Browsing Tag: my year of concerts


    My Year of Concertsā„¢: Night Ranger

    November 18, 2023

    You didn’t think I was gonna go all of November without seeing a concert, did you? šŸ˜

    MyYearOfConcerts continued last night in Tacoma with my first-ever Night Ranger show!

    It’s funny, when I told Cari I was gonna drive 3+ hours for this show, she was likeā€¦ “I didn’t know you liked them THAT much!” I kinda do. ĀÆ\_(惄)_/ĀÆ When I cleared out my 100- to 150-piece vinyl collection from my parent’s house back in the day, and had to choose about 20-25 records to bring out west with me, Night Ranger made the trip.

    Don’t get me started about the venue (Emerald Queen Casino), but thankfully the show itself was great — much like Toto and a couple others from earlier this year, much better than I expected.

    This is Night Ranger’s 40th anniversary tour, and they’ve been releasing albums for a good part of those 40 years — but wisely, they kept the setlist to the big, first three albums from the early- and mid-80s. Heard ALL of my favorites, which was awesome.

    So that’s 16 shows in 2023. #MyYearOfConcerts might continueā€¦I have tickets for two shows in December, but not 100% positive yet that I’m going.

    Collective Soul in concert

    My Year of Concertsā„¢: Collective Soul

    October 8, 2023

    Gotta admire a rock singer who doesn’t wear black from head to toe. šŸ˜„

    #MyYearOfConcerts continued last night in Spokane when I saw my third overall Collective Soul show!

    I saw them about 15 years ago in BFE Idaho, then about 10 years ago at the county fair in Yakima — both were good but not great shows. Last night was 100x better. Ed was more talkative than usual and the whole band was more active. They only played for about 90 minutes, but that was okay because it meant I got home at a respectable hour. #OldManPriorities

    I got to hear “The World I Know” live (again), which is one of my top 3-4 songs of all time. They did a little spoken tribute to some of the Georgia artists that influenced them — Little Richard, Otis Redding, James Brown, Allman Brothers, etc., and then did a cover of REM’s “The One I Love.”

    Great show, glad I went.

    Not done yet, #MyYearOfConcerts continuesā€¦.


    My Year of Concertsā„¢: Counting Crows

    September 14, 2023

    #MyYearOfConcerts (post #2 today!) continued Wednesday night when I saw Counting Crows in Spokane! šŸ„°

    So I was pretty exhausted after the Billy Joel show and almost a week in New York City. We got home around dinnertime on Tuesday and the Counting Crows show was 24 hours later. TBH, I think Younger Matt would’ve skipped the show and stayed home. Older Matt said f**k that and made the drive north anyway! You only live once, carpe diem, life is short, etc. etc. etc. — that’s the whole point of #MyYearOfConcerts.

    As you can see from the photos, I splurged on tickets for this one: first row!! šŸ”„šŸ”„šŸ”„

    It was totally worth it. It’s amazing to see the musicians that close, to see the guitarist close his eyes and get lost in the moment as he plays an all-time fave that he’s played a zillion times before ā€¦ or to see Adam (Duritz, the singer) act out the lyrics in his facial expressions and sell every song to the audience. It’s incredible when there’s literally nothing but a rail between you and the music. Feels like the couple other thousand people aren’t even there.

    All that said, I knew going in that this would be a tough show. Counting Crows kinda makes you work. They don’t play the songs as you remember them. Most artists will do that a few times in every concert, and that’s cool to hear a new twist on a familiar song. But CC changes up pretty much every song. (Listen to this clip from “Rain King” and you’ll know what I mean.)

    The other challenge, which I also knew going in, is that they’re not playing my three favorite CC songs much on this tour. Oh, well. They did a bunch of deeper cuts that I wasn’t familiar with, which at first you’re like ā€¦ ugh ā€¦ but then I listened to those songs on the drive home today and DAMN they’re good. (“Colorblind” and “When I Dream of Michelangelo” stand out.) I did get to hear “A Long December” and “Holiday In Spain” live, so I came home a very happy camper.

    Counting Crows and Collective Soul are my two fave ’90s bands. I’ve seen CS a few times, but had somehow never seen CC. So I’m glad I finally fixed that hole in my concert history.

    More to come later this month. #MyYearOfConcerts will continue!


    My Year of Concertsā„¢: Billy Joel

    September 14, 2023

    #MyYearOfConcerts continued this past Sunday night when Cari and I caught Billy Joel live at Madison Square Garden, part of his residency there that started way back in 2014. Total bucket list show for both of us.

