Concert Bucket List

These Bands Aren’t Getting Any Younger

About ten years ago, I put together a concert bucket list of groups or individuals I had either never seen live or wanted to see again. This list included The Eagles, The Police, Bob Seger, Bon Jovi, Journey, Def Leppard, Foreigner, and Shania Twain, just to name a few. Some of these shows I attended alone because I couldn’t get anyone to tag along. Never let flying solo prevent you from seeing a great show. It might feel a little weird at first, but once the lights go down and the show starts, nobody cares!

Because the stars have aligned perfectly this year, I am going to be able to knock off three more shows from my concert bucket list. ELO this summer in Detroit, Billy Idol in Las Vegas in October, and Bryan Adams in Orange Beach, Alabama. The Bryan Adams show was just dumb luck. I was able to get some last minute tickets for the concert tomorrow night. The big score was that the tickets were only $31 each. Websites like Vivid Seats, StubHub, and SeatGeek have really changed the way I shop for tickets. Ticket prices vary by city. So checking a band off your bucket list, while you’re on vacation, might just save you a lot of cash!

As I mentioned in my article Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey was the second concert I ever saw in my teens. My first was Queen, who I caught twice. Seeing the movie Bohemian Rhapsody reminded me how amazing Freddie Mercury was on stage. Unfortunately, over the past few years, The Grim Reaper has been very busy in the world of music. We have lost icons like Glenn Frey, Tom Petty, Gregg Allman, Malcolm Young (AC/DC), David Bowie, Prince, Aretha Franklin, and one of my personal favorites, J. Geils. I don’t want to sound morbid, but if one of your faves is coming to a nearby amphitheater this summer, you may want to catch the show before The Reaper beats you to it!

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The Musical Time Machine

Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

I have always been fascinated by how music can transport you back to a specific time or event in your life. Not just the Top 40 songs, but the little-known tracks from obscure artists. One hit wonders you haven’t heard in years seem to have this mystical power. Sometimes you might not even like the song. It’s just stuck in there like a Memory Earworm, and it just won’t let go. That tune will forever be associated with a certain time in your memory. We all have at least one song that’s our personal DeLorean, allowing us to hit 88 MPH within a few notes.

I remember hearing The Tide Is High (Blondie) when I was at the top of a ski hill, getting ready to set a new land speed record. Hearing that reggae-style island music as I was preparing to rocket down the peak has always stuck with me. Jack & Diane (JC Mellencamp). I was dating a girl at the time, and whenever we hopped in the car, it was always playing on the radio. Funny thing is, neither of us particularly liked the tune, but it became “Our Song” by default. Turn Up The Radio (Autograph) is a great 80’s Hair Metal jam that takes me back to lost weekends at CMU, visiting my buddies Joe and Roy. Good times! Of course, Chapel of Love (The Dixie Cups) from our wedding, and also being serenaded by the Mauve-Tones! Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone) (Glass Tiger). After our wedding, it was playing everywhere in Hawaii and became our honeymoon theme song.

That’s the fun stuff, but there are also songs that instantly lead to sadness and tears. My mom used to read the Wizard of Oz to my son Jeffrey. So now, whenever I hear Over the Rainbow, I immediately lose it. Music has the power to transport us in time, but can also help us through some rough patches in life as well. Nowadays, every woman has a Breakup Playlist, full of songs that will help mend her broken heart. I’m sure some guys do as well. Not necessarily a playlist, but a particular song that gets them through a rough breakup. Music has many qualities, and the power to transport us time is just one of them. So grab your phone, find one of those songs, and then push Play. When your DeLorean hits 88 MPH, say hit to Marty and Doc Brown for me.

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The Universal Playlist Challenge

Life is Short! Don’t Forget to Have Some Fun!

While I was mowing the lawn last weekend, I had my bluetooth headphones on and I was listening to one of my favorite albums by Bowling For Soup. Then I decided to mix it up, literally. At last count, my phone had about 450 Albums and over 6000 Songs in my Music Library. I decided to put all of the songs on Shuffle and see what happened. I was able to finish mowing the backyard without listening to the same old stuff. It was quite refreshing actually. Then, something really funny happened.

Just to let you know, I have virtually ALL of my music on my cell phone. Some people like to separate different types of music, not me. Spooky Halloween Sounds, Christmas Music, Barry Manilow, it’s all on there. I was in the shower, with my phone connected to my bluetooth speaker, rockin’ out as usual. All of a sudden, the unmistakable voice of Bing Crosby filled the bathroom. He was belting out, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”. Talk about Christmas in July!!! This was followed by a song by Billy Squier, so I thought we were back to your regularly scheduled summer program. Then it happened again! The Ronettes were happily singing, “Sleigh Ride” when my wife came into the bathroom and yelled, “What the heck are you listening to?”

Then an idea came to me. The Universal Playlist Challenge! The challenge is simple. Take your phone and a speaker to an open area like your backyard or a local park. Or, if you’re feeling really brave, do this in your car with the windows rolled down and the volume set to 11! I know what you’re thinking, “Where’s the challenge?” If you’re like me and have a good selection of Christmas Music on your phone, it can get very interesting. Start with a 10 Song Challenge. Set your music player to All Songs, and Shuffle, then play it LOUD! If you can play all 10 songs without recoiling in embarrassment when, “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”, “Livin’ La Vida Loca”, or “Who Let The Dogs Out?” comes on, you win the challenge! Bonus Points are awarded to the challenger who sings along with a Christmas song all the way to the end! Try to get people around you to join in! Life is short, you gotta have some fun!!!

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