 13: by Phillip (new)

Phillip rob,
no, but i'm dreaming that i'm there right now.

weren't you my date for that concert? (dickie betts 1975).
i remember it was someone that looked like you.

message 14: by Amy (new)

Amy | 339 comments Mod
You're too much, Phillip...

message 15: by Phillip (last edited Aug 07, 2009 11:57PM) (new)

Phillip i went to see dickie with my friend maeve fox. she was the younger sister of a good friend and i knew she loved the allmann brothers, so i took her. she really did look a lot like you, vj..

i went to see that sabbath show (saw them twice in the space of about a year,73 - '74) with mike steinberg and chuck borromeo, my best friends in junior high. you would have fit right in, rob. the second time i saw them i took alana showalter, who i had a huge crush on but i never bothered to let her know that (sigh...).

message 16: by Amy (new)

Amy | 339 comments Mod
One of the few shows I went to in Providence - Morrissey at The Strand - they closed it down not too long after (and I have no idea if anyone ever reopened it).

There was a story in the paper the next day that Morrissey was pissed off about the accommodations of this venue. I myself had been to very few concerts (it was a looong gap between The Rolling Stones in college and Providence) and hadn't overcome my claustrophobia reflex at the time. The Strand was a little like the Warfield in SF - except the open area on the bottom was much bigger, and the seats at the top weren't assigned. Basically, you went in and decided whether you wanted up or down.

Me being claustrophobic, and getting a weird vibe (despite my love of The Smiths), wanted up. My boyfriend at the time wanted down. I felt so strongly that this was a bad idea, I told him to go ahead and take the down option - it wasn't for me. He reluctantly followed my lead and went up.

He ended up being glad he did so - Morrissey definitely didn't seem to be in a good mood. Of course he whipped the microphone around like he always does (see early Smiths videos if you don't know what I mean) - but it was more than that. Someone threw flowers at him toward the end - he threw them back into the crowd. And the crowd seemed to feel his violent mood - there was a tad of moshing toward the front.

Oh well - not my favorite concert, but towards the end Morrissey did do a couple of Smiths songs. At least I got to see him!

message 17: by Phillip (new)

Phillip i'm sorry to hear about your claustrophobia, that's a drag. i don't like crowds, i was probably fascinated by them in my teens: all that energy was infectious. but i'm glad i play the kind of music that performs in small intimate venues. i'd have a heart attack if i had to play rooms like the warfield.

and i'm glad you got to see morrisey, seems he's known for those moods of his. i never saw the smiths, i had most of their albums but i just never made it out to see them. i went out with a woman when i was at USC that was a big fan and saw them several times and said they were great live and that morrisey could be a really great "entertainer" when he was in the right frame of mind.

message 18: by Amy (new)

Amy | 339 comments Mod
I definitely can handle crowds now, but they're still not my favorite thing!

Another Providence concert - Tori Amos, in a seated, rather nice venue (as I recall), but darned if I can remember the name of it. My boyfriend at the time was very into her - I've never approached the level of fandom that he had, but I do like her, and she's great live.

message 19: by Phillip (new)

Phillip my friend jon evans has been playing bass with her for several years now. i've never caught her live though. i saw her on letterman once and they rocked. it's weird seeing your friends on television.

message 20: by Phillip (new)

Phillip in defense of pg:

ok, i probably don't have to write this, but...

of course i like being teased to some extent, with regard to your posts where you tease me about my concert going history. but on the other hand, like all of us, there's a little kid inside me screaming "mom, they're making fun of me AGAIN!"...

all i can say in my defense is, look, i'm a musician. i've been totally fascinated with music and sounds since i was about 4 years old. this has nothing to do with being cool (which i am NOT). my whole concert going thing is about research, it always has been. i always dreamed of playing music. and, when i was a kid, tickets to shows like black sabbath or bowie in the early '70s were about $6.50 (in those days it seemed a lot when you had to pay $10 to see the who on their quadrophenia tour)...i had a paper route in those days and made about $60 a month, so in addition to buying records, my money went for seeing concerts.

so, you can keep teasing me if it pleases you, but this is just who i am...i'm not fronting here, and i'm not engaging in any kind of contest, just sharing.

message 21: by Amy (new)

Amy | 339 comments Mod
I'm totally envious of those ticket prices!

I understand that music is a big part of who you are, PG - and you have lots of cool stories! What's not to like?

message 22: by Phillip (last edited Aug 13, 2009 10:34AM) (new)

Phillip i'm sorry!

sometimes the lack of tone or being able to see someone's face when they communicate something can lead you astray (with regard to Internet correspondence). i'm sure you've all experienced that. and, sometimes my sensitivity level is off the charts. argh.

ok, as you were.

being the righteous metalhead that you are, do you know the band coffins? they're a death metal band from japan (and really good). not sure if you're into that sort of thing, but these guys are worth checking out, IMO.

message 23: by Phillip (new)

Phillip thanks for your support, rob. i truly appreciate it. regarding our "other" group, revolutionary road is an excellent example of existentialist cinema.

how is that ziggy stardust DVD?
i'd like to check it out.

message 24: by Amy (new)

Amy | 339 comments Mod
Two of my favorite concerts - Dave Gahan at the Warfield and Depeche Mode in San Jose...

