Memorable Concerts

As I continue to quake with the aftershocks of last night’s performance by The Arcade Fire, I wonder… what’s the most memorable concert experience of YOUR life? Please share.

First to spring to my mind:

    • U2, Elevation, with PJ Harvey
    • Sam Phillips, A Boot and a Shoe shows at the Century Ballroom and the Martinis and Bikinis show w/T-Bone Burnett
    • Over the Rhine, both the Good Dog Bad Dog tour at Madison’s Cafe in Seattle and the Changes Come show at Cornerstone
    • R.E.M., the Green tour and the Reveal tour
    • T-Bone Burnett, the Criminal Under My Own Hat tour at the Crocodile Cafe
    • Sixteen Horsepower opening for The Innocence Mission
    • Bob Dylan and Lucinda Williams, the Puyallup Fair, Time Out of Mind tour
    • Elvis Costello and the Attractions, last show ever together, at Bumbershoot


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  • lbrodine

    here’s what is coming to mind re: concerts:

    U2 w/ PJ Harvey in Kentucky (bad arena, but it didn’t matter)

    Waterdeep at the New Earth Coffee House, Kansas City… it was the final show for their original lineup, and was recorded for the aptly titled album Live from New Earth

    Counting Crows w/ Live at AmSouth Amphitheater in Nashville

    Nickel Creek at 12th and Porter, Nashville; just before they broke it huge in an intimate venue with the best sound engineer and acoustics ever

    the Normals at 12th and Porter… ibid.

    People You Meet at the Crocodile, Seattle

    Rosie Thomas w/ Rocky Votalato at the Croc.

    Derek Webb the House Show Tour at Mars Hill Church, Seattle

  • Anonymous

    The traffic signals for the hearing impaired, at the intersection of Westbrook and University, around 3:00 in the morning, just after the rain had stopped.

    Violent Video Games:
    On an emotional level, they don’t differ from any other competitive activity. Our culture has long recognized and accepted the andrenaline junkie sports players – the fact that the same effect can now be enjoyed without having to get knocked over by enormous men in uniforms isn’t going to bring civilization crashing down.

    The desensitizing influence argument is junk. Perception of game stimuli is subordinate to the idea of the game; the subject matter does not translate beyond the frame of reference. I’ve played plenty of driving games, and also been involved in a few car crashes. When somebody cuts me off, Need For Speed and Carmageddon are the last things on my mind. When your opponent’s avatar starts bleeding all over the space station, it’s not blood that the player sees, it’s imminent victory. Show that same player a bleeding man in real life and, without the game context to provide the inspiring interpretation, they are likely to freak out just as badly as a non-gamer.

    The idea that computer games teach fighting skills is also laughable. I’m a gun owner, and there is no linkage between my quake skills and my performance on the firing range. None.

  • Bryan Zug

    Have to disagree about the U2 Elevation Portland show. I was there too and when Bono flubbed the lyrics to Amazing Grace (reportedly his favorite song) at the end, it was more than a bit deflating.

    It happened to be Easter Sunday, I had seen them in Vancouver BC on Good Friday where, IIRC, he sang ‘Wake Up Dead Man’ during the encore.

    Having wondered what he would sing on Good Friday / Easter had me salivating in the weeks leading up to the shows.

    When he sang ‘Wake Up Dead Man’ on Good Friday, I instantly thought, yep, that’s the right U2 song, I should have guessed.

    When he began ‘Amazing Grace’ on Easter 2 days later, I smiled and thought to myself, nice, Paul Hewson, very nice.

    Then he screwed up the lyrics and the whole thing fell flat.

    Best concerts I’ve ever been to in order are —

    1. The Arcade Fire Show in Seattle that Jeffrey is referring to
    2. U2 Achtung Baby Tour, April 92 at LA Sports Arena
    3. U2 Joshua Tree Tour March 87 at LA sports arena
    4. The Violet Burning at a high school auditorium around Montclair in So. Cal around 1989. It was a bill with the Altar Boys and Brian Healy’s Dead Artist Syndrome. Mike Pritzle will have my eternal respect for calling out some bullshit Christian sub-culture behavior that night in a way that was more graceful and ultimately more convicting than anything I could ever imagine myself doing.

