At the ripe age of 44 yrs old I am begining to reflect on a lot of things. This post is currently incomplete and will take a bit to finish. I really don't care if you read it or what you think...it is the first of several posts that will finish with wisdom from heaven.
Peter Frampton 1976 @ JFK Stadium: My first show and possibly my biggest--I heard 110,000 people were there. Paid 14.00. I just graduated 8th grade. Whenever I hear Do You, Feel Like I Do I will think of summer.
Lynyrd Skynyrd 1976 @ JFK Stadium: Freebird-Sweet Home Alabama everyone sang along-Even though Frampton headlined, this is who stole and rocked the show. One year later most of the band died in a plane crash.
J. Giles Band 1976 @ JFK Stadium: They were not even close to being big yet and frankly I was to worried about being hit in the head by an M-80.
Electric Light Orchestra 1977 (?) Spectrum: Took my mom...it was billed as The Big Night. An amazing show. I love this band. Lights-Lasers-Music
Boston 1978 Spectrum: Don't Look Back tour--great guitar by Tom Scholz and yes, Brad the drummer is the singer. General admission show....sat in the 3rd level :(
Sammy Hager opened...he was okay, not my style.
Devo 1981ish Tower Theatre: WOW, WOW, WOW!
Peter Gabriel 1980 Tower Theatre: Interesting fella. Highlight-After the lights came up and a good portion of the crowd left he came out (it was his only encore) and played Solsbury Hill solo, on the piano.
B-52's 1979 Philadelphia Zoo: I really don't remember to much except it was a good show. The B-52's were an awesome party band. Saw the 52's again @ the Mann Music Center circa 19??. They were good, w/o their original guitarist (aids) and one of the girls got totally drunk on stage during the show which was not cool.
Ray Davies 2001 TLA: Unbelievable Storytellers show. He played a lot of great, great Kinks songs and told a bit of story on each one. This was a very special evening.
Pretenders & The Kinks 19?? Mann Music Center: The Kinks were okay. Chrissy from the Pretenders is a ROCKER- Highlights were- Bad Boys Get Spanked and Thin Line Between Love and Hate--excellent performances.
Lindsey Buckingham 2007 TLA: Watching Lindsey play was like watching an artist paint. He is an outstanding artist. The crowd, after being seated, rushed the stage for the last 5-6 songs of which he played Go Your Own Way.....he let us strum (paw) at his guitar during that song....I got several strums in.
U2 1984 Tower Theatre: They had recorded Do They Know It's Christmas a week before this show. This was the last of the small venue shows U2 would do to present day. It was not so much of a show by U2 as the audience sang along to every song validating U2's future as one of rocks' biggest bands.
1986 JFK Stadium: Little Stevie opened the show. He was Bruce's guitar player so I knew......?
It was a HOT day with a BIG crowd. It was the Joshua Tree tour. They were amazing and yes, Bruce showed and performed Stand By Me with Bono/U2 as one of the encores. Show finished with Sunday Bloody Sunday. We left the stadium as one....everyone singing "how long, how long must we sing this song...how long" over and over. Leaving the show and singing as one was the highlight, I will never forget it.
Elvis Costello 1986 Tower Theatre: He had a giant wheel on stage and brought audience members up to dance after spinning the wheel and playing whatever song came up. He had a magnificent stage presence always working the crowd. It was an awesome show. Major highlight was American Girl (Tom Petty).
1989 Mann Music Center: Spike tour. Again, great stage presence. He really knows how to work the audience.
2007 Electric Factory: I was stage side for this incredible evening. Highlights are too numerous to even begin to mention. It was the last nite of the tour. His singing was like watching a Quentin Tarrentino movie. Allen Touissant visited and played as well. Really, this was amazing- Lover's Walk, The Beat & Peace Love & Understanding. Not to mention the two Beatles songs he did that blew us away; MAJOR highlights. After the show we went out to where the car picked him up. We saw him and I yelled out Absolutely soulful Elvis-SOULFUL and he looked my way, made eye contact and gave me the thumbs up. Not really a big deal, but the folks I were with were like....Elvis just gave you a thumbs up! I was like "no kidding....it was soulful".
Bruce Springsteen 1980- Spectrum: The River Tour. One of my most horrendous ticket experiences centered around this tour. However....we got 1st level tickets via mail order (Bruce's way of combatting scalpers)and hit the show. Unfortunately, I do not have to much memory of this show. I know it was good and Clarence on the sax was super cool. 2005-Cleveland Wolstein: This was a solo performance. He was @ times amazing and at other times the distance between the artist and audience was to great to really appreciate his artistry. One of the most cpativating performances I have ever witnessed was at ther close when Bruce covered the song Dream Baby Dream. It made me cry. He sang of hope and the future and smiles. This song made the whole concert.
