Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Concert Resume

Living in the Philadelphia area, I'm a little spoiled.  Not only do we have cheesesteaks, but we also have a great music scene.

Many great national acts have come from this area, and there were/are countless more great bands who never made it out of the club scene here.

Add to that, we had/have some amazing radio stations.  Like most areas, most of our radio stations are now run by corporations who determine playlists using data from focus groups, etc, but when I was growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, this wasn't the case.  DJs were allowed a lot of flexibility.  We have a couple of stations around here that still have a little flexibility.  One of these is WMMR, which also promotes local bands.

One of WMMR DJs is Pierre Robert, who has been with the station since 1981.  He occasionally talks about people's "Concert resume."  This is the shows that a person has seen in their lifetime.  For example, ever speak to someone who was actually AT the Woodstock Festival?

I'm passionate about music.  Music has gotten me through some really rough times in this life.  Let's face it, any Transgendered person's life is rough.  We are born different, and we know it.  Throw that on top of the standard awkwardness of growing up, and well... it sucks.  I've written about my love of the Who already. 

But I've been thinking (dangerous I know), I wonder how many shows I've actually seen in my time.  What does my Concert Resume look like?  So I started compiling a list.  In doing so, I remembered the shows, and that's brought a smile to my face. 

Belting out a song at Laptop Lounge

So... here's my Concert resume.  I'll add comments where appropriate.  This doesn't include "bar bands" that released records, no matter how good those records are, like the amazing Love Seed Mama Jump, and the late great Queen Bee and the Blue Hornet Band.  I had to draw the line somewhere.

So here's how I'm doing it:  BAND/Opening Act,  Date.  That assumes I have all that info.  I'm fairly sure that I've missed a few shows I attended on this list, but cest la vie.


Men at Work/ INXS   August 13, 1983
My first show!  This was the Mann Music Center in Philly.  INXS was simply incredible, and blew Men at Work off the stage.  At the time of the show, Men at Work had the #1 single with "It's a Mistake."  I remember riding in the back of a van, and being asked to mix grain alcohol (which I'd never had) with Kool Aid for tailgating.  Needless to say, the drinks were STRONG!

Police Synchronicty Tour/  R.E.M., Madness, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts August 20, 1983
Tickets were $17.50 for a full day of music.  An incredibly hot day!  There is a great description of the show HERE.  My wife wore the shirt I bought at this show to the reunion show in 2007.

 Wife in Shirt. 
Van Halen (with David Lee Roth)/ Autograph  March 21, 1984
WOW!  I had crappy seats but what an amazing show!  THIS was Van Halen!  There was a camera on a platform directly over my head filming for the Panama video.  At 25 seconds into the video (and a few other times) is footage from that camera panning the stage.  At one point of the show, David Lee Roth was drinking from a bottle of Jack Daniels.  He looked down at someone in the front row and said "Of course it's real!  Who do you think we are?  Quiet Riot?"

Chicago (with Peter Cetera) August 24, 1984
Still the loudest show I've ever attended.  Hint: when the band has a horn section, don't get seats near the speakers. This was the tour following Chicago 17.

Live Aid  July 13, 1985
So much has been written about this.  I still have my painters hat I wore that day somewhere.  It was incredibly hot, and the fire department turned hoses on the crowd to cool us down.  it felt sooooo goood!  Tickets were an "outrageous" $35.00 each.  Back then, a ticket for a concert was less than $20.  Except Michael Jackson's Victory tour, which cost $36!

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band  August 14, 1985
It was 99 degrees that day with 99% humidity.  Stinking hot!  But what an amazing show!  Everything you've heard about Bruce in concert-it's true!

Roger Daltrey (x2)  Dec 5, 1985, Sept 11, 1994
The first show was ok, and I met Roger afterwards (I waited by the tour bus with many others.)  The second show is one of my top 5 favorite shows of all time.

Bob Dylan with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers July 20, 1986
Met Pierre Robert here.  We talked music.  He was impressed that someone my age "knew Dylan's music so well."  I was floating!  Bob did five songs, and after each one, Tom Petty chugged a beer.  After the five songs, Bob introduced Tom, who then did a few of his own songs while drunk out of his mind.

Boston/ Farrenheit June 26, 1987
Fun show.  Brad Delp really could hit the high notes!

Bob Dylan with Grateful Dead July 10, 1987
My second Bob show and my first Dead show.  What an amazing day!

James Taylor   September 13, 1987
My 21st birthday, spent at Rec Hall, PSU.  It was a Sunday night, and my girlfriend of the time bought the tickets.

The Who (x3) July 9, 1989; July 7, 2000; Dec 8, 2012
First time was OK.  Second time was amazing!  The last time I discuss here.

Elvis Costello and the Impostors  August 19,1989
Dull show.  Highlight was Elvis calling the audience out on not knowing a Van Morrison song.

Rolling Stones/ Living Color  August 31, 1989
Opening night for the US tour.  During the first song, Mick's mic went out.  He was pissed!  Amazing show!  My date was so drunk she fell down the steps.  (She was ok.)

Jethro Tull  November 2, 1989
Fun show!  These guys are entertaining!