Gahan was promoting his first solo album, and me and a friend got tickets on the first level of the Warfield, where you can wander about. Gahan (of course) sang much of his solo repertoire, but he also sang quite a few Depeche Mode songs (and he is quite the showman, leaping around the stage and gleefully showing off his body - plus I think the guy has an amazing voice). What was so electrifying, was that seemingly everyone in the place KNEW ALL THE WORDS TO THESE SONGS. Toward the end Gahan switched to only DM material, and everyone sang the words to songs like "Enjoy the Silence" (which isn't the simplest song in the world). It was like being part of a gigantic choir.

I got to see DM in concert a year or 2 later at a large venue in San Jose. A lot of people sang there too, but it wasn't quite the same. Still pretty awesome to see one of my favorite bands in concert, though!

message 25: by Phillip (new)

Phillip sweet.

message 26: by Phillip (new)

Phillip cool! i hope my video store has it.

message 27: by Phillip (last edited Aug 17, 2009 04:11PM) (new)

Phillip with a little nudge from rob's post above, i rented Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars last night. what a nice little treat that movie is. i didn't know pennebaker made it.

it really took me back to those days. i have to give carolyn dean, a girl that lived around the corner from me when i was growing up, credit for introducing me to bowie (via hunky dory). i thought that record was good, but then i heard ziggy stardust and the spiders from mars and just freaked. it was carolyn that picked up the tickets for that first bowie show i saw (i was her date...damn, you gotta love a girl that takes you to a concert like that!) - we went with vicky thompson, another bowie freak and had a great time. carolyn and i saw bowie three years in a row we never missed him when he came through. vicky and carolline were wearing the lightning bolt face makeup and all, i just brought the hash-laced joints and plenty of matches....

the first show was the same band in the movie, which was awesome. the next tour aynsley dunbar was playing drums in the band and they had a different bass player, but it was still mick ronson playing guitar (and sometimes piano, like on aladdin sane) in the band and just tearing the place up.

the last time i saw bowie in the 70's was that tour that became the album "david live", which ushered in his "thin white duke" era. that was the most amazing of those three shows, because the whole theatrical aspect was cranked way up.

for example, when he sang space oddity, he was perched on this chair that was anchored on a crane that lifted him up and over the audience....there he was suspended about 50 feet above the floor seats with a little spotlight on his head....it was otherworldly in the best possible way. there was also a whole maze of scaffolding on the stage that he would climb on....singing cracked actor on the top of the scaffold, singing to a skull he held in his hand (like hamlet), or just hanging off the scaffolding with a mic attached to his head on tunes like "the man who sold the world".

he also did quite a few tunes from Pinups, which is one of my favorite albums from that period that no one seems to praise. So his set was really similar to the tunes that appear on the Ziggy Stardust video, but with a bit more from hunky dory and pinups....and of course they did every single tune from Ziggy Stardust and Aladin Sane.....

message 28: by Phillip (last edited Sep 23, 2009 10:49PM) (new)

Phillip dear vicky jean,

yeah, your posts brought a little sting that hurt, but it's my fault for being so damned sensitive. it's all way behind us now. i'll try to toughen up a bit. my sensitivity really f#%€ me up sometimes. i really should have outgrown it by now.

anyway, i never saw rush, but it's sweet you and steve have that small world connection via rush and those flowers.

i was just thinking back the other day of this bonnie raitt show i went to with my friends at the starlight ampitheater in burbank ( not far from zappa's house ). it was a late afternoon - early evening affair, and john lee hooker opened for her (!!!!). later he came out and played with her. the music was great, but it was more the event itself: we all rode to the concert in scott conway's VW bus, and had the perfect mixture of grass, heinekens, homemade food that jane drillock (yet another girl i had a big crush on but never bothered to tell her) made. i think that was one of the last concerts that crew attended, as we went to a lot of shows together throughout high school. i think the final show was yes doing their relayer tour at the hollywood bowl. both shows were outdoors on a warm summer night....just perfect; and kind of an end of an era for me.

message 29: by Phillip (new)

Phillip what are the good venues in indy?
did you grow up there?
my ex was from there...spent a bit of time there.

message 30: by Phillip (last edited Sep 25, 2009 03:10PM) (new)

Phillip apparently nothing is worth its salt these days if it hasn't been purchased by some multi-national corporation. what any of that has to do with baseball, or rock 'n roll is beyond me (oh, i forgot: sports heroes and rock stars' salaries are so jacked up only multi-national corporations can afford sponsorship).

totally disgusting, IMO.

message 31: by Phillip (new)

Phillip police tix went for $150???


message 32: by Phillip (last edited Sep 30, 2009 12:07AM) (new)

Phillip a friend invited me to see them in 1982 up in seattle (i was living in Vancouver at the time). i blew her off and didn't go. i wish i would have gone. i heard it was a great show. who knows? maybe i would have ran into vj!!!

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