I recently attended a Bruce Springsteen concert that blew me away. I actually had tears in my eyes when the first song started, as the music brings back great memories for me. I grew up listening to The Boss as a byproduct of my parents' great taste in music, but I had never seen Bruce and the E Street Band perform live. I could not believe that the man on the stage--who danced non-stop for nearly four hours--was 64 years old! His energy was amazing and his voice was as vibrant as ever.
What is your favorite concert memory? Have you seen any good shows recently?
Our one offspring was born 1971 and lived in New Jersey 1975 to 1984. He chose to return to University (beneath the Ivy) and is a huge fan of the Boss. One time (Washington, D.C.) he invited me and paid. He offered earplugs. I wound up with handkerchief and hands glued to my outer ears; however, this did little good since the actual cement / concrete vibrated as did all my skeleton, not just cochlear bones. Bruce struck me as like a fervent religious evangelist. I was born 1944 and I could not imagine being able to do all the physical body movements and motions. Oh, there was music as well. For me it was a true once-in-a-lifetime experience (until one of the two grandchildren takes me when they grow up).
My most memorable was probably the night Jimmy Buffett performed at Buckeye Lake, OH and caught the volcano on fire. The local fire department arrived and put it out in front of 70,000 Parrott Heads. Of course the Grateful Dead always put on a great show.
More recently I've been attending modern country concerts; Darius Rucker, Zac Brown and Miranda Lambert were all very good. DR is extremely talented, ML has more energy than one can imagine, and ZB just plays stuff that I enjoy.
We went to a Righteous Brothers concert in the 1990s and were amazed at that nearly all the people in the audience had grey hair. Come to think of it, our hair was grey too -- at least, what little hair that I had left was grey.
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band in Little Rock just before he retired. Not that it mattered at the concert, but Seger is a Detroit boy and I believe that his stories and style are much better than Bruce Springsteen. Interesting note is that my first job was in New Jersey and I frequented Asbury Park, NJ where he came out of. Never saw him or even knew about him then. Typical Jersey Shore town. Main drag one-way around town but come Labor day nobody from NYC to be seen or from anywhere else either - dead, dead, dead.
I suggest you review Seger's songs. Hard to beat the stories whereas Springsteen seems angry to me and re-living his teen age years. In addition, Seger's sax player is phenomenal. Just my opinion.
By the way, I believe that his song about the late nights watching the pretty little go-go girl are situated in Ann Arbor, MI, one of our most favorite college towns.
The last and greatest concert I attended was at Boston Garden in 1969. It was packed - jammed and our seats were in the top tier. We walked up and up, higher and higher and finally highest of all!
We took our seats and surveyed the Garden from 'on high'. The music was fantastic, the crowd was pleased, the smoke was thick and it wasn't medicinal. What a hoot to think back on those good old days. An event not to be missed.
I have two. About five years ago my wife & I attended a Cher concert in Fort Worth which was supposed to be her last tour; I think she has had one or two final tours since then. However, for a woman in her 60's she has a strong voice & she looked fabulous. Secondly, we went to another concert in Fort Worth two or three years ago & listened to Glen Campbell & his adult daughter. We had forgotten how many great hits he has had & he was simply fantastic; surprisingly several months later his daughter announced that Glen had Alzheimers & would no longer be able to tour. Sad.
Seeing Billy Bragg at the Center for Ethical Culture in New York City. Billy is so committed to using his musical talents to improve the lives of others. He is but one of many artists who has devoted themselves to helping the common man (and woman). He has paid tribute to Woody Gutherie by adding music to several of his uncompleted songs (Mermaid Avenue collections). A true Brit to heart, he had all of us singing along, music hall style. Priceless.
Took my wife, my kids, my mother, brother and his daughter to the Iowa State Fair in the summer of 1972 to see Sonny and Cher in concert. They were big on TV with the Sonny and Cher Variety Show and seeing them in person, singing their hits was a real treat. My brother and I stood in line for 6 hours in the heat of the day to get tickets, but it was worth it. We ended up in the first row of the grandstand. We all still reminisce about that concert.
