Five favorite concerts

Mike asked what everyone’s five favorite concert experiences were. It was hard to narrow it down, but here are mine:

5. Jethro Tull/Emerson, Lake, and Palmer – Darien Lake, 8/18/96 – I got tickets at the last minute after convincing my Dad to go with me and we got fifth row seats. Truthfully, I could have cared less about Jethro Tull, even though they were the headliners. I went for ELP. Keith Emerson is a keyboard God, and after reading about the debilitating hand injuries he had from playing incorrectly for so many years, having surgery, and rehabilitating himself to be better than ever, I had to see him in person. When he walked around to the wrong side of the organ, flipped it on it’s side and played Toccata and Fugue in D minor upside down, jamming daggers into the keys… it was frickin’ awesome.

4. Blue Man Group, Shea’s 10/29/03 – Truly a unique experience. This was part of The Complex Rock Tour, so it was a little bit traditional Blue Man Group, and a lot of music. The band was huge, by rock band standards, but they were damn good. I still want one of those tubes setups. And as an added bonus, we were introduced to Venus Hum.

3. Moxy Fruvous, House of Blues Harvard Square, 6/6/00 & 6/7/00 – While in Boston, another friend from college, and a total Fruhead, happened to be living there as well. She was able to score tickets for two out of the three shows Moxy Fruvous did at the HoB that weekend. We were able to stand right up next to the stage for both shows. I even got publicly ridiculed for filling in the blank to the famous intro to Video Bargainville – “I have a college pal who says we can pay one price for two“. I responded with a resounding “69!” Jian stopped, turned to Murray and said, “When will that stop being funny?” “Never,” Murray answered. Moxy – we miss you. When’s the reunion tour?

2. Steven Page (from Barenaked Ladies) – Jackson Triggs Winery, 9/12/05 – This was also a unique experience. Steven Page was touring after his solo release of The Vanity Project, and did a concert at Jackson Triggs Winery in Ontario. Jackson Triggs has a beautiful outdoor amphitheater set out next to the vineyard. The sun set, we drank wine, and listened to acoustic rock under the stars.

1. Barenaked Ladies – Shea’s, 12/11/04 – BNL was doing a holiday tour after releasing Barenaked for the Holidays. Amanda and I had second row balcony tickets. The Orchard Park Swing Choir opened for BNL and sang backup for BNL’s first few songs. What an experience that must have been for them! This show was awesome for so many reasons, though. The three most notable – First, they handed out lyric sheets so you could sing along to the Hanukkah songs (in Yiddish?). Second, the balcony at Shea’s bounces when everyone is up dancing. Seriously. That sucker must have at least a foot’s worth of play in it. Third, in the middle of Million Dollars, they started scanning the audience for Christmas-y attire. Amanda started jumping up and down. Steven pointed her out and said, “That’s a very lovely velour-looking thing.” It made her night. We bought a live recording of the concert so that moment could be preserved forever. Here’s a picture of Amanda after the concert that night:

Amanda - after the BNL concert

Barenaked Ladies and Guster are playing Shea’s tonight. Lauren got us tickets for Christmas. I first saw Guster when they opened for BNL at HSBC Arena in 2000 and was blown away by their sound. This will be the fourth time I’ve seen them, and the third time I’ve seen BNL. Something may have to get bumped from my list for tonight’s concert.

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