Well, folks, I’m coming up on a milestone in my life. Some people count calories, some keep track of which Natural Wonders of the World they’ve seen (2), but I keep track of concerts.
Ever since the first concert I went to (12th March 1996, Red Hot Chili Peppers / Toadies at Gund Arena) I’ve kept track of every live show I’ve ever been to.
The momentous event is that tonight, December 31st 2010 will be my 300th gig. That’s right. THREE HUNDRED. So, to celebrate this, and in true OCD fashion, I would like to share a few facts relating to my illustrious career as a live music junkie.
The gold medal for band I’ve seen the most belongs to OK Go with a grand total of 50. Coming in second is Idlewild at 40 shows (40th tonight).
The most gigs I’ve been to in one year is 49 in 2005 (including 11 in October alone), and the least was in 2009 when I only saw three live shows (albeit very good ones).
The most popular month for gigs is statistically April with 41 total, and the least popular is June with only 12.
The most popular day of the (any) month is a tie between the 20th and the 21st at 16 gigs each.
I have ever only been to one gig on my birthday which was Idlewild at the Liquid Room in Edinburgh in 2007.
The farthest distance I have ever been from home is 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis, MN (OK Go 8th June 2002) at a total distance of 737 miles door to door. This is not, however, the longest single trip I’ve taken because the show in MN was sandwiched between two others (Chicago and Milwaukee).
The most one-way miles clocked up is a whopping 596 miles in one day which was the drive back to Cleveland on Easter Sunday 2003 from an Idlewild gig in Montreal, Canada. Including the drive from Cleveland to Toronto (to see Idlewild) to Montreal and back you have a complete round-trip of 1,234 miles.
My weekend at T in the Park in 2006 represents the most bands I’ve seen at one “gig” with 25 over three days.
The most I have ever paid for a ticket in to a single gig is probably Pearl Jam in 1996, but you’d have to ask my Mom how much it was exactly, because she bought my ticket for me at the door (and then stood outside for the whole concert waiting for me).
Some places I would never have seen were it not for the gigs I went to there include Bristol, UK, Coney Island, and Urbana, IL.
Some of the best memories:
Driving around New York City endlessly trying to find the hostel we’d booked into (Alison and I, Placebo/Idlewild May 2001) – finding someone to ask directions from who told me I wouldn’t need to worry about my car being stolen in that neighbourhood, but I would need to worry about the engine being stolen out of my car. We stayed at the Holiday Inn on Broadway instead, with secure, underground parking.
Arriving late to Cambridge, UK, (Alison & I, Placebo, October 2000) after a delayed train only to realise we’d missed the whole concert. Trying desperately to find somewhere to stay the night (Cambridge is HELL. Seriously. But with more bicycles…) and ending up at the most overpriced guest house either of us have ever stayed in.
The Monkees in Columbus with Alison & Sarah, March 2001. Peter Tork thinks we’re great.
OK Go at the Fireside Bowl in March 2002. Best venue, ever. Honestly, the place was an absolute mess. I was worried the ceiling was going to collapse.
Morrissey and The Libertines with Sarah at the Brixton Academy in November 2002. Because it was amazing.
Muse in Columbus with Alison, Sarah and Kristina in April 2005. It was a very small venue. They had their speakers set to “Glastonbury”. I was reduced to chewing up an old receipt from my bag and stuffing it into my ears to prevent them actually bleeding. The bass line altered my heartbeat. Very good but VERY loud.
The first time we saw Idlewild. They opened for Placebo at St Andrew’s Hall in Detroit, Michigan. We were a bit of a crowd, Alison, Sarah, Jeremy, Ryan and myself. One of the best nights of my life, hands down.
What can I say? I could go on and on. Do I remember every one of the 300 shows? (Well, 299 until after tonight!) Yes, I do. Maybe because I’ve written them all down to remind myself I was there in the first place. I love live music, I always have. I was hooked from the get-go and I’ve not slowed down yet.
I have met some folks I will always remember and some I will always love. I have made friends, lost friends, fallen in and out of love with bands, listened to some albums so much that the sound of them will forever be imprinted on my soul, and my quest to follow music over the miles has instilled in me a great love of the open road.
I do understand that I am very lucky. I can’t imagine any better hobby to have. I can’t imagine anything I’d rather have spent all those hours, miles and dollars on. 300 gigs in 14 years? Yes, I am certainly very lucky.
Tonight, the last night of 2010, my 40th Idlewild gig and my 300th ever gig, is going to be a amazing night. It can’t not be.
Here’s to the next 300!