My Life in Music: All the Gigs I've Seen(?!)

Gigs I have seen. Yes I’m trying to remember them all! In order (ish...sometimes things are blurry). Inspired by recent Facebook music memories types posts of friends (we are getting to that age where we can't remember stuff!), as a challenge to myself. I did o.k., I feel I maybe missed out a few. It's a good memory prompter exercise anyway!
  1. The Hooters: Hampton, Virginia (1986/7?). I still think “And We Danced” is a bomb song (though apparently their biggest hit in the U.K. was Satellite?). I was just a kid still but this was my first "grown up" concert (went with my Dad). I would have preferred Madonna or Wham no doubt!
  2. 7 Seconds: Club Babyhead, Providence, 1990? I almost died! (um well I got sucked into the mosh pit and smushed against the stage. Punk rock is too much for me!).
  3. INXS: Worcester Mass. Live Baby Live (‘91?)
  4. The Cure: also Worcester  ‘92
  5. Morrissey: Great Woods, now known as the Tweeter center or somesuch, Mansfield, Mass. Beautiful outdoor concert venue, I still miss it. ‘92
  6. Lilith Fair: (the first one, at Great Woods, Foxboro, Mass…’92?) I remember Tracy Chapman and Fiona Apple and that's about it.
  7.  Did I go to a Lollapalooza?I feel like I might have? I went to various festivals before they were called festivals…an Earth day one at Foxboro Stadium…another one in the middle of east bumchuck R.I. where The Breeders and lots of others played…
  8. The Indigo Girls: three times I think between 1990-93?
  9. 10,000 Maniacs: (twice or thrice? in 92/93)...Great Woods, Brown University
  10. Matthew Sweet: (early 90's) was opening for someone (Indigo Girls?!) and my friends and I were primarily there to see him, we got boo’ed for dancing and left. SO I’ve never seen Matthew Sweet properly. Boo. (Great Woods)
  11. Squeeze: (early 90's, they were a busy time for this teen! Twice at PPAC ushering for free, my favorite h.s. English teacher got us into many a concert and play this way).
  12. The Pixies: Providence, R.I. at an old fairground on their last tour. '92? Well, before all the reunion tours. I was super excited they played the UK surf (slow) version of Wave of Mutilation. (Yes, I was really into Pump Up The Volume at that stage!).
  13. The Lemonheads with Juliana Hatfield opening (how 90’s can you get?) Club Babyhead, Providence….1992? Also the gig where I’m 99% sure River Phoenix was in the crowd. I was too shy to go near him. I know this is weird and morbid but honestly the two celebrity deaths that have upset me most in this life were River and Elliott Smith, and in both instances I had the opportunity to speak to them and did not - not that it would have changed a THING, but that "Sliding Doors" thing in the back of my mind has made me kind of weirdly bolshie now about talking to musicians in particular when I'm normally very shy and don't bug celebrities generally (when you live in NY you see them a lot. Willem Dafoe and I had a morning "Hello" ritual in Soho, 'twas deep! ;-0)
  14. Depeche Mode: 1993 Great Woods (a friend was into them, me less so)
  15. Van Morrison: Boston 1993 w/Mom
  16. Phish: (Great Woods…summer…93?) I was not a Phish head AT ALL. There's a long story I won't go into...
  17. The Eagles: 1994 Great Woods (w/Mom)
  18. James Taylor: 1994? (also Great Woods)
  19. The Moody Blues: ‘94 or 5?(w/Mom and aunt Martha)
  20.  Porno for Pyros: ’94 (?)(ugh why they verily sucked...)
  21.  Lots of crappy college bands at UMASS, and I just missed the good era when Dinosaur Jr et al were around
  22.  Sonic Youth:…NYC 1995. Oh Thurston :-( 
  23.  The Barenaked Ladies:…at least three times around UMASS…in my defense they were everywhere! The Barenaked Ladies and Dave Matthews Band are just forever college only bands to me, I mean let's be honest they were of their time. The DMB in particular were just so huge, and didn't make a dent in the U.K., so the o.h. doesn't get why I find the Community episodes where they jam out to DMB so everlastingly hilarious.
  24. The Violent Femmes: headlined Spring concert at UMASS, 94? One of the best live acts ever, pure adrenaline and joy. And will always remind me of riding to and from swim meets in high school., they were our jam.
  25.  Sinead O’Connor:…hm 94? Providence, Lupos?
  26.  Harry Connick Jr.: Northampton Mass…’94?
  27.  Ani Di Franco: (worst/shortest concert ever) UMASS Amherst 95/96
  28.  Paul Westerberg: Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel, Providence 1995 ish? Along with Bob Mould the only artist I've seen make grown men cry!
  29.  Free concert in Battery Park NYC w/Mom: 1995? Billy Bragg and Shawn Colvin
  30.  Gillian Welch and David Rawlings: Mom and I went to a bluegrass festival in Western Mass. to see them…95/6? Amazing, still top of my list of artists I'd love to see again.
  31.  Cake: (um..yeah not my choice. Nothing against them, just not my bag).
  32. Ben Folds Five: (saw him twice, 98-99).
  33.  Elliott Smith: three times in 1998/99, should have been four but the guy I was dating wouldn’t pay extra to see him at this Boston free festival thing ... I then saw Elliott play three times in the course of six months: Hoboken and NYC. I still kick myself I missed that first one.This was also when I saw him in the crowd in Boston, he wasn't super well known at that point, I turned around as we were watching Cracker and there he was, just behind me in a hoodie. There was eye contact, I was too shy to say hi. Happened again when I saw him in Hoboken. I hear lots of similar stories from Elliott fans feeling like if they'd just reached out, if there was some possible way one tiny little moment could have changed anything that followed. A likely futile thought but there it is. I wish I'd said "Hello" anyway...I'll never get over him being gone.
  34.  Sebadoh: Boston, 1998. I was so into Sebadoh. Will always remind me of my first year in NYC in my tiny studio apt. with V.
  35.  I feel like I’m forgetting a lot of random gigs I got dragged to (or dragged others to...like that awesome band you were SO into for three months you can't remember). OH wait, The Magnetic Fields, 1999/2000? But they only played a few songs before lightning shut the whole thing down in Battery Park - tragic! So they're still on my to see list really.
  36. Travis: NYC, two weeks before I met my hubby…2000…Scottish kismet!
  37. Grant Hart: (of Husker Du): Mercury Lounge NYC 2001. Embarrassed D. had to remind me of this one, it was our first gig together! Woopsie. Grant Hart is a very talented man. He is also the only musician I've ever seen berate the crowd for singing along to his songs! No wonder Bob Mould is the successful one *cough* (ducks....)
  38.  Gig on the Green, Glasgow: where my husband’s band ditch (shameless plug to now defunct band, check them out) played, 2001. VIP yo, I shared portaloos with Evan Dando! Also Eminem and Iggy Pop and Travis.
  39. Bob Mould: 2000-present….five times? I’ve lost count! The husband and I have a long history with our shared love of Mr. Mould, he's kind of a big part of how we ended up together. I wrote about it in depth here in a review of a Mould gig a while ago. We once bored him with the story and he was very sweet about it!
  40. The Posies: 2001 Aberdeen. Then Glasgow King Tut’s 200 something? Hubby did a wee with the singer from Snow Patrol –except he went in stall (boy from S.P.). But held door/was polite (for anyone who cares!). Other famous men hubby saw in toilets include Ralph Fiennes at Heathrow (He’s lucky I don’t just follow him into the toilets to see what exciting person might turn up!).
  41. Belle and Sebastian: Aberdeen Music Hall…2003? Why are more recent years harder to remember?!
  42.  Suzanne Vega: 2004 the Lemon Tree. I remember this one because I had no hair (chemo) but I was going to be damned if I was going to miss Suzanne Vega!
  43. Teenage Fanclub: The Lemon Tree...2005. admit this falls under gigs I forgot about until speaking just now to D. on phone. They're just wonderful, though, along with Buffalo Tom one of those 90's bands I ignored in favour of staring at Morrissey posters or thinking about vegetarianism or something! 
  44.  Belladrum/Tartan Heart Festival, Highlands…2007. Lots of stuff... Oh we saw Glen Tilbrook of Squeeze and Amy Rigby and Wreckless Eric, they rocked..
  45. Belladrum 2009/2010... I don’t know…bands and stuff. James and Feeder and King Creosote all good.
  46.  Kathryn Williams: when did I see her? Lemon Tree 2007 (yes I am Googling now, the brain is a sieve!)…sit down gig, bliss!
  47.  Neil Young: Aberdeen AECC…2009. Still rocking in the free world – quite good actually and I’m no aficionado.
  48. The Joy Formidable: Aberdeen Tunnels 2010.
  49. Buffalo Tom: Glasgow Oran Mor 2011. Funny story, Buffalo Tom (from Boston) played my local club in Providence (near my h.s. hometown Attleboro) a bajillion times and I never went to see them. I got it in my head I didn't like them, for weirdly inexplicable reasons, only to have a Scottish man prove me very wrong many years later. They are amazing.
  50. Ryan Adams: Sept 2013/Feb 2014. Yes we’re slowing down…but seeing a great artist in his prime is revving my concert going engines back into gear.
  51. Fingers crossed (spit spit etc.) I will be seeing The Replacements in London in June, complete dream come true as when I got into them they were on the cusp of splitting up. 
Whew! 50 doesn't sound like many though really? I didn't include gigs by people no one has likely ever heard of/are some I've probably just forgotten. I think I've seen a decent amount of bands, though I'm sure it's not a patch on some people's - looking back I definitely see a slowing down over the past few years - which has a bit to do with geography it must be said. We always have to travel to see a band now, which sucks, the north of Scotland (Aberdeen in particular) has just become really overlooked in recent years, by the sorts of bands we tend to want to see anyway. That said,we do beg off seeing plenty of random gigs we get invited to because (whispers) we are old and would rather watch Game of Thrones. 

