A Life Full of Live Music

It poured last night in Phoenix and this morning my son Connor had an ear worm — he couldn’t get Rain in the Summertime by The Alarm out of his head. Why a 14-year-old kid even knows about The Alarm is a story for another day, but when he mentioned it I told him I saw The Alarm in concert in 1984 when they opened for The Pretenders at the California Theater in San Diego (remember that show Zac Shess?). This led Connor to remark: “You’ve been to a lot of concerts. Like 20,” he said. Well, more like 100 I replied. When he mentioned I was lucky to have seen so many cool 80s bands, I told him I was fortunate to live in places like San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area where great bands performed. I’ve lived in Phoenix for 18 years now and a lot of lesser known bands skip the desert when they tour.

I started thinking about how many live shows I’ve seen over the years and I thought it might be fun to try to list them all. It’s probably nowhere near 100 and it’s probably not all that impressive a list compared to some. I’m sure I’m missing some. Nevertheless, in no particular order:

  • The Kinks (my first real concert. 1979. San Diego Sports Arena)
  • The Who
  • John Cougar
  • Loverboy
  • Rush
  • Simon & Garfunkel
  • Adam Ant
  • Duran Duran
  • Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper
  • The Beautiful South (2)
  • Ben Folds
  • Counting Crows (2)
  • Maroon 5
  • Depeche Mode
  • Morrissey
  • Erasure
  • Everything But the Girl (2)
  • Gorillaz
  • Howard Jones
  • Joe Jackson (3)
  • Little River Band (2)
  • Jack Johnson
  • John Legend
  • Midge Ure
  • Mike Doughty
  • Crowded House
  • Ziggy Marley
  • Peter Gabriel
  • Inner Circle
  • Sinead O’Connor
  • Paul Weller
  • Peter Case
  • R.E.M.
  • Tori Amos
  • Indigo Girls (2)
  • The Untouchables (2)
  • X
  • Stan Ridgway
  • Steely Dan
  • Tears For Fears (3)
  • The B-52s
  • Sun 60
  • The Cranberries
  • Berlin
  • The Gap Band
  • Sparks
  • Madness (2)
  • Oingo Boingo (2)
  • The Police (2)
  • Billy Joel (2)
  • Squeeze (2)
  • The Hooters
  • Jill Sobule
  • Edie Brickell and New Bohemians
  • The Pretenders
  • The Alarm
  • The Beach Boys
  • Coldplay
  • G Love and Special Sauce
  • Zee Avi
  • Spyro Gyra
  • Chris Isaak (2)
  • Seal
  • U2 (3)
  • 10,000 Maniacs
  • English Beat
  • Sara Hickman
  • Deborah Harry
  • Red Rockers
  • NRBQ
  • KC & The Sunshine Band

What about you? Are you a big concert goer? What are some of the best shows you’ve seen over the years?

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3 thoughts on “A Life Full of Live Music

  1. I worked up a list on Facebook a few years ago. Here it is, with a few additions:

    FIRST CONCERT:
    THE POLICE, Ghost In The Machine tour, the Fabulous Forum, Inglewood, CA

    Elvis Costello (solo, with the Attractions, with the Imposters, and with the Rude 5)
    Fishbone
    Midnight Oil
    The English Beat
    Joe Jackson
    Neil Finn
    Crowded House
    Pernice Brothers
    U2
    Morrissey
    The Clash
    The Who
    Sting
    Special Beat
    INXS
    Divinyls
    Stray Cats
    Wall of Voodoo
    Men at Work
    A Flock of Seagulls
    Thompson Twins
    Berlin
    The Fixx
    Neil Young
    Pearl Jam
    Blind Melon
    Sheryl Crow
    Red Hot Chili Peppers
    No Doubt
    The Untouchables
    Howard Jones
    Nick Lowe
    Madness
    Simple Minds
    Oingo Boingo
    Thomas Dolby
    David Lee Roth
    Cinderella
    Wire Train
    Big Country
    The Long Ryders
    The Three O’Clock
    REM
    The Replacements
    Los Lobos
    The Kinks
    Scandal
    Guadalcanal Diary
    Counting Crows
    The Wallflowers
    Lucious Jackson
    House of Freaks
    Hunters & Collectors
    Paul Kelly
    Liam Finn
    Dave Wakeling
    General Public
    Spinal Tap
    Echo & the Bunnymen
    Jane’s Addiction
    Talking Heads
    Ben Folds
    Prince
    Peter Case
    Ziggy Marley
    Phantom Planet
    The Swingin’ Madisons
    The Alarm
    Aztec Camera
    Graham Parker
    Leon Redbone
    David Bowie
    The Go-Gos
    The Posies
    Elvis Perkins
    Ed Harcourt
    Billy Bragg
    X
    Bruce Springsteen
    China Crisis
    Squeeze
    Difford & Tilbrook
    Vince Gill
    John Hiatt
    Mary’s Danish
    Elvis Brothers
    New Order
    Roger McGuinn
    Pete Seeger
    Arlo Guthrie
    Blackeyed Peas
    The Gaslight Anthem
    Chamberlain
    Tim Barry

    Going to see Morrissey again in November, and seriously considering Public Image Limited in October.

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