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The Concert List March 5, 2010

Posted by markgeil in Music.

I hereby blame my buddy Steve for causing me to waste the last half hour. He sent me an email yesterday recalling a concert from our school days, and wondering if we had attended together. The concert was by Genesis, on the Invisible Touch tour, and it was a phenomenon in North Carolina those days. They sold out one show in minutes, so they added another, and then still another. It’s funny now; I don’t think I would immediately list Genesis as one of the biggest concert draws of the 80’s, but they were megastars for that time.

I remember the show well, but Steve and I cannot seem to decide if we went together, or if we both happened to be there. I did recall a fantastic performance of Home by the Sea, the group’s 11-minute holdover from their prog rock days, and I’ll never forget Phil Collins’ snarl on Mama.

But that’s not what wasted a half hour. Steve mentioned that he was updating his concert spreadsheet, detailing every show he’s seen. Wow. What a great concept. Immediately, I wished I had kept an updated list through the years. Since I hadn’t, I spent time trying to remember as many shows as possible. I came up with 70 or so. Here’s my list, partial at best, in alphabetical order:

B. Reith, Francesca Battistelli, Beach Boys, Bluetree, Boston, David Bowie, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Buffett,  Michael Card, Bob Carlisle, Carman, Gary Chapman, Steven Curtis Chapman, Chicago, Chris Rice, Connells, Travis Cottrell, DecembeRadio, Jonny Diaz, downhere, Bryan Duncan, Fee, 4Him, Fireflight, Genesis,  Amy Grant, Shaun Groves, Andy Gullahorn, Lanae Hale, Hawk Nelson, Heart, Brandon Heath, Israel Houghton, Jars of Clay, Billy Joel, Elton John, Phil Keaggy, Ben E. King, Wes King, Lifehouse, Barry Manilow, Mannheim Steamroller, MercyMe, Moody Blues, Cindy Morgan, Newsboys, Newsong, Christy Nockels, Andrew Osenga, Twila Paris, Sandi Patty, Andrew Peterson, Petra, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Phillips, Craig, & Dean, Point of Grace, Matt Redman, Rush, Mark Schultz, Aaron Shust, Sidewalk Prophets, Chris Sligh, Michael W. Smith, Stephanie Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Rebecca St. James, Sting, James Taylor, Tenth Avenue North, Third Day, TobyMac,  Chris Tomlin, U2, Matthew West, Yes

Between fearing that I’ve missed some major shows and typing as fast as I could when a bunch of concerts from a certain season would flood back in, I relished a bunch of very particular memories.

 Sometimes it was the setting. I watched Manilow in Vegas, a perfect match of performer and venue. I sat on the floor of the Hard Rock Café three feet from Chris Tomlin during an inspired acoustic set.

Sometimes it was the “vibe”: unmistakable at a U2 show, for example. I remember a couple of shows during which I never once sat down. I like shows when the crowd is together. No one is yelling “down in front”, no one is too inhibited to dance.

Sometimes it was the companions. During college Amy and I struck a remarkable deal during the inaugural season of an amphitheater in Raleigh and had a summer full of great shows with my buddy Jeff and his future wife Kim. Jeff and I had a spontaneous road trip from Raleigh to Charlotte one night when I won tickets to see Rush. We stopped by the radio station on the way back and had an equally spontaneous on-air concert review with the late night DJ. Never mind the fact that we did all this in the middle of final exam week at N.C. State. Priorities, people!

And then there was my torment over which girl to ask, the first time I ever asked a girl to a concert. I was in middle school, and this cool kid said he could get us tickets to see Chicago at Reynold’s Coliseum. I joined the litany of other kids who wanted to be cool and declared, “I’ll take two.” Because who would say they want one ticket? Only later did I realize that I had no girlfriend at the time, and I’d have to ask a girl. I narrowed it down to two, agonized over the choice, and made the phone call. My wonderful parents picked her up, drove us to the show, and then picked us up afterwards. Good times.

Most of my memories are singular moments. There was the time I was sure that Bruce Springsteen made eye contact with me – just me. Or the first time I heard the ring of a guitar string plucked by the master, Phil Keaggy. Or the first time I watched a show from the stage, or in a TV studio. Or the strained voice of Chris Rice, before he was famous, going straight from the airport after a delayed flight to the stage, singing the chorus of And Your Praise Goes On despite a rough cold. That was the first time I ever heard that song, and I was overcome. Oh, and then there was a combined tour: Billy Joel and Elton John performing together at Ohio Stadium. I had volunteered as an usher, which meant I got to be there for the sound checks. I’ll never forget Joel fiddling with the piano, trying a few notes in different keys, and finally launching into a solo performance of The Eagles’ Desperado. Man, this is fun. I could go on and on.

Your turn! Do you have a list? How about a specific memory? Can you name a favorite concert? Or maybe your first concert? The comment section is yours; fire away.



1. Jericho Lyrics by Citizen Cope | ConcerningLyrics.info - March 8, 2010

[…] The Concert List […]

2. Steve Sloan - March 8, 2010

So, the results of the spreadsheet are in and here is how my concert experiences break down. Current concert total not counting music festivals = 105. Overwhelmingly, my most popular venue is Walnut Creek (34) with the Dean Dome a distant second at 15. My first show was Van Halen with my brother Scott on 12/5/82 (at the age of 11) and my most recent show was Coldplay last summer which my brother also attended. Some of my favorite memories are: Eddie Van Halen kicking the amplifiers and literally making them rock at the first show…Singing “Honey, honey come and dance with me” along with the crowd from the second row of the Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds show at Davidson College…Finally getting to see Radiohead and the electric feeling of oneness with that crowd…the surprise of Elton John coming out on stage in Atlanta to play piano for Coldplay on “Trouble”…the feeling that Sting really wanted to keep playing for us on that January night in 1988. My favorite memory with you Mark was how much I/we enjoyed Cheap Trick opening for Robert Plant. Who knew they would be such a great opening act.

3. markgeil - March 9, 2010

Good stuff, Steve. I didn’t mention my very first show. It was Petra, a sometimes cheesy Christan rock band from the 80’s. It was at Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium, and I was amazed at how loud it was! I had no idea concerts had that kind of volume! Then one of my buddies said he thought the show was louder than the Van Halen show he had recently seen, and I thought I was pretty big stuff.

I also had a similar “Sting wanted to keep playing for us” moment with Jackson Browne, after our Freshman year. Amy and I were watching his show the night before we headed out to England for the summer. It became our send off, and I’ve never felt such a connection between performer and arena. “Load Out” was, of course, memorable, and I think he and the band honestly took a couple of requests. I think he might have kept playing until everyone in the place finally filed out had he been able.

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