Top Concerts

Great night tonight!  I just got in from the Queens of the Stone Age concert, what a blast that was!  I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I ended up having a blast.  The person who invited me actually won the tickets from a radio station up here and invited me!  I was happy to join her, but hadn’t heard very much of their stuff.

The show turned out to be great.  QotSA is a solid rock band that laid down some really great grooves.  Their lead singer had a great voice and was totally ripped.  Their opening act, Eagles of Death Metal was pretty good as well!

The drummers for both groups were really impressed.  Eagles of Death Metal has a girl drummer, which was awesome.  She was really good, in a "Ringo Starr" kind of way.  Technically she was average, but she kept a really strong beat and for that kind of music it was exactly what she needed.  She was able to groove pretty well.  QotSA’s drummer was flippin’ awesome.  He was totally ripped as well!  He really conveyed a lot of energy and laid down a solid foundation for the band.

On the way home this got me thinking about some of the other concerts that I’ve been to, and how tonight’s concert would rate with those shows.  I think this show, as solid as it is, would probably rate in the top 2/3’s of the best shows that I’ve been to.  Sometime when I have the chance I should list out all of the concerts I’ve been to – if I can remember all of them.  To get an idea of what I’m rating tonight’s concert against, I’d like to post my mental list of the top 5 concerts I’ve been to…

#5) Dave Matthew Band – Home Depot Center (LA), August 27 & 28, 2004
Part of what makes this show great are it’s circumstances.  Hopping on a bird to LA for the weekend, seeing the beach during the day and then spending a warm California night with my best friend Emily seeing my favorite band – definitely one of the highlights of my life!  The band was freakin’ amazing and made it worth the 900 mile trip.  :They played two consecutive nights (I went to both shows) and out of both those nights, they only played 2 songs both nights (and only because they were new songs).  What made it the most classic is that they played my favorite DMB song – "Two Step".  They hadn’t played it for weeks (I was monitoring the set-list) and the level of excitement I exhibited when they started the song was apparently humorous (just ask Emily).

#4) Spearhead – Fillmore Auditorium, September 2003
It was a Saturday night and a big group of us from church went down to see this band.  This was the first time I saw Spearhead live and they did not disappoint.  The show had so much raw energy and was incredibly positive.  This was also my first time at the Fillmore which is an amazing venue (a restored ballroom).  We made our way to the VERY front, and just jammed out the whole time.  It was great!

#3) Coldplay – Red Rocks Amphitheatre, June 2003
My friend Matt and I went to this show with 2 guys I went to church and worked with.  It was funny because they offered these tickets to me out of the blue and Matt and I decided to go.  At that point neither of us were huge fans of Coldplay (we only heard what they played on the radio) nor had we been to Red Rocks (but we heard all about it!).  After going to that show though – both the band and venue went beyond either of our expectations.  As soon as we started driving down to Denver it began to rain, and it didn’t let up one bit.  It rained the WHOLE concert, and not a drizzle, but a pretty good downpour.  Neither Matt and I had any rain gear and just stood there getting sobbing wet just being blown away by Coldplay.  I’ll never forget when they played "Clocks" for the encore and you saw the lasers shooting and image of clouds & sky out from the stage, begin broken up by the rain.  It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!

#2) John Ondrasik (Five For Fighting) Acoustic – Blue Bird Theater, April 2004
For those of you who haven’t heard Five For Fighting beyond "Superman" and "100 Years" – you’re really missing out.  John Ondrasik is definitely one of my favorite musicians of all time, and I had been in love with Five For Fighting for almost 2 years at that point.  So when I heard that he was having an acoustic show I jumped at the chance to get tickets (which weren’t selling very fast at all).  I roped a few of my friends from church to come down to the show.  My friend Fred and I ended up sitting in the 2nd row and we were like 8 feet away from John Ondrasik!   I had never been to the Blue Bird before, but it is TINY! – 150 people, max…  And he we were in an awesome intimate concert setting hearing all of these awesome songs and raw passion that John put into playing each of them.  He gave us a little bit of piano, a little bit of guitar and a lot of amazement.  I wasn’t sure how my friends were going to react to the show, but when we walked out they were blown away as well.  Then one of my friends asked me "How did you manage to get tickets to that?!?  To see someone acoustic and small as that – you have to know the band personally".  I still find it funny

and the #1 show I’ve ever been to (Drum Roll Please)

#1) Dave Matthews Band – Mile High Stadium, August 2000
Nostalga and pure luck make this concert the #1 show.  Picture this and you’ll see why: One of (I think the if I’m not mistaken) the last concerts at old Mile High Stadium, Ozomatli AND Ben Harper opening, and oh yeah, FRONT ROW SEATS! I kid you not..  Section A-1, Row 1, Seats 3 & 4.  I still remember it vividly.  How I got these tickets – it’s a long story, but to make it short I had a very generous friend and was very lucky.  This was the first concert I had ever been to and only 4 days earlier had I finished helping lead my first service trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.  What a contrast to be in a place that was so quiet, sparse and peaceful, then not even 4 days later to be surrounded by over 73,000 people seeing this amazing band that had been my favorite for over 5 years..  To top it off, during "All Along the Watchtower" while Ben Harper was soloing Dave came to our side ofthe stage and made eye contact with me – I swear!!!

Honorable Mentions:
Five for Fighting, Hard Rock Cafe (Orlando), June 2002
-Ozomatli, Aggie Theatre, October 2004

I’m anxious to hear other people’s top 5 lists…