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Concerts you could have attended but didn’t (and wish you had)


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I don’t mean shows that happened before you were born or were on the other side of the country or something; we all wish we could have seen the Beatles rooftop concert or Hendrix set his guitar on fire at Monterey.

No, I mean concerts that you had access to and could have attended, but for whatever reason, didn’t.

Here are a few of mine:

KISS, November 7, 1975, McDonald Gym, Beaumont, TX.
In November of 1975 I was 14 and my friend/neighbor/bandmate Keith was 15; we were both KISS fans. Neither of us was old enough to drive, of course, but my parents would have taken us had we asked them to. Tickets were $5.00 apiece. FIVE DOLLARS. The opening act was Mott, an Ian Hunter-less version of Mott the Hoople.

I remember standing in my living room discussing it with Keith. Ultimately, we decided not to go because (1) we didn’t know anything about Mott and (2) five dollars was a lot of money (!).

In August of 1976 we did get to see KISS, this time from the nosebleed seats of The Summit in Houston (now the home of Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church). It was a great show, but man oh man I wish we would have ponied up the $5.00 each and bought those tickets in 1975.


Led Zeppelin – May 21, 1977, The Summit, Houston, TX.
Back then it was a lot more work to get concert tickets than it is now. There was no Ticketmaster or internet, so you had to go to the venue box office or possibly a record store in the vicinity of the venue to buy tickets. So a show at The Summit required a two-hour drive into Houston. Or, in early 1977, convincing our parents to drive us to Houston.

So, “We’ll catch ’em next time.”

Oops.

There was a guy I went to high school with – we’ll call him DH - who wasn’t a musician but was a major music fan. He could hold articulate conversations about all our favorite bands. That is, when he wasn’t under the influence of some combination of pot, cocaine, crystal meth, Jack Daniels and whatever else he could get his hands on – which was most of the time.

He was the only person I knew who went to the Zeppelin concert. At school the following Monday, I asked him about it.

“Aw man, it was unreal…they opened with ‘In My Time of Dying,’ man. It was unreal.”

Many years later I found out that “IMToD” was actually the FOURTH song. I guess he was so wasted he completely missed the first three songs.

A couple of years after graduation I bumped into him at a convenience store in our hometown. He was, as usual, stoned to the gills.
DV: Hey man, how’s it going?
DH: Dude…who’s that…blonde you’re with?
DV: That’s my girlfriend.
DH: You think you could, like, hook me up with her number or something, man?
DV: Well, no.
DH: Awright, man, take it easy.

I have no idea where DH is now or what he’s doing. Sadly, unless he made a major lifestyle change, there’s a good chance he might not even be alive.

 

Triumph – December 1, 1978, Beaumont City Auditorium, Beaumont, TX.
I had bought Rock & Roll Machine and really liked it, so I don’t remember why I didn’t go to this. It was on a Friday so I maybe I had a gig that night.

As we know, Triumph was known for their copious use of lights and pyro, and that show would have been no exception. Every single conversation I had with anyone who saw it (including my then-future brother-in-law) went like this:

“How was the show?”
“Aw, dude, it was awesome. They blew up the stage!”
“Oh, so they had lots of pyro and stuff?”
“Naw dude, they blew up the stage!”
“You mean flashpots and explosions like KISS?”
“Naw man, they BLEW UP THE STAGE!”
“So you’re saying there were pieces of wood flying everywhere and when it was over there was a big hole where the stage used to be?”
<pause>
“Dude they blew up the stage.”

I really wish I would have been there so I could have seen the stage explode.

I eventually saw Triumph in the Astrodome as part of Texxas Jam 1983, but they were sandwiched in between Uriah Heep and Ted Nugent and used no pyro or special lighting. And they didn’t blow up the stage.


Rush – May 16, 2015, Austin360 Amphitheater, Austin, TX.
I’m not really sure why I didn’t go to this, but I didn’t. Maybe if I had been fully aware that it would be my last opportunity to see them I would have made more of an effort.

