Author Jenny Trout recently posted a list of every concert she’s attended. A few days before that, my daughter and I both fulfilled a bucket list item by seeing Joan Jett live. Luckily for her, she didn’t have to wait as long as I have. This and Jenny’s post got me thinking of the opportunities I had in the past of seeing Joan perform, yet ultimately passing for Reasons.
It may have been bad timing or no money, or a reluctance to drive a certain distance. As artists I’ve enjoyed in my youth begin to drop, though, I’ve decided to take advantage of those who remain and still kick ass. I’m lucky in this respect, because Joan at one point could have decided to stop touring and I’d have to make do with YouTube clips. I almost didn’t get tickets because School Night. I’m glad I did. The daughter wore her Joan Jett shirt to school the next day.
To this day I kick myself for passing on a few acts who are gone forever. The Ramones played my college and I skipped it. The Go-Go’s only recently retired from live performances. Culture Club was just here but we’d returned from a trip and I was too exhausted to leave the house. Who knows if they’ll come back? Right now I’m contemplating a drive into North Carolina to see Stevie Nicks – I had tickets for a local show once but had to give them up for an emergency trip. The concert bucket list is always full.
So, while I’m saving up for the next show and hoping Groupon will give me a hand, I can at least strain to remember the shows I have enjoyed, and consider myself fortunate to have enjoyed all this live music. Maybe you were there, too. These are in sort of order – the memory is fuzzy, and I hope I got everybody.
Hall and Oates with General Public – First ever rock concert, the Big Bam Boom tour of 1984. I was thirteen and my mother took me. Daryl Hall had the mullet to beat all.
I would see Hall and Oates again at a free concert in 1989.
Beach Boys with Peter Noone – This was a free show at Metropolitan Park in Jacksonville, sometime in the mid to late 80s. I want to say there was another act; it was part of a festival with “flower power” bands.
Amy Grant – 1985, the Ungarded tour, Jacksonville Coliseum. This was just before she went mainstream. I went with my church group. We were up in the nosebleeds but at one point I went down to the front to the stage when she was shaking hands with the crowd and she took my hand for few seconds.
The Monkees with Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, and Herman’s Hermits – The 20th anniversary tour in 1987 (Peter, Micky, Davy only), the show was in Gainesville, FL at the O’Connell Center. I went with my neighbor/close friend and her older sister. I still can’t believe my mother consented to let us go on an overnight to this show.
I would see The Monkees again (Peter, Micky, and Mike this time, with Micky’s sister Coco singing backup) on a much later tour.
Sweethearts of the Rodeo – Another free show at Metropolitan Park. I went with my dad because he wanted to see them; I wasn’t familiar with them at all. They were part of a country music festival that included the Marshall Tucker Band. The crowd looked like a Sons of Anarchy family reunion. Late 80’s.
Edie Brickell and New Bohemians with Steve Forbert – Florida Theater, senior year of high school, so 1989. The first time I went to a concert alone, drove alone in scary downtown Jacksonville.
Love and Rockets with The Godfathers – Summer of ’89 at the Florida Theater, went alone. Fell in the love with the opening act; I bought their cassette the next day and played it to death. The albums’s out of print now. 🙁
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with The Replacements – Summer of ’89 at Jax Coliseum, or whatever they call it now. Full Moon Fever had just come out; they called this the “homecoming show” since Tom’s from Gainesville. One of the few festival seating events I attended. I was squished up at the front of the stage for the entire show. At one point the lead singer of the Replacements made eye contact with me and shook my hand. The girl next to me was one of their groupies, and she disappeared after their set.
The Rolling Stones with Living Colour – Steel Wheels tour, Fall of ’89 at the Gator Bowl. Went with one of my best friends and my then boyfriend. To get tickets I camped out part of the morning in front of Turtles Records and Tapes and had to enter a lottery. When it was my turn to buy this strange man grabs me and hands me a hundred bucks and asks me to buy his seats. He almost got us both thrown out because it was against the rules for people to do that. I went to this show thinking it was going to be last Stones tour. Heh.
Alice Cooper – March, 1990, Florida Theater. Trash tour. Went with my boyfriend and his close friend (who used my best friend’s ticket, because she had moved before the show). The opening act was a band with a singer who tried to channel Jim Morrison. The guy in the seat behind me was so wasted he kept falling forward and grabbing me. Finally I elbowed him and he sank to the floor under his seat. People stepped over him to get out after the show.
I would see Alice a second time in Virginia for his Dragontown tour in October, 2002.
