Story Time: My First Four Concerts…and Then The Rest I Fuzzily Remember
I've always been a big fan of music, since I was young. It's one of those things that I get a little obsessive about, honestly. I mean, that's part of why I have the job I have now. Sure, I like to connect with people and stuff, but a lot of it is about the music. And now with all this "Rona" stuff (that's what Husbando calls it), we probably won't be able to appreciate live music for a while. At least not like we did. So, I thought, why not go through and remember the concerts I've been to in my limited time on this rock? Sure, why not.
The first concert I ever went to was the Indigo Girls when they came to what was then CMSU in 1997 or 1998. You remember them, I bet.
I wasn't a huge fan at the time, but my roommate worked in the ticketing office and got us tickets pretty easily. She and another friend of mine were big fans, so off we went. Turns out, the sales weren't as good as they were hoping, so our seats that were originally three rows back now were first row. I remember having a great time, but I don't have a firm memory of the show itself.
My second concert was Weird Al Yankovic.
That was at Starlight, and it must have been around the same time period. Maybe the second semester of my freshman year? I remember the girl I went with had tickets and asked me. Turned out she thought it was a date, so that was a tad awkward. I remember nearly getting into like, two car accidents on the way up and it rained off and on throughout the show. But he was great, came into the audience, it was a lot of fun to sing along with. I can't say I'm a person who will buy a Weird Al record anymore, but I had a couple at the time.
My third concert was Elvis Costello.
This must have been in 1998, because I saw it in England. I think it was Manchester. I took my boyfriend at the time and it just blew me away. He played with just himself and Steve on the piano, and the concert was like, maybe three hours long. He did four encores, at least one of them without a microphone. He just sang out into the theatre, it was beautiful. His opening act was Ron Sexsmith, a guy I hadn't heard of before, but I left as a fan of his. There's a song he does called "Strawberry Blonde" you should check out.
Later that year, my flatmates in the dorms (all international students) got me tickets to go see The Cardigans for my birthday.
I know, one hit wonder. But I was really into that first album, it was pretty good. I don't remember much about it other than the lead singer was clearly raspy and her throat wasn't in great condition. I really should go back and re-listen to First Band On the Moon. It was a good record.
After that, times and dates get muddy. The 2000s were a confusing time (read: herbal jazz cigarettes). I know I saw Paul McCartney after college in Chicago at the United Center. I saw Mumford and Sons twice, once in a tiny little hole in the wall club in St Louis (right at the beginning, when "Little Lion Man" was gaining traction, but they weren't big yet. I remember being right up next to the bass speaker, still have the photos on my fridge), and another time at a huge outdoor festival in KC (peak Babel, before they started to suck). I saw The Avett Brothers at least twice, once in an outdoor venue in KC, and once in a small theater in Columbia. A trip to New York City took me to see... a band, that I cannot remember the name of, but we had a great time and I remember the singer crawled all over the place. It was at the Bowery Ballroom, I remember that. In college I saw Phantom Planet at a relatively small theater, after Schwartzman left the band. I also got to go to St Louis to see Keane right around my peak Keane fandom. There was a day trip to Columbia to see Miranda Lambert - there was a very drunk lady screaming "SHOTGUN" all night long, so I think she wanted to hear "Gunpowder and Lead".
I've seen a few concerts at the Fairgrounds, but I don't think I've sat through a whole evening. When you work here, you're just too close to the Fair. You're out there all the time, and you get tired quickly. So I know I saw at least twenty minutes of Beatlemania, probably about an hour of Sheryl Crow, all of the Donnas set (but they weren't the headliners, we left before that started), and maybe a half an hour of Jake Owen.
In recent years, it seems like if I'm going to a concert, it has to be a destination thing. I don't pop up to Kansas city to see stuff much. Most of the time the stuff I want to see is in Chicago. A few years ago I saw Joanna Newsom, I made a little mini vacation out of that. And my most recent, of course, was BTS at Soldier Field last year. That turned out to a be almost a week trip. It was one of the more expensive concerts I've been to (comparable prices with Paul McCartney, if that tells you anything), but it was worth it.
There are a few groups I wanted to see, but couldn't. I didn't get to an REM show before they broke up. I never made it to a Beastie Boys show before Yauch died. I would have loved to see Elliott Smith before he died. Seeing the Monkees before Davy and Peter died would have been fun. I would still love to see Radiohead, EXO (although that looks unlikely for many years on account of conscription), maybe Luke Combs.
Fuzzy memories or not, they're good ones. I look forward to the days when we can get together like that and sing our lungs out together.
What was the best concert you've ever been to? What have you wanted to see, but couldn't? What's a concert you're looking forward to going to someday?