OK, so the following was inspired by the guy who works at the coffee shop, who told me today (in a blatant and sort of sadistic attempt to make me horribly jealous) that he saw Bruce Springsteen in Dallas, and that Jon Bon Jovi (!--Jon Bon freakin' Jovi!?) joined him on stage for "Glory Days." That is awesome. Trying to make myself feel better, I have been reflecting all day on my personal concert highlights. Here they are, in no particular order:
1) M. Ward at the Parish in Austin--my second (?) year here. When it became clear that he was going to end the show without doing "Sad, Sad Song" (which remains my very favorite M. Ward song), his lovely wife (my lovely friend) ran backstage to tell him that he had to do it in the encore.
2) The Donnas, also at the Parish, last fall. The whole show was totally great, as you would expect, but for their encore they covered Ratt's "Round and Round." Listen, haters, if you don't think that those girls are the real deal, then you just don't know. They rocked the hell out of the song. It was downright inspiring. (Blake, J-Bro and Mikey J. also saw this same encore in PDX. They can attest.)
3) Aerosmith at the Rose Garden. I don't know. Like 10 years ago. Actually, the show itself sort of sucked because we had totally crappy seats AND we were sitting by complete asshats, but there was this moment I like to often relive when, about 2 hours into the set, Steven Tyler stopped, stood still for a moment, then jumped straight up into the air and did a forward flip. WHAT?! I mean the guy was like 50, and had been a nearly-dead heroin addict for 20 of those years, and had been running back and forth on the stage for 2 hours and he could still jump up in the air and flip?! From a standing position? No running start even? People, that is an amazing testament to the power of adrenaline.
4) Sting at the LB Day Amphitheatre in Salem. Summer of 1991, or thereabouts. This is actually part of a much longer story (which includes a long digression about this IDIOT that Qwanty was sort of seeing who resembled Jesus. But in looks only), but the night was beautiful, and we were so close that, in Qwanty's words, "we could get sprayed by Sting's sweat" if he shook his head back and forth. We sat next to two middle-aged women who were loving it as much as we were, and who thanked us (or maybe we thanked them?) for being so fun to sit next to. We danced the whole show under a perfect Oregon summer twilight, and then perfect Oregon summer stars.
5) Paul McCartney at the KINGDOME, 1990ish. I was there with Qwanty (again) and my young, converse-wearing friend Jessica. After this huge multimedia pre-show (I think it lasted about 20 minutes) we were whipped into a frenzy so that when Sir Paul (who was, granted, a football field away from us) walked onto stage alone with his guitar the three of us spontaneously began weeping. It was wild. I wouldn't have thought it possible, if I hadn't been there myself. It was, all-in-all, the most amazing concert experience of my life.
Actually, honorable mention should go to most of the concerts I attended with Qwanty, who has always been my favorite person to see shows with. Erasure (when I was 14), Donovan (15--although I don't know if this was one of the best shows I ever saw or worst), Cake (twice, although seeing them outside at the rose gardens with the Violent Femmes was the best), and, of course, The Moops, with Patrick Lunch on drums and "the wad of mod" doing vocals, no doubt in those Velveteen pants he favors.
(Note: I will actually write a blog post about Patrick in the future. He was in my life for a relatively brief time, but his influence looms large.)
*I know this is not how the name of the song is actually written, for all you QR purists. But I think of this as a family-friendly blog. In other words, Bruce reads it.