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Concert favorites: A Jana and Erin playlist

This entry is part of 8 in the series Playlists


Last Thursday of the month means it’s time for another playlist with Jana  and Erin – a playlist with a twist.  Often, we try not to choose themes that you’ve seen time and time again.  This month we’ve decided to highlight significant songs from concerts we’ve attended AND that concert was monumental to us for one reason or another. 
JANA:  1. The Right Stuff” by NKOTB. New Kids and Tiffany was the first concert I ever went to. With my parents, sister, best friend at the time and we saw them at Westbury Music Fair. I was in 4th or 5th grade (roughly the same age as my daughter, incidentally, who just went to her first concert this past summer. We took her to see Weezer. So there’s that). And my love of live music begins. 
ERIN:  2.  “You Give Love a Bad Name” by Bon Jovi.  I know.  It comes as no surprise that Bon Jovi makes an appearance on this list.  It was my first concert that I attended.  My mother took three 8th grade girls and one 7th grader to the Bon Jovi “Slippery When Wet” tour with Cinderella opening (who became another live favorite).  My love of Bon Jovi was cemented.
JANA:  3. “Big Talk” by Warrant. NKOTB was the first concert I ever attended; Warrant and Poison at Nassau Coliseum was the first concert I attended sans parents. Three of my friends and I went during the Cherry Pie tour and looking back, there were quite a lot of things that happened at that concert I didn’t quite understand. Now I do. Warrant was DIRTY.
ERIN:  4.  “King of Rock” by Run DMC – The summer after 8th grade, I went to visit my grandparents in rural East Texas.  A concert was coming to the Oil Palace in Tyler, Texas … a concert like this smaller Texas town had never seen – Run DMC with others (DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Public Enemy, and more).  My aunt and uncle took me, they sat in the back while I bounced and danced in the crowd.  My uncle claimed that my blond ponytail was easy to spot.  I loved the blend of sounds (and still do) that Run DMC brings, and King of Rock is especially foreshadowing since they are now members of the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.
JANA:  5. “Subdivisions” by Rush. This is my absolute favorite Rush song of all time. We might have used it in a post before but #idontcare. I saw Rush for the first time in 1991ish (mostly because Mr. Big was the opening act. Yes, I was that person but in my defense, I was 14) and despite being there for the opening act, I walked away a Rush fan. This was also the gateway concert for my love affair with outdoor concerts. Thank you, Jones Beach.
ERIN:  6.  “Crackerman” by Stone Temple Pilots.  My college roommate, Katy, dated a beautiful boy named Gregorio.  We piled into my white Honda Civic and drove from our university town to Houston for my first “live” experience with Stone Temple Pilots (1995ish).  It was an incredible show, even with Scott Weiland completely off his face.  Since his death from a deadly cocktail of drugs, this first STP is particularly poignant to me in my memories.
JANA:  7. “Tainted Angel” by Southgang. I saw these guys on New Year’s Eve. In a bar. In Atlanta. When I was 14 (14 was a big year, evidently). It was pretty fucking cool. (Also, I might or might not have thrown this in because of Erin’s love for Butch Walker. I’ll let you decide).
ERIN:  8.  “Best Thing You Never Had” by Butch Walker. No, this ain’t no Beyoncé song.  Jana mentioned my love for Butch, and my entry above talks about my friend, Katy…so, let me tell you about the time that Katy and I went to Vegas to “celebrate” her divorce.  The Wynn just opened, and we scored an amazing deal on a room.  We went to see the male dance revue, American Storm, and we had cocktails by the pool.  I told Katy that she needed to trust me – we were going to see Avril Lavigne at The Joint at the Hard Rock because there was this musician that was opening that I had to see…Mr. Butch Walker.  Seeing this song live is damn near close to a religious experience for me.  He’s touring right now.  Seriously.  If you like live music, do yourself a favor and go see him if he’s coming to a town near you. 
JANA:  9. “Ain’t Going Down Till the Sun Comes Up” by Garth Brooks. I bought my husband, then-boyfriend, tickets to see Garth Brooks in Philly for his 20th birthday. Decidedly not a country music fan, I had a lot of trepidation going to the show. Turns out, I can be wrong. This still reigns as one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended. The man played for 3 hours WITH NO BREAK. It was incredible. Also at that concert, the guy selling “popcorn, peanuts, crack cocaine”.   (Note from Erin: While watching this video as I was putting together this post, I got goosebumps.  His energy is infectious.  Garth is the bomb.  No shame.)
ERIN:  10.  “Between Angels and Insects” by Papa Roach.  Another time that I told a friend to “just trust me” and go to a show with me was to see Papa Roach.  Their first full album was out, and “Last Resort” was a single getting play.  I had the album (well, cd, but I still call them albums), and I wanted to see them live.  I convinced my friend, Shawn, to go with me because he likes rock shows.  When we left the show, we looked like someone had hosed us down with a garden hose.  We were soaked with sweat.  I am not sure I’ve ever lost that many calories in one show.  I picked this song because it was the one that I remember most for the crowd losing.their.shit when it played. 
JANA:  11. “Captain Jack” by Billy Joel. Returning the favor, the husband bought me tickets to see Billy Joel and Elton John. I had previously seen Billy during college but attending this concert was the fulfillment of a decade long dream. Dueling pianos at their finest. 
ERIN:  12.  “Here Is Gone” by the Goo Goo Dolls.  My two frontmen loves are Jon Bon Jovi and Johnny Rzeznik.  In 2003, they made this girl’s dream come true by touring together.  And, the Goo Goo Dolls were touring to support my favorite album of theirs, Gutterflower. 
JANA:  13. “Jesus of Suburbia” by Green Day. Perhaps the greatest song from American Idiot, and perhaps one of the most stellar shows I’ve attended. By the time we got to their concert at the Liacouras Center, we’d seen Green Day 3 times and this concert was about as close to perfection as you can get. 
ERIN:  14.  I couldn’t decide what song/band I wanted to list next, and “Gone Away” by The Offspring came on, which instantly took me to a memory that I love, so there you have it.  One of my best gal pals moved to Italy.  I went to visit.  We went to see The Offspring in Milan.  It was an unforgettable experience to go to a concert surrounded by Italians all singing along in English with this SoCal pop punk band. 