  • Travis

    Violent Video Games: That might help explain my brother’s stress/anxiety issues…

    Narnia Wonderlands: So… Jadis’ winter is a good thing now? I don’t remember Lewis portraying it that way… so do you need to accept or reject the Turkish Delight to be allowed to sit on Santa’s lap?

  • Adam Walter

    Memorable concert… Well, this was sort of a concert. The wife and I were among the 10 or so people–a couple years ago–to show up for a concert/poetry reading when Kurtis Lamkin ( came to a mall in Bellevue, WA to play his kora, an 18-string African instrument, and do his musical poetry thing. The man’s a poetical genius and criminally underappreciated. I was so glad I went–what with getting to sit in a small circle with Lamkin and the others as he let the poetry flow in the middle of an oblivious mall, and then getting to talk to him a bit after word. Good memories.

    I’m also very glad I got to see Steve Taylor and Charlie Peacock before they each gave up the music gig. And then there was The Waterboys, a couple years ago in Seattle.


    Most memorable concerts –

    Dave Matthews Band at The Fox Theater in Boulder in 1993 & 1994. Boulder was their Western outpost as they were beginning their rise from Charlottesville, VA.

    U2 Elevation Tour

    Relient K at the dive-iest theater ever

    David Wilcox – any show

    Bebo Norman – Big Blue Sky tour. Unbelievable w/ the full band

    Bebo Norman at a Queens University dorm in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Steve Stockman, author of “Walk On, Spiritual Journey of U2” promoted this show and hooked me up w/ front row center seats. Amazing. Bebo & Gabe acoustic/

    The Cure at Red Rocks on the Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me tour. Surreal.

    I’ve seen far too many concerts. I could keep going on and on w/ this list…


  • T.C. Truffin

    I’ve long found violent video games to be quite entertaining and something of a release, but when I examine my game playing I find that the violence that is a release for me is never all that realistic. No matter what the splatter effect, one doesn’t mistake the alien orange goo in Halo for the real thing. Earlier this year I tried one of the WWII games that have become popular. While the actions were no different than Halo–sniping, melee smashing, shooting–I was quite disturbed by my targets being human figures. There does seem to be something different about killing an obviously fake thing and a representation of a person.

  • Timothy Grant

    McCartney at the Kingdome in 88 or 89 I was in the top row at the back, water was dripping on my head from the ceiling. The sound sucked. and it still was an incredibly amazing experience. Afterward I saw a small boy of six or seven up on his father’s shoulders and started looking forward to the day when I could share and experience like that with a son or daughter.

    The Rolling Stones, BC Place in Vancouver, BC. I went up with a friend. My car had a fantastic stereo and we’re both music nuts. we played so much incredible music on the drive (I think it was this trip I learned to love Neil Young). Our seats were better than my Kingdome experience, and Mick and the boys were in incredible form.

    Violent Games
    I’m sick and tired of hearing about violent video games and how bad they are for society. I’m picky about what I let my kids play, and they have–for the moment–enough good sense not to play something they shouldn’t at their friend’s houses.

    I happen to love the Grand Theft Auto franchise. It’s rude, crude, vulgar, full of double-entendre, gratuitous violence, and sex. The games are also a tribute to excellence in game making. They are simply incredible experiences. I play them for catharsis, much as I ride my motorcycle.

    Parents be discerning, if a game says it’s T it’s probably not for your elementary school kids. if it’s M it’s probably not for your young teenager.

  • The Cubicle Reverend

    Believe it or not, Buckwheat Zydeco at the Jam on the River Festival in Philadelphia. It was the first time I saw a band live, I was 10 years old or so and fell in love with the accordion. I had never heard anything like it before, people were dancing, singing along, I fell for it.

  • jasdye

    winter forever? yep. i’m always harping about consumerism and i’m always the biggest hypocrite, but will the queen preside in present form? (it’s been a while since i’ve read the books, you’ll have to forgive me.)

    prayer chain, mercury tour.
    steve taylor, cornerstone for squint.
    lost dogs, cornerstone for little red riding hood (i think).