An aside- Margaret and I visited the Rock and Roll of fame before the concert. When we checked into our hotel we ran into Scott Weiland and Slash of Velvet Revolver.
Ian Hunter 1979-Tower Theatre: Former lead singer of Mott the Hoople and artist who wrote Cleveland Rocks. It was a good nite, the band performed well. Opening for Hunter was David Johansen aka Buster Poindexter former lead signer of the New York Dolls. As with many concerts---the opener performed better then the headliner. This was certainly the case for this show. I had never heard of Johansen before this show, but his energy was amazing. I remember commenting on his swagger and stage presence being reminescent of Mick Jagger and in research for this post on Wikipedia the first comment relating to Johansen his major influence being Jagger. Many years later I took Sean and Aryn (my oldest children) to see Buster perform @ Penn's Landing at the height of Poindexter's Hot, Hot, Hot fame. I remember Aryn ( possibly 2 ) dancing up a storm to this free performance.
I later saw Ian Hunter open for Heart and in keeping with headliners/opener tradition---Ian outperformed Heart.
Heart 1985? Spectrum: I really can't be sure of the date. Major highlights- Dog & Butterfly. Zep's Rock and Roll (encore) and my future best friend and wife Margaret getting thrown out of the concert by an over aggressive security/usher guy. I was not with Margaret @ the time, we were friends and actually attended the show with about 4-8 other friends. Possibly the best song performed was Mistral Wind.
The Cars 1981 Spectrum: As uch as we looked forward to this show it was really, really bad and to top it off the opener, The Romantics ( That's What I Like About You) were actually worse. Incidently this concert marked an interesting time period. Previous to this show the smoking of cigarettes or marijuania were widely accepted in public concert venues. Even though the smoking of pot would almost almost always be present at concerts this show marked a departure from the coolness of drugs that was present in the '60's & 70's.
The Clash 1982-Class of 23 Skating Rink: Everything you would expect from this band and more. We were stage side and had a group of 10+ people and I am pretty sure it was a general admission show. I remember talking to the sound crew stationed adjacent to the stage and they all had serious British accents. This was a very high energy show. Very loud and simply crazy. It is also the fastest paced concert I have ever witnessed. It went by so quick that it was like it was over before it started. This was the Combat Rock tour. They all had energy or so it seemed. This band had fun.
Eric Clapton 2005- Wachovia Center: Unbeleiveable. I have never desired to pay to see Clapton. I mean, he is a rock legend, but I never would be inspired to go see him. My wife of 25 years at the time decided to get me tix's for Father's Day which I saw lying on the kitchen counter a week before the show. I was excited to see him. Again, not really someone I would choose to see, but obviously a rock legend. It was to be my first concert at the newer Wachovia on ther former site of JFK Stadium where Live Aid was performed and noted on two previous concert attendances. So- I played more air guitar at this show and was more impressed then one could ever imagine. What an amazing arranger. Highlights are to numerous to mention, but Let it Rain and Wonderful Tonight were certainly among them as well as Sunshine of Your Love. Now here's the thing. As the band begins to play After Midnight and the same thing happened during Cocaine: I think to myself "ugh, I have heard this song a billion times and here it comes again". In my wildest dreams I could never imagine hearing the incredible arranagments of these and all the other songs performed. His style and ease at which he "just played" were inspiring. During the show I felt like I was 15 years old and playing guitar with my lacrosse stick in my teenage bedroom all over again.
Police 1984- Atlantic City Convention Hall: The Police were my band! At least for the first three albums. This was thier 5th album and they were as big as they would ever be and were coming off of a huge tour. It was time of thunderdome and Sting played the part. We were about 15-20 rows from the stage center. The only problem was we had about 4-5 girls in front of us who were screaming thier heads off like it was 1963 and the Beatles just walked by! This was my band....and I wanted to see and hear it all. High expectations resulted in a fair to good performance by my standards. I was super impressed with Andy and Stewart and not Sting. The back-up singers added some serious soul to the band. What I walked away with is that Andy Summers is an amazing guitar player--a m a z i n g ! Reggatta 'de blanc is one of my all time favorite albums.
Jars of Clay
Burlap to Cashmere
Robert Randolph Band