Due to Sully's June 30th Question of the Day post, I decided to do a concert checklist blog post for the various shows I've attended over the years. I'll try to include what did or did not make the show special as well. The shows are listed in order of attendance.
01. The very first concert I ever attended was sometime BEFORE 1986. I was a little kid and my parents took the whole family to see The Statler Brothers. Growing up, our Sunday morning chores were done to one of their greatest hits albums.
My parents had gone to see them in prior years and decided to take us in this particular year. We went to the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset, MA. Country singer Helen Cornelius was the opening act and for a boy that was maybe 10 years old at the time, she was smoking hot in those REALLY tight pants. I got to meet her after her set and still to this day have the autographed photo of her that I got that night. And then when I went towards the stage during the Statler Brothers set, one of the singers (Harold Reid) stopped the show so I could take a photo of them.
02. My first rock concert was Survivor in 1987 on their When Seconds Count tour. My dad took me to the show at the South Shore Music Circus. I missed out on getting a drumstick thrown into the row where I was sitting but during the encore of "Eye of the Tiger" I got to be right up at the stage and shared a high five with singer Jimi Jamison. Keyboardist Steve Mullen opened the show and I got to meet him after his set. Bought a Survivor T-shirt at the show.
03. In 1988 I went to see Robert Plant at the Providence Civic Center. He had the volume up way too high and you could barely make out what he was singing. Cheap Trick opened the show and they were awesome. I bought a Cheap Trick T-shirt.
04. In 1988 I saw Aerosmith at Great Woods in Mansfield, MA. They were great. My best friend at the time got the tickets from his dad. They were good seats too. Smartly, I stopped my friend from taking the pot pipe offered to him by some smoking hot babes at intermission because I saw the security guards watching them. As soon as the lights went down for Aerosmith, the guards came and took the babes away. Opening act? A pretty decent sounding Guns N' Roses.
05. In 1988 at the Orpheum Theater in Boston I saw Bad Company (with Brian Howe on vocals). The band was great. Opening for them was Winger and me and the group of friends that went got to meet the whole Winger band after the show outside of their tour bus. I still have the album flat and jean jacket that they all signed.
06. In 1989 I saw Poison at the Worcester Centrum. They were gawdawful bad and the opener Tesla completely blew them off the stage.
06. In 1989 I went to the first Headbanger's Ball tour at the Orpheum Theater in Boston. Anthrax was the headliner and they were pretty good. Memorable event during their set was towards the end when a kid jumped from the balcony landed on the floor smashed 3 or four chairs and limped away like it was a walk in the park. Helloween was the middle act and the main reason I went. Sadly about 2 weeks before the concert the guitarist who founded the band, Kai Hansen, left the group so I never got to see him perform live. Exodus was the opener and they were okay but I really only knew the song "The Toxic Waltz" from them at the time.
07. In 1989, I saw Metallica on their ...And Justice For All Tour. They were freaking amazing. But the potheads kind of ruined the actual atmosphere. The lights went down, take a breath and fine, take a second breath and a wall of pot fumes smacked you in the face. Queensryche opened and they were awesome as well.
08. In 1989 I saw W.A.S.P at the Citi Club in Boston. They were fantastic. Accept was the middle act with David Reece on vocals and they weren't much more than mediocre. Metal Church was the opener and I got to meet four fifths of the band before the show. Funny thing was the club was on Landsdowne Street right next to Fenway Park and their was a Red Sox game that night. And both the concert and ballgame let out at the same time, so that was an interesting mix. Oh, and I got a drumstick from W.A.S.P. drummer Frankie Banali when he tossed it into the crowd.
09. In 1989 I saw Metallica for the second time on the ...And Justice For All tour. Again they were awesome. I can't remember where the show was held though. The Cult was opening for them and while musically they sounded fine, singer Ian Astbury was a lazy performer who sang every third word (Yes I actually counted) in the songs. For that reason, The Cult is one of the worst shows I've seen.
10. In 1989 at Great Woods in Mansfield I saw Tesla headline over Great White and Badlands. Tesla was fantastic again, Great White was really good and brought the house down during a particularly strong rendition of "Save Your Love" and Badlands was solid.
11. In 1989 at Great Woods, I saw a supremely awesome show by Don Henley. He was just a kickass performer on this night. Edie Brickell and New Bohemians opened the show and were decent.
12. In 1989 I saw a local club band called XCalibur. They were a band that was friends with a friend of mine. They put on a decent show and I had the four song EP cassette of theirs for a while. They never went anywhere but it was a good show. Got to hang out with them after the set.
13. In 1989 at the original Living Room in Providence, RI I saw a headline set by Badlands. Unfortunately the sound was great and because I was having problems with the heat from the totally oversold crowd I moved off the main floor and watched most of the show from the side. Did spend part of the Badlands set standing next to the drummer from openers D.A.D. who had come out to watch the set.