I first saw Rush in 1977 on the A Farewell to Kings tour (at the aforementioned Beaumont City Auditorium) and it was great. Max Webster opened. I went on to see them several more times over the years, but I really wish I could have seen that final tour.

 

There are others, of course. I wish I could have seen The Who when Keith Moon was still alive, early Van Halen or Bachman-Turner Overdrive in all their Not Fragile-era glory – all of which could have happened but didn’t.

In 1973 my sister and I were big Elton John fans, so our mom wrote in inquiring about tickets to his upcoming concert (August 16, 1973, Sam Houston Coliseum). She received a letter back describing how to purchase Danny Kaye tickets. I’ve still never seen Elton John.

 

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Gator Country did a show around Atlanta.  I think I found out about it after the show.  Had I known I would have been there.  They had more original Molly Hatchet members than the official Molly Hatchet. 

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I passing up seeing SRV and then saying to myself that I would go see him "...when he comes in the area again." 
I don't remember the concert that I passed up, but you probably know how that went.

Honorable Mention (and I've told this story here a dozen times, but...) - Friend of mine had tickets to see Band of Gypsies on New Years Eve at the Fillmore East.
He HAD tickets...in hand...but decided that evening that he didn't feel like going.
I'm going to repeat that.
He didn't feel like going.

For years after he told me that story (another mistake to go with the original one), I played Machine Gun and told him what a fucking dope he is.

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10 minutes ago, Dana_V said:

I don’t mean shows that happened before you were born or were on the other side of the country or something; we all wish we could have seen the Beatles rooftop concert or Hendrix set his guitar on fire at Monterey.

No, I mean concerts that you had access to and could have attended, but for whatever reason, didn’t.

Here are a few of mine:

KISS, November 7, 1975, McDonald Gym, Beaumont, TX.
In November of 1975 I was 14 and my friend/neighbor/bandmate Keith was 15; we were both KISS fans. Neither of us was old enough to drive, of course, but my parents would have taken us had we asked them to. Tickets were $5.00 apiece. FIVE DOLLARS. The opening act was Mott, an Ian Hunter-less version of Mott the Hoople.

I remember standing in my living room discussing it with Keith. Ultimately, we decided not to go because (1) we didn’t know anything about Mott and (2) five dollars was a lot of money (!).

In August of 1976 we did get to see KISS, this time from the nosebleed seats of The Summit in Houston (now the home of Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church). It was a great show, but man oh man I wish we would have ponied up the $5.00 each and bought those tickets in 1975.


Led Zeppelin – May 21, 1977, The Summit, Houston, TX.
Back then it was a lot more work to get concert tickets than it is now. There was no Ticketmaster or internet, so you had to go to the venue box office or possibly a record store in the vicinity of the venue to buy tickets. So a show at The Summit required a two-hour drive into Houston. Or, in early 1977, convincing our parents to drive us to Houston.

So, “We’ll catch ’em next time.”

Oops.

There was a guy I went to high school with – we’ll call him DH - who wasn’t a musician but was a major music fan. He could hold articulate conversations about all our favorite bands. That is, when he wasn’t under the influence of some combination of pot, cocaine, crystal meth, Jack Daniels and whatever else he could get his hands on – which was most of the time.

He was the only person I knew who went to the Zeppelin concert. At school the following Monday, I asked him about it.

“Aw man, it was unreal…they opened with ‘In My Time of Dying,’ man. It was unreal.”

Many years later I found out that “IMToD” was actually the FOURTH song. I guess he was so wasted he completely missed the first three songs.

A couple of years after graduation I bumped into him at a convenience store in our hometown. He was, as usual, stoned to the gills.
DV: Hey man, how’s it going?
DH: Dude…who’s that…blonde you’re with?
DV: That’s my girlfriend.
DH: You think you could, like, hook me up with her number or something, man?
DV: Well, no.
DH: Awright, man, take it easy.

I have no idea where DH is now or what he’s doing. Sadly, unless he made a major lifestyle change, there’s a good chance he might not even be alive.

