Tuesday, February 05, 2008


In anticipation of tonight's Robyn festivities, I'm taking a look back at some of the most memorable concerts I've attended over the years. I used to work at the Jones Beach Amphitheater on Long Island for a number of years, so I used to see lots of tours for free (Motley Crue! Stevie Nicks!) in addition to those I held a ticket to. In chronological order:

1. The Bangles (Jones Beach, 1986) - This is the first band I ever truly loved and first concert I ever counted down the days for. The Bangles did not disappoint.

2. B-52s (Jones Beach, 1993) - Yes, I probably wore my stone-washed denim jacket with airbrushed B-52s image on the back (complete with puffy paint) to the concert, but I also wore to junior high too.

3. Patti Smith (Lollapalooza @ Randall's Island, 1995) - I was slack on my rock and roll roots until Patti crept out of retirement/housewivery to do this secret set on the second stage.

4. Radiohead (Oxford, 1996) - This was a secret local gig that they did in their hometown of Oxford, England a year after The Bends came out, while they were working on OK Computer. Obviously we felt like the coolest people ever seeing them in a 200 person venue.

5. Bjork (The Academy, 1996) - Never a fan of the Sugarcubes, my friend Sandy begged me to come see Bjork on the first leg of her Post tour but I made us leave during the It's Oh So Quiet encore so I wouldn't miss my curfew.

6. Portishead (Roseland, 1997) - This wasn't the live album recording but another Roseland concert they did in support of their second album, which I loved loved loved.

7. Bow Wow Wow (Wetlands, 1998) - Bow Wow Wow should pull of a reunion show every five years. That Annabella (right) gives me the energy to live.

**8. Robert Plant and Jimmy Page (Jones Beach, 1998) - This is the best live show I have ever seen. I don't even think I caught the whole thing because I was working concession, but I remember thinking, "This is it. This is the best concert I've ever seen."

9. Joan Jett (Mulcahy's, 1998) - Joan Jett is from Long Island and rocked out a midnight set at a local dive bar/lounge on a school night, which I attended alone and hid from my health teacher, gym teacher and school psychologist.

10. Bratmobile/The Make-UP (some church in DC, 1999) - Dream concert! I contemplated going up to Alison and telling her that the first Bratmobile album changed my life, but then I realized what a tool I'd sound like.

11. M.I.A. (Knitting Factory, 2005) - Actually, this show wasn't that great. It was just a really big deal that M.I.A. had finally landed in New York and Diplo was DJing and great things were going to happen for her and everybody knew it.

12. Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Roseland, 2006) - I didn't understand the YYY's phenomenon till I caught this concert. They are one of the few bands these days I would pay to see again and again and again. I still curse myself for missing their double bill with Devo in Central Park.

13. Amy Winehouse (Joe's Pub, 2007) - First North American performance! I'm sure she was boozing and using back then, but she sounded totally phenomenal that night.


And speaking of upcoming concerts, I'm headed to Cut Copy at Mercury Lounge and still contemplating Yelle at Knitting Factory. Anyone interested?


Unknown said...

I'm crazy jealous you saw both the Bangles on the Different Light tour and the Bow Wow Wow reunion.

I saw Page & Plant on that tour at Red Rocks. Never seen so many middle-aged men completely out of it in one place.

How were the B-52's without Cindy (but with Julee Cruise)?

Sparber said...

Yes! Julee Cruise. This was before my Twin Peaks obsession but I still knew who Julee Cruise was and totally loved her. Biggest junior high fag ev-er!