Concerts I Have Attended

Posted: August 15, 2011 in Reviews

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: The Today Show, September 2007

This was a special experience for an 8th grader, experiencing a peak in obsession with the music of Bruce Springsteen.  When Springsteen first announced his massive tour supporting Magic, the first album with the E Street Band since 2002 I felt I simply had to see a show, but since I had never attended a concert before, did not really consider it an option.  One can only imagine how excited I was when my math teacher, also an avid E Street fan mentioned that the band would be performing at The Today Show.  My father and I rose from our beds at 4 AM on the day of the show and reached the venue just in time to receive the last two available tickets for the section closest to the stage.  As we pushed our way towards the front, I heard someone call my name and was quickly greeted by my math and science teachers with whom my father and I spent the whole time.  Springsteen was courteous enough to perform the entire set-list all the way through both during the sound-check and during the actual performance.  I shall never forget when the band played “The Promised Land” twice.  Springsteen remarked, “What can I say? I’m getting old!”

Bruce Springsteen is considered to be one of the greatest rock performers alive (from Wikimedia Commons)

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Madison Square Garden, October 2007

Springsteen set my standards high, as this was the first true concert I had ever attended.  He opened with a powerful rendition of Radio Nowhere and played almost every song I wanted to hear, even fishing through the deepest cuts of 2002’s The Rising.  You simply can’t go wrong when you end with a 10-minute Born to Run jam.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Giants Stadium, August 2008

At this point, I am sure that it is quite obvious that Springsteen is my favorite recording artist.  Unfortunately, this was the last time I saw E Street, but regardless, this show was also fantastic.  Regrettably, the stadium’s acoustics leave much to be desired, but that was unimportant during the band’s closing “Twist and Shout.”  Springsteen was right when he triumphantly shouted “YOU’VE JUST SEEN THE RECORD BREAKING E STREET BAND!”

The Doobie Brothers and Bad Company: Bethel Woods, June 2009

My mother and I attended this concert simply for the purpose of seeing The Doobie Brothers and they could not disappoint less, opening with “Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While) and closing with a “China Grove” and “Listen to the Music.”  The Brothers also played “Chateau,” which guitarist and vocalist Patrick Simmons then called “Back to the Chateau,” a track of their most recently released album, World Gone Crazy.  Many people left after the Doobies finished.

At this point, I had only heard Bad Company’s eponymous song, but loved the concert all the same.  Man, can Paul Rodgers sing!  I soon learned that Bad Company played every one of their big hits and went through a period of obsession with the band’s greatest hits album, 10 From 6. 

By the way, I highly recommend checking out Bethel Woods: some really great acts play there, as it is the site of the original Woodstock concert

The Doobie Brothers onstage (uploaded to Flikr by "AlishaV")

Mastodon: The Hammerstein Ballroom, October 2009

My friend, a big fan of death metal music, purchased the tickets for this show, but came down with the flu the day prior.  I took another friend who had never heard of Mastodon and is not in love with the music genre.  By the time Mastodon took the stage after the three opening bands, we were about ready to check out.  The bearded quartet opened with my favorite song off the new album, “Oblivion,” but neglected to play any other songs that I fancied.  Overall, Mastodon did not impress and I did not even stay to see the next band, Deathklok.

Mastodon's Brent Hinds (from Wikimedia Commons)

Wolfmother: Terminal 5, November 2009

Wolfmother had released their second full-length album, Cosmic Egg, with just enough time before this show for me to learn every word to every song on the album.  Right before this show, my love for the Australian band peaked, so the venue’s poor quality and the lousy opening bands did not subtract from my enjoyment of the show, not to mention that I thoroughly enjoyed moshing.

Wolfmother's Andrew Stockdale performing at Terminal 5 (uploaded to Flikr by "poorpaddy")

Muse: Madison Square Garden, March 2010

Trying to properly describe how incredible this show was would be impossible.  This remains to be the best concert I have ever attended.  I shall say no more.

A god at work: Muse's Matthew Bellamy (from Wikimedia Commons)

The Moody Blues: The Welmont Theater, March 2010

I would be lying if I said that the Moodys were ever my favorite band, but then again, I would also be lying if I did not consider them an amazing band.  Although I was the youngest attendee at the concert by a good ten years, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Although Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge are all beyond 60, they can still put on a show as if they are all in their 20s.The music was great, the sound quality was perfect and the band’s backup  musicians were all virtuosos, especially the keyboardist, Alan Hewitt. As an added plus, backup drummer Gordon Marshall, as expected, handed his drum stick to a lovely lady who in turn passed it on to me, which was extremely exciting.  That drum stick now hangs on the wall of my room.  If you have not heard of The Moody Blues, you should definitely check them out as they are one of rock’s most underrated yet influential bands.

The Moody Blues onstage (from Wikimedia Commons)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: The Izod Center, August 2010

With My Morning Jacket, a stellar band opening I was in a good mood when Tom and his boys walked onto the stage.  My mood did not change through the Heartbreakers’ full set-list, which included a thorough display of hits as well as songs off the new, bluesy album, Mojo.

The Heartbreakers take a bow after a stop on the Mojo tour (uploaded to Flikr by "ladybugbkt")

The Allman Brothers: The Beacon Theater, March 2011

The Allmans Bros. are fantastic musicians and that can never be overlooked.  They really shined during their first set, a full run-through of the classic album, Live at Fillmore East.  However, after the band’s return from the short intermission, every song seemed to be a rambling jam.  Although the second set showcased each musician’s unbelievable talent, it bored me somewhat.  Maybe I should not be attending concerts by jam-bands.  My mother, who has followed the Grateful Dead around New York State, will be disappointed.

Greg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band (from Wikimedia Commons)

A Full Review of Blink 182 and My Chemical Romance at Nikon at Jones Beach, August 2011 is on its way!  Stay Tuned!


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