My most memorable concert was 3 days of peace, love, and music in Aug of 1969 in Bethel, NY. I spent 3 days sitting and sleeping in the mud in a cow pasture, re-leaving myself in the woods, washing in a small cow watering pond, drinking water out of a bucket, which came from a milk truck, and eating crackers. However, the music of Jerry Garcia with the "Greatfull Dead", Janus Joplin, and Jimmie Hendrix made it all worth while. Went back for the 40th reunion to see a concert at the beautiful new out door theater and museum and then 3 years later to see the Beach Boys and Ringo Star's and his All Star Band. If you check out their new Website for the Bethel Woods Music Center you will see a Disney World like facility. Just a little bit different from 45 years ago. Capitalism has truly taken over.
I am loving hearing all of these stories! Keep 'em coming!
Those were the most memorable three days I did NOT experience; however, I did watch the movie Montery Pops. As a grad-student taxicab driver in NYC I did meat MacMillan (David) partner with Pennebaker - invited me into their (David and his wife) Village place before I continued on my evenings work - driving Manhattan and other NYC sections.
Monterey Pops -- although I did not go, I saw the movie and I met the (movie) producer personally when I was driving a taxicab in New York City while in graduate school (theology).
raise your hand
I have a story that was blocked because of a forbidden word. Could you check it out?
Art, can you send me an email with the proposed copy? MyRetirementHelp@tiaa-cref.org
Moving to SF in the late 60's and first visit to Bill Graham's psychedelic Winterland dance hall. Aretha Franklin singing "Respect" - the only song of hers I've ever liked - and Janis Joplin/Big Brother and the Holding Company. Woohoo!
Bo Diddly, Chuck Berry, Frankie Lymon, & Five Satins on stage at the same time, Pittsburgh PA 1958.. Porky Chadwick as host. Probably nobody in TIAA remembers except me.
canthony, where was this concert held? I have fond memories of "The Bossman". You a burg guy?
The shows were held in a rather large theater, I can't recall the name "something Hall, I think" It was not downtown Pittsburgh but close by.. I am not a burg guy but a small town guy up the Allegheny river NE about 12-15 miles. Did play baseball against Wilkensburg, Swissvalle, Duquene, Tarentum, East Liberty etc. Traveled to the games in an old school bus, most of us were sick after getting off the bus. My goodness, what memories.
I'm guessing it was the Syria Mosque concert haal. Just east of downtown, near Pitt. They had plenty of concerts there over the years.
I think you hit the nail on the head. Thanks
I’m sure that some of the group here in my age bracket will remember the PBS Doo Wop concerts that raised large sums of donations during their fund raising drives. My wife and I were lucky enough to be invited to the first live concert Doo Wop 50 at Pittsburgh’s Benedum Center for the Performing Art’s on May 11 & 12, 1999. The Benedum Center was sold out for both shows with concert goers in their teens who had probably never experienced Doo Wop to aging boomers who had grown older with this music from the late 50’s and early 60’s. One would be hard pressed to find a concert with so many great performers together on one stage over 2 evenings. The lights came down and the curtains went up on the first of several Doo Wop concerts that would appear on PBS channels across the nation in years to come. Host Jerry Butler, “The Iceman” introduced act after act with a bit of their history and let us in the audience walk again down memory lane. Appearing that evening were some of the greatest rock and roll groups that would ever grace a stage. Since this first concert many of the musicians have passed away but their music lives on. The groups, not listed in order of appearance; The Platters, The Dell Vikings, Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners, The Penguins, Gene Chandler, Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge, Lee Andrews and the Hearts, The Cleftones, The Capris, The Marcels, The Jive Five, The Legends of Doo Wop, Earl Lewis and the Channels, The Cadillacs, The Golden Group Memories, The Chantels with an appearance by Arlene Smith singing “Maybe”, Harvey Fuqua and the Moonglows, The Harptones, The Flamingos, Jimmy Gallagher, Vito Balsomo, pookie Hudson and the Spaniels and a special guest appearance by Little Richard.
