Happy Thanksgiving to all you crazy readers. I trust you all had some fine Thanksgiving festivities with friends and family, soaked up the drink and munched on some hearty turkey feed. Currently, I'm writing this post-meal in the comfort of a great friend's home while "No Country For Old Men" plays on a nearby television. Relaxing times for sure.
If the Thanksgiving holiday means anything aside from binge eating and arguing about politics with extended family, it's supposed to be a time to acknowledge the good things in your life and reflect on how rad they all are a quality and worthwhile exercise, I'll say.
By the time you're reading this on Friday, you may be enjoying a day off and have some free time on your hands. So continuing the whole reflection idea of Thanksgiving, I want to bring up something I've wanted to try out on everyone here. We're going to play a little memory game:
Can you name every band you've seen live? Every one. Every single band you've seen live in your entire life.
Feel free to take a pen to paper and list them out (or better yet, type away in the comment section). This exercise will likely stretch that memory of yours and take a while, but that's okay you have the day off. Maybe look through all the crap in your drawers and find some old concert ticket stubs to jog your memories. Find your old Polaroids and remember the times you pregamed in the parking lot before Iron Maiden.
Here's the list criteria definitely include festival lineups and try to only list touring bands (your uncle's Jimmy Buffett cover band that plays at Moe's Tavern every other Thursday doesn't count). After listing each band, put a star next to the ones that were particularly amazing and had an impact on you. Don't neglect to include embarrassing bands you've seen as well.
After the list is done, try pinpoint the Most Impressive Band you've seen, the Most Surprising, Biggest Letdown and Best Overall Concert Experience.
Here's my complete list of bands I've seen live, starting from the first show I ever saw on December 8th, 2000, at the ripe old age of 13.
EverclearThe WallflowersLiveVertical HorizonBarenaked LadiesTenacious DLifehouseWeezer*
AerosmithAri HestDeathcab For CutieChevelleDisturbedMarilyn MansonKornOzzy OsbournePearl JamSevendustDrowning PoolDarkest HourThe Human Abstract*
TexturesPeripheryThe ContortionistLamb Of God*
SlayerKillswitch EngageBullet For My ValentineChildren Of BodomDevilDriverKISSThe WailersOK GoMuse*
Iron & WineThe Swell SeasonStrunz & FarahZion I311MatisyahuPaul GilbertSteve VaiJoe BonamassaMotley CrueThe Gonzalo Bergara QuartetDashboard ConfessionalBeckTV On The RadioMGMTSpoonTommy Emmanuel*
Phil SayceBlack Label Society*
Beats AntiqueThe ShinsJason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience*
Crosby, Stills & Nash*
Most Impressive Band: Hard to say for sure, but in terms of overall musicianship, powerful delivery and energy, I'd say Megadeth takes the cake as the most impressive live act I've seen. Muse would be a very close second.
Most Surprising: Matisyahu was surprisingly good. While I had only really known of his speedy reggae-rap-beatboxing vocal style, but live, he really delivered a diverse set with an impressive backing band. Seriously, his guitarist was sick.
Biggest Letdown: 311. While not a bad band by any means, they just didn't deliver live. Pretty underwhelming. Maybe that's because Matisyahu completely upstaged them
Best Overall Concert Experience: Aside from the impact of seeing my first ever show with Fuel, which got me hooked on rock music to begin with, I'd say hands down Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience was the most entertaining, surreal and joyous concert experience. Completely unreal.
I'm curious to see how long your lists are and who you've all seen. A cash prize goes to whoever tops 100 bands (not really, but I'll think you're cool). Have a great holiday weekend and I'll see you around next week.