I have been recently been purging physical possessions. I began tearing down posters from my walls and carrying boxes of useless crap down to the street (where whatever left out magically disappears in less than 20 minutes) after a panic attack earlier this summer. I suspect that my purging tendencies are a subconscious attempt at coping with a horrible, soul crushing break up.
My most recent attempt to get rid of things has led me to take a look at my collection of concert tickets. I have held on to nearly every concert ticket from every concert I’ve attended since I started seeing concerts. These tickets are just sort of taking up space and creating clutter. At one point I put them on to a larger piece of poster board and I was planning on framing them all, but as the years went by, the framing never happened.
I’ve decided to post pics of the concert tickets here, and to give a brief review of each show as best I can remember. There are hundreds of these… (or at least 65) and I will post them all over the course of the rest of the year. Here are the first 10:
THE ALARM / Irvine Meadows / Sat May 31st 1986
It is no secret that The Alarm are a band that had a huge impact on me. I do not have a concert ticket from the very first Alarm concert I ever attended as the show was free. A full (and long-winded) recount of that show has been documented in my very first blog post here if you are interested in going back in time and reading it. This show was the second Alarm show I ever saw (I’ve seen well over 50 Alarm shows by now) and it was the last show of their Strength tour before going back to The UK to follow it up with ‘Eye Of The Hurricane’. I remember sporting a vest, bolo tie, and cowboy boots. I also brought my ‘C’ harmonica and a deck of cards in my pocket. I remember taking the bus to the San Fernando Valley and meeting up with another friend to drive to Irvine. The seats were nose-bleeders, but the concert was phenomenal. It was the first time I ever heard The Alarm play songs by The Who (Pinball Wizard) and Zeppelin (Stairway to Heaven). I remember the set being ‘Strength’ heavy, but not a bad thing. I remember being impressed with the the haunting Dave Sharp guitar work on the album cut ‘Dawn Chorus’. Other highlights included Mike Peters telling the audience that “The Stand” was indeed inspired by the Stephen King book as I had suspected, thus combining my favorite band and my favorite writer in one fell swoop.
REM / Great Western Forum / Wed March 15th 1989
I went to this show with my friend Dallas. REM was one of those bands that I was lukewarm about at the time, but in hindsight, I am very glad I saw this show when I did…it was before they exploded as a massive band (pre-automatic for the people) and they were sort of the anit-rockstars at the time. Prior to this show I had only ever seen bands who embraced the whole ‘rockstar’ thing and REM were never really into that. They just sort of played their show and I remember Michael Stipe introduced their hit song “Stand” as the “worst song they ever wrote”.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers / Shoreline Ampatheater / June 13th 1995
I cannot recall who I went to this show with. Perhaps one of my girlfriends at the time. This was a tour that Petty did after he recorded the songs for the film “She’s The One”. There were some great moments including a live version of “Climb That Hill Again” and an acoustic set in the middle of the show where he played “California”. The Heartbreakers are always a great show…this was not the best Heartbreakers show I’ve seen, because I was so far away from the action on the lawn at Shoreline…but it was certainly awesome.
The Who / LA Coliseum / Aug 26th 1989
The Who…a great band. One of those groups that you get addicted to, and listen to them non-stop for years and then you sort of just quit cold turkey. I was in my Who cold turkey phase when they decided to do one last farewell tour (every Who tour since 1983 has been a ‘Farewell Tour’ by the way…do not be fooled…I think they are still touring..) But during this tour Entwistle was still alive and busted out a very sick version of ‘Boris The Spider’. However the best song of the night, far and away was ‘Eminence Front’. It was an amazing song live. Super awesome show all in all by a brilliant and classic band.
Jerry Garcia Band / Concord Pavilion / Oct 31st 1989
I went to this show with my girlfriend at the time Vicky and her college friend Dory. I think I was still living in LA, but making a lot of trips to Norcal (or I had just moved to Santa Cruz and was living with Vicky…can’t remember for certain) This was a Halloween show and everyone was in costume. Say what you will about The Greatful Dead…I can understand why people may not like them, but Jerry Garcia Band shows were amazing. I always enjoyed them so much more than Dead shows. Jerry’s solo band was on fire that night. Lots of amazing songs were played (a lot of classic motown stuff!) and I would argue that JGB shows were better than Dead shows in many ways. In retrospect, I am pleased I got to see Jerry Garcia play guitar as much as I did. He was an amazing guitar player, on one can play like him, a true original.
Tears For Fears / The Warfield / May 7th 1996
The other guy had already left the band…this was Roland Orzabal on his own leading Tears For Fears. He was touring in support of ‘Raul & The Kings Of Spain’ and playing a moderate sized theater in San Francisco. It was an awesome show. The female bassist was cute and a great player. The songs from ‘Elemental’ sounded amazing and of course the old 80’s songs were fantastic. This was a great show.
The Grateful Dead / Irvine Meadows / April 30th 1989
The only thing I remembered about this show was after it was over, the security kept trying to stop the hippies from hopping the fence and running down a big hill…
Jimmy Page & Robert Plant / San Jose Arena / May 20th 1995
Page and Plant reunited to do Zeppelin songs with a middle eastern vibe. I enjoyed “Since I Been Loving You” because Jimmy Page was ‘going for it’ on the guitar and making mistakes but recovering from them in order to take his game to a higher place. It was amazing to watch. I’m pretty sure I went to this show with Troyan a co-worker from my video store days.
Indigo Girls / Berkley Community Theater / Nov 6th 1999
I have to say, I’ve seen a LOT of Indigo Girls shows. If you have ever seen them live, you will understand why I go see so many of their concerts. They are a rock solid duo with amazing harmonies and really fantastic songs. Amy Ray is a force of nature and Emily Sailors is an astounding guitar player. Highly under-rated group. They release great albums over and over again with no sign of slowing down. This was a great show. They were touring in support of “Come On Now Social” and I remember the highlight was a rocking version of “No Compromise” with Sara Lee on the bass!. Rock solid show by a rock solid band.
The Cure / Shoreline Amphitheater / June 2nd 2000
Robert Smith. Hard to find anything to say other than absolute adoration for his genius. It is hard to not get a little weepy when I think about how great this band is. This particular tour was in support of “Bloodflowers”. They played for well over 3 hours. They blessed us with 3 encores. The last of which was a 45 min set of their early hits. It was astounding.