Friday, September 12, 2008



Remember when 9/11 was just another day? :(

9/11/86 - The Kinks @ Merriweather Post Pavilion. I love The Kinks. Despite the fact that this show meant coming back home for the weekend about 2 weeks after school started again, I wasn't going to miss this show. In fact I brought a couple friends from college back with me. We bought our tickets earlier in the summer - right when they went on sale. So imagine our surprise when school starts, we get back to PSU and see the local paper, only to find out that The Kinks are playing PSU the night after they play Merriweather. Dammit. We could have just stayed at school a walked to the damn show! But no - we already paid for these tickets, so we drove the 5-hours each way and went to it anyway. Good show, but more of a hassle than it needed to be. Oh yeah - The opening band, Translator, canceled. I think they broke up soon after, so we never got to see them. Dammit.

9/11/90 - The Grateful Dead @ The Spectrum in Philly

The best seat I ever had at a Dead show. 4th row - dead center - right between Jerry and Bob. I think this may have been the earliest we ever went inside for a show. I seem to remember being right there when the doors opened and sitting in our seats by around 6:30 for a 7:30 start time. We didn't want to miss a thing. Once they came on, I'm sure we just stood there slack-jawed the whole time. I definitely developed an appreciation for the texture Bob added to the music, now that I can actually associate some of the sounds with what he's actually playing. He's such an oddball player, it's not always easy to tell what he's doing. Thanks to mail-order tickets, we were standing right next to the same people we were next to on 9/10. It's always fun when that happens. Another solid 1990 show. Vince's 4th show with the band. Nothing terribly unique about it, other than closing the first set with "Hell In A Bucket". That was a surprise. The highlight was probably them playing "He's Gone" for the first time since Brent died. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. It was also Mickey's birthday. This is one of my all-time favorite shows - simply because we were so close. We never got anywhere near that close again. This was my 37th Grateful Dead show.

9/11/99 - R.E.M. @ The Tweeter Center (aka Great Woods) - Mansfield, MA

Woke up early the morning after the Merriweather show and headed up to Massachusetts for the last US date on the Up tour. I managed to snag a single ticket right up front in the 8th row, but once Steve agreed to go with me, I bought us a pair of tickets together. We took turns swapping for the good seat. The highlights were easily "Wolves, Lower" - a song I haven't heard in over 10 years and my very first "Radio Free Europe". Despite being their first single (and arguably their signature song) , R.E.M. is notorious for not playing that one. This was only the 5th time they'd played it in concert since 1987. I wouldn't see R.E.M. for another 4 years.

Update: ummm - I seem to have forgotten a couple shows here:

9/11/04 - Guided By Voices/Tommy Keene @ 9:30 Club

Original review here.

Tommy Keene has been part of the DC scene since I was a kid. Considering how old I am - that's a loooong time. Somehow I had managed to never see him before, so I was thrilled to see him open. What a great songwriter. I'd love to see him again. I wish he played-out more.

I wasn't all that familiar with Guided By Voices, but I heard their shows were legendary and there was a good chance this was going to be their last tour (it was), so I figured now-or-never. They were fantastic. 3-hours of non-stop drunken rock and roll fun. They about wore me out though. Luckily a friend of mine saw me about 2+ hours into the show and offered me a place to sit up in the DJ booth. I never noticed how high up that was. Yikes. Great view though. Many, many thanks for that. Killer show. My loss for not paying more attention to them earlier.

9/11/05 Idlewild @ The Black Cat - Washington, DC

hmmm - I guess I didn't review this one after it happened. Idlewild is a great band. They really know how to bring the rock. 100 Broken Windows and The Remote Part are both terrific records. "Rosability" and "Little Discourage" should have easily been hit singles. The live show didn't disappoint at all. It was everything the records are - just amped up a bit. I don't remember it being terribly crowded, which was kind of surprising. I'm not exactly the first-in-the-know these days. I figure if I really like a band, they've probably already gathered a sizeable audience. Not in this case. Your loss people. You missed a helluva show. Hopefully, they'll come back to the US soon. If so, I'm all over it.

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