JANA:  15. “Absolutely Still” by Better Than Ezra. Laugh if you will, but I love these guys. And I loved, LOVED seeing them at Power Plant Live in Baltimore. FOR FREE, Y’ALL. Of course it was on the hottest day Baltimore has ever had and my sweet tea crush melted but still. Awesome. There’s something about going to see a once popular band but who wasn’t really that popular and who’s a little past their prime because you know all the fans are FANS. And they covered a Rush song.

ERIN:  16.  “Angel Eyes (I’ll Never Let You Go)” by Steelheart.  Talk about seeing bands a little past their prime……..I went to the inaugural Rocklahoma in 2007.  Glam bands, hair bands, hair metal, call them what you want.  My love for them will never die.  I was joined in a field smack in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma by others who still loved this music too.  We met people from different countries, different states, and different ages.  Many “big” names from this era were there (Poison, RATT, Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, Vince Neil, Dokken, more) – but, when the lead singer of Steelheart belted out this song and still hit those notes, it is safe to say that the crowd was blown away. (Note from Jana: I am jealous as hell that Erin went to Rocklahoma)
JANA:  17. “Enemies” by Shinedown. Going all the way back to two weeks ago when I attended Carnival of Madness. I can’t even properly convey how I felt this concert in my bones. In my soul. Shinedown’s music speaks to me like no other band’s and to see them live…well, I can’t quite process it all yet, never mind write about it. AND. As if the concert wasn’t amazing enough, they opened up their set with Let’s Go Crazy. The real Prince version. Not a cover. 
ERIN:  18.  “All out of Love” by Air Supply.  They started their career over 40 years ago playing in Sydney restaurants.  I saw them play at the Sydney Opera House.  Let me tell you, there is something to be said for any band that can stay together for 40 years (the duo claim they’ve never even had a fight) and can fill a room full of people who will sing all of their songs word for word back to them. 

