I am taking this idea from Dawn, who took the idea from somebody else who took the idea from somebody else.
“Sarah specified just a few rules: 1) Be sure to note your first concert. 2) Bands you’ve seen as openers or as part of festivals count, but try to come up with 50 headliners first. 3) Don’t worry about what order these are in — a stream-of-consciousness list is fine. And I’ll add one more: 4) Any additional notes you want to add are encouraged.”
This is my no means nearly as inclusive as it should be. After I wrote out this list I came up with nearly 50 more off the top of my head. So much so I decided to place more bands in and took out individual musicians (such as Prince, David Bowie, Mojo Nixon, Nick Lowe, Laurie Anderson and Cher). The title of this project is, after all, 50 bands.
Included are bands that I have seen at festivals, which is sort of impossible to not do at this point in my life and with as many festivals as I have attended. Each of these bands, however, if I have seen them at a festival are also ones that I have seen as a headlining act or at another show. Bands that I have only seen at festivals (such as The Replacements, Brave Combo, Depeche Mode, Spinal Tap, Echo & The Bunnymen, or The Sex Pistols) are not on this list.
After typing the list out I took a few days to go through adding the notes to each band. This all underscores my need to do a blog post about my top 5 concerts of all time (so far) as well as some other musical adventures.
In no particular order, I present my list.
1. Siouxsie And The Banshees
I recently detailed this, not necessarily my first concert, but the first one I went and bought a ticket for. I wish… well, read the post.
2. The Blasters
I have seen a lot of bands and musicians, but this was easily one of the top five concerts of all time. The first saw them on the “original recipe” tour back in 2002 or 2003 in a small club here in Seattle – The Crocodile Cafe. They played two sets, well, one really long set and they rocked so hard they had to take a break in the middle. I recently saw the band again, and while it wasn’t the full original lineup it was still a phenomenal show. I would go see them again in a heartbeat.
3. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
I have talked about this band at length before. I hope to have the opportunity to continue to do so.
4. The Presidents Of The United States Of America
I think the first time I saw the band was at Bumbershoot, the local music and arts festival. It was a great show, sure, but not one of the best I had ever seen. Over the course of time I would catch the band again either at festivals or in the clubs here in town. When The Presidents Of The United States of America closed down local club The Backstage it was something so transcendent it stands the test of time to rank as one of the greatest shows I have ever seen.
5. The Ramones
This band changed my life. I should be writing more about this band. I just wish I could remember if the first time I saw them if it was July 4 or July 5. Seriously. It matters because the latter date is Dee Dee’s final show with the band. I think I saw the night previous, but I’m not sure. I have seen The Ramones 4 times, the first two of which deserve blog posts.
What can I say? This blog takes its name from one of the bands songs. Why isn’t this band at the top spot?
7. The Who
Another band which deserves to have a specific blog entry regarding the concert I saw. I will simply mention here I saw the band in 2002 right after John Entwistle died on the first night Townsend smashed a guitar on stage in a long while.
8. Barenaked Ladies
I saw them before Steven Page left. I wouldn’t mind seeing them again.
9. The Rolling Stones
I took my mom to see them during the Voodoo Lounge tour. One of the few concerts I got to see in The Kingdome. The Spin Doctors were the opening band and after two songs I was done with them and haven’t liked them since. As for “the stones” I would see them again in a heartbeat – but I also know the ticket prices would be ridiculous.
10. Public Image Limited
The band has released an album since I saw them. That was unexpected.
Seen twice. Once on the PopMart tour, then again on the Elevation tour. I like the band a lot, but I’m not sure I need to see them again, especially with the price of tickets. Smash Mouth opened the first time we saw U2 and I don’t remember who it was the second time.
12. Love And Rockets
The big tour in 1989 when “So Alive” was massive hit. I didn’t have the opportunity to see them before this, and didn’t get the chance to see them since. I think I would have rather seen them on the tour before this one. Still glad I got to see them. The Godfathers opened.
The band got back together in 1998 for a “Resurrection Tour” and this was my opportunity to see them. I had forgotten how much they rocked. I like the band much more now.
14. Monks Of Doom
Nobody else seems to remember this band. Formed from parts of Camper Van Beethoven that didn’t make up Cracker.
15. Shonen Knife
Another band I need to blog about having met. Twice.
16. Green Day
Kyle and I were supposed to go. We had tickets and were both looking forward to the concert. He started being an ass and as punishment he didn’t get to go. As a result I didn’t get to go either. I took my youngest brother Kagan to see Green Day on the next tour for his birthday. It was the first night of the 21st Century Breakdown Tour in 2009. I don’t remember who the opening act was.
17. The Police
Retroactively part of the 10 Bands 10 Countries project. I need to blog about this concert, and I’m sure I will soon enough.
I blogged about this concert recently.
19. The Reverend Horton Heat
Most recently I saw them at Bumbershoot, but the first two times it was in a (large) club setting. The second time I saw the band it was “guy’s night out” and the evening took a turn for the worse when my friend saw his ex-wife with her new boyfriend. We went from having getting lit up and having a good time to… well, my friend threw a beer at the stage and we left as the bouncers moved in on us. Not one of the better nights.
20. Cheap Trick
I can’t remember if I have seen them twice or three times.