 

Triumph – December 1, 1978, Beaumont City Auditorium, Beaumont, TX.
I had bought Rock & Roll Machine and really liked it, so I don’t remember why I didn’t go to this. It was on a Friday so I maybe I had a gig that night.

As we know, Triumph was known for their copious use of lights and pyro, and that show would have been no exception. Every single conversation I had with anyone who saw it (including my then-future brother-in-law) went like this:

“How was the show?”
“Aw, dude, it was awesome. They blew up the stage!”
“Oh, so they had lots of pyro and stuff?”
“Naw dude, they blew up the stage!”
“You mean flashpots and explosions like KISS?”
“Naw man, they BLEW UP THE STAGE!”
“So you’re saying there were pieces of wood flying everywhere and when it was over there was a big hole where the stage used to be?”
<pause>
“Dude they blew up the stage.”

I really wish I would have been there so I could have seen the stage explode.

I eventually saw Triumph in the Astrodome as part of Texxas Jam 1983, but they were sandwiched in between Uriah Heep and Ted Nugent and used no pyro or special lighting. And they didn’t blow up the stage.


Rush – May 16, 2015, Austin360 Amphitheater, Austin, TX.
I’m not really sure why I didn’t go to this, but I didn’t. Maybe if I had been fully aware that it would be my last opportunity to see them I would have made more of an effort.

I first saw Rush in 1977 on the A Farewell to Kings tour (at the aforementioned Beaumont City Auditorium) and it was great. Max Webster opened. I went on to see them several more times over the years, but I really wish I could have seen that final tour.

 

There are others, of course. I wish I could have seen The Who when Keith Moon was still alive, early Van Halen or Bachman-Turner Overdrive in all their Not Fragile-era glory – all of which could have happened but didn’t.

In 1973 my sister and I were big Elton John fans, so our mom wrote in inquiring about tickets to his upcoming concert (August 16, 1973, Sam Houston Coliseum). She received a letter back describing how to purchase Danny Kaye tickets. I’ve still never seen Elton John.

 

How was Danny Kaye?

😉

I don't have quite  the great detail that you have but I do wish I saw Ozzy with Randy Rhoads in Santa Cruz, CA, just around Monterey Bay from us, but I probably had some lame excuse like work!

I later saw Ozzy in SF or Oakland but a little past when RR had already passed, it may have been Brad Gillis but at the time we thought it was another guy who's name escapes me right now but was somewhat familiar to people back then (possibly Bernie Torme? but that doesn't seem quite right) like a journeyman player but not someone that went on to become a more recognizable name. Man, it's right on the tip of my tongue, damn 56 and I'm already forgetting stuff!

 

Wish I saw the Day on the Green concert in Oakland with early Van Halen and AC/DC, forget the rest of the lineup and too lazy to search. Saw them 2 times with Sammy and 2 times with Dave after that.

I also wish I saw the Sammy Hagar Standing Hampton era show. I saw him later with VH and they did play a couple Sammy tunes. Has anyone seen him recently? Worth seeing still?

 

Also wish I saw Rush Moving Pictures show.

 

Did anyone see any of these shows? How was it?

 

 

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Van Halen - just shortly after the 1st album came out. The Shuffle Inn in Madison (BadgerDave knows the place). I can't remember why I didn't go, but I heard about it from everybody.

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June 16, 1991 - Mel Torme - Chicago

Wife and I were up for the Blues Festival when I learned he was in town for a separate Jazz Festival.  I decided, stupidly, it was too much trouble.

 

2015 - Any of the Dates - Rush R40

Rush was my first concert (Moving Pictures, 1981).  I had taken my daughter to see the Clockwork Angels tour in Nashville in 2013 for her first concert.  I wanted to take my son to R40 for his first concert, but my wife was of the opinion that at only age 13, he was too young and that I should wait until the next Rush tour.  She was right: given R40 never made it to Nashville, that put us driving to either St. Louis or Atlanta on a school night - just not feasible.