Oh and I got a picture of the late Ray Gillen that was actually a screwup in the photo development but came out better than what I had actually taken.
14. At the Worcester Centrum in 1990 I saw Whitesnake (with Steve Vai on guitar) headlining over Kix. Whitesnake was really good. However, despite the reputation of Kix as a great live band, I was a bit disappointed in their set.
15. At the Living Room in Providence in 1990 I saw one of the best concerts I've ever seen. It was Savatage on their Gutter Ballet tour. Those who know the Living Room know there was only one way in or out. So the band heading into soundcheck (which sounded great too) had to go through the fans and we got to meet a bunch of the guys. Local band Emissary opened the show but weren't very impressive.
Here's some shots from that show:
Singer Jon Oliva
Me with Steve "Dr. Killdrums" Wacholz
Me with guitarist Chris Caffery
Me with one of my all-time favorite guitarists, the first one to make me listen to the music as intently as the singing, the late Criss Oliva.
16. In 1990, I was unemployed at the time of this Aerosmith concert at Great Woods but friends of mine wanted to get lawn seats so I scraped together the bucks for a lawn ticket and went. Never so pissed in my life. The Black Crowes opened and they were terrible. Then during intermission (this was before the big fences were installed) I counted 200 people who hopped the little fence and got away into the crowd. Security was a joke. They nailed this huge muscle bound freak like he was a terrorist but somehow missed this girl with a full leg cast on her broken leg and hobbling on crutches. At least Aerosmith was decent.
17. I saw Heart at Great Woods in 1990. They were outstanding. The opening band was Giant and the guitarist for that band went on to become a huge producer in Nashville.
18. I saw Melissa Etheridge at Great Woods the day after the Heart show. At the time, I had no idea she was gay but learned real fast that she was given the makeup of the crowd. She put on an electrifying show though. I didn't care for the opener del Amitri.
19. In 1991 at the Citi Club in Boston I took my sister to see Nelson. I wasn't a fan of the band but wanted to see the opening act House of Lords. She loved Nelson so we both got to have a good time. My brother's godfather took us to the show in his limo.
20. In 1991 at the Providence Civic Center I saw Queensryche's headline tour for their Empire CD. They performed the previous CD Operation:mindcrime in its entirety and put on one of the greatest concerts I've ever seen. Suicidal Tendencies opened and I thought they were good but the singer Mike Muir was totally blitzed on drugs and/or booze and made nearly no sense when he was talking.
21. In 1991 at Great Woods I saw Damn Yankees headline over Bad Company. Both bands put on great shows and Ted Nugent was crazy good on guitar. The band Tattoo Rodeo opened the show but I didn't think much of them overall.
22. In 1991 at the Boston Garden I saw Queensryche for the second time (third time overall) on their Empire tour and again they put on an amazing show. The opener Warrior Soul sounded good musically but their singer was a total ass and the band got booed off the stage.
23. In 1993 I saw Def Leppard at Great Woods and they put on a great show. Ugly Kid Joe opened up but I thought they were average at best.
24. In 1994 I saw Melissa Etheridge for the second time. She was fantastic. The duo Billy Pilgrim opened up and I didn't think much of them at the time but when their second album came out, it was one of those hard to find "perfect albums". One of the guys, Kristian Bush, went on to co-found the country megastars Sugarland.
25. In 1994 I went to the Wang Theater in Boston to see Mary Chapin Carpenter. She was AWESOME! And the opener was folk singer John Gorka. I had no idea who he was before seeing him live. But he was great and funny in concert and I've since been a huge fan of his music. I have all of his albums and buy them direct from his label when they get released.
26 and 27. In 1995 I was a member of the Melissa Etheridge fan club and bought tickets to both nights of her stay at Great Woods. I had really good seats too. She had Paula Cole opening. Cole was great on the first night, but on the second night she performed the same set from how she came out on stage to how she left (arm gestures, stage banter and everything) exactly the same so I wasn't happy with the second night. As for Etheridge, I even had tickets to the after party but ended up not being able to go because the 6'2" Amazon goddess I went with to that night's show didn't realize I was as young as I was and we just went home after the show. The other show I went with a friend of mine and we had a good time too. Oh and on Night 2, they encored doing AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" with Aerosmith's Joe Perry coming out to jam.
28. In 1995 I saw Queensryche for the fourth time. They were touring on their Promised Land CD. They put on a good show that nearly half the crowd didn't see because they left after the opening act Type O Negative, having apparently only come to see them. Sad thing too because they were awful live.
29. In 1995 I went to the Orpheum Theater in Boston to see Blues Traveler. They sucked and ended their show early after some idiot in the crowd through something at them hitting the guitar player.