We left out plenty that we wanted to add, but this is no longer about us…tell us about your live music experience and a significant song from a monumental concert in your musical journey.

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  1. Teh Megan

    1. Garth Brooks went through Charleston earlier this year and his concert went until around 2am they said. Also, the same night of the concert, we lost power (we live near the venue) and I strongly feel that the concert is what made us lose power. Garth was sucking it all up, lol. I heard that it was an amazing concert though, but I just couldn’t shell out $200 per person to go. #poordom
    2. GOO GOO DOLLS. OMG I’d probably do some extreme things to see them in concert. I’ve always loved them.
    3. Shinedown, yassss.

    My favorite live music was the acoustic set Hurt did in DC. It was a small venue in the bottom of a Jewish Temple and it was intimate, the music wasn’t overly loud, and Loren puts soooo much feeling into his songs… also the violin. Yes, more, please and thank you.

  2. Linda Sheridan

    Goo Goo Dolls, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel/Elton John dueling pianos. I always wished I could play the piano and sing !
    Very interesting about Garth Brooks. Since I am older , I call that music Country Western!
    Lovely blog, girls !
    Love, Steph’s Momma

  3. Lauren

    What a fun post! If I ever get my blogging shit together and need a post idea, I want to do something similar!

    Okay so I like Better Than Ezra and of the same point in time, LOVE Sister Hazel. Well, I specifically love one of their live albums and don’t care enough to listen to anything else. My FIL just saw Air Supply at a casino in Delaware over the weekend… his gf’s friends had tickets. He only knew two songs and live texted us the show. It was hilarious.

    My all-time favorite concert experience was Paul McCartney. It was really cold for a November in Houston and the show was at the baseball stadium and the retractable roof was open. We had floor seats and I was freezing. The man was in his 70s and never stopped moving, his drummer was hilarious, and the crowd was so into it. Live and Let Die was the last song and fireworks went off, explaining the open roof, and it was all worth it. I would see him again in a second!

  4. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    Still mad that I did not jump on that Billy Joel/Elton John tour.

    I was wondering if I’d see Rush on here!

  5. Tanya @ A Mindful Migration

    New Kids on the Block was my first concert too! Tiffany wasn’t the opening act, though. It was a later tour and I can’t remember the act. But I had mad love for Danny, Donnie, Joe, Jon and Jordan back then. LOL!
    Tanya @ A Mindful Migration recently posted…Home Sweet Home: A RecapMy Profile

  6. Nadine

    Butch Walker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So I have seen him when he was a part of Marvelous Three about a million times and a few times by himself as well. I just love love love him. He is such an amazing performer!!! I have been to Bon Jovi, Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls, Papa Roach and Better Than Ezra from your list as well 🙂

  7. Mathew Nesbitt

    Watching those videos make me mourn for the crap that is today’s music. So sad.
    Mathew Nesbitt recently posted…Stress-Free Landlording ReviewMy Profile

  8. Kristen

    You know I love concerts! 🙂

    Some of my favorite concert moments have included hearing one of my absolute favorite songs live (“Day Old Hate” the first time I saw City and Colour, “The Engine Driver” the second time I saw The Decemberists), hearing a new take on an old favorite (“Fell on Black Days” from Chris Cornell with a cellist accompanying him), hearing a song that gets the entire audience singing (“Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” the second time I saw Pearl Jam), and hearing a new song from an upcoming/brand new release (“Dog’s Blood” from Alexisonfire).

    I could probably go on forever, but those were a few that came to mind.


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