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September 2, 1988 - Aerosmith with Guns n Roses - Nashville, TN

I had driven back 7 hours from grad school earlier in the day and decided I was too tired when I found out they were playing that evening.  It would have been about another 25 minutes to drive to Starwood Amphitheater to see a landmark show.

 

October 21, 2001 - Blue Öyster Cult - Patuxent River, MD

I worked on the Navy base where they were booked to play THE GYM.  At the time I made what I thought was a principled decision not to see them in such a Spinal Tap-esque environment.  But they were playing tons of smallish places all through the 90's, as it turned out, and now I regret my high-falutin' ways.

 

ETA - Oh BTW, I saw Rush on the Moving Pictures tour in Nashville; I may even still have the t-shirt, way too small for me now.  I was but a callow youth, and can't quote you the setlist.  I do remember the laser show for Red Barchetta was cool, swoopy.  And they played "Subdivisions" near the end as a preview of the next album.  The crew of high school bandmates I was with went outside afterward and waited by the bus for Rush to come out, which they did in what was said to be the usual order:  first Neil who didn't acknowledge the crowd but hustled straight on board; then Alex who posed for a couple of pics and signed a couple of autographs on his way straight to the bus; then Geddy who shook hands and spoke to everyone who wanted to.  One of my friends asked him why the people in the video clip of the paintings being moved (get it?) were crying, and Geddy explained that they were moved by the pictures.

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Hendrix, Tuscaloosa, May 1970, about three weeks before I went to AF basic training. Talk about polar opposites (including hair length)...

Janis Joplin, Tuscaloosa, sometime in 1970 (before 3 OCT)

Yes w/ the Eagles opening, Tuscaloosa 1972. "Classic" lineup of the Yes Close to the Edge was already out so it was in essence the same concert as heard on Yessongs.  Finally got to hear the classic lineup about 30 years later.

Phil Collins, Birmingham, May 1985 (No Jacket Required  tour)

Styx w/ the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Feb. 2015. Could not get to Music City due to snowstorm and trepidation RE roads closing. I'd had a dangerous experience with iced-over roads some weeks earlier while working for a newspaper. I'd heard Styx's live album with the Cleveland Youth Symphony and had been impressed, so it was likely we missed something special.

Edited by Willie G. Moseley
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4 hours ago, hamerhead said:

Van Halen - just shortly after the 1st album came out. The Shuffle Inn in Madison (BadgerDave knows the place). I can't remember why I didn't go, but I heard about it from everybody.

I was going to mention this one.  The Shuffle Inn was a popular but smallish music club. I also had the opportunity to go and passed.  I have no idea why.  I had the album and knew who they were.😖

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Woodstock

drove to concert from Michigan thru Canada. Won’t talk about the border difficulties. Got to the Venue and my acquaintance who I drove with would not leave his mother’s car. We ended up turning around and going home .  I feel like I may have missed a lot!

arniez

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Queen/Thin Lizzy Lakeland Civic Center Fla. mid/late  70's ... Had tickets, couldn't get off work ... regret to this day ...

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1 hour ago, Steve Haynie said:

You could have met Paul Hamer there in addition to seeing all the bands.

Sure. Paul would've been easy to spot. He was the long-haired guy with glasses.

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Ozzy (RR era) in Nashville, 1982. I actually had tickets, but for reasons not to go into I didn't make it, and not long later RR was gone. I've always regretted that one.

Also Tom Petty around the same time/place, but he wasn't 'heavy' enough to make me get out and make the trip... Stupid. Regretted that one later.

 

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                                                  I would have to say "WOODSTOCK".......................my brother in laws son was[ His family members live in Kingston, Bethel, Poughkeepsee areas]  there from beginning to end ,saw all the greats. But while it was a "HISTORIC event it was by most accounts it was a event plagued by issues even before it actually happened. Still it would have been cool!

 

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Van Halen 11.3.1012 - Boston Garden. I lived there at that time and didn't manage to get the ticket. I had to pay with my German credit card and Deutsche made it hard to pay on the internet 😞

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Fleetwood Mac at the Assembly Hall in Champaign, IL, October 25, 1974, Heroes Are Hard To Find Tour. I didn't know enough about them at the time, but I was learning. My roommate and I rode our bikes over during the show, and rode around the building while they played. 