B.B. King – Early 90s, Florida Theater. My college sponsored this show and students got in free. I went with another student from the newspaper staff and sat in the front row. B.B. and the band were great and I wish I could have enjoyed this show, but it turned out to be a most unpleasant experience. Several times the crowd rushed the stage and I got caught up in it. One man kept shoving me so his daughter could get one of the pins B.B. handed out – the asshole actually grinned at me while he was doing it.
After the show, my ride got in backstage to interview B.B. and I had to sit in the auditorium and wait. These two wannabe groupies were trying to get backstage and a cop threw them out, then threw me out because he was in a bad mood and didn’t want to deal with anybody. I ended up standing outside the Florida Theater at night, and my ride didn’t know this. You did not want to be a 19-year-old girl standing out in downtown Jacksonville at night in this moment in time, with no phone and no way to contact somebody to get you. Ugh.
The Kinks – Fall of ’89, Florida Theater. UK Jive tour. Went with my boyfriend with discount tickets courtesy of the college. If there was an opener I can’t recall. Toward the end of the show Ray Davies dedicated the last song to the late Graham Chapman, and that’s how I found out he’d died. We didn’t have Twitter back then, you see. You got your news from rock concerts.
David Bowie – Sound + Vision tour, May, 1990, Jax Coliseum. Adrian Belew was part of the band. My then boyfriend was and remains a huge Bowie fan. He was in the Marine Reserves at the time and was scheduled to go on some two-week training in the spring. He said he’d go AWOL if the training fell during the concert. Luckily for him it didn’t. Probably one of the best concerts I’ve attended.
Scorpions, Great White, Trixster – May, 1991, Crazy World tour, Jax Coliseum. The first only time I went to a show where we bought tickets night of, at the box office. My boyfriend showed up at my house for a date and said he wanted to go, so we went. I wasn’t into metal like he was, but I had a good time. I remember they sang “Winds of Change” before it was released as a single.
Taylor Dayne – Another free show at Metropolitan Park. Had to have been the 90s, and Taylor was opening for somebody… I can’t remember the other acts that night.
Lollapalooza (1st) – 1991, somewhere in Central Florida. Wikipedia says the lineup included Jane’s Addiction, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Living Colour, Nine Inch Nails, Fishbone, Ice T & Body Count, Butthole Surfers, Rollins Band, and EBN. I remember Ice T, and Living Colour on up. My boyfriend and I went and two other people tagged along. Hadn’t met them until that day, and at times I wondered if my boyfriend knew them. Long, strange day.
Siouxsie and the Banshees with My Life with the Thrill Kill Cult – November, 1991, Superstition Tour, Florida Theater. This was kind of awkward. My boyfriend and I bought tickets for this show a few months in advance, then we broke up. Neither one of us wanted to give up our seat, so we ended up going together.
Weird Al Yankovic – June, 1992, Off the Deep End tour, Florida Theater. Marks the first and only time my brother, sister and I attended the same concert. Went with the man I eventually married.
Harry Connick, Jr. – Early 90s, Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. I want to say this was a winter show. The college sponsored it and there were student discount tickets, but somehow my boyfriend/husband got better seats. My mother used a student ticket; she was up in the balcony surrounded by screaming girls (her words).
Clint Black with Wynonna Judd – 1993-ish, Black and Wy tour. I am not into country, but my brother is. He bought tickets for himself and a date but had to work that night, so he gave them to me and my boyfriend/husband. We enjoyed ourselves, despite not knowing most of the songs.
Frank Sinatra with Shirley MacLaine – 1992-ish, Jax Coliseum. Went with Mom and boyfriend/husband. Maybe my sister, too. Comedian John Pinette opened. Shirley killed; at one point she talked about her brother getting married and she said, “I’m so glad he didn’t marry that bitch Madonna.” Frank was pretty good, too, but you could tell he was ready to retire. He had a great voice, just halting at times.
Robert Plant – 1993-ish, Fate of Nations tour, T-U Center or Florida Theater. Wish I could remember more about this show. Everybody in our row, except for us, was toking.
Pink Floyd – March, 1994, Division Bell tour, Tampa Stadium. Went with fiance and his friend from high school. For several years this was the farthest I’d traveled to see a show, and considering this was it for Floyd we weren’t passing up the tickets.
Ted Nugent – Mid-late 90s, The Tabernacle in Atlanta. The Tabernacle was formerly a church that the House of Blues took over during the Olympics, then it became a small general admission concert venue. We were living in Athens at the time and drove up for the show. Long line of animals rights protesters on the other side of the street.
Beck with The Cardigans – 1996-7-ish, Odelay tour, Classic Center in Athens, GA. This was a great show. They actually played the smaller auditorium in the building which had no seating so we were up close. Really would like to see Beck live again.
