A Few Show Memories

On my last post, my friend Jim commented that he’d like to see which shows I liked, which I didn’t, my thoughts on the bands, etc.  Obviously, with a list of like 150 bands (see my additions if you checked prior to midnight) that just isn’t possible…but I can share a few of my favorite stories and memories.  (Fair warning, even keeping it BRIEF, this is going to be long!)  I don’t have a head for dates and whatnot, so I’m not going to specifically date too many of these.  Shoot…for some of them, I can’t even remember the YEAR, much less the date!  Still…here are some of my favorite concert memories.  No particular order…but the very first one on the list probably speaks for how much it mattered to me.


  1. The Who
    • 1989 “Reunion” Tour – AKA “The Who On Ice,” if you ask the band…  This wasn’t necessarily the finest hour of The Who.  Kind of dry, and there was WAY too big of a band.  I much prefer the stripped-down Who we’ve been getting pretty much ever since.  Nonetheless, this was an amazing show for me.  I was 9.  It was at Busch Stadium (the one they tore down).  I know my dad and brother were there, and I think my brother’s friend Rob was there, too.  I remember looking down at the stage and seeing Pete Townshend jumping around and whatnot and thinking, “I want to be that guy…or Roger Daltrey…which-ever!”  And my obsession pretty much began there.
    • 1996 – Quadrophenia Tour – My favorite band of all time played my favorite record of all time from front to back.  A moment I’ll treasure forever.  Almost ruined by some f*cker throwing stuff at me when I remained standing for the bass solo while he sat down (like 10 rows back, where he could move his head)…but he didn’t win…so all in all…awesome show.  🙂
  2. Styx 1991-ish?  “Edge of the Century” Tour, anyway…  – I was a big Styx fan in those days.  These days, they’ve gotten a little embarassing…but during that reunion tour, they were still great, even sans Tommy “I’m in Damn Yankees!” Shaw.  Lots of fun.  Went with my dad and brother.  Got a ticket for either my birthday or Christmas…don’t recall which…I think my birthday.  Which-ever one it was, I was thrilled.  Show lived up to expectations and I still think about it now and again even today.
  3. Cheap Trick
    • Trick Fest 2 – Don’t recall the year.  This was Cheap Trick’s fan-fest in Merrilville, Indiana.  Went with my brother for the one set they did that non-fan-club-members could buy tickets for.  Very cool night.  They did a (then rare) acoustic segment.  They played all the stuff I was hoping to hear…and on the ride home, Dave and I saw a snow-tornado.  Seriously.  It was a tornado made out of snow.  I’m not making that up.  He’ll vouch for me.
    • Trick Fest 3 – This time we were full members of the fan club.  All access to all sets and fan-stuff.  Met the band.  Told Robin Zander he shouldn’t wear stripes.  Asked Rick Nielsen what his oldest guitar was (something like an 1850 Martin, if you’re interested).  Stammered to find words to say to Tom Petersson’s super-hot daughter.  Met some ladies from Japan.  Went to the 25th Anniversary show (I think you can kind of see us in the fan shots of the “Silver” CD and DVD jackets).  Got a bunch of free guitar picks.  Really cool few days.
  4. Dream Theater – “Scenes from a Memory” Tour – Saw the whole concept record done live at Mississippi Nights (in the old, filthy, awesome location) complete with screens showing movie-type stuff to flesh out the story.  BIG capstone moment in my Dream Theater fandom…and actually, it’s kind of odd…but I haven’t enjoyed them quite as much ever since.  I think that show kind of was the absolute PEAK for me, and they’ll just never be as good again, in my eyes…even though I have liked a lot of the stuff they’ve done since.
  5. Iron Maiden
    • X-Factor tour – Okay…not their brightest moment.  A band used to playing stadiums, arenas, and sheds played a 1000 capacity club (Mississippi Nights, again) and didn’t even sell it out.  Still…this was my first Maiden show.  Blayze or no Blayze, it was great.  No appearance of Eddie…they didn’t have the room…but the remaining STL die-hard fans were all there, and it was a great night.  It’s not often you get to see such a BIG world famous act that intimately…I’ll never forget it.
    • Brave New World Tour (w/ Queensryche and Rob Halford) – Reunion with Dickenson.  Excellent record.  Excellent tour…and Steve Harris stole Dave’s soul.  (Looked right at him during “Two Minutes to Midnight” and stole his freaking soul.  Saw it happen.  I was right next to him.  That dude took his soul.)  This time, they were in a proper venue, with proper stage sets, and Eddie showed up.  Really awesome.
