Friday, March 09, 2007

Did you hear the one about...?

Didn't I mention (warn) at the start of this whole blogging thing that it was completely self indulgent? Brace yourself.

I'm off to see Dave Wakeling & The English Beat (what that will look like remains to be seen) this weekend with my brother. On the way to work this morning I started thinking about the last time I saw the Beat. It would have been in the mid-80s, and I went with my pal Ian. Somewhere is a cassette recording of that night - Ian smuggled a tape recorder in the crotch of his jumpsuit (yes, jumpsuit...). It all got me thinking about what makes a concert memorable.

The ones that stick out in my mind aren't necessarily the best ones, but there was always something...special.

Cheap Trick - I was 11 or 12, and my brother took me to see Cheap Trick at the Coliseum. I didn't really know them, he took me as his beard - no self respecting 18 year old would be caught going to a Cheap Trick concert, but taking your little sister was a pretty good excuse. I didn't really know the band but it was like the Second Coming. I chewed my gum so hard that my jaw hurt for two days afterwards, and I spent the next two years trying to play I Want You to Want Me on the piano.

Joe Jackson - think it was the Night & Day tour, mid 80s - once again, with Ian. It started with me tearing the heel off my favorite vintage pump in a crack in the sidewalk outside the new (and hideous) Terry Fox Memorial, and ended with having to call a tow truck because Ian backed his Dad's station-wagon into the ditch outside my parent's house. There was stuff in the middle too - including a fantastic concert - but I'll leave that out.

Violent Femmes - at UBC, in the early 80s, with my friend Maureen and her boyfriend. Who was an idiot. Who I was also sort of seeing (making me a bit of an idiot too). We were squished right up against the stage. I'd never been that close before and the band was sweaty and loud and amazing.

Kiss - in Toronto, in about 2000 - yes, that recently - with my pal Anne. Her friend was on the lighting crew and got us free tickets and backstage passes - how could you not go? I borrowed a leather jacket with flames on the sleeves, and we sat close enough to see the ingrown hairs on Gene Simmons' thighs, and to get a particularly interesting view of Paul Stanley as he ...flew...above the audience on a wire. You just can't pay enough for that level of cheese. And I do like cheese.

Sufjan Stevens - pictured above - for reasons I've gone into on a previous post. I just needed a good photo for my blog, and all the other bands I mention have photos that are...let's say, a bit past reflecting the year I actually saw them in. And I figure as he's wearing bird wings it kind of fits into the general bird theme of recent posts....

This just scratches the surface, but even I'm getting bored with myself at this point... I'll let you know how memorable Dave & the Beat are another time.


Tracy said...

love that photo of sufjan
and love the cd
kiss (the kind on the cheek, not the band!)

Twiggy said...

that guy in the photo, very good looking ;)