My Favorite Concert


What’s your favorite concert experience?

It’s entirely possible that I haven’t been to my current favorite concert yet.

There are two different types of experiences I enjoy in a concert. It’s not my preference, but there are times when I enjoy a concert just for the pure spectacle. The best example of that for me was U2’s Vertigo tour. It was just a really good show; an incredible entertainment event. They’re amazing performers.

The other experience I enjoy is when you come away from the concert with something unique, something you’re not going to get on the CD. I’ve seen some artists I love do concerts, and they put on great shows, but they’re so literal in their performance that it’s almost like listening to a recorded version while watching them.

I loved it at the Simon & Garfunkel concert I went to a month ago when they paid respect to the fact they were in New Orleans by turning Cecilia into a Zydeco song. I love when artists throw in non-album cover tracks to entertain concert-goers. I love patter; I love when the artist talks to the audience, tells stories about the songs or just about their lives. I wrote recently about the Rachael Sage concert I went to when she name-checked me several times from the stage, and sang something just for me. Yeah, that, for me, is an awesome concert experience.

But, at the end of the day, when I go to a concert, ideally, you’re not just in the same room as the artist at a concert, you’re actually sharing a personal experience with them.

And that’s why my favorite concert may be about to happen.

Jewel is coming to Huntsville on June 13.

And not only am I going to the concert, I’m getting up-close seats and backstage passes, and getting to meet Jewel and have a picture made with her.

I’ve been in the front row for a concert once, when Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers played Tupelo. I’ve been backstage at a concert once, when Ladysmith Black Mambaza played Cleveland, Miss. And I’ve meet B.B. King multiple times when he played his annual homecoming festival in Indianola. But I’ve never had an experience that combines it all together quite like this.

And I’ve never been to an exclusive short mini-concert by an artist, either. That should be kinda cool, don’t you think?

Jewel’s concert is being sponsored by COUNTRY Financial/Cotton States as part of Road Trips and Guitar Picks, which includes Jewel’s tour and Jason Aldean’s Wide Open tour. Road Trips and Guitar Picks lets fans become involved in the tours — you can become a Roadie to be eligible for prizes, and there’s a sweepstakes to win an all-expense-paid trip to one of the concerts. Oh, and they’re getting ordinary people involved in promoting the concerts by selecting bloggers in the tour cities to get to go backstage and meet the artists, etc. So, um, guess who was one of the bloggers selected for the Huntsville show?

So, yeah, I’m totally selling out. A little. They ask that I mention that I was selected as an official blogger, and that’s why I’m getting the access, and now I have. (I’m including their logo at the bottom of this post, and will do so for any posts that I write as part of this opportunity.) They ask that I write a few posts about it, but don’t specify what I have to say. And they provide some post ideas that were interesting enough prompts that they’ll be fun to write even without the cool extra stuff. I’m hugely honored to be chosen, and I’m really looking forward to everything.

So that’s the story. I’m really excited about it. Not only should it be a really unique experience, but it’s cool to be offered this opportunity with Jewel in particular; this will actually be my second time seeing her in concert, but that’s a story for another post.

So, back to the original question — what was your favorite concert?

If you’d want to come to the Von Braun Center show, and aren’t able to win free tickets, tickets are, of course, available via Ticketmaster.

6 Responses

  1. Hmm, that’s a tough question. I’ll give a few that are among my favorites.

    The Decemberists – Nashville, TN – September, 2006:
    In addition to a great selection of songs from their albums, they were joined by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings for a couple of songs. I’ve never seen 1,200 people spontaneously combust before, but that crowd almost did when those two popped up. And then the Decemberists ended the show with a fabric whale eating everyone on stage. Good times.

    Joey DeFrancesco – Chattanooga, TN – July, 2005:
    I was fortunate enough to be standing about 20 feet behind Joey D, off stage right. I was close enough to hear his fingers on the keys. It was the closest I’ll ever get to hearing Jimmy Smith live, and when Joey broke into The Sermon, I could’ve sworn I was hearing Jimmy. For a Hammond nerd like me, it was almost a religious experience.

    Damien Rice – Atlanta, GA – September 2003:
    He was on tour supporting his first record, which translated very well live. Mostly I remember the cello player, a bonnie Irish lass who covered “Purple Haze” during the intermission.

    Elbow – Atlanta, GA – August, 2009:
    I had been waiting 6 years to see them live, and they did not disappoint. Possibly the best live mix I have ever heard in my life.

    Man, there are several others that come to mind. Athlete, Delirious, The Black Keys… Oh, and lets not forget Soundtracks for Memories. Heh.

  2. My favorite concert to date was seeing Rascal Flatts earlier this year. Maybe it was the floor seats — first time ever I’d been that close. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t been to a concert in 10 years and therefore really appreciated how much I had missed live music. Maybe it was the rockin’ show they delivered. Maybe it was that several of their songs I consider “mine.” Maybe it was because I shared with a friend. What makes a favorite concert is the entire experience from the music, to the show, to the company you’re with, to the memories made, and Rascal Flatts was all of that for me.

  3. Hello from the Spokane version of you. 😉 I can’t wait for the Jewel concert to get here.

    I’d say my favorite concert to date was a recent Sting concert. I remember sitting there feeling overwhelmed by his musical genius. And I still, years later, feel awe when I think of that experience. For the same reason as you I’m looking forward to the Jewel concert. The shared, intimate experience. 🙂

    Have fun…

    From one sell out to another. 😉

  4. I honestly haven’t seen that many concerts. I’m not a live band kind of guy. And I’m too cheap.

    A few experiences do stand out, however.

    I saw Russ Taff at Big Spring Jam way back when he was trying to cross over to country from contemporary Christian. One of the best male vocalists who ever lived but maybe a hundred people were at that stage. If that. But he was so full of energy and was just knocking every song out of the park. The southern rock/gospel sound he was heavily involved in at the time was perfect for his voice and his song selection was impeccable. The small crowd made me feel like part of an elite group who “got” it.

    Another was U2 in ATL last year. The acoustics in the Georgia Dome were horrendous. But it didn’t matter. The show was magnificent.

  5. i have been to tons of concerts and each one has been an amazing experience. I can’t live without music – i can’t sing (though i do it anyway), i can’t play an instrument (though i pretend to during certain drum solos :-), but music is everything to me. And live concerts have so much amazing energy, I can’t pick just one.

    I was reading through the comments here, I saw Damien Rice in 2003 in Atlanta too. AMAZING! Bright Eyes in Columbia, MO and Rusted Root at the Variety were mind blowing as well. I could go on and on. I have seen a bazillion concerts and totally love taking my older boys with me and letting them experience the power, energy, and beauty of seeing artists perform live.

    I cant wait to see Jewel – tomorrow night in Atlanta! yay!

  6. I’m the same way — I have ZERO musical talent either, and yet music is integral to my life. Glad to know that I’m not alone in that — and it’s someone else is who also creatively inclined in other areas. Kinda interesting!

    Hope the show’s awesome!

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