  6. Reverend Horton Heat – Like 2007? – Saw him for the first time at Pop’s in Sauget, Illinois.  I wasn’t a fan at the time…but years earlier, on my 21st birthday, I found a girlie-shirt wedged into the booth I was sitting in at the bar.  No one claimed it, so I took it home, and randomly wore a Rev girlie-tee around for a while.  I felt like that show fulfilled my shirt…and also it was AWESOME, and I bought my first Gretsch because of it…but I think I’ve already talked about that part…mostly, I just thought you’d all appreciate the image of me in a girlie-shirt.
  7. The Rev/Motorhead – This is included because it was the loudest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.  See last month’s write-up, if you missed it.
  8. Queensryche – Promised Land Tour – Really amazing production values.  Showed me that musical theatre CAN be done in a metal setting without seeming really, really queer.  Really great album and a really great tour.  Really ambitious production that really stuck with me.  Pity it was to an only half-sold Keil Center (or whatever it’s called now) and most of the crowd didn’t even know to sing the “Revolution Calling” bit of the song of the same name.  Still…great show on the band’s part.
  9. Rush – Counterparts Tour – Don’t know exactly why this one stands out of the Rush shows I’ve been to…maybe because it was my first one…maybe because of the fire-effects they used during “Double Agent.”  Maybe it’s that it was a great record, that I can still play most of on the bass.  Dunno…but it was a highlight for me.
  10. Van Halen
    • 1991 – The F.U.C.K. ‘n Live Tour (That’s what it was called.  Don’t blame me.  Blame me for saying “f*cker” earlier…but blame Sammy Hagar for this one!)  Really fun show with my brother and dad…and maybe Heeley?  It’s hard to remember.  Sold out show.  Loads of fun.  Pity it took a couple of HOURS to get out of the parking lot because Riverport was somehow worse then than it is now…but anyway…cool show, and I liked that I kept getting to point out to my classmates that if you abbreviate “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge,” it’s dirty.
    • Live Right Here, Right Now Tour – This is mostly on the list because I bought a t-shirt at this show that said, “Right now, Van Halen’s kicking ass in St. Louis.”  I got in a LOT of trouble with my mom.  (Dad stuck up for me.  Thanks, Dad.)  She died believing that I threw the shirt away on her orders (which I’m not sure Dad knew about).  But guess what…  I lied.  It’s in my closet right now.  And I DID wear it out of the house to band practice too.  Sorry, Mom—but not very.  You over-reacted on that one.  (I’m saying this like she reads my blog…lol…)
  11. Drive By Truckers
    • Duck Room, “Decoration Day” Tour – This was my first DBT show.  I’d heard some/most of the “Decoration Day” record, and liked it…but I had no idea what I was in for!  Something like a 2.5 hour set BEFORE encore.  I hadn’t slept the night before (due to insomnia and a paper being due—I was still in college, then) and the show was going LATE.  It was a marathon.  Almost painful…but by the end, it’d completely changed what I wanted to do as a musician, and they’d made themselves a hard-core, life-long fan.  Also, I think this was the first real concert I attended with my sister-in-law along for the ride with me and Dave…so that’s something, too.
    •  The one I don’t recall from Mississippi Nights. – I think from the “Blessing and a Curse” Tour.  Got there and realized that I already owned all of the merch from off the website…so I started buying beers for myself and others.  I have spotty recollections of it, but what I recall was amazing.  Felt like a communal experience, if memory serves.  My brother has more than once said to me, “It was a great show, you should’ve been there.”  He’s right.  Do yourself a favor…if you go to an awesome show, stop after beer #2.  Don’t miss something amazing, just because you brought too much money.
    • Feb. 29 (Leap Year) 2008 – Notable because this was the first show that Dave, Dad and I had gone to together in a long time, which was really cool and kind of sentimental…and they did “18 Wheels of Love” out of nowhere.