Men at Work – Late 90s, Peabody’s, Virginia Beach. This was basically Colin and Greg and supporting band playing in a crowded bar. I had wanted to see Men at Work in their prime when they came to the Jax Coliseum but the parents said no. The later Hall and Oates show, I suspect, was a consolation because Mom could tolerate them more. The Men, of course, fizzled out and it wasn’t until this show I could see them again.
Boney James – Late 90s, early 00s, Town Point Park in Norfolk. Received comped VIP tix for the annual jazz festival.
Steely Dan – 2000-ish, VB Amphitheater. Just a great show. We weren’t able to see them this summer. Will have to try again.
KC and the Sunshine Band – Early 00s, Town Point Park in Norfolk. Free show attached to a summer festival.
Charlie Daniels Band – See above.
Journey – Summer, 2001, Arrival tour, Portsmouth NTelos. The venue hadn’t been open long, and I believe I got the tickets through work. Steve Augeri was the singer then, and he was good.
Hootie and the Blowfish – 2001-2-ish, Virginia Beach Amphitheater. Tickets were comped for this one through work as well. We would see the band again around 2005 during a free show at the Amphib Base.
Paul McCartney – April, 2002, Driving World tour, MCI Center in Washington. We were living in Virginia and I’d just been given notice that I was to be downsized from my job. I figured Macca wasn’t much longer for the concert life so I got a ticket despite our coming poverty. My car seized up on the drive to DC and for one moment I thought I wasn’t going to make it. I about had kittens on I-64 until we managed to get everything straight. My seat was somewhere in Row QQQ near Alpha Centauri but I loved every minute of it.
The Dead with Steve Winwood – 2003-ish, VB Amphitheater. We went mainly for Steve Winwood. He didn’t sing “Arc of a Diver” and husband remains pissed about it to this day.
Ted Nugent, Night Ranger, Quiet Riot – Early 00s, VB Amphitheater. Some kind of Monsters of Dino Rock tour or some such. It had to be before 2007 because Kevin Dubrow was still alive.
ZZ Top, Ted Nugent, Kenny Wayne Shepherd – 2003, Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers tour, VB Amphitheater. Husband mainly wanted to see Kenny Wayne. During Ted’s set he shot an arrow through a target made up to look like Saddam.
Al Jarreau with Melissa Manchester – Early 00s, Ted Constant Center in Norfolk. This was a “Charlie Brown Christmas” tribute concert featuring David Benoit. Great show.
Al Jarreau, Yolanda Adams, Najee – 2003-ish, VB Amphitheater. Najee opened by playing his saxophone and walking around the venue.
Rush – So….if you know me you’re probably wondering when I was going to get here.
I have seen Rush a total of ten times over five tours. Every Rush show ever done is listed on this site.
- R30, Virginia Beach – Meet and Greet with Ged and Al
- R30, Chicago
- Snakes and Arrows, Virginia Beach
- Snakes and Arrows, Las Vegas
- Snakes and Arrows, Northern VA
- Snakes and Arrows, Cincinnati
- Time Machine, Virginia Beach
- Time Machine, Jones Beach
- Clockwork Angels, Virginia Beach – Daughter’s first show
- R40, Newark
It would be twelve, but I had to pass on a S&A show in Columbus due to scheduling. Emergency gallbladder surgery forced me to sit out a CA show. Yeah, I know, a true fan would have slapped on a Band-Aid and went. My family said no.
Chicago with Earth, Wind and Fire – Early 00s, VB Amphitheater. Not sure when this happened, since Chicago and EWF tend to come every year. I was working for a company that offered comped tix, so it was before 2005.
Linkin Park with Snoop Dogg – Summer of 2004, VB Amphitheater. Tickets comped through work. I was heavily pregnant.
Clutch – 2008, Portland, OR. I was attending a writers conference and I had friends in the area. The invited me to come along and I went, even though I wasn’t familiar with their music. I left the conference banquet early and I’m there in this sweaty club wearing heels, a dress, and pearls.
Heart with Jason Bonham – Summer, 2013, VB Amphitheater. Amazing show. The Zeppelin encore set was one of the best live performances I’ve seen.
Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Cheap Trick – September, 2016, VB Amphitheater. First time seeing Cheap Trick and Joan. Great night.
There may be a few shows I’ve missed, and I’ll add to this list if I remember. I’m happy, though, to remember some details going back to the mid-80s. I still hope to see certain performers before they call it quits. I’d like to see a KISS show for the experience, and Billy Joel and Jimmy Buffett and Ringo’s All-Starr Band. Every time the B-52’s have come to town I’ve been away, so one day our paths will cross. They better.
One day my daughter will want to see whatever act attracts her, though she mainly listens to the First Wave channel on Sirius. I suspect she will want to see Annie Lennox and The Pet Shop Boys live, and I won’t object.