Yes I remember all those "Oldies" groups. I grew up in South Philly near "South Street The "Hippest Street in Town". That was before there was a Motown Sound. Danced on TV on the original American Bandstand Show when Dick Clark was the oldest teenager alive. Also danced on the Atlantic City Steel Peer Show where the young girl dove into a swimming pool on a horse. The peer is long gone and many of the original casinos have gone out of business. Legalized gambling in the nearby states is slowly putting Atlantic City back to one of the poorest cities on the East Coast. They don't call it the shore for nutten, cause no one would sit on the dirty beech or wade in the polluted water. I think they still have the Miss America pageant there, but not sure.
You can still see the Doo Wop and Motown groups on Public TV shows. Most of the original performers have long since died or are too old to perform, but some groups have been recycled with younger performers.
I have the DVD collection of all those Doo Wop concerts, a gift from my lovely, thoughtful wife.
A few years before she died I had the pleasure of attending an Etta James concert. She wasn't walking by then, they closed the curtains and then opened them and she was sitting in a chair. But it was a packed house and she gave one of the most energetic (and undoubtedly the filthiest in a good way) performance I ever saw.
I also saw Cher on her "first farewell tour". It was fun, but Cyndi Lauper opened for her on a black box stage just wearing black pants and a white shirt and running up and down the aisles singing her heart out. I enjoyed that much more. It took a long time (at least an hour) for the crew to close off the stage and put the props together for the mechanical elephant, cirque du soleil style acrobats, etc. Too Vegas for my style, but at the time I had a goal of seeing one live act a week for 6 months (and made it). I also wanted to see as many old acts as I could before they died or stopped performing. Also saw Bette Midler, Keely Smith, Cecilia Bartoli, as well as many less well-known acts that year.
sherylbug, what do you mean by Etta's show was one of the "filthiest".?
Some words, but I can't remember examples. It's been too long. But also, she did a lot of touching herself during the performance, used the microphone suggestively during musical breaks. Definitely a bawdy performer, That's not a criticism, just an observation.
He's "The Boss". Sounds like you were really into it. I like Bruces' music, even if I am known as a Doo Wop lover.
I frequented Asbury Park when working on "The Shore" in Jersey, that included the bars too. I never saw nor heard of Bruce Springsteen. I must have been just before his time.
We heard Bob Seger in Little Rock just before he "retired". We had never heard any concert like that in a big format. The sound was unbelievable, including his wailing sax player. In my mind, Seger had it all over "The Boss". His lyrics and sound are much more to our liking. Of course, those preferences have to weighed with the knowledge that we absolutely think that Michigan is more beautiful that Jersey (and many other states too). There is even a rumor in the family about some distant association with places like Ann Arbor and Deee-troit. :-))))
I frequented the Osprey in Manasquan, NJ. 1962-1966. Asbury Park was such a beautiful shore town until it got burnt to the ground in the riots. It never came back. So sad. Lived in Freehold, Springsteen’s home town. He was good until recent years when he became too political, best he pack it in while some people still like him.
REO Speedwagon, Red Rocks, center of the 2nd row outside of Denver in 2010, I took this picture! Those guys are just so amazing they have tremendous energy and put on a wonderful show. I try to see them at least 3 times a year, and travel a lot to see them, because they don't come to Colorado often enough.
Seeing Billy Bragg at the Center for Ethical Culture in New York City in the early 2000's.
Billy is a British folk artist, who in the mold of Woody Guthrie, is socially conscious and uses music to inform and educate, as well as entertain. Unlike most artists, Billy permits recording and photographing at his concerts, and he does not have to ask the attendees to sing along. He played his acoustic and electric guitars while he belted-out new and old favorites. No flashing lights, booming sound, nor gyrating dancers. Not a concert, but more of a meeting where we shared the great feeling of being with like-minded friends.
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