Music

Concerts of Old

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I’ve talked about it before, but sometime in early 2019, a conversation with my oldest daughter eventually led me to watch the footage of Queen playing Live Aid in 1985. That, in turn, led me to a variety of conversations with friends and coworkers to think about the concerts we’d missed when younger, that we wished we’d gone to, that would have been awesome but happened before we were born.

The first concert I always came up with was Rush with any date on the Signals tour. Signals was first Rush album I owned, a gift from my Uncle for my 12th birthday. I don’t know how many times I listened to that album as a teenager, and it still slips into the rotation here and there. It’s the album that made me a Rush fan, but I didn’t manage to see them in concert until 2008. It was a spectacular concert.

But I still want to see them as they were when I became a fan, before I even really knew what a rock concert was. I’ve found footage of the Montreal show, but it isn’t very good. There’s a couple of great audio bootlegs, but it’s not the same. There’s some good footage of a couple of dates on the Grace Under Pressure tour from a year or so later, but it’s not Signals.

I’ll keep looking.

Ultimately, the natural avenues of speculation led me to consider what concerts I’d go to if I had a time machine. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d spend what would probably be too much of my personal timeline pursuing those old concerts.

I’ve made a list.

All the bands who were huge when I was a teenager but I only got to see on Muchmusic or Friday Night Videos or whatever music video show didn’t interfere with Star Trek when I got home from school.

Going back further, things I never would have had the chance to see. Led Zeppelin and the Beatles and the early Rolling Stones. Jimi Hendrix and the Beach Boys and Elvis on the 68 Comeback Tour. The Grateful Dead, Peter, Paul, and Mary, James Brown. The list keeps growing. It’s hard to stop when I get started. So much I’d love to see or have seen. How much of it actually has video somewhere and how much exists only in the memories of those lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time?

I’m thinking about subbing 50 concerts into the #50at50 list somewhere. I’m not sure what it might take the place of, though. Some thought needed here.

Right now, though, you’ll have to excuse me. It’s 1986 in Pittsburgh and The Bangles are seriously rocking.

Stay safe and be well, everyone.

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