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Quirky T’s Favorite Concert Moments

To end Concert Month, the Guitar Train stops to look at Quirky T’s all time favorite concert moments. My first favorite concert moment is actually a whole concert – the first time I went to a Paul McCartney concert. The concert was on July 9, 1990 at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. It was actually the worst concert atmosphere I’ve ever been in. Only hot dogs where available to eat which I’m sure a vegetarian like Paul McCartney would not appreciate. The only seat I could get after hours spent calling Ticketmaster (see my August 15, 2013 post called “The Guitar Train Stops at Ticketmaster” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/the-guitar-train-stops-at-ticketmaster/ ) was nowhere near my family and friends who attended the concert with me. So I was sitting all alone surrounded by people engaging in illegal activities while waiting for the concert to begin. It started an hour later than scheduled.

Tripping the Live Fantastic CD
Once the concert began, the atmosphere changed as everyone focused on the music. It was amazing to me to hear Beatles songs played by an actual Beatle. It always amuses me to hear Paul McCartney play Beatles songs in concert that the Beatles themselves never played in concert. I had none of the problems Beatles concertgoers had – I had no problem hearing and seeing Paul and his band. I loved how he made the end of “Hey Jude” a sing along with different areas of the stadium participating. I bought the double CD recorded during this tour, “Tripping the Live Fantastic”, so I can relive those great concert memories whenever I listen to the CDs.

Gloria Estefan concert T-shirt
My next favorite concert moment was at a Gloria Estefan concert on September 21, 1991 at the Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey. I had first seen Gloria Estefan in concert the year before at the same arena. She had the same comedian as her warm-up act at both concerts. I would have no problem with that if he hadn’t told all the same jokes both times. In one year, he couldn’t come up with new material? Or did he really think 20,000 different Gloria Estefan fans would be at the second concert who weren’t there at the first?

Jon Secada CD cover
Anyway, I really enjoyed Gloria Estefan as she puts on a great show. That’s why I was not happy when she left the stage to showcase her back-up singer, Jon Secada. That was until he opened his mouth and sang, “Always Something”. He absolutely amazed me. I have been a fan from that moment on. His first self titled CD contains a live recording of “Always Something” which always brings me back to the first moment I heard him sing. Unfortunately, he has not gone on to have the highly successful career that Gloria has.

Huey Lewis concert T-shirt
My third favorite concert moment is another whole concert – the first time I saw Huey Lewis and the News after decades of being a fan. I had been a fan since their album “Sports” in 1983 but I was too young then to go to a concert. Luckily for me, decades later the band still tours every summer. On June 16, 2009, I finally saw them at a small venue, The Community Theatre at Mayo Center for the Performing Arts in Morristown, New Jersey. Since it is a small venue, I probably had better seats than I would have in a bigger arena in the 1980’s. It was exciting to hear Huey play the songs I have always wanted to hear live. My only compliment is the concert was too short – only about 1 ½ hours. They really could’ve played more since they have decades of great songs. After thinking my chance to see Huey Lewis and the News was long gone, I’ve been lucky enough to see them three times in five years.

Guitar Train passengers, what was your favorite concert moment?

Next month is Favorites Month on the Guitar Train.  The Guitar Train will be stopping to examine Quirky T’s all time favorite musicians.

The Guitar Train Stops at Ticketmaster

To continue Guitar Train’s Concert Month, Quirky T looks back at her experiences with Ticketmaster. Every time I dealt with Ticketmaster to get concert tickets, I thought there has to be an easier, less aggravating way to get tickets. When I started going to concerts in the early 90’s, I had to call Ticketmaster to get tickets. As soon as the tickets went on sale at 10 am, all the phone lines would be busy. I had three Ticketmaster phone numbers I would call – one in New Jersey and two in New York. I would rotate among them and call continuously until I got through. This process would usually take at least an hour until I finally got through and could buy tickets.

NJ Red Dogs tickets stub

NJ Red Dogs tickets stub

The one time I went to a record store to actually buy tickets in person, I didn’t get any. I waited on line for four hours trying to get tickets to a 1999 Bruce Springsteen concert. Wrist bands had been given out and my number was near the middle which seems good except Bruce was playing 16 shows and people were allowed to buy up to 4 tickets per show and they did. So the line barely moved as people bought 64 tickets each! After four hours of waiting on line, I had to leave to go to a New Jersey Red Dogs arena football game, ironically at the Continental Airlines Arena, where the Bruce Springsteen concerts would be held months later. I probably would have been better off calling the three Ticketmaster phone numbers to get tickets.

Ticketmaster logo
More recently, I have gone online to get tickets from Ticketmaster. The plus sides of this are no long distance phone charges and the ability to choose the seats I want. (Providing I am willing to gamble and give up the tickets I already have in order to hopefully get better ones). In other ways, going online is not easier or less aggravating than calling or literally waiting on a line for tickets. Since the tickets still go on sale at the same time, the site may become overloaded which is the equivalent of a busy signal on the phone. Now that people have Internet access on their cell phones, they can be buying tickets from anywhere, thus overloading the site. I have spent hours online before I actually got tickets.

 

 
As always, it is frustrating to be competing with people who are buying tickets just to scalp them. There are also the 64 tickets per person Bruce Springsteen fans who are probably going to more than one performance but really, all 16? So maybe my favorite musicians no longer performing live in concert is not such a bad thing as I no longer have to be aggravated by Ticketmaster or any other ticket agency.

