Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I don't remember the last time I saw an actual "concert." I've seen literally hundreds of bands play in my life, but for the past 8-10 years, every band I've seen has been at a small club, the basement of a house, someone's backyard, etc. I can't really think of the last time I saw a show that was bigger than Bricks/Club Sound/In The Venue could hold.

I think it may have been Muse, a little bit after Absolution came out. That was probably 2004, or so and it was at Saltair. I've never liked Saltair because the layout is terrible, the drive to the show is terrible and the parking lot situation is even worse. And I hate the guy that owns it, so I wouldn't go there anyway. Muse was the one band I was willing to break my self-imposed boycott for because I got the impression that they put on an amazing show—and they did. That was the last time I saw a band play in a place that was larger than 1200 people (though I have been to Warped Tour once since then, but that doesn't count).

The main reason for that is I've been spoiled watching indie/punk/hardcore bands for most of the past decade. The shows where you can actually see the band sweat and work to keep people interested without the vanity of a light show, props or anything like that is just so much more satisfying. Going to a big show that 20,000 other people are at just isn't fun anymore. That and there's very few bands that I'd be willing to plunk down more than $20 to see.

Back in the early 90s, I was all about the gigantic, epic shows. I saw Blind Melon open for Guns N Roses (which may or may not have changed my life), I saw Def Leppard and Ugly Kid Joe, Rage Against the Machine opening for U2 and The Rolling Stones (Seal opened that show—remember "Kiss From A Rose?"—and while I was looking at the back-up singers through binoculars, one of them moved around a little too quickly and her boobs fell out of her shirt. The guy in the row in front of me saw it too, and as soon as she covered up, he turned around excitedly. We were the only ones that noticed and high-fived the occasion. I was 13 and it was awesome).

Now that it's 2010? There's hardly anyone that I would overpay along with tens of thousands of others to see. But there is a short list of those that I would pay just about anything to see.

1) Bruce Springsteen - I just imagine that a Springsteen show would be so energetic and so much fun that passing up an opportunity would be completely stupid. VH1 was showing "Springsteen live in Rio" a few months ago and I switched the channel to catch a couple of songs and ended up watching the whole thing. It was amazing. Being there would probably make it that much better, too.

2) Soundgarden - I talked about them a bit earlier, but they are one of my all time favorites. I never saw Nirvana and missed Alice in Chains (the real Alice in Chains with Layne Staley), but I did catch Pearl Jam. Every other Seattle grunge band, I missed too. I think Kim Thayil is one of the best guitarists around and say what you will about Chris Cornell, but that dude can sing. I'm glad he finally put that Audioslave/James Bond theme/Scream bullshit to rest, because Like I said a few posts earlier, I want to hear "Slaves & Bulldozers" and "The Day I Tried To Live" played live at a volume my ears will not be able to handle.

3) Metallica/Megadeth/Anthrax/Slayer - This was a rumored tour package from late last year and I was ready to buy tickets when news hit the Internet. I've never seen any of these bands, and on their own I would probably skip the show, but all together? There's no telling what kind of crazy, violent rioting would happen. I'd be stupid not to go.

That's about it. Those are the three shows I would risk a bro-mosh with shirtless, sweaty dudes jumping into each other for.

Springsteen skips SLC every time, the Thrash Metal Superstars of Yesteryear Tour isn't happening and Soundgarden is likely only playing festivals, so I'll probably never see any of them. But a guy can dream, right?

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