Wicked Wednesday–the Best Concert

Continuing with our March theme, “the best,” Wickeds tell us about your best concert or other live music event. Give us the who, the where, and the why.

Liz: I’m so predictable in this area – Stevie Nicks and the Goo Goo Dolls, both of whom I’ve seen numerous times! I have to say the show I’ll always remember is when I used to live in New Hampshire and the Goos played at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom. It’s a really cool, smaller venue and the band came outside after and met everyone who waited around for them (of course I was one of them!) It will always be one of my favorite nights.

Edith:  This, of course, dates me, but in August 1966 my sisters and I each took a friend to see the Beatles in Dodger Stadium. Our sainted father drove us and then sat in the car EmmyLouand read for the duration. But frankly, the concert was so long ago and there was so much screaming going on, I barely remember it. A couple of years ago I heard the great Emmy Lou Harris in Portsmouth, NH. I’ve loved her for years, and she’s going strong, five years older than I am. She played every song on her guitar. She did some energetic performing with the back-up band. She still has that beautiful, haunting voice and lyrics, and is putting out new records. It was the show of a lifetime for me.

Barb: Edith, I’m laughing because a friend of mine saw Emmy Lou Harris so many times, we used to tease him that her security people must have his photo as a known stalker. Liz, I would love to see Stevie Nicks!

Jessie: I saw Rod Stewart play in Old Orchard not long after I got my driver’s license. I went with a friend from school and had an amazing time. It is one of my many cherished memories of Old Orchard! Every time I hear his distinctive voice come over the radio I think of that evening!

Sherry: Two of my favorite concerts were at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering, Ohio. It’s an outdoor amphitheater that seats about 4,000 people. We were stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base during the mid-nineties. The Boston Pops were there and it was the second year that Keith Lockhart was their conductor. His energy — he jumped up and down the entire time — the lovely summer evening, and having my sweet mother-in-law with us made it a very special evening. We also saw Kathy Mattea there. She has a beautiful voice and her song Where’ve You Been makes me cry every time I hear it. I also love her album Good News.

Edith: I love Kathy Mattea, Sherry!

Barb: My best concert memory is at Tanglewood, on the lawn with my parents, Bill, my kids, friends, assorted sister and brother-in-laws and the kid’s cousins. It poured beforehand, but the skies cleared just in time and the stars came out. I have no idea what we heard. It was about family, friends, great food and wine.

Julie: Edith, so jealous you saw the Beatles! Wow. My absolute favorite band to see in concert is Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. I first saw them on December 15, 1990 (and again on the 16th) at the (now gone) Boston Garden. I’ve probably seen them a dozen times (maybe more) over the years. My favorite time seeing them was when they played Fenway Park. Honestly, my favorite band in one of my favorite places on earth? What’s not to love?

Readers: What is your best concert memory–tell us who, where and why.

68 Thoughts

  1. I used to go to a LOT of concerts because my best friend in high school worked at the ticket outlet and could score us really great seats! I saw John Denver four or five times at different venues. He was such a huge talent. But for “best,” I’ll have to go with the one that still sticks with me the most and that was the very first concert I attended. Hall and Oates. We had 3rd-row center orchestra pit seats and the show was awesome!

      1. He was an incredible human being. I got to meet him backstage after one of the concerts.

  2. As a good Minnesotan, I should say Prince. ☺ And it was great! But the one with the best memories are Simon and Garfunkel. They did a tour a year or two after their big Central Park concert. Here in MN, it was at an outdoor stadium venue, kind of small actually. I went with friends from high school and it was like a mini summer reunion, so many other groups of kids were there too. Plus, the audience had a wide range because of the older folks who had been fans much longer. I remember walking so far to go to the restroom!

  3. OK, I’m another relic of the 1960s. Never saw them in concert, but I did spend a lot of time outside the Delmonico Hotel in NYC screaming for the Beatles. The best concert I ever attended – Woodstock. It was magnificent. I attended with someone I was dating who was part of the medical staff. The organizers ended up flying us in by helicopter because the roads were clogged. I had bought tickets which were never collected. I had them until a few years ago when I lost them in a move. Oh, it was fun.

    1. Kait, you are the sixth person I know of who was at Woodstock! A childhood best friend and her brother went, but I moved away and never saw either of them again, and my brother-in-law and two of their friends drove from Cincinnati in a VW Beetle to the concert. With (relatively) so few people there, you are one rare individual.

      1. It seemed like the world was there! I know it wasn’t intended to be that way, people kept coming untl the road was gridlocked. I was lucky enough to be living in shouting distance of NYC in those days. The music was fabulous, amazing events were unplanned.

  4. I am a child of the 60s and 70s, and was a huge hard rock fan. My first concert was Creedence Clearwater Revival with my sister and some of my cousins. My favorite is a toss-up between The Rolling Stones in 1972 ( my graduation gift from my cousin and his wife) and Led Zeppelin (I saw them 4 times).