    Little-known fact: 52nd Street is the first album I ever bought with my own money. My parents had a house at the Jersey shore in the ’70s, and one day I walked to this cool, little record store that was maybe a half-mile away and decided on 52nd Street because we’d always listen to it from start to finish when I was visiting my best friend’s house and hanging with him and his older brothers.

    The show was great and, like just about every other show I’ve seen this year, brought me to tears several times — I think because we’re so close to the one-year anniversary of the accident that inspired this year of concerts, and also because it’s amazing how Billy Joel’s biggest songs run the entire course of my childhood and young adult life, from the ’70s thru the ’90s.

    In 40 years of concert-going, I’ve only seen one artist do a hometown show: U2 in Dublin. Never saw Springsteen in Jersey. Never saw REM in Athens. Never saw Eagles in L.A. So I was pretty excited to see Billy do a hometown show, and it didn’t disappoint at all. My goodness, the absolute ROAR when he walked on the stage was no different than the U2 shows I’ve seen in Dublin. New York City LOVES Billy Joel.

    Bucket-list show as I mentioned, also bucket list to finally hear “Piano Man” and “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant” live. Re: the latter, you haven’t lived until you’ve sung “And there we were waving Brenda and Eddie goodbye” with 20,000 other people, each one of us singing at the top of our lungs and waving them goodbye as if they were there in the room with us. What a moment.

    Posting this several days late because there’s already been another entry in #MyYearOfConcerts, so I’ll work on that post next.


    My Year of Concertsā„¢: Billy Idol

    August 30, 2023

    #MyYearOfConcerts continued this past Monday night (August 28) when I saw Billy Idol ā€¦ excuse me, “Billy F**king Idol” as he introduced himself šŸ˜„ ā€¦ in Spokane!

    Like several of this year’s shows, he’s another ’80s act that I never saw in the ’80s, for some reason.

    Came home from Dallas last week with a bug and wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it, but I was feeling better by Monday so off I went!

    This was an outdoor show at the Riverfront Pavilion, and it was hotter than Hades all day in Spokane — not a great combination. The sun was still up when Billy took the stage around 8:15 pm and it must’ve been 85-90 degrees. And probably much worse up on stage with all the lights.

    Seemed like the heat was bothering him, too. He came out in layers of all black, but as the band was starting the third song (“Flesh for Fantasy” šŸ¤Ÿ), he took off all his top layers and just put the jacket back on. Once the sun went down and the temp dropped 10-15 degrees, he seemed way more comfortable. As did I. šŸ˜…

    ANYHOOā€¦really fun show!

    He did most of the hits you’d expect to hear, including a really interesting, half-acoustic version of “Eyes Without A Face.” “Dancing With Myself” was a perfect opener, and “White Wedding” was a perfect closer. He put out a couple EPs over the past 2-3 years that are good and worth checking out, and some of those songs were in the set, too.

    It was kind of a short show, though — only about 90 minutes long. But all in all, fun night and I’m glad I made the trip to see him.


    My Year of Concertsā„¢: Foo Fighters

    August 6, 2023

    One day after seeing Bryan Adams in Seattle, #MyYearOfConcerts continued Friday night with my first Foo Fighters show — this one was across the state at the Spokane Arena! šŸ¤˜

    JFC they rocked!! About 90 minutes in, my neck and back started to hurt — not from dancing/rocking at my seat, but from the constant thudding of the drums and bass. It was really f**king loud, even with my Etymotics ear plugs in.

    There’s an old episode of Beavis & Butthead where they’re watching an Aerosmith video and, at the end, Butthead says, “These guys are the kings of rock. There is none higher.” šŸ˜‚ That’s the first thing that came to mind when the show ended.

    But in all seriousness, Foo Fighters have to be the best rock band on the planet right now, right? If not, then who is?

    TBH, I have a weird relationship with Foo Fighters. It’s more admiration than fandom, I think. They came on in the late ’90s and early ’00s when I had my head so far up U2’s ass that I didn’t want to listen to other bands. Friends would recommend new bands (like Foo Fighters) and I’d literally tell them I wasn’t interested. (What a jerk, huh?) I didn’t get into Pearl Jam until 2006, and still haven’t seen them live. And with Foo Fighters, I was always, “Oh, that’s a good song but I have a band I love alreadyā€¦not interested.” Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

    (I’ve been slowly fixing all those mistakes over the last 4-5 years as my U2 fandom has faded away.)

    Anyway, this was a great, great show. Dave Grohl is a fantastic frontman and the whole band is so tight. I’ve been overdosing on their new album in the past month and it’s fantastic. Highly recommend it.

    Gotta admit that I was nervous about doing two shows in two nights on opposite sides of Washington with all the driving involved, but I’m soooooo glad I did.

    #MyYearOfConcerts continues!