30. In 1996 at Great Woods I saw Ozzy Osbourne (this was the last solo tour before he started Ozzfest). He was good enough I suppose but openers Prong and Filter were awful. I walked out on both of their sets.
31. In 1996 at Great Woods I saw Mary Chapin Carpenter and Trisha Yearwood. They both put on amazing shows and yet I think I was most impressed with the opening act Kim Richey. I'd never heard of her before but she was awesome and made me a HUGE fan of hers. Her guitar player at this show played a solo that would put most rock guitarists to shame.
32. In 1996 I went to the New Boston Garden (then called the Fleet Center) and saw Melissa Etheridge again. She had drummer Kenny Aronoff during this tour and he was really smoking on his playing. The show was great, though for the first time, the lesbians in the crowd were rather pissy that straight people were at the show.
33. I forget exactly where I saw this show but a friend of mine got us on the guest list to see Dokken in 1997. They put on a great show but openers Maraya and Uncle Jack were a waste of time.
34. In 1997, my parents got me tickets for my birthday to see U2's Pop-Mart tour at Foxboro Stadium. The show was a spectacle and a half, despite not liking the music from the Pop album. Openers Fun Lovin' Criminals should've been arrested for impersonating musicians.
35. I went to Great Woods again in 1997 to see Queensryche who put on another great show. Local band Dirty Larry won a contest to open the show. But they stunk.
36. In 1998 I saw Mary Chapin Carpenter at the Cape Cod Melody Tent. She was great and opener Joe Ely was pretty entertaining too.
37. In 1998 at Mama Kin's in Boston I saw Savatage blow the doors off the place (despite a criminally small crowd). I wasn't overly impressed with opener Joe Stump though.
38. At the Orpheum Theater in 1998 I saw Queensryche again. But this was a terrible show. I live 90 minutes away and was still home before Letterman started. Found out later that singer Geoff Tate was sick but I would've rather they cancel the concert than turn in such a bad show. Don't remember anything about opener Caroline's Spine.
39. At the Cape Cod Melody Tent in 2000, I saw Trisha Yearwood and Kim Richey put on a fantastic show.
40. In 2000 I took my sister to see Def Leppard at Great Woods. They put on a good show again. The opener The Unband were dreadful.
41. For the first time ever, in August of 2000. I saw Iron Maiden live. It was at Great Woods and they were well worth the wait. Queensryche (the sixth time I saw them) were mediocre and their guitarist at the time was Kelly Gray, who stunk so bad, they shut his guitar off. Rob Halford opened the show and deafened the crowd with his awesome set.
42. In 2001, I went to visit a friend of mine in Connecticut. We went to the Webster Theater in Hartford to see Savatage touring for their Poets & Madmen tour. The show was again awesome. And I got to go backstage to meet Jon Oliva and Damond Jiniya and met drummer Jeff Plate at the merchandise stand. Fates Warning was the support act and musically they were great but they were lifeless on the stage. Openers Silent Shadows and Weapon X were unremarkable.
Here's some pics:
Me with Jeff Plate
Me with Damond Jiniya:
Me with Jon Oliva:
43. In 2001, I saw Trisha Yearwood put on another lights out show at the South Shore Music Circus.
44. In 2001, I went to the Cape Cod Melody Tent to see Kim Richey open for Shawn Colvin. I wasn't very familiar with Colvin but she was pretty good. Kim Richey was awesome though and I got to meet her after the set and got a signed CD.
45. In 2002 I saw Trisha Yearwood again at the Cape Cod Melody Tent. Awesome show.
46. In 2003 I saw Mary Chapin Carpenter at the Cape Cod Melody Tent with opener Eliza Gilkyson. Both put on great shows and I became a big fan of Gilkyson over the years.
47. In 2005 at the Providence Civic Center I saw Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Eve and Other Stories concert. It was fantastic.
48. In 2007 I went to see Locofest which had about 14 bands that I wanted to see on their festival lineup. Including Godhead, Shadows Fall plus some new bands that interested me. But the bands that were the big headliners of the day were Queensryche (eh), Alice Cooper (awesome) and for the first time ever, I saw Ronnie James Dio live in concert because Heaven & Hell were the headliners. They were mindblowingly awesome!
49. In 2008 I saw Iron Maiden at Great Woods...awesome!
50. In 2012 I saw Iron Maiden at Great Woods again...awesome! And Alice Cooper opening put on another fantastic show. You can read my review "The Chaos of Precision" here.
51. In 2013 I saw Black Sabbath at Great Woods and despite some iffy vocals from Ozzy, this was a fantastic show as well. You can read my Pop-topia.com review of this show here.
So that's my list thus far. I'll be adding Night Ranger to the list this summer but mainly my concert going days are few and far between these days. Ticket prices are crazy and that's when a band I like actually comes to my area. But I'll continue to pick and choose a concert a year to take a trip to see.