Tag Archives: top five

Top Five Concerts of All Time, no. 1

Dave had discovered that Death Cab for Cutie was coming to a venue in Brussels, which was only about a 30 minute train-ride from our door. He suggested the grand idea of taking me for my birthday. Everyone sat around on this thought for a while until about 1 week and a half before the show I ordered the tickets. And paid my own way.

Finding the place was a bit stressful, but after tapas and fine fine brew we made our way to the pre-show line. When the doors opened the fans filed in recklessly and pushed for a spot on the stage. I pushed, politely of course, and found my way a bit to stage left in the second row. The group I was with tried to make ourselves look large so as to keep as much space as possible in our area for the purposes of dancing and general comfort.

When Death Cab came out…oh man. Ben stood RIGHT in front of me. And life was good. And I be-bopped to his tunes and felt emo for a little while. And I missed Karen and America and needed it all to be so much closer. But she was there. And so was Chris and Kayla and Ashlee. The were in the music, which surrounded me and made all the sadness go away.

But being in Belgium with one of my favorite bands from home–that was pretty sweet too.


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Top Five Concerts of All Time, no. 2

I must have been all of eight.  It was my first concert.  Ever.  Aunt Maggie took my mom and I to see Kathy Mattea.  I was a fan because my mom loved her so–still does, although I don’t know that we’ve bought an album in years.  Or if she’s even still producing.  More than anything, it is that one album that we’re fans of.

It was at some sort of college autoriaum.  Nothing big.  We sat in the balcony.  I couldn’t tell you much more about the experience–just that it happened and I felt so cool going to my first concert.

I think about that experience whenever “Warm Spring Rain” or “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses” comes to mind.  They keep me company.

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Top Five Concerts of All Time, no. 3

I loved the proximity of my dorm to the quad.  I loved the proximity of my dorm to Death Cab for Cutie, who was playing at Follinger Auditorium, literally only a few hundred yards from my door.

I attended the concert with my friend Chris, who often acts (without his own knowledge) as my own personal music aficionado.  The two of us sat in the upper balcony, which was a great seat.  Anywhere was, really.  Not a bad view in that place (except when it houses your afternoon lecture…or worse, the College of Communication’s graduation ceremony).  During the show’s finale the audience was asked to stand on their chairs.  Because sitting was too rigid.  And standing on the floor had been done.  This was a challenge, as the chairs, whose seats propel up without one’s weight to hold them down, have springy cushions, that make staying level difficult.  But it was worth it.  And its memory brings a smile to my face.  There is nothing like jamming when the surface upon which you stand becomes a springy cushion.   I remember looking to my left and seeing Karen and Kayla, a few sections away with equally large smiles.

After the show Chris taught me how to be a super-fan by standing at the correct door with a great degree of patience for the band to emerge en route to their bus.  And emerge they did.  Meeting them was great, not that they’d ever remember the curly-haired girl from Champaign, Illinois–but what was better was watching Chris’s reaction.  There was this man, who so often is nothing but level-headed to me, who writes extensive and intellectual music reviews on his blog, who was completely 100% giddy.  Chris even brought along his special disposable camera that had nothing but pictures of him with random bands on it.   (Sidenote: he JUST got it developed last week…only a bit past its expiration date)


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Top Five Concerts of All Time, no. 4

We all knew it was a bad idea.  But somehow that didn’t stop us.

I’d gotten an email about a pre-sale for Barenaked Ladies tickets that I promptly forwarded to my mom–as we deeply shared in the love of BNL.  The concert was in Milwaukee (acutally pronounced Mil-he-wah-kay) on a Tuesday night.  I was in Champaign.  Mom and Dad were somewhere in the middle.  Before we could think of the logistics I’d bought three tickets to a venue with standing room only.

Being a freshmen on campus, I had no mode of transportation to bring me closer to the concert.  Mom drove the hour-and-a-half to pick me up promptly after my afternoon class.  We drove north, stopping by home to pick up dad after his workday.  Within hours we were in sight of the venue and oh-so-close to seeing “our best friends.” (A term my dad time and again rolls his eyes at).

After the opening band and a few songs by the lovely Ed and Steven, I had to get closer.  I left my parents to try to inch my way toward the stage.  And being that it was only me the task was quite simple.  “Have you seen my love?” They sang.  Yes!  I am right here!  It is I–the girl whose body cannot help but jam uncontrollably to your irresistible beats.  For the majority of the “Everything to Everyone” tour I stood there, right in front of Steven Page, so close that had he reached out his hand he could have pulled me on stage.  I’m convinced that he saw me dancing there and wondered to himself who that enchantingly awkward girl is that knows all the lyrics and beats to his songs.

It was.  A great. Concert.  Dad, mom and I drove home in agreement.  And I had a lab at 9am the next morning that mom drove me to as soon as the sun made an appearance.  It was above and beyond what a parent is expected to do.  But it was worth it.  If nothing else, for Steven.


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Top Five Concerts of All Time, no. 5

I lived in New York. Ben Folds was coming to Brooklyn. None of my friends wanted to shell out the money for the ticket, but I would not let solitude keep me from seeing the Ben-Rufus show.

I went by myself. And it was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. I took the subway to Prospect Park and got in line with all the other early attendees. People carried blankets and backpacks full of food. I carried my thoughts and my book. When the doors opened people scampered for the best view of the stage. Being I was alone, I was able to squeeze in between two blankets up against a fence with a perfect view of the piano. To my right was a young couple with their two kids, and to my left were a few die-hard fans. When Rufus came on stage I was able to stand and rock out to his songs without worrying what people around me thought. I didn’t have to defend my space. The night was beautiful. And I was there to enjoy every good thing.

Listening to “Not the Same” still makes me want to fly away. The crowd sang along with Ben Folds, as they always do, with this incredible harmony that only comes from a mass of people who have heard the CD a thousand times over.


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