I was driving down to a district-level church function today while listening to Phish's 1995 New Year's Eve concert on CD and began thinking about what a great concert year 2006 was. There were lots of heavy hitters on the stage: U2, McCartney, the Stones. I'm guessing they all raked in tons of cash.
Anyway, I began going over in my head how many concerts I'd been to over the years and thought I'd list them. These aren't necessarily in chronological order, but they're close.
These are the bands/musicians that I've seen live on stage:
- Carpenters - Missouri State Fair, probably around 1970 or so
- Bobby Goldsboro - opening act for the above
- The Brooklyn Bridge - Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri, around 1971. If you don't know who they are, don't worry. Tony Romeo was the lead singer and he cut his teeth on late 50's doo-wop. I know. I'm showing my age. Their big hit was a tragic song called The Worst that Could Happen.
- Chicago - Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. 1975. The original cast with Terry Kath as lead guitarist. Great show. My date whined all night because it was too loud.
- Foreigner - Some venue in Abilene, Texas, around 1981 or so. This was the Foreigner 4 tour, with the huge juke box coming up out of the stage.
- Bryan Adams - opened for Foreigner; nobody knew who he was then. Cuts Like a Knife had just come out.
- Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Billy Bob's Texas in Ft. Worth. This was the bachelor party for Mike Feese
- REO Speedwagon - Reunion Arena, Dallas, Texas, 1984. They were at the top of their game at this point.
- Survivor - opening act for REO. Best known for their Rocky soundtrack tune Eye of the Tiger.
- Chicago - again. This time around 1988. Different band, of course, by this time, but Peter Cetera was still playing bass and singing.
- James Taylor - What used to be Starplex in Fair Park, Dallas (now the Smirnoff Center), around 1989.
- The Doobie Brothers - Same venue as Taylor, around the same time.
- Jimmy Buffett - Starplex, again, probably around 1992. This was the first concert that Stephanie and I attended together.
- Steely Dan - Smirnoff by now, I'm guessing. July 29, 2000. 2VN tour. I'd been in seminary from 94-97 and the only show I think I saw during that time was Phantom in Louisville, KY. We'd just moved back to Dallas from Honey Grove around this time. For some reason, I had it in my mind that this concert was in September, but the website has this date.
- Dave Matthews Band - early 2001 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. This was the Everyday tour. Great show.
- Taj Mahal - opening act for DMB at above.
Crossroads Guitar Festival, June 2004 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Here's the lineup I saw:
- Neil Schon - guitarist for Journey for a number of years
- Steve Vai - guitarist for Whitesnake, Frank Zappa, and a guitar god
- Sonny Landreth - blues player from way back
- Larry Carlton - jazzist extraordinaire; his version of Steely Dan's Josie was dynamite
- Pat Metheny - there's nobody like this guy
- John McLaughlin - progjazz guitar guru, formerly of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. I remember their album Birds of Fire being a mainstay of my late high school years
- Robert Cray - great soul/blues guitarist; best known for Smokin' Gun from the late 80's
- Jimmy Vaughan - Stevie Ray's brother
- Hubert Sumlin - 90 something guitarist who used to play lead for Howlin' Wolf, a blues legend. David Johannsen (you might remember him better as Buster Poindexter of Hot, Hot, Hot fame) was the vocalist
- Booker T & the MGs - the best studio guys around. Donald "Duck" Dunn and Steve Cropper of Blues Brothers notoriety were both members of this band and were there in full force.
- Bo Diddley - blues/rocker from the 1950s and 1960s. You've heard his music and his influence
- David Hidalgo - lead guitarist from Los Lobos
- Joe Walsh - from The James Gang and The Eagles...life has been good to him.
- Vince Gill - great picker; Jerry Douglas was accompanying him on the dobro
- James Taylor - played songs about Carolina
- Buddy Guy - blues legend
- BB King - just turned 80; is making plans for his final tour I hear
- At this point...these guys were all on stage: BB King, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, John Mayer, and Jimmy Vaughan. This is the music you will hear in heaven.
- Carlos Santana - blasted Bush, played some great licks
- Eric Clapton - with full band, including Nathan East and Doyle Bramhall II. A memory forever.
- Jeff Beck - came out and basically played one song if I remember correctly, then did a duet with Clapton; again, a moment to cherish
- ZZ Top - it was really late by this time. We'd been out in the heat for close to 13 hours. I think we listened to about three songs and left. It wasn't that they weren't great. We were just TIRED.
That was definitely a moment in time that just sort of changed everything for me as a guitar player. I didn't play any better after that, but I sure did have a much greater appreciation for the influences and talents that had been such a part of my life since I was 11 years old. There are some things in life that you just thank God you were around for. This is one of them.
Here's the rest of the list:
- Steve Vai - Saw him do a full set with his band at the Granada Theater on Greenville Avenue in March, 2005.
- Eric Sardinas - really really LOUD slide blues player; opened for Vai.
- U2 - October 29, 2005 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas; this was probably one of the best I've seen. Great showmanship; excellent musicianship; tremendous energy in this concert from the Vertigo tour.
- Paul McCartney - November 2005, AAC - Stephanie and I attended this one together. She doesn't go to a lot of these shows (doesn't care much for the crowds), but she wanted to see this rock legend. It was a great show.
- Aerosmith - January 27, 2006, again at AAC. Probably the world's best rock and roll band today. Joe Perry just smokes on his guitar. Review here.
- Lenny Kravitz - same as Aerosmith; really an opening act, although he wasn't billed that way. Lots of talent and drive, but Dave tells me he has something of an ego issue.
I've been a lucky guy to see all these acts. I didn't realize how many I'd been to over the years, but they do add up.