As Madonna once said: “Music makes the people come together.” I’m no big fan of Madonna, but maybe she had a good point there.
Music does bring people together in way that nothing else can. I suppose it can also stir up debate between friends, but in the end music will still bring people together. But as I inch closer to my 40th birthday in March, I’ve been thinking a lot about the music in my life. Some of the questions and thoughts that have popped into my head are:
- Why did I like that song?
- When did I start listening to that?
- When did I buy an Opus album?!?
- I can’t believe I went out of my way to buy that.
Then, a couple of days ago I started thinking about all the concerts I went to when I had a life. So that’s what this Turning 40 blog will be about, My Top 10 Favorite Concerts, some of which might surprise you. And here they are:
I saw Aerosmith live for the first time on June 26, 2001, but it seems like it was just yesterday. The show was held at what was then called the Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts in Mansfield Ma. The concert was part of the band’s “Just Push Play Tour,’ a tour that was much better than the album. Just sayin’.
I’m glad I got to see Aerosmith back then because this was back when the band was still in its prime. Joe Perry was great, and Steven Tyler, didn’t look like an old witch yet. The boys from Boston played some new stuff, but they played all the hits and that’s what everyone in Great Woods that night loved the best.
9. No Doubt
1997 was a huge year for me. In fact, 1997 was one of the most important years of my life. In 1997, I graduated high school, saw my first live WWF even, got into college, and saw No Doubt at the Centrum in Worcester Ma.
Despite the arena being flooded with kids dressed like Gwen Stefani, and Gwen saying “Hello Rochester” instead of hello Worcester, it was still a fun night and one heck of a show.
8. Bon Jovi
Yup, I saw Bon Jovi in concert. I originally bought the tickets for a friend who shall remain nameless, but they went to see Weird Al that same day. Instead, I went to Bon Jovi with a co-worker who I later found out may have been a vampire. Don’t ask, it’s a very long story.
The Bon Jovi show was also in 2001 at Great Woods in Mansfield, and it was awesome. Not only did they play their greatest hits all night, but they also interacted with the crowd quite a bit which was cool. The band was so good in fact, that I don’t even remember if they had an opening act or not.
7. John Mellencamp
I saw John Mellencamp in concert a total of three times. But it was the first time in 1999 that makes my list. My friend John and I had nose bleed seats, but it didn’t matter. John Mellencamp put on a great show, and he never let up. I think he only spoke to the crowd once or twice all night.
As I mentioned above, I saw John Mellencamp live three times, but there was supposed to be a fourth time in 2001. I had tickets to see him on September 11 or 12 of that year. obviously, the show was postponed until later that week. But I just wasn’t ready for a rock concert, so I gave the tickets to a friend’s sister.
6. Carlos Santana
I saw Carlos Santana twice in concert. The first time was in spring 1999 when he was one of the opening acts for the Dave Matthews Band. Seriously, Santana was the OPENING act. But to his credit, Santana and his band stole the show.
By the summer of 2000, Carlos Santana was a headliner again thanks to the success of “Supernatural” album. That summer I was lucky enough to land lawn seats at the Tweeter Center (Great Woods), and the show blew me away. This was no mere concert, it was a party. Even Macy Gray got into the fun, and she was amazing too.
5. Shania Twain
1999 was a big concert year for me, I went to 10 shows that year. But the most surprising show of 1999 was Shania Twain in June, at what was then the Fleetcenter. I actually didn’t buy these tickets, I was lucky enough to win them on the radio. Going in I thought I’d like the concert, but I didn’t expect to love it.
However, Shania Twain put on an epic performance. I don’t know where she got the energy to do some of the stuff she did, but the crowd loved it. This concert was just plain fun, and today I would gladly pay to see her once more.
4. Julio Iglesias
Me too. But the reason the 2003 Julio Iglesias show makes my list is because this was one of only two concerts I took my grandmother to. I got the best seats I could at the South Shore Music Circus, and tI even took her out to dinner before the concert.
My grandmother sang and cheered all night, it was a show she never forgot about. Even when she got sick, she might confuse me with my uncle now and then, but she still talked about the Julio Iglesias concert I took her too.
3. Neil Diamond
The first concert I took my grandmother too was Neil Diamond in 2001. This was my first concert after 9/11, and you could tell the crowd was still not sure we should be there celebrating just over a month after the attacks.
But when the show opened with a giant American flag draped over the stage, and Neil Diamond began singing “America,” the crowd was all in. This was one of the few times that I saw my grandmother cry, and the concert is something I won’t forget. Come to think of it, this may have been the first time I had fun after September 11.
2. Fleetwood Mac
Believe it or not, this 2003 Fleetwood Mac show at the Fleetcenter in Boston, was the last concert I went to. Yup, you heard right. I have not been to any concerts in almost 15 years. The only reason for this is because I’ve pretty much seen everyone that I wanted to see.
Anyway, this particular Fleetwood Mac show was filmed for a cd/dvd combo, so its a concert I’m still able to re-live again, and again. The best part of the concert was seeing Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks duet, and kiss each other while the film crew did something. The only band member missing that night was Christine McVie, who had retired. But if the rumors of a final tour with the entire band next year are true, I am totally in.
1. The Rolling Stones
The 40 Licks tour kicked off in Boston in 2002, and I was there for what was supposed to be the first show. But after I got my tickets for Gillette Stadium, the band added a show before mine, which kinda pissed me off at the time.
However, all that was forgoten the minute the Rolling Stones took the stage. This was an incredible atmosphere because I think I was the youngest person in my section. But age didn’t matter, not when everyone there was having so much fun. For the record, my favorite moment came when the Stones performed “Sympathy for the Devil.” Even from our seats we coul feel the heat from the pyro. Awesome band, and an awesome show!