Some might say I’m crazy, I know my parents get a good chuckle from it, but whenever there is a big concert going on, I’m usually in one of the seats.
I love music and always have. I constantly have a radio on and am often singing along although singing out loud would just be wrong. I play a bit of guitar, but again, doing it that in public would be harmful, both for me and those who would have to endure it.
Not all genres grab my attention as hip-hop and jazz seldom, if ever, reach my ears, but classic rock and roll or blues, well, then I’m in my happy place.
That’s why this week is something special. On Wednesday I will be off to Saskatoon to see Journey, Loverboy and Night Ranger and I’m still debating on whether to make the trek to Edmonton on Thursday to see Sir Paul McCartney. I’ve had tickets for the Journey show for months and the McCartney concert just kind of popped onto the radar because it will likely be the last time he tours this neck of the woods and what more is there to say about him.
I’ve been going to concerts for as long as I can remember. When I was about 12 years old I went to a Stampeders show in the old Kinsmen Auditorium (now known as the Ches Leach Lounge) and I was hooked.
I have seen shows all around the world including Elton John in Munich, Germany, the Pretenders in Phoenix, Ariz., Bruce Springsteen in Fargo, N.D., and Van Halen in Portland, Ore.
In total I have gone to about 200 shows and will continue to do so because there is nothing like seeing live performances. Having friends in a rock ‘n roll band (Sound FX) when I was younger gave me added excitement to see a show in person and there are times when you go to a concert, you feel so good when you leave that nothing else matters.
Two examples of this were Matchbox Twenty and Fleetwood Mac. When my cousin called me and said he had a ticket for Matchbox Twenty, I said, “Who?” I wasn’t a fan of the group, at least I didn’t think I was. But, when I went to the concert, the performance was so strong and I recognized a number of the songs, I couldn’t stop talking about how great they were.
Fleetwood Mac was different because I had always been a fan, but when Lindsay Buckingham played a 15-minute guitar solo, I was just exhausted. He was amazing.
Seeing the Rolling Stones and Bon Jovi/Kid Rock in stadium venues are other highlights, but not all have been enjoyable. John Mellencamp comes to mind. He is my all-time favourite recording artist, but in person he leaves something to desire. The first couple of times I saw him were awesome, but lately when he is on tour he plays songs so differently from how they were recorded one can’t even recognize “Jack and Diane” or “Pink Houses” until he actually says the words. When fans pay the kind of money they are dishing out these days for tickets, they should get what they expect and not what the entertainer feels like doing at that particular point in time.
A lot of the shows I have gone to will never reach Prince Albert, but it is nice to see groups like George Thorogood and Blue Rodeo take to the stage at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre. What a great venue to hear some of your favourite music and I hope more keep coming our way.
It is going to be a fun week and will once again take me back in time. Journey was a huge act in the late 1970’s and early ’80s that never made it out this way and although Steve Perry isn’t with the group any longer, everything I hear about his replacement, Arnel Pineda, is that all you have to do is close your eyes and you would never know the difference. Isn’t that the great thing about music?
Dave Leaderhouse is a reporter with the Prince Albert Daily Herald.