Posted Tuesday, March 21, 2006 1:17:37 PM by Chris Flick
As you can see from today's strip, I am indeed 39 today (March 21st). Thanks so much for all the kind birthday wishes and e-mails I've received so far. My mom and dad reminded me today that 39 years ago, it snowed in Virginia. That's funny because today - in Virginia - they are calling for snow. Maybe not much but it's still kind of a weird sign, huh? Especially given the fact that my birthday also fell on a Tuesday this year. :-)
But anyway... just the other day, I bought Journey's live version of "Don't stop believing" from iTunes. And maybe the combination of my birthday and listening to that tune have put me in a bit of a reflective mood as I can't stop thinking about the fact that I never got the chance to see Journey live. I've seen a lot of great concerts live but every time I hear a Journey or The Cars on the radio or CD, I can't help but think "man, that would have been so cool to see them live just once"... you know, the big arena rock concerts... hearing the thunderous high pitched sounds of Steve Perry's voice mixed in with the great guitar and pounding piano and synthesizer sounds that were the signature of their Escape album...
But I can't really complain all that much. Although I'm not a huge concert goer, I've seen some really great concerts in my day. Some of my favorite:
Stevie Nicks - young and older.
Stevie Nicks was my first concert. saw her in Baltimore back in '86 when I was still in art school. Some friends of mine had two extra tickets but no way to get there. So, I told them if they gave me one of their tickets, I'd drive everyone there. That may not sound so adventurous but considering I was driving a '78 Chevet with a bad radiator at the time, I still don't know who got the better deal at the time.
Last year, at Nissan Pavilion (in my backyard here in Virginia) I saw Stevie one more time. Yeah, she's gotten older and a little heavier and didn't go through quite so many costume changes as she did back in Baltimore but she can still sing with the best of 'em!
Def Leppard - Hysteria Tour
Saw them while I was going to college at Radford University in southern Virginia. They had a theater-in-the-round so everyone had a great seat. Tesla opened for them and wouldn't quit reminding the crowd "who the hell they were" (even though they only had two minor hits at the time).
I loved Def Leppard so much that I made a pair of my own razor blade cut jeans just like Joe Elliott wore in concert and all their Hysteria videos.
Billy Joel - I've seen Billy live five times, once with Elton John
Billy Joel's The Bridge tour was absolutely phenomenal. Me and my best friend, Jeff, were luck enough to get nose bleed seats at the very top of the old Capital Arena where the Washington Capitals used to play. I remember Billy grabbing a microphone and jumping into the floor seats while he was singing "Only the good die young". As high up as we were, it looked like beans pouring down an hour glass or something as the audience rushed towards him. I can still remember the sounds of the crowd bumping and hitting his microphone as he was still trying to sing.
U2 - Joshua Tree tour, RFK Stadium
I probably would have enjoyed this concert a lot more if I wasn't dealing with a wisdom tooth pushing through my gums at the time AND Bono slipping on the dam pm outdoor stage of RFK Stadium (due to a slight drizzle) and dislocating his elbow. Of course, the following concert in Philly, Bruce Springsteen played guitar to "help him out". But it was still a great time and a great concert even though I wasn't the biggest U2 fan in the world. Again, another concert attended with Jeff.
The Outfield & Jefferson Starship, Kings Dominion, Virginia
The Outfield had just released "Play Deep" and had a co-concert with Jefferson Starship at Kings Dominion - an amusement park here in Virginia. Best moment from this concert was the "older" lady beside us (of course, she was probably 39 or 40 at the time) who swore Jeff and I didn't "know no damn Starship songs" and bought us both a couple of beers when we proved her wrong (of course, I won't say how old Jeff and I were at the time).
KISS reunion tour, Nissan Pavilion
Stevie Nicks may have been my first concert but the first album (ok, cassette) I ever bought was KISS: Destroyer. So, finally getting to see ALL of the original members of KISS in concert together was a thrill of a lifetime - especially seeing and hearing peter Criss (my favorite) sing Beth was the best Father's day present my wife and kids have ever gotten me.
I was able to see KISS a couple more times but without Ace and then, later, without Peter (that was the Aerosmith/KISS tour). I wish Paul and Gene would have the guts to not let anyone else wear Ace or Peter's makeup if they are going to go out on tour again. I'd rather see new make-up designs from "non-members" of KISS then "pretend" the originals are still there. I sort of felt ripped off knowing Peter and Ace weren't there but others were wearing their "faces". Only Superman can wear "the cape", you know?
Aerosmith - KISS/Aerosmith tour, Nissan Pavilion
My wife was and is a much bigger Aerosmith fan than I am - especially when it comes to their older stuff. But I never thought I'd actually see someone out -rock KISS but Aerosmith did that night.
Huey Lewis and The News - The Sports tour
Well, I'm sure this WOULD have been a great concert had I actually gone. I bought Huey Lewis tickets from some "grandma cash" I got one year. And even though I bought the tickets in March, the concert wasn't going to be until the late summer. Two weeks after I bought those tickets, some guys I was playing summer baseball with asked if I would be interested in going to Winter Haven, Florida to participate in week-long baseball camp run by ex-pro baseball players.
It only took me a day to find someone to buy my tickets from me.
So... those are some of my favorite concert memories. What are some of yours?