  12. David Bowie – Reality Tour (03?) – I was pissed that Dave bought more expensive tickets than I wanted to pay for…but in all a really cool show.  I think I’ve mentioned once or twice that I’ve got a total man-crush on Bowie.  That in mind, it was amazing seeing him live…and I went out and bought some grey Chuck Taylor’s just like his that next week.  🙂
  13. Mr. Big – Don’t remember when…but it was at Mississippi Nights (I miss that venue).  Mostly notable because the day before the show (or was it day OF?) Dave, my friend Marc and I met the band at Streetside Records (I miss that store, too).  Nice guys, if memory serves.  Being that Billy Sheehan was a bass-hero of mine, I was really nervous…but I think I got through it without sounding like TOO big an idiot.  Don’t remember much of the show, though…
  14. Rich Mullins – About a month before he died.  I’d never seen Rich before.  I’d only heard “Awesome God,” which I thought was cute, but silly.  (Still feel that way.)  Only knowing that song, I was expecting a guy who looked and acted like Carmen to take the stage.  …but then Rich Mullins walks out.  He’s not wearing shoes.  His shorts were obviously earlier long-pants (probably that morning).  His t-shirt looked like he’d made it out of a bath-towel.  And he sang the smartest songs about God I’d ever heard, or that I’ve EVER heard.  I’m still bummed that he’s dead.  Christian music lost one of its few really genuine people and really amazing poets when Rich died.  He’ll never be replaced—and if you look around at the Christian scene today (if any), you’ll see that I’m right about that.
  15. George Jones – A couple of years ago…I don’t know when.  All I know is that Dave and I were by FAR the youngest people who were there of our own volition.  I was right in George’s line-of-sight apparently.  He kept looking at me.  A couple of times, he kind of had a “what’re you doing here?” look on his face.  …and I just kept singing along.  🙂
  16. Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band – Magic Tour – The St. Louis show is STILL being talked about among Springsteen cultists.  LOOOOONG show, harkening back to the old days.  Really amazing setlist, and a lot of fun.  So long of a show, in fact, that you could see Bruce and Little Steven arguing about if they’d do ANOTHER encore (I think they did three) as Bruce called for another song.  I was there.  Part of history.  Dave was, too…but he was really tired and hungry and didn’t enjoy himself quite as much as I did…not his fault though…he just didn’t have time to eat beforehand.  Plus, there were guys from Jersey right behind us up until they moved down so the fat guy could dance…
  17. Clapton – A day or two after Stevie Ray Vaughn died…same accident claimed the lives of a couple of people involved with Clapton’s tour.  He was obviously devastated throughout the show, playing several Vaughn signature-songs.  But I think he needed it.  Only music can get you through something like that.
  18. Farm Aid – Documented elsewhere on the blog…mostly just cool to go to that with Dad and Dave.  Plus, I found out that I’m a Mellencamp fan.  So…bonus!
  19. HORDE (Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere) Tour where the Black Crowes performed.  I fell in love with the Crowes that night.  Became a HUGE fan…then they broke up…but then they reunited!  …but then they broke up again…but then they reunited! …but it sucks because they’ve turned into a hippie jam-band that is boring and doesn’t write good songs anymore…  But the HORDE show was awesome!  🙂
  20. Union/Glimmer – Mostly cool because Glimmer was awesome and Dave and Heeley ended up drinking with them after their set.  Then I met the guys in Union.  I said to Bruce Kulick (former member of Kiss), “Frehley’s got NOTHING on you!”  He replied, “He’s got a couple-million dollars I don’t have.”  Good story.
  21. JD Blackfoot, Steppenwolf, BTO, Kansas – Okay…cool line-up anyway…but the thing that makes this so memorable for me was that when Dad went away to go to the bathroom, he came back and showed us his ticket-stub…and he’d met JD Blackfoot in the bathroom.  Better story than mine above…and I think he still has that ticket somewhere.
  22. Spice Girls – I was a fan.  I’m not embarrassed by it.  It was goofy, fun, Brit-pop, and the girls were in on their own joke.  The movie was funny (which is what won me over, by the way) and the show was good.  Went with Dave and Teague.  I think Chris is a little embarrassed by it now…but at the time, it was awesome.  We paid a scalper more than I’d like to admit for awesome seats right down front (okay…fine…it was about $150 a pop).  Bought t-shirts a size too small because they didn’t think they’d sell any to adults.  We had fun.  No regrets.

…there’s probably more I could tell…but those are some of the highlights of the ridiculous amount of shows I’ve seen.  Hope you enjoyed it.


Goodnight.  It’s 3:30 in the morning, and I’ve got to go to work in a minute.