Top 5… Make that My Top 7 Concerts

music musings, beaverdamusa.comA song came on the other day while mowing and it caused me to think about seeing that artist in concert.  I told myself (I do that while mowing) that it was definitely a top five concert.  I went “Ah Ha!” – not because I ran over a stump, but because I had my next Musing topic.  I started accumulating them in my mind and quickly got to seven.  The thought of going on until I got to ten ended because I was finished mowing, so I kept it at seven.  So in no particular order, here are my top seven concerts of all time –

  • Jimmy Buffett (A.O. Smith benefit) – A.O. Smith school in Nashville provides musical instruments to underprivileged children.  This fundraiser was held at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville.  Jimmy had his acoustic guitar and a band of two – former Coral Reefer Josh Leo on guitar and the great Mac McAnally on piano and guitar.  The opening number was Mac’s “It’s My Job” for which Buffett walked out, sat on the edge of the stage (barefooted) and proceeded to sing.  The rest of the night was a trip acoustically through his hits and other deep cuts.
  • Styx with the Nashville Symphony – I recently blogged about this show (Styx with the Nashville Symphony), so I won’t go into great detail.  This show was really a once-in-a-lifetime deal.  I really wish I had a recording of this show.
  • Van Halen – Atlanta (September 2004) – This was the last show Sammy Hagar played with Van Halen and based on recent media mudslinging, it will be the last.  If you have been around me or read my blogs, you know I am a Sammy fan, so I was disappointed when he left the band in 1996.  He rejoined the band in 2004 for a tour which provided me a chance to see him and the band together one more time.  Ironically, they closed the show with one of my favorites – When It’s Love.
  • Moody Blues – Edwin Warner Park (circa 1993).  Back in the day, there was a fundraiser in Edwin Warner Park (Nashville) which featured a couple of days of hot air balloon rides, food, and hot air balloon races.  On the closing night, an outdoor concert was put on in the park.  My girlfriend at the time (now wife) worked at a local bank and volunteered at the event for the bank, so I tagged along like a good boyfriend.  The show that night was the Moody Blues with the Nashville Symphony.  We stayed for the show thinking “why not – it’s free?”   The combination of the symphony, the Moody Blues, and the cool evening under the stars proved to be a great environment.  Maybe it was the surprise factor, but anyway, it was a great show.  This was my first “rock” concert pairing with a symphony.
  • Styx – Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium (circa 1981) – My friend Joe bought tickets to this show on the Paradise Theatre tour for my birthday.  We were able to get to the show early and stand down front at the stage.  We were about two people back from the stage which gave us a great view of the stage.  The show opened with A.D. 1928 (slow, short piano introduction) and then Rockin’ The Paradise kicked in with flashpots and lights that I swear took some off the top of my head (maybe that’s what happened).
  • Stevie Nicks – Starwood Amphitheatre (circa 2000) – Lori & I had tickets to this show and a co-worker also had tickets but couldn’t go, so she asked me to sell her tickets if I could.  When we got to the venue, we noticed her seats were on the third row!  Needless to say I didn’t have any takers on trying to sell her tickets.  Maybe the fact that I stood in front of a speaker and whispered “who needs two?” had something to do with it.  Anyway, about halfway through the show, we got to go to the front of the stage and even got to shake Stevie’s hand (sigh).  As always, that lady delivered.
  • Van Halen – Memphis Coliseum (1985) – This was the first tour with Sammy as the lead singer and the second stop on the tour.  The volume was out of sight so much that my ears rang for two days.  There was a raw energy between the band members and they were having a blast.  If you have ever seen the video of that tour – Live Without A Net, you know Sammy climbs upon the catwalk and swings off it as well as stands on top of its railing.  Well, in Memphis, Eddie did the same thing.  Funny thing was that a week or two later when we saw them in Nashville, Eddie didn’t follow Sammy up there – my hunch was that Val (wife at the time) had something to do with that.  The only other time I saw that type of energy was when I saw them on the opening night of a tour in Atlanta.  While there were bumps in the show, it was a natural feeling without any polish.

Well, I am sure there are others that could challenge these if I thought long enough.  Thanks for reading and hope you have a safe Fourth of July.

Zach, Musing in Music City (home of the largest fireworks display)


About Zach Clayton

Zach Clayton started Music Musings in 2013, but isn’t a stranger to music. While he may be a mild mannered accountant by day, he always has tunes going and forces his staff at work to play music trivia when they enter his office. He is a self-proclaimed lover of all music genres with over 3,500 songs in his iPod. Zach’s first concert was Eddie Money in Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gym in 1979 and claims to have seen Van Halen (all three incarnations) over 25 times. There have only been one or two years since 1979 that Zach hasn’t been to a concert. He also has the uncanny knack of getting to know several folks in the music scene – both out front and behind the scenes. Zach is in the process of indoctrinating his two boys into the rock and roll way by exposing them to concerts and various music while holding them hostage in his truck screaming the mantra – “rap is crap!”

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