21. The Fastbacks
Local legends. More drummers than Spın̈al Tap.
22. The Cowboys
First saw these local boys in 1982 at the inaugural Bite Of Seattle (when it was held at Green Lake). I did not see them again until many years later, perhaps 1991, at The Central Tavern as it stopped showcasing original music and would shift to cover bands for its live entertainment. The Cowboys were the last “original” band to play the club as a reunion gig. And I was there.
I thought I blogged about seeing the band a few years ago but can’t seem to find anything. It was in 2011 (I think) when the band toured the U.S. and featured some newer members though the core songwriting and singing team of Difford and Tilbrook were there.
24. Neurotic Boy Outsiders
Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum, Steve Jones, and John Taylor – this was a fun night. The group recorded an album as a lark after jamming around after hours in Los Angeles. The album was mostly covers so I didn’t pick it up, which I am regretting now.
Laura and I saw the band in Chicago as we were … well, that’s another story. It was 1996 and Goldfinger was on the bill as well as, I think, Voodoo Glow Skulls. I saw the band once more later that year and would like to see Rancid again.
26. No Doubt
In 1997 we saw the band at The Gorge for the Tragic Kingdom tour. Sometimes bands shouldn’t be that big with only one album under their belt. Sure, there was an earlier release, and yes I had it along a compilation of even earlier releases such as singles, but the band almost all but only acted as if Tragic Kingdom was their debut.
I was disappointed in my interaction with Jane Wiedlin after the show. A shame the band didn’t stick around for more than one album.
28. The Posies
I don’t know how many times I have seen this local band. Really disappointed they made such a big deal about breaking up only to get back together and then go nowhere.
29. The Dickies
The second time I saw this band my best friend at the time proposed to his girlfriend in the middle of their set.
30. Hoodoo Gurus
I got to see the band at a “secret” free show held by a radio station. Wound up meeting the band as well. I would like to see them again.
31. The Cure
Another one of the greatest shows I have attended – the 1992 Wish tour.
32. Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
I saw them and liked them before their first album came out. I don’t know how many times I have seen them. Great live act.
33. The Briefs
My friend had been trying to get me to go see the band for a couple of years. It was Bumbershoot (the local music & arts festival) that got me to finally see them and I was instantly a fan. I purchased all the CDs I could. Then after the band’s 5th album came out I got to see them in a small club. That was an even better show. Then they broke up.
34. The Hives
What can I say about a band I have seen both here at home, in Japan and in Europe?
Seen both in a festival setting and in a club as a headliner. Both times I stayed back from the front, atypical of me.
36. The Pogues
I never thought I would get to see this band, especially with frontman Shane MacGowan. It was … what… 2006? Hard to understand what Shane was saying partially because he was so drunk and partially because half his teeth are missing. Don’t regret seeing them then, and would see them again in an instant.
Once when they were playing at a club here, I think it was a Thursday, and the audience wasn’t really doing much, Eddie Spaghetti, the bass player and lead vocalist, said to the crowd that Rolling Stone was in the audience doing an article on the local scene and encouraged the audience to do something. We all threw our beers at the stage.
38. The Go-Gos
1999 when they did one of their first reunion tours. Not sure if I need to see them again.
39. The Beach Boys
Back in 1983 after a Mariners game. In the Kingdome.
I won tickets from a radio station. It was 91 or 92.
41. The Cramps
1990 and the Stay Sick album was released. They might have been playing the biggest venues of their career on that tour.
42. The Lemonheads
Their cover of “Luka” was a minor hit though they were still playing small venues. Really small. In 1989 they played The Vogue which for 6 days a week was a dance club with the capacity of 200 or so. I think legally it was fewer than that. That night there was about 10 people in the audience. Maybe 20. I remember slam dancing and nearly falling over there was so much space.
43. Dropkick Murphys
Blogged about them recently.
Another band that I saw first during Bumbershoot, then a coupe of years later at a club on their own. The first time was as the trio, a hard rocking outfit that was still out to prove something. The second time was as a 5 piece band, the drummer and bass player gone and the “rock and roll spirit” was absent. Everything was mid-tempo and while the songs were the same, they just didn’t have the same “punch” to them.
45. No Means No
This was 1990 I think. I still don’t have any of their music.
The Reality Of My Surroundings, the band’s 1991 album, was huge. The tour saw them playing to some large crowds, a couple thousand at a time. While they would play to larger crowds, such as Lollapalooza, but on their own this might have been their peak. ANd they put on a hell of a show. I would love to see them again.
47. The Killers
Got to see them at a Microsoft press event during E3 several years ago.
My first (or second) E3 and I managed to get myself into Microsoft’s party somehow. I didn’t belong there but am so glad I got in. They were fantastic. I had already been a fan for a while, so this was a really nice surprise. Yet another band I want to see again.
49. Foo Fighters
The first time I saw them was just after One By One came out. They were the surprise act at Sony’s E3 party. When the curtain dropped to reveal who it was I freaked out because I am a fan and hadn’t gotten to see them before. I worked my way towards the front and had a great time. They played a full set even. I was them again. but it wasn’t the same – still a great set, but it didn’t have that same magic.
50. The Gits
I still miss Mia.