I was saddened to hear the news of Mary Travers's death today. She was a legend. Imagine the 60s without her clarion call of a voice... "How many roads must a man walk down before they call him a man?"... "It's a hammer of justice, it's a bell of freedom, it's a song about love between my brothers and my sisters all over this land"... "I'm leaving on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again. Oh, babe, I hate to go."
I am grateful that Luanne and I got to see Peter, Paul & Mary at the Hollywood Bowl several years ago. It was a rare chance to see legendary artists live, and I loved every minute of it.
I was thinking today about concerts I've been privileged to experience. My parents were awesome and took me to concerts a lot when I was a kid... I lived in northern Indiana, and tons of CCM artists came through there, performing in churches and, occasionally, the Morris Civic Auditorium or the Notre Dame Joyce Center. I'm trying to carry on the same tradition with my kids. Josh and Jake and I went to the Christian Music night at Great America in CA a few years back and saw Jars of Clay, tobyMac, Building 429, Falling Up and some others that I can't remember. And next month it's U2 and Black Eyes Peas in Oklahoma City. They are going to LOVE it.
Just for fun, I tried to remember all the artists I've seen over the years... I'm sure I've forgotten some, but this list is pretty exhaustive. I've included some notes about some favorites...
Have you seen any of these artists? What were your favorite concert experiences? Who would you like to see? Who are you planning on seeing?
2nd Chapter of Acts - I saw them on their last tour ever. What a privilege.
Amy Grant/Bob Bennett - unguarded Tour. Really? Poor Bob Bennett... Lone folkie with guitar playing in front of the curtain to a restless audience who just came to see Amy in her leopard skin jacket blaze through "Love Will Find a Way" and "Everywhere I Go." What were the label folks thinking? I love Bob, but talk about an awkward pairing. Would love to know what HE thought of that tour.
Amy Grant/Michael W. Smith
Bash-N-the Code - Actually, I saw Found Free, which later became Bash. I was blown away. I think I was 13. I was with the youth group, not my parents. I fell in love with Rebecca Sparks as she sang that band's masterpiece, "Diamond." (Isn't that song ripe for a great cover?)
Bill Gaither Trio
Buddy & Julie Miller – Calvin College... What a great school. But it was a little weird. I saw it with an online friend from a listserv. I didn't know him well. We had fast food and sat together. It was a little like a blind date. Very weird.
Buddy & Julie Miller/Steve Forbert – Saw them in San Francisco on my birthday with Buck Ellis and Jon Simpson. Amazing show. Emmylou Harris popped in for a song or two.
Buddy Miller/Emmylou Harris/Shawn Colvin/Patty Griffin - The "Three Girls and Their Buddy" Tour at the Greek Theater in LA. I blogged about it here.
Charlie Peacock/Derek Webb/Sandra McCracken/Brandon Heath/Sara Groves - The "Art*Music*Justice" Tour. I blogged about it here.
Dianne Reeves - At a Hollywood Bowl event celebrating the 80th birthday of Dizzy Gillespie. Dizzy was there too. He walked out, looking all frail, but he didn't talk or play.
Dove Awards 1995 - Lots of people there. It was fun. We just decided to drive to Nashville. It was pretty easy to buy tix and get in! Actually walked by Dino, the "Christian Liberace," on our way in... and then got to rub shoulders (literally) with Out of the Grey, Phil Keaggy, Kim Hill, Susan Ashton, etc.
Emmylou Harris/Richie Furay - Humphrey's By the Bay, San Diego, 1997ish... She had Spyboy with her and was doing a lot of "Wrecking Ball" material. It was magnificent. Julie Miller was along with Buddy and got up on stage to do a few songs. I ran into Julie at the merch table during Richie Furay's set and talked for a while. It was a nearly perfect evening. Emmy at the top of her game.
Farrell & Farrell/Geoff Moore
Gaither Vocal Band
Imperials/Michele Pillar - First "big" concert ever. LOVED IT. I think I was 12.
Indigo Girls/Girlyman - The Indigo Girls are some of my very favorites. Luanne and I saw them (no band - just the two of them) at the Fox Theater in Redwood City, CA, with Mike and Nicole Hoefer.
Jason Mraz - Caught him and his band at the Montalvo Winery in Saratoga, CA. Another show Luanne and I saw with Mike and Nicole Hoefer! We later discovered the show was recorded for this recording.
Jonatha Brooke - In Lancaster, CA. On the "10 Cent Wings" tour. So beautiful. Heartbreakingly beautiful. When she and Ingrid sang "Always" it took my breath away.
Julie Miller – Back at Grace College in the early 90s. Buddy on guitar.
Kathy Troccoli/Mark Lowry - Now THAT is a strange combination.
Kenny Marks - At Brethren National Youth Conference in 1988.
