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Old 11-30-2014, 04:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What the hell, might as well jump into the Journal fray. As someone who loves the live concert experience I thought I would do something related to the live shows I have seen. What made me spend my hard earned pay to see these bands? How was the show? What stood out? Not to mention I can stretch the theme to the breaking point (bands I love that I wish I could have seen live, bands that I only experienced through a live album, etc...). See? Plenty of wiggle room for my limited creativity!
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Cool! Welcome to Journal Town Moss! Looking forward to this...
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Finally getting around to kicking this journal off. Thought I would start with a concert that was memorable less for the music than for the atmosphere and memories.

On November 3, 1991 a free concert was set up in Golden Gate Park San Francisco to honor the life of music promoter Bill Graham who had died on October 25th in a helicopter accident. I had been living in the Bay Area of California at that point for about 6 months and was still pretty new to the vibe of the area so when I heard about the show I knew I had to check it out. I was just out of college, had my first real and semi well-paying job and I just remember it being an amazingly warm and cloudless day. The word was out that this was going to be a huge event so I knew trying to drive was not an option. My wife and I jammed ass to elbows with thousands of other people on BART and public busses and made our way to the golden gate polo grounds. By the time we got there Dirty dozen brass band, Bobby McFerrin and Jackson Browne had already played. We showed up during Joe Satriani who I really liked at the time. After that it was Aaron Neville, Santana, Robin Williams, Journey, Tracy Chapman, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Grateful dead (with and without John Fogerty), and then Joan Baez.

So musically this was not really my dream concert. Not really a fan of these bands at the time other than maybe CSN&Y and Satriani. Now I kick myself because I am a huge Grateful Dead fan but not so much back then. But really the people watching and interacting was what made this memorable. It was such a friendly vibe with people sharing beer and food and other substances. Plenty of hippie dancing, just an overall great atmosphere considering there were 300,000 people jammed into the polo grounds. A few memories:

• A young normal looking guy walking around towards the end of the show collecting discarded cans. The interesting part was he would pick up the can off the ground, drink whatever nasty dregs were left in it, then put it in his bag. Can’t even imagine some of the vial things in those cans.
• An old hippie guy being carried off in a stretcher and I will never forget those eyes. This guy was TRIPPING BALLS. You could practically see the girl with kaleidcope eyes in there. What was funny is how happy he looked being carried off, reaching out to everyone and smiling away.
• Seeing Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young - Sounds like that won’t be an option anymore.
• Wearing shorts and a t-shirt outdoors in November, not something I normally did in Colorado.
• An airplane dropping carnations on the crowd.
• John Fogerty with Grateful Dead, Neil Young with Grateful dead.
• Walking around Haight-Ashbury after the show.

Probably the closest I will ever come to a true hippie experience and one of the reasons I have such great memories of living in the Bay Area.

Won’t bother posting any videos but if you type in Bill Graham memorial concert in Youtube you will see several videos.
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Old 12-30-2014, 01:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Heh, sounds like it was a blast! Just out of curiosity, what did you think of Joan Baez?
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriphiel View Post
Heh, sounds like it was a blast! Just out of curiosity, what did you think of Joan Baez?
Joan Baez voice gives me the same feeling as puttin a battery on my tongue. Can't stand her voice, I won't lie.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Guided by Voices
Date: 2/26/2002
Venue: Fox Theatre Boulder, Colorado
Tour: Universal Truths and cycles tour
Opening band: Desaparecidos

From what I rememeber, opening band Desaparecidos was disappointing. Basically a Bright Eyes spin off band but much more hardcore sounding. Conor Oberst was not in attendance (which I didn’t mind, not a fan) and the remaining members just didn’t seem to really know what they were doing and looked bored. Not very memorable at all.

So on to GBV!
One of my absolute favorite concerts of all time, and still one of my favorite bands. I had never seen GBV prior to this show so was not quite sure what to expect but it exceeded expectations in every way. Kind of the opposite of a SWANS show. Instead of a small number of long songs you get a ton of short, catchy songs. Probably somewhere around 40 songs, some of them as short as 30 seconds. Before the show started, a roadie placed 3 things on the stage: A cooler of beer, A bucket that said “piss” and a bucket that said “puke”. The band came out, grabbed beer from the cooler, the place erupted, and the show stayed like a giant party the rest of the way. Don’t have a setlist, just remember “glad girls”, “Bulldog skin”, and a bunch of others. Anybody that follows GBV knows it’s difficult just to keep up with the output, Pollard is not known for restraint and self editing. Something about Pollards stage presence with his scissor kicks and mike spinning just works and does not come across as cheesy. I have seen them 2 more times since this show and they never disappoint but this show was something special.

Highlight of the show was Pollard handing me a beer from the band cooler towards the end of the show.

If you are new to GBV, start with the albums Bee Thousand or Alien Lanes. I would also highly recommend the Pollard solo album From a compound eye. Not everything they have released is great but for the sheer volume it’s amazing how consistently great they are.

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Old 06-09-2015, 09:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Pearl Jam
Date: 10/31/93
Venue: Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA
Tour: VS
Opening band(s): Henry Rollins Band, American Music Club

Yes, this was over 20 years ago so the memories are a bit scattered. I have seen Pearl Jam many times over the years but this is still my favorite show. They still seemed to be the young wild rock band and not yet the well oiled arena band they became. There was so much energy at the show.

- American Music Club basically got booed off the stage, even though they were a local well respected band, but really a cult band. The crowd just was not looking for slow songs with introspective Mark Eitzel lyrics, or what I guess they call "Slowcore". I felt bad for them to be honest but what can you do. It didn't help that they had bad sound and I was glad when they were done.
- Henry Rollins on the other hand had the place going crazy. This was back in his "Liar" days although not sure that song had been released yet but I remember him doing it, but memories are faulty. I thought his show was great.
- Pearl Jam was amazing. I was right up front, even caught one of Mike McCready's guitar picks which I still have. It has Pearl Jam on one side and "666" on the other, not sure why. Eddie was drinking wine and smoking during the show. Or generally he would light a cigarette, take a few puffs, then pass it to someone in the front row who would take a puff and pass it on. I let that **** go right by, have no desire to share a smoke with a bunch of strangers.
- At one point Eddie came out carrying a gigantic cross and wearing an iron mask, must have found them backstage, and was acting like Jesus. It was more tongue in cheek and funny than it may sound given his subsequent coronation as rock god. I remember Jeff Ament bowing down to him like a disciple.
- Did some nice covers for the encore: ****in Up, sonic reducer, Baba O' Riley. Other than that it was really the big hits from the first 2 albums, plus some extras like Footsteps, and State of Love and Trust.

Saw them several times since (including last year), usually at big stadiums or the bridge school benefits, and have some other highlights from those shows as well, but nothing compared to the lean rocking band I saw on this night.
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