David Bowie  July 9, 1990
Sound and Vision tour.  Bowie was simply amazing. 

Special Beat  TLA, Philly 1990
Ska show.  I remember it was fun, but I was quite drunk.

Yes (x3) April 16, 1991, July 13, 1991, October 25, 1997
The second show I sat in the front row, and shook hands with Alan White and Trevor Rabin.  My (then future) wife gave roses to Rick Wakeman, who caressed her hand and thanked her.  Yes was and still is her favorite band.  At the third show, I met Paul Simon.  Really!

Genesis  June 1, 1993
The "We Can't Dance" tour.  Fun show!  Some religious fundamentalists were sitting next to me.  When they played "Jesus he knows me" they got all pissed off and left.

Pete Townshend July 15, 1993
Psychoderelict Tour.  5th row.  Great show!

Jerry Garcia Band  November 16, 1993
I don't remember much of this show.  I was in the 10th row, but as I didn't drive I got hammered!
Robert Plant Nov 27, 1993
Tower Theater, Philly.  He's REALLY tall!  Good show.  He played my favorite Zep song, "Thank you."

Elvis Costello and the Attractions/ Crash Test Dummies  June 9, 1994
This may be the best concert I ever saw.  Amazing energy!  It was a hot night, and Elvis was on FIRE.  It was like he had something to prove. 

Madness  9:30 Club, 1998
Their reunion tour in a pit of a club.  Great show!  People stayed maybe 45 minutes afterwards cheering, hoping they'd do another encore.

Duran Duran August 4, 2000
Good show.  It was fun watching a bunch of thirty something Durannies bounce up and down and scream like they were 14 again.  This was at Baltimore's Pier 6, and it was the band's first ever show in Baltimore.

Todd Rundgren/ Joe Jackson  April 24, 2005
Acoustic show.  Todd was good, but Joe Jackson blew him off the stage!

Police/ Fratellis July 19, 2007
Reunion tour.  Great show with a lot of energy.  My wife was six months pregnant at the time, and felt the baby kicking to the beat.

Zombies/Strawbs September 15, 2011
I went to this with Amanda Richards.  The Zombies are known for a few songs back in the day, and sounded great.  Their opening band was one of the most influential prog rock bands out there, and they did an acoustic show.  I'd never heard of them before this, but they were great!

Hooters (many times)
I used to catch these guys all the time when they were a club band around 1984, usually at the Chestnut Cabaret in Philly.  They were the best band in Philly at the time, and listening to their music always makes me smile.

Bob Dylan (many times)
I've seen Bob 5 times total I think, including an all-electric show at PSU in 1989.  He rarely does all electric shows.

Grateful Dead (many times)
Wow.  Umm lots and lots!  My last show was October 7, 1994 at the Spectrum in Philly.  There was nothing like a Dead show.  It had to be experienced to be appreciated.


So there it is.  I've been fortunate that I've seen some amazing bands in my time, including some legends. 

What's YOUR Concert resume like?  I hope it makes you smile! 



  1. Although I come from the same hometown as David Bowie, we have never coincide, I have worked with / for Elvis Costello on his Ballet score, but one that should be on everybody's list is the up coming LGSO ( http://www.lgso.org.uk/ )concert with yours truly at the bottom of the Trombone section, yes they really are serving the LGBT community!

  2. Very impressive.
    Back in the 1960s I started seeing shows. I worked at a local hotel and also at a local music and theater venue. Many of the out of town acts would stay at the hotel and from time to time I would be recognized as the 'kid' from both places. Back then I saw the Temps, the 4 Tops, The Supremes, Jethro Tull, Roger Miller, Rascals, Critters, Turtles, Seekers, Pacemakers and the Zombies. The best show I ever saw at that theater was the Chamber's Brothers. They did a half hour version of "Time" that knocked the place down.

    At the hotel I worked as a lifeguard, front desk, laundry, etc. Chicago came for 2 days and they saw me both at the hotel (lifeguard at the pool) and the concert venue. After the show I was invited back to their room. They had a vinyl blank of the musicc that became 'Chicago III', They had some acoustic guitars and for part of the night they sang to the tracks on the vinyl while they played and hummed along. After that, the evening devoled into a real life version of 'sex...drugs...and rock & roll.'

    I was married in 1973 and my wife also has good taste in music. She had actually seen the Beatles at Forest Hills. Together we saw The Who, The Beach Boys, Billy Joel (I could fill a chapter on how my life has intersected with his), Springsteen, Ringo and the All Stars, Meatloaf, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Youngbloods, Roger McGuin, John Sebastian, Mama's and Papa's (not all original players of course), The Cars, James Taylor, jackson Browne, Dylan (many times), Thorogood (3 times), Kansas, Marshall Tucker, James Mason, Steve Winwood, CSN and also Neil Young, and many others.

    The group that we have seen the most and our favorite group is "The Band" The group played a lot in the 1990s after the release of Jericho. It was always without Robbie. We have seen this group about 20 times and have seen separate shows with Danko and Helm. We have also seen Fogarty about 15 times.

    Long live Rock and Roll. Keep on Rockin in the free world.