Shows I went to by myself because I couldn't find anyone to go with me:
Stevie Ray Vaughn at Poplar Creek, Hoffman Estates
Eurythmics at Poplar Creek
Joe Jackson at Poplar Creek
Patti Smith at First Avenue, Minneapolis (bonus: I stood by the stage and chanted into her mic during an audience participation number)
Garbage at First Avenue
Pretenders at Orpheum Theater, Minneapolis

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20 hours ago, kizanski said:

I passing up seeing SRV and then saying to myself that I would go see him "...when he comes in the area again." 

In Texas, I had multiple opportunities to see him in small clubs before he hit big. It was always, "We'll catch him next time." Years later, I saw him on the tour he did with Jeff Beck - which was VERY cool - but I regret not seeing him in one of those tiny dive bars when I had the chance.

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AC/DC - Back in Black tour

I was (and am) a massive AC/DC fan but didn't get BiB when it first came out because I didn't think they would be as good with a new singer.  I didn't care much for You Shook Me All Night Long when it was released either.  Over the summer, a friend contacted me because he had tickets to their show in Norfolk (or VA Beach) and said if I would drive the ticket was free.  I turned the offer down!  Over the course of the next few months I heard more and more of the album as my friends were buying it and eventually relented and bought it myself.  Needless to say, I felt pretty stupid.  I read somewhere along the line that the show I would have seen was only about half capacity.

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One concert I do wish I could have actually seen was when I was 6 years old in 1965. I sat in the parking lot on a hot August day/night with my parents at the old Met Stadium while my 2 older sisters went and saw the Beatles play there only time in Minnesota.  

Edited by Carl.B
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Snowed out of seeing Ozzy w Randy in Madison like 2 weeks before he died, and snowed out from Neenah to Madison is fucking snowed out baby. Thankfully I had seen them in Green Bay the year earlier on the weird mini tour w Def Lep

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I've been fortunate enough to see most of the bands/artists I've wanted to see over the years.  Regrets?  I've had a few (but very few!)...

1. Tom Petty, Baltimore, July 23, 2017.  I still have the ticket I bought months in advance, forgot about, and planned a family vacation that week.  His last tour, and I could have been backstage for that one too.

2. Big Star, London, Fall 1993.  On my honeymoon, and in the pre-internet days, I screwed up dates.  Did the first week in Belgium/Amsterdam, second week in London, and expected to see Big Star.  They played the Tuesday BEFORE, when we were in Brussels.  Ended up catching a Sonny Rollins show instead, but it wasn't the same.   :(

3. The Knack, Philadelphia - November, 2005.  A good friend, sometimes bandmate and all-around swell guy bought tickets for him, his wife and his sister-in-law to go to the show.  The day before, his sister-in-law got sick and passed on going.  I got the call, had a ride, signed off for a half day at work, and it was all "go!".  My work phone rings as my coat is on and I'm heading to Metro, and it's a work emergency that I can't avoid, but if I had been out the door 5 minutes earlier, would have been somebody else's problem.   Another ticket that went unused.   

There are definitely some other bands I wish I could have seen, but again, not many!

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On 1/7/2021 at 3:13 PM, Dana_V said:

Max Webster opened.

Would have loved the oppty to see Max Webster (Kim Mitchell).

All I have are acts I would like to have seen but never really had the opportunity to:

Rush, U2 in the day.  I can't think of anyone else I'd want to see.

Mrs. Toadroller's college roommate took her to floor seats at the Boston Garden U2 show during the Joshua Tree tour in 87, so she's go that on me.

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Iron Maiden.  Early 90s.  All I had to do was go to the will call window at the world music theater in tinley park, IL.   A buddy of mine from law school couldn’t make it.  I was tired - lived in oak park.  Visited my folks just south of lake county. I figured I’d catch them eventually.  But I haven’t yet.

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