Back in the day…

Wilco live at the Vic Theater in Chicago, 2005
Wilco live at the Vic Theater in Chicago, 2005

So one of my fellow bloggers, a guy that goes by the handle 1537 posted about a concert he went to see Saturday night in Manchester, England.  It sounded like a glorious night of mind-altering, psychedelic, Sabbath-riffing and space-chugging rock ‘n roll.  White Hills, Mugstar, and some band called Plank! were on stage on this particular Saturday night.  From the pictures he posted it looked amazing, plus he even got to talk it up with White Hills’ bassist, a blonde beauty by the name of Ego Sensation.  She was selling merch at the merch table(yeah, that’s how you do it when you work for a living in rock ‘n roll, folks).  Anyways, Mr. 1537 is a middle-aged guy much like myself.  Regular working type with a family and a wall full of vinyl.  He stated he doesn’t get out much to see shows, and that got me thinking;  neither do I anymore.  You see, my wife and I used to see three or four shows a year.  We loved seeing the bands we love live.  It was part of the experience of being a fan.  You can buy all the albums you want, but to truly be a fan you need to hit the clubs, theaters, auditoriums, and coliseums to see what a band is made of.  Ever since we’ve been a couple we’ve hit shows.  I remember being 18 and my wife(girlfriend then) and I went to see Rush out an outdoor amphitheater.  They played 2112 in its entirety.  It was pretty damn great, if you want to know the truth.  From that point on concerts were a part of our ritual.  We’ve seen too many to count.  A few bands we’ve seen live over the years:  Rush, Sting, No Doubt, Soundgarden, Blind Melon, Neil Young, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Primus, Dinosaur Jr, Fishbone, Joe Satriani, Wilco, REM, Spoon, Flaming Lips, Steve Miller Band, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, White Rabbits, The Walkmen, Deerhoof, Low, Dr. Dog, Foo Fighters, Ben Folds Five, and Adrian Belew.  A few I’ve seen have been BtS, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, AC/DC, Lovehate, Ozzy Osbourne, Filter, Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage, Big Wreck, and Imperial Drag.  So, we’ve seen a few shows.

But last year, we only saw one concert.  It was Dr. Dog with Givers.  It was a great show.  Small, intimate room.  We paid the extra money and got VIP seating(yeah, we love concerts…just not standing for four hours).  Like I said it was a great show, but there were a few great shows that came within a couple hours drive from us in 2012.  We just didn’t make it out.  It’s one of those things where we’re getting a little older and unless a show is on the weekend it’s just too damn hard to get someone lined up to hang out with the kids till 2am so we can go pretend we’re not as old as we really are.  Before we’d just buy the tickets and just let the pieces fall where they may.   I hate to say it, but I think we’re finally becoming responsible adults AND parents.  What’s up with that?  I mean, sure, one of us could go to a show and the other stay home…and we have done that in the past.  But it’s just no the same.  When we’re not sharing that experience together it’s just not as much fun.  Now, if it’s a band that I’m into and she’s just not?  Then it’s not so bad.  Or like two years ago when my wife took my oldest daughter to see Glee live?  My feelings weren’t hurt that they went without me.  But for the most part, we love experiencing shows together.  It’s a way for us to just get away, listen to some great music, and pretend we’re those 18 year old kids watching Rush sitting on the lawn of Deer Creek Amphitheater once again.  No expectations.  Just letting “Something For Nothing” roll over us in swaths of prog rock beauty.

So here’s my goal:  the wife and I are going to see at least two concerts this year.  No less.  We’ve become more responsible with our money, and that’s great.  We don’t have the cash stress like we used to.  But we’re gonna work into our budget something called “concert cash”.  Summer is coming up and the kid scheduling will be much easier.  I’ve got 4 weeks of vacation, and two of those days are gonna be set aside to go deaf for an evening.

I think my girl will approve.

11 thoughts on “Back in the day…

  1. Hot damn! That’s the best post I’ve read do far! Much better than the double date horror flick!
    I think my favorite concerts thus far would be the Neil Young/Soundgarden/Blind Melon at Tinley Park, IL, Primus & The Melvin’s @ the Orbit Room and then Wilco (every time we had a chance).


      1. All of those were great….Wilco in Columbus is still my favorite concert ever. Then Spoon in Chicago. Flaming Lips were great on spectacle, even if the acoustics sort of sucked.


  2. Go for it Mr H (and Mrs H, obviously)! Saturday reminded me why I used to go see so many of the things and so I forgot all about the queueing, having your toes stood on, drinking warm beer out of a can at champagne prices, third world toilet facilities, problems getting home, being kicked in the back of the head by crowd surfers (I’ve never let one go overhead un-punched) … ah the nostalgia!

    On the plus side I have touched all three Beastie Boys!


    1. You touched all three Beastie Boys? Damn, you’re cooler than I thought. I shopped for records along side Ben Folds in Chicago once. Didn’t touch him, though.

      It’s time to hit a show or two.


      1. If only you’d just reached out, you could have made it look accidental. I heard ‘underground’ for the first time in years yesterday, coincidentally.


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