This was a fun memory trawl, it's the sort of thing you need friends to remind you of what you've missed though...so anyone who knows me, did I miss something? I think I got all the big ones?! If anyone else wants to try this it's a fun challenge I think, and brought up lots of great memories for me! :-) There are so many bands I would love to see that I might never (R.E.M., unless they get back together!). Life is short, enjoy the music while you can!

addendum: AIMEE MANN!! How could I forget her?!! Zoinks. 1999 Providence. Have a feeling I might just keep adding things as they re-occur to me!






Bob Mould Glasgow ABC 2007?


Belladrum/Tartan Heart Festival...









4 comments

  1. Oooh...cool that you have good taste in music. Lots of concerts - I've only ever been to 2 shows in my life. I plan to go to more, though.

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    1. Ha, thanks Becky! I think I'm fairly diverse/open minded and my concert list doesn't reflect my weakness for cheesy pop! I was very lucky in that I grew up near some great concert venues. Really appreciate it more now that I live somewhere no one seems to want to play!

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  2. Wow, amazing memory you have! I'm tempted to try this but I really don't think I'd manage... some gigs stick really clearly in my mind, but especially between 1994 and 1998 I was going to SO many shows that I just don't think I'd be able to recall them all. Also I laughed at your Thurston comment - so true!

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    1. It's definitely a challenge to try to remember - and I'm pretty sure I missed a few! Like bands that you don't remember the name of now sort of things. I had fun with it anyway though, would love to read yours. :-)

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