Kim Hill - I saw her twice. The second time, I waited backstage for her and then stopped her, asked he how to break into music, and sang at her. I did one of her songs, a duet with Wes King. I sang the Wes King part. On the part where she was supposed to sing, she just stood there and looked at me. Awkward. I was young. Like 17. I've often wondered if she remembers me.
Lost Dogs - Hosted them at Peninsula Covenant Church a few years back. The Matt Nightingale Band opened.
Lucy Kaplansky - A house concert in South Bend, Indiana. Awesome. Just her voice and her acoustic.
Mandy Patinkin - On his "Dress Casual" tour with Paul Ford on the piano. My buddy Curt Hendley and I went together. (Yes, it counts, Curt!) Oh yeah, we were very cool freshmen guys in college. I ended up kissing Mandy's feet. Well, his shoes. While they were on his feet. It's a long story.
Manhattan Transfer - In Redwood City a few years back. A gift from my choir. What fun! Legends.
Michael W. Smith/dc Talk
Mike Roe – Hosted him at Access last year. Blogged about it here.
Mike Roe – Saw him on the "It's For You" tour in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, with my buddy Dave "Big D" Stoll. This was before he produced my record and we became bffs. :)
Over the Rhine - I've seen my favorite band twice. Once in San Francisco, right after "Drunkard's Prayer" came out. Kim Taylor opened. And then I got to see them at North Park in Chicago the day after Obama was elected President! It was a great show, and I blogged about it here.
Patti LuPone and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra - Loved this one. She's a Broadway diva ("Evita," "Les Miserables," "Sunset Boulevard," "Anything Goes," "Sweeney Todd.") But this night was all Irving Berlin music, I think.
Peter Paul and Mary
PFR/Jars of Clay - This was before Jars got big. They were just the opening act. I don't even think "Flood" had hit the airwaves, although they were playing it live. Dan Haseltine had this crazy long hair that he would swing around.
Randy Stonehill - Had him at PCC. It was fun. I still have his cell phone # in my cell. I can't bring myself to delete it.
REZ - This was before I knew Glen Kaiser as my fellow Evangelical Covenant Church pastor... Back then, he was a rock god... They played Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana. Outdoors. It was loud. The police came.
Rich Mullins - A privilege to see this gifted man before he died. I saw him once in a concert setting and once in a performance of his musical, "Canticle of the Plains" starring Mitch McVicker as St. Francis.
Sam Phillips/Tremolo - I saw Sam first with a full band after "A Boot and a Shoe" was released. This was a thrill for me... I've been a Sam fan since before she was Sam. And Justin Dillon was/is the leader of Tremolo. He's gone on to direct the great film, "Call and Response."
Sam Phillips - I saw Sam again just last summer (2008) in a Border's bookstore near Seattle.
Sandi Patti/First Call
Scott Wesley Brown/Michele Pillar
Silverwind - Yeah, except it was the "new" Silverwind. ALL replacements. How could they even call it Silverwind?
Staci Frenes - Great singer/songwriter from the SF Bay area. We had her at PCC once, and I opened a show for her at the Koinonia Koffeehouse once.
Steven Curtis Chapman/Carolyn Arends
Suzanne Vega/Teddy Thompson - This was another big deal for me. To finally see an artist I've loved for so long was right up there with U2 and Indigo Girls. I blogged about it here. I went by myself. Afterwards, I stalked Rob Bell. But that's another story for another time.
The Choir - This was at the height of my college experimentation with so-called "alternative" music. The Choir was huge to me. I loved "Wide-Eyed Wonder" and "Circle Slide." I dressed all up with my friends in hippy-ish clothes and we went to THE CAFETERIA to see The Choir. I got busted for jumping up and down. I'm not kidding. Bruce Barlow, the Dean of Students at the time, actually put his hand on my shoulder and told me to come see him the next day. I did. He didn't want to see a Christian leader like me dancing.
The Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers
tobyMac/Falling Up/Building 429/Jars of ClayU2/Kings of Leon - Incredible show. The "Elevation" tour in San Jose, CA. Eric Barnikel took me. It rocked. Maybe the best concert I've ever been to. Certainly the biggest spectacle.
Victoria Williams/Chris Stills - Park West, Chicago, 1998. Chris Stills (son of Stephen) opened. Here's an article about the show from No Depression.
Victoria Williams/Mark Olson - Bimbo's 365 Club, San Francisco, 2000 - This was my moment of glory. I shouted out "My Ally" as a request. She had me come up and sing Dave Pirner's part! And to top it all off, someone recorded it, and I have it on CD - and it's actually floating around out there on the web on bootlegging sites. What a cool memory.
White Cross/DeGarmo & Key
White Heart - I saw them once with Found Free back in youth group days. Then Luanne and I saw them on one of our first dates at Grace. 1991?
And then there are the Broadway shows I've seen on tour or in major cities... Showboat, Stomp!, Wicked, Into the Woods, Rent, Cats, Starlight Express, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Phantom of the Opera... But that's another post in and of itself. Until next time...