Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Top 5

Monday night's concert of Coldplay got me thinking about all the concerts I've seen in my lifetime. I think I've seen almost forty different bands in concert. They have ranged from Metalica (which was disturbingly awesome) to the Dixie Chicks (which was the pre-Hate Bush Tour...so don't get mad Mom) and Wyclef Jean (which was a free concert I worked at as "security").

To non-music lovers, spending money on concerts may seem like a pointless activity. However, for me, a concert is a time when I can fully immerse myself in the beauty of music. (Well, not in the case of Wyclef. That was more an experience of shock watching a man rap to a mostly white crowd at Duke about the hood and pot).

Anyway, I've decided to list and describe my top 5 concerts.

1. My number one would have to be U2 at the Delta Center almost three years ago. Outside of The Who, I had been literally raised on U2. I can still remember my Dad taking my brother to his first U2 concert in Philadelphia and hearing about how Bruce Springsteen made a guest appearance. I remember the Joshua Tree Tour t-shirt Jason used to wear with a crew cut and camo pants, and I remember hearing all the details of when Matt touched Bono during the Zoo TV Tour. When I was 13, Matt offered to get me a ticket for a show in Philly, but my dad said I was too young...do you see where I'm going...I waited a loonnng time for this event.

Though the sound was slightly deafening in the Delta Center, it was absolutely amazing. I sang every word, danced every beat, and will forever be grateful to Jason for getting me the best seat in the house.

2. Without a doubt number 2 would have to be Guster. Now narrowing down which Guster concert was my best, that's a little more difficult. I have seen Guster 4 times and every time I walk away loving them even more. I think my favorite time seeing them would have to be at UVSC in Provo, Utah. This was the first time my friend Emily Madsen had ever seen Guster live and I made sure she fully enjoyed it by acting out and singing every lyric for her. Thinking back I'm surprised we are still friends. (Picture going to a concert with a really loud mime.) Anyway, with Guster you are guaranteed a very fun night of dancing, ping-pong balls being thrown on stage, covers of Violent Femmes and good one liners from Ryan, the lead singer.

3. Number tres...this is harder than I thought it would be. Hmm...number three would have to be Rusted Root at a little theatre outside of Philadelphia. I remember thinking I had never seen such energy on a stage before. There was literally twenty people on stage either singing or playing an instrument. Every song had this pounding African beat that shook my body. By the end of their set my knees were completely bruised from banging against the seats in front of me while I tried to dance. Probably the second coolest part about Rusted Root, was that they were the opening band for Toad & the Wet Sprocket. When Rusted Root finished, Toad came out and said the obligatory, "Hey, how about Rusted Root?" To which the majority of the audience responded with, "Better than you guys," and then walked out.

4. Number four would be Mr. Vaaann Morrison. Never in my lifetime did I think I would see this legend perform. However, sweet Danny got us tickets for my 27th birthday. The concert was held at the Hollywood Bowl, which is this amazing outdoor amphitheatre. I think I mostly listened to the concert in a state of shock that I was actually hearing one of my favorite performers of all time. The other cool part was that we were about ten feet away when Van Morrison came out and got in his limo. What did I do? Hmmm, only harassed the man by yelling, "Mr. Vannn Morrison." (Someone in Van's band kept announcing that during every song. It got slightly annoying, so I decided to do it one more time.)

5. When I was a sophomore in college all my friends decided we needed to kick off the start of school with a little outdoor Dave Matthews concert. For almost three hours Dave played, I think, every song he wrote and any song he's ever heard. I don't know if I was high from all the pot in the air, but I remember we all were dancing with each other and then we started to dance with complete strangers. As the concert went on, the entire lawn of the amphitheatre became this giant dancefloor. It was so much fun to dance with everything from red necks, to little frat boys from UNC.

So, there you have it. My top 5. I suppose there could have been some different entries had my strict father let me attend Janet Jackson when I was ten and Blues Travelers when I was 15. Oh what could have been...

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