  5. Dating myself right along with Edith here—Judy Collins in 1968 or 1969 at Bowdoin College. I was a student at rival Bates College at the time. Some of us lobbied to have her perform there but the rock music fans won out over the folk music crowd. Bates hosted the forgettable group whose song “Red Rubber Ball” was a hit that year. Future husband and I also drove up to U. Maine at Orono to hear The Association sing “Cherish” and other songs. Everyone sat on the floor. And that image, combined with how hard it is these days for me to get up off the floor once I’m down, just reminded me of the name of the forgettable group—The Turtles! At least I think that’s right. It was a loooong time ago!

      1. The Association came to my high school, too, in Hamilton, Ohio, 1968 or 69. That still blows me away. We also had the Harlem Globetrotters there.

  6. I am going to join the ranks of those dating themselves but with a difference. Many, many moons ago, I lived in NH-my early adulthood. Absolutely fell in love with the sounds of Judy Collins, James Taylor and Tom Rush. Never saw any of them in concert in person. Back then. I really started to go to concerts in the last fifteen years or so. We have several smaller size venues locally and it makes it easy, although I have been known to drive about 300 miles to see Brooks and Dunn. One person I had always wanted to see in person was Tom Rush. I had the opportunity when he came here locally and I went to see him by myself. No one else among my friends was particularly interested.in seeing him. Most couldn’t remember him but then they all like rock while my taste is a bit more eclectic. I’d see an Irish band as quickly as I would see Pat Benetar.
    Tom Rush is phenomenal in concert. The venue makes it very personal and close up. He still sounds wonderful and it was a hoot to see audience members in tie dye, granny glasses and long cotton skirts. Great concert. Lots of sing along and comfortable, padded seats!

    1. Tom Rush was here in Key West this winter. We didn’t go, but friends did, and like you said he was still amazing. He comes to Boothbay Harbor once a summer. Now I am really motivated to go.

  7. There were no concerts of big stars anywhere near where I grew up. We had concerts at the high school, but I was usually in them. I do admit to a bit of envy of Edith for being able to see Emmy Lou Harris…her voice is one of a kind. Did get to see/hear her on TV when Ian and Sylvia had a reunion concert (?1986) with Emmy Lou and Gordon Lightfoot and Judy Collins, etc. Now I can watch that on YouTube!! 🙂

      1. I saw Joni way back in 1976 when I was in college. She had a great backup band and her voice was pure magic.

  8. I love to hear live music and go out to clubs as often as I am able. In high school I was lucky enough to meet a friend who enjoyed music as much as I did and in five years we saw thirty seven concerts that included everyone from Fleetwood Mac to Liberace. Prince was one of my favorites. Recently we have started seeing concerts together again. Our first was Billy Joel in D.C. and just a few months ago we drove to Richmond to see my all-time favorites, Foo Fighters.

  9. I finally got to see Eric Burdon and his new Animals in Lowell, MA almost 2 summers ago as part of their music in the park series. My husband and I are such huge fans and when we saw he was coming I hurried up and bought the tickets. He can still play those long songs. I was waiting for Sky Pilot and he did not disappoint.

      1. another of the greats. We went to the Park a number of years ago and saw the Tuvan Throat Singers who were discovered by Dr. Richard Feynman – one of my favorite scientists.

  10. My first concert was Chicago, but all I remember about it was how uncomfortable I was. My first husband was a (very young) cop, and we were sitting in the midst of a bunch of pot smokers.

    The next concert was more memorable, with my next serious boyfriend after my divorce. Procol Harum, with opening acts Golden Earring, and a then-unknown guy who sang, played piano, and the harmonica, all by himself, Billy Joel. He stole the show.

    The best-ever concert, though, had to be John Fogarty and Willie Nelson, down the road from our house at Riverbend, on the Ohio. They completely rocked.

  11. When I was in college, I had a student job in the box office, so I went to a lot of concerts for free. This is odd because I was not a huge fan of their music, but the most memorable concert was by Chicago. They seemed to be having the best time, engaged the audience, and put on a fun, energetic show that lasted hours. The saddest concert was the Beach Boys. I could see off stage from my seat, and Brian Wilson kept getting up and lumbering over to sit and take whiffs from an oxygen tank. It was memorable, but not in a good way, poor guy.

    1. I loved Chicago! Saw them at the Syracuse Armory agree ago. As we left, my sister said, “Eighty-five hundred people would have followed them anywhere!”

      1. Ramona, I have a Chicago story. In the early 80s in NYC, I went to hang out with a friend and her boyfriend, both actors. They’d just come back from a trip to CA, where they’d visited John’s brother. They showed slides of the trip and they were on this gorgeous lawn in Malibu. Turned out it was his brother’s lawn. I asked, “What does your brother do?” “He’s a musician.” “A studio musician?” John pulled out a Chicago album and pointed to the credits under “Color My World.” My friend’s boyfriend (and eventual husband) was John Pankow (To Live and Die in LA; Mad About You), and his brother was Chicago’s James Pankow.

