Monday, April 15, 2024

#MicroblogMondays: Memorable musical moments

The Washington Post recently had an opinion piece from a guy advising  "Take it from me: See your music heroes before it’s too late." (Gift linked article.) 

(Near the end, he writes about skipping a Tom Petty concert in Toronto in 2017... Petty died just a few months later. I remember hearing an ad for that concert on the radio and saying to dh, "Maybe we should go?"  We'd never seen Petty, both of us loved his music -- dh especially -- and it was a 40th anniversary tour with the Heartbreakers. "Too expensive," said dh, especially since tickets had already been on sale for a while -- we figured we'd be stuck in the nosebleed section. And, of course, we both regretted it when we heard he was gone, not long afterwards.)  

At the very end of the article, there was an invitation to readers: "What moment from a live music performance will you remember for the rest of your life?" They published the responses last week. (Gift link.) 

Of course, that got me thinking:  what would mine be?  

Naturally, I couldn't narrow it down to just one ;)  -- but here are a few standout moments from my concert memories (which, admittedly, come mostly from the 1970s & 1980s -- we don't go to a lot of concerts these days...!). I've written about many of these in past posts on this blog:  

  • Bay City Rollers (lol), August 15, 1976, at the old Winnipeg Arena. My first concert! (I was 15.)  Floor seats were $5.50. Highlight:  Waiting at the garage entrance out back before the concert began and seeing the limousine with the band inside pass by us, with the band members waving. 
  • Burton Cummings:  I've seen him several times over the years, but the moment that always stands out for me was seeing him for the first time (mid/late-1970s), early in his solo career, at the Winnipeg Concert Hall, trading wisecracks with his high school buddies in the front rows and playing "Shiny Stockings" for his mom (his biggest fan and cheerleader, and always in the hometown audience).  
  • Cheap Trick, 1979, Winnipeg Convention Centre (also saw them at the Arena a year or two later). Standing in the crowd at the front of the stage and eye-flirting with Tom Petersen (the bass player), who (I swear!) sang "I Know What I Want and I Know I Can Get It" while looking straight at me. :) 
  • Streetheart at the Playhouse in Winnipeg, spring 1979 (I think?). Their first album was blazing up the charts, and their lead singer, the late great Kenny Shields, had a lot of charisma.
  • Van Halen (with David Lee Roth), April 1980, Winnipeg Arena. Watching Eddie Van Halen in his prime, wearing all white, climbing a mountain of speakers like steps to the top, where he played a sizzling guitar solo to a group of kids sitting in some lousy seats at the side of the stage. They were thrilled, and so was I!  
  • Heart at Winnipeg Stadium, August 1981, doing an absolute killer version of Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll."  (Also on the bill, among others: Ted Nugent (!), Blue Oyster Cult, and Loverboy.)  
  • Journey, during their Escape tour, Winnipeg Arena, spring 1982. (With a friend AND my new boyfriend -- later dh!)  Watching Steve Perry holding a note while running from one side of the stage to another, not pausing to take a breath. AMAZING. 
  • George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Winnipeg Playhouse, October 1982. Bought the tickets on a whim at the last minute. Wound up in the second last row of the balcony, but I am SO GLAD we went. The man was like the Energizer Bunny -- just never stopped moving. He played his guitar behind his back. He even did a Chuck Berry-style duck walk across the stage. There was a huge cheer that went up when he introduced Ian Stewart on the piano -- he played on all the early Rolling Stones albums.  :)  
  • Bruce Springsteen: we've seen him twice in Toronto together (dh a few more times before he met me), and the concert we saw at the old Exhibition Stadium in 1985, with the E Street Band, was probably the better one overall. But we also saw him in 1992 (?) at the SkyDome with a different band. We had better seats for that one, and he played "Prove it All Night" and "Spirit in the Night," favourites of mine and dh's (respectively), neither of which we'd heard at that previous concert. That was a thrill! :)  
  • Tony Bennett with my mom & sister at the Winnipeg Centennial Concert Hall in August 2012, at age 86 -- watching him set down his microphone and sing "Fly Me to the Moon," a capella, with that still-magnificent voice filling the hall.  
  • Dragging dh to see The Rascals on their 2013 reunion tour at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, 40 years after they'd last played all together -- and watching dh's jaw drop when he realized how good they (still!) were (especially the drummer! -- who, sadly, passed away a few years ago). 
  • Paul McCartney in Winnipeg in September 2018 with my sister -- a thrill from start to finish, but most memorably when he sang "Blackbird" with an acoustic guitar on a riser, with hundreds of cellphone lights glowing in the background. MAGIC. 
  • Getting to see Elton John in Winnipeg with my sister on his farewell tour, October 2019. 
What would your most memorable concert moment(s) be? 

You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here.  


  1. Sadly, I don't really have any! Major artists coming to NZ, let alone Wellington (or the South Island, where I grew up and went to university), are few and far between. Though my husband went to Bob Marley's last concert in NZ. That was a LONG time ago. lol

  2. What a great post and what a great prompt! My first concert was Crosby, Stills, & Nash with my parents. That was a good way to get started. I got to see Tom Petty's Wildflowers tour too. Then I started going to smaller shows at small clubs, and those were always my favorite. I saw Blink-182 in 1998 (right before they got big) with only a couple hundred other people and that was pretty cool, even if pop punk isn't my favorite. Speaking of punk, I've seen most of my favorite bands, like Bad Religion, Social Distortion, and L7, several times each. Oh! Seeing one of P!nk's stadium tours (The Truth About Love) was really cool too. And I saw Metallica back in 2017 or 2018 and that was a very good, very polished show. Now I live in a rural area and don't get to go to any concerts, at least not locally. So I'm glad I went when I could.