I was planning on using this week’s Listen Up column to tell you about an amazing artist that I have been a fan of for over a decade. Through his fronting an awesome band into and through a very strong solo career, this artist has continued to impress me and his ever-growing fan base.
However, spotlighting that artist this week would not be the right thing to do. There are many reasons why waiting or prolonging the column makes sense to me. First, his tour, like the tours of so many amazing artists and bands, has been paused with the plan to reschedule the dates. So I would much rather tell you about the artist when you actually have the opportunity to catch him live. Also, the thought that I share the experience of a live show with you, while you may be feeling disappointment in possibly missing a live show or two, is not a fair thing to do.
Instead of that artist spotlight, I would like you all to do what I am doing during this pause in the live larger concert offerings and rewind your musical memory banks to some of the best concerts or concert moments you have experienced. I have way too many of my own. I pale in comparison in total concerts attended to some of my friends like Jim Ziereis. At a conservative estimate Jim has attended over one thousand concerts. I know Jim and I have discussed at lengths some of our top most memorable concert experiences. My point being, an amazing concert experience has the ability to become a life-long memory that can and will bring you a form of joy when you remember that moment.
While you may never forget your top concerts or live musical moments, you may forget some of those life experiences. There is also a chance that in the mix of so many concert memories your memory may fail you and you forget what shows you actually attended.
I am a big fan of keeping ticket stubs from the concerts I have attended. I had a solid collection of ticket stubs that dated back to my first concert seeing The Police at Convention Hall in Atlantic City on Feb. 7, 1984, as part of the Synchronicity Tour through hundreds of concerts. A few years ago, my wife, Allison, also a huge live music fan, gave me a ticket stub book to keep all of my vintage and new concert tickets in.
Over a year and a half ago I had an idea to undertake a personal challenge I called “This Day in Mx Concert History” I basically organized my ticket stubs and from June 2018 until June 2019 I posted a musical memory or multiple musical memory with a photo of the ticket on Facebook. Some calendar “days” in my music history I attended multiple concerts, including seeing Elvis Costello on the same day of the year but decades apart.
With every post I relived a live music memory and perhaps added a T-shirt or concert photo that I snapped to the post along with the image of the concert ticket. So many people responded to the posts, but many more came up to me and shared their concert experiences or let me know they attended the same show. It was a yearlong journey of reflection and remembering the good times and vibes of those concerts and concert moments. The great thing about Facebook is now each year moving forward those concerts come up as “memories”. So the thoughts of those shows will always be part of my future.
I am not suggesting that you undertake the same year long ticket posting challenge, but I am hoping that as the concert offerings are paused for now, you as live concert music fans pause and reflect on your favorite or all-time best concert or concert experiences. Whether you have one or two concert memories or over a thousand like Jim Ziereis, take the time to enjoy the live music moments until live large music concerts return.
I will catch you all Listening Up live in the future, but for now stay safe, clean your records before and after playing along with your live and recording streaming devices!