  12. I went to an all day country concert called Fan Jam a few times. Some highlights – Lonestar, Montgomery Gentry, Travis Tritt, and beating my sister in a hula hoop contest. But the most amazing concert I went to was Garth Brooks. It was a couple of weeks before my birthday, so my sister bought us tickets as an early birthday gift.

  13. Toss up: Simon and Garfunkel in Phoenix, November 9, 2003 (my friend and I looked around at all the graying heads and wondered how we all managed to still be alive!). Or James Taylor and Carole King together at the Boston Garden.

    1. Those would be mine if I were lucky enough!! (I saw JT, but with Carole King would be an entirely different level.) Lucky you!!

    2. I’ve seen James Taylor in concert five times. He never disappointed me. Always sings beautifully and engages the audience with funny or moving stories.

  14. I have some great concert memories: I saw Journey for my 16th birthday. I won 7th row center tix to James Taylor at Tanglewood and when he came back for the encore, security said we could go up to the stage, so I rushed the stage and watched his encore from there and then he touched our hands as he left the stage (so now I tell people me and JT are likethis). I saw Jackson Browne in the 80’s at a fair in Austin – it was this little side area and there were only about 15 rows of chairs, so we were in the 3rd row and he was right there on this small stage – felt intimate and he was great. There were others, but I think my favorite — maybe because he surprised me most — was Willie Nelson. I was a Texas transplant at the time and didn’t like country music, but my (then) very Texas boyfriend did. So he got us tickets to an outdoor Willie Nelson concert. I didn’t like to listen to Willie Nelson on the radio, thought his voice was annoyingly nasal, but I went. OMG – in person, his voice was heaven and so soulful. It resonated feeling. I remember being mesmerized the entire show. He was a true musician.

  15. I’ve been to a lot of concerts, but my favorite may be when I saw KC & the Sunshine Band at the House of Blues – now gone – on Sunset Boulevard. It was 1999 and I was six months pregnant, but I was not going to miss a chance to finally see my favorite band live! Yup, I’m a lifelong Disco Queen. If anyone reading this is coming to Left Coast Crime next week, I’ll be doing a fifteen minute exercise class in the Dance It Out format, and one of the songs will be my favorite song ever, “Get Down Tonight.” I have a permanent case of Boogie Fever!

    1. I was in that House of Blues in 1999–but not for KC. My son was a freshman at UCLA that year. So sorry to be missing Left Coast Crime.

  16. Michael Buble at the State Theatre in Easton, PA somewhere around 2002 or so. He’s so amazing in concert. I got a hug and a signed poster that I have framed. He’s the sweetest person.

  17. I haven’t been to a lot of concerts, but the most memorable was probably Tony Bennett for our 10th wedding anniversary in 2006. It was Tony’s 80th birthday. The man can sing!

  18. I haven’t gone to very many concerts, but I have enjoyed the ones I have gone to. A few years ago, I caught Amy Grant on her most recent tour. As a long time fan, that was wonderful. I’ve seen the band Downhere in concert many times here in town, and met a good friend at one of them. They also introduced me to Jason Gray when he was the opener at one of their concerts., and I love his music. I’m still sorry that the Jason Gray/Josh Wilson concert didn’t come to Southern CA a couple of years ago. And when I was a kid, my family never missed when Don Francisco was in town.

    (The real question is, how many of you have heard of any I mentioned after Amy Grant?)

      1. They are all Christian musicians, so most people outside of Christian music circles haven’t heard of them, and then they are relatively unknown (unfortunately). Amy Grant had some pop music success in the early 90’s, so I figured more people might have heard of her.

    1. I’ve heard of Jason Gray. In fact, I saw him in concert with Laura Story and Steven Curtis Chapman a couple of year’s ago.

  19. The first concert I went to was Elvis in St. Louis in 1970 or 71 with my best friend and roommate at the time.It was the most expensive ticket ($15.00) you could get but we were still far, far away He was great and yes they really did say “Elvis has left the building”. I was a folk music fan so saw Peter, Paul, and Mary numerous times, John Denver once (loved his concert), and Chicago. All in St. Louis. Bette Midler and Tina Turner too on their final tours. Saw Springsteen in Louisville. It would be hard to choose which was the best.

  20. Back in the day I saw so many concerts it is hard to choose. My first one was when I was 9. My older brother took me to see Kiss. One of his bandmates brought me a plastic yellow rose that Gene Simmons had. I had stacks and stacks of concert stubs. I loved seeing Aerosmith on New Year’s Eve in Boston (my favorite singer) and it would have been my favorite if I hadn’t been with my live-in boyfriend who I was in the midst of breaking up with. Jethro Tull was amazing as was Kansas. Even though I have never cared for Bruce, his shows with the E-Street band are definitely something. Concerts were my life for a very long time. I miss them. Would not go to one now for nothin!!

  21. I have to say my favorite concert of all time was a little over a year ago. I saw Sting and I was on the very first row.

  22. There are several artists I have seen several times because they put on such a good show: Sir Paul McCartney, James Taylor and Neil Young.

  23. Hmm my favourites are going back a bit (err …. LOT!) and that would be Fleetwood Mac (with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham!) and Aha!!

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