Posts Tagged ‘live’

a momentous event

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.

concert tickets....concert tickets

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!


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t in the park

This weekend is T in the Park weekend. For those of you who don’t know what that means, T in the Park is a three-day music festival held in Kinross, Scotland. Mostly it is for Rock and Indie musicians, which means it is smack dab in the middle of my street.

As in ,that’s right up my street, etc.

Anyway, tickets prices are always crazy high and tickets for the following year go on sale the weekend after the current event and they always, always sell out. People queue overnight to be first at the shops when they open to buy tickets. So getting them is difficult.

Kristina & Me on the Sunday morning

After you buy your tickets you are faced with a year’s wait to see what the weather is going to be like. Which, I think, is the hardest part. Because if it is going to be sunny and wonderful (I’d say a 10% chance, because it is Scotland after all), then you are going to have a fantastic, wonderful, amazing time. As long as you can avoid sunstroke. If it is going to rain then you are quite possibly not going to enjoy yourself much. Unless you do what the majority of T in the Park attendees do, get drunk and/or high off your face. Then, it really doesn’t matter if it is pouring down rain, and it also doesn’t matter that the port-a-potties are the most disgusting places on the surface of the Earth.

My friend Kristina and I went to T in the Park in 2006 and we had the good fortune of having lovely weather, most of the time. I won’t say there weren’t moments of rain when we considered holing up in our tent to avoid being trampled to death as the entire site quickly turned into a giant slip-n-slide, but overall it was an amazing weekend.

Some mud.

Because of the revolting state of most of the port-a-potties we spent the weekend drinking as little water as possible and then holding it all in. In the mornings we took the little bus into town and went to a local church who put on an edible breakfast with all you could drink orange juice (from concentrate) for something crazy like £3 or something. They also had clean bathrooms. With running water. So we took care of all our business at the church and that is how we survived.

I can honestly say I think we were the only two people there that were completely sober for the entire time, as well. Refreshing? Yes. Terrifying? You have no idea. One of the most memorable moments was when I was awakened at three in the morning on Sunday because an extremely drunken guy was peeing on the outside of our tent right next to my head. And singing. Loudly.


But I digress. The point is that T in the Park is on this weekend and, despite the fact that it hasn’t stopped raining all day, I really wish I were there. Every year I think I’ll buy tickets when they go on sale because I know darn well when the festival rolls around 12 months later that I am going to be dying to go. I never buy tickets. I think it’s equal parts my feeling too old to attend and also the fact that they cost £200. Plus you have to spend the weekend in a tent surrounded by thousands of people you do not know. The joys.

When we went we saw the following artists. I can’t be bothered to link them all, so if you want to know who they are, use Google.

The Guillemots
Corrine Bailey Rae
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
Ben Harper
Sigur Ros
The Cribs
The Feeling
The Kooks
Maximo Park

Tom Editor

The Spinto Band
My Latest Novel
Jose Gonzales
The Fratellis
Morning Runner
Dirty Pretty Things
Richard Ashcroft
Paolo Nutini
The Magic Numbers
Arctic Monkeys
The Who

I know, right? In case you didn’t count, that’s 25 bands.  Well worth the £200!!

My favourite artist of the weekend was Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, although Sigur Ros gives them a run for their money. It was also amazing to see The Who close the show on the Sunday night, complete with fireworks going off in the background. My favourite single moment? Watching Paolo Nutini sing Caledonia mid-afternoon on the Saturday. There is something about a crowd of a few thousand Scottish people swaying with national pride, some of them even wearing kilts.

Will I go again? Oh, yes, I will. Maybe next year?  I hope so.

This year, though, I am at home and I am dry, but I am really sorry I am not at T in the Park.

Who am I going to regret seeing the most?  MUSE, Vampire Weekend, Biffy Clyro, Eminem and The Stereophonics.  Plus about 10 others.

To everyone at T in the Park, I am sorry it has rained all day but I hope you are all enjoying yourselves.

Me? I’m trying not to think about it! Here’s to next year!



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