 

 
Guitar Train passengers, what is your ideal way to get tickets to see concerts?

 

 
Next week, make sure you are on board the Guitar Train for a very exciting and surprising post. To give you a hint, please read my April 11, 2013 post called “The End of Live Concerts by my Favorites” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/the-end-of-live-concerts-by-my-favorites/  and pay special attention to the paragraph at the end which begins, “So it appears”.

Concerts I Wish I Had Attended

Meet the Beatles album cover

Meet the Beatles album cover

To continue the theme of Concert Month on the Guitar Train, Quirky T is looking at concerts she wishes she had attended. Obviously, the top of that list is The Beatles. Having been born years after they broke up, I didn’t get a chance to see them live. That statement is probably true for many Beatles fans. From the footage I have seen of Beatles concerts, as a concert experience, it probably was not the best. Audio was primitive in the 60’s compared to now so I probably wouldn’t have heard any of the great music over all the girls (including me) screaming. Depending where I sat, I probably wouldn’t have even seen the band as there weren’t any video screens showing close-ups of the stage. Despite all that, just to be at a Beatles concert and experience that atmosphere would have been amazing.

 
Other concerts I wish I had seen are not as monumental as The Beatles. Musicians I had a chance to see in concert but didn’t are Wilson Phillips opening for Richard Marx, The Temptations with The Four Tops, The Pointer Sisters, and Bruce Springsteen.

Richard Marx ticket stub
The Wilson Phillips/ Richard Marx concert in 1990 was too far away for me to attend but I did end up seeing Richard Marx in concert 20 years later. A few years ago, a concert combining The Temptations and The Four Tops was a passing interest that I regret not acting on because it would have been amazing to see the two legendary groups together. They are still touring together so I may still have a chance to see them. Another passing interest that I did not act on was a Pointer Sisters concert in 2006. It would have been fun to hear their songs which I loved listening to in the 1980’s.

 
I will go more in-depth about why I was not able to go to a Bruce Springsteen concert in the Guitar Train’s next stop looking at the agony of Ticketmaster. As a result, I am probably one of the few people in New Jersey that has not seen the legendary New Jersey musician in concert.

 
I can’t go back in time and attend any of those concerts so I have to make sure I don’t miss any concerts which interest me in the future.

 
Guitar Train passengers, what concerts do you regret that you didn’t attend?

Concerts Quirky T Has Attended

Welcome to Concert Month on the Guitar Train. This month Quirky T looks at concerts she’s attended, concerts she wishes she had attended, Ticketmaster, and her favorite concert moments.

concert ticket stubs
I’m so fortunate to have seen all my favorites except The Beatles in concert. I have seen Paul McCartney three times, Genesis twice, Phil Collins (solo) three times, Gloria Estefan four times, Huey Lewis and The News twice, Jon Secada once, and Barry Manilow twice. I enjoyed all of these performances. There is nothing that can compare to hearing your favorite songs performed live. Since listening to music can be a solo activity, it always amazes me to be at a concert surrounded by thousands of fans who like the same music I do.

otherconcert tickets
 I have also been to concerts by musicians I like but not as much as my favorites. They were Elton John and Billy Joel together, Simon and Garfunkel, Steve Winwood, and Richard Marx and Matt Scannell together.

Lite FM ticket stub
I also went to a concert sponsored by radio station 106.7 Lite FM in 1999 that included separate performances by Gloria Estefan, Phil Collins, Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey, Edwin McCain, and I think 98 Degrees. (It was one of those boy bands that was popular at the time. I never paid any attention to them so I could never differentiate among them). So I guess that adds about 1/6 more of a concert to my totals for Gloria Estefan and Phil Collins.

Looking over all the artists I have seen in concert, I am grateful that I was able to see so many legends. The musicians I saw have been popular and touring for decades. In fact, over 10 years separated many of the concerts I saw by the same musicians. I first saw Paul McCartney in 1990 and last saw him in 2005. I first saw Gloria Estefan in 1990 and then last saw her in 2004. Fifteen years separated the first and last Genesis concerts I saw. It was fourteen years between the first Phil Collins concert I attended in 1990 and the last in 2004. Ten years separated the first and last Barry Manilow concerts I attended. Looking back, 1990 was the best year for me attending concerts as I was able to see my three all time favorites – Gloria Estefan, Paul McCartney, and Phil Collins all in the span of five months.

Starship T-shirt
The first concert I attended was Starship. It is the only concert I don’t have a ticket stub for but I think it was in 1986. (I couldn’t find the exact date, even with the help of the excellent website http://www.setlist.fm). The concert was at the then named Garden State Arts Center in New Jersey and the opening act was The Outfield. I remember being impressed with the lighting. I also enjoyed the music even though I didn’t know all the songs. I remember The Outfield playing their hit single “Your Love” from their album “Play Deep”. The Starship songs I liked were “We Built This City” and “Sara” from their 1985 album, “Knee Deep in the Hoopla”.

As I noted in my April 11, 2013 post, “The End of Live Concerts by My Favorites” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/the-end-of-live-concerts-by-my-favorites/ my time for attending concerts by my favorites may be over. Or is it? Stay aboard the Guitar Train all this month to see if it really is the end.

Guitar Train passengers, have you been lucky enough to see your favorite musicians in concert? Who are they, when, and where did you see them?

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