I was a concert junkie for a while. If an act came into town that I could tolerate, I would go. It didn't matter if I was a fan or not. I just enjoy concerts. It got me thinking this week about some of the best, some of the worst, and some of the more "interesting" moments I've had.
Best concert ever: Point of Grace Christmas Wonderland Tour with Scott Krippayne. These ladies are near perfection, and Scott was on target. The stage, the costumes, the humor, and especially the music were top-notch. They made my Christmas that year.
Running a close second: Andy Williams Christmas concert. He was nearing his 80th birthday at the time, but the man could still flat out sing. I felt like a giddy kid when he broke into, "Moon River." We paid an arm and a leg for circle seating, but it was worth every penny. Sorry to hear he's dealing with cancer right now.
Worst concert ever: Merle Haggard. What in the world was I thinking? Well, it was over 20 years ago. He was supposed to shoot a new video that night, but they announced before he came on that "circumstances" wouldn't allow for it. Yeah... he was drunk as a skunk. I still want my money back.
Best date at a concert: It's a tie. I once dated a girl named Sandy, and we actually saw Blair from the "Facts of Life" in concert. Lisa Whelchel is a strong Christian with a great testimony. She has a wonderful voice. Sandy had cerebral palsy, so we got a great parking spot. ;) The other half of the tie: Anne Murray. Again, a Christmas concert. I'm not a huge fan, but it made my wife happy. That's what's important.
Most disappointing: Another tie. Again, it was probably 25 years ago, but I saw Brenda Lee in concert. Why? I still don't know. My friend took my seat (which I paid for by the way) and got his picture taken with her during the show. Grrrr..... anyway. Kenny Loggins was also a disappointment. Musically, it was top notch. But he has recorded kid's albums, so a lot of children were there. He joked that he recorded a song called, "Shut up and get the f--- over it." Not cool, Kenny.
Most surprising concert: Wayne Newton. I hadn't planned to go, but the tickets were free. What an entertainer! He sang for about three hours. Midway through, he started singing a Barry Manilow song, but stopped about 30 seconds into it and said, "You don't like that song, do you?" He could read an audience! So he changed songs to a great amount of applause. For that, I really respect him.
Most embarrassing: Bon Jovi. This was before anybody really knew who they were. "Runaway" was their only hit. To give you a better idea of how long ago it was: They were opening for Ratt. It was my first rock concert, and I didn't understand at that time: The second-hand smoke I was breathing wasn't tobacco. I was told later that I was having my own little dance at the back of the auditorium, which provided some amusement for the folks in the bleacher section. I thank God I made it home safely that night, especially when the road started melting in front of my eyes.
First concert ever: Captain and Tennille. Hey, I liked bubble gum back then, too.
Worst After-Concert Photo: B.J. Thomas. Loved the show, loved the music, loved the man. But gosh dude, it was a Christmas show. Could you have smiled for the picture?
Concert I would see over and over: The Young Messiah Tour. Anybody who was anybody in Christian music at the time was there. And to hear 20 thousand people singing Christmas carols at the same time... wow. Just, wow.
Tammy Wynette gave a great show in July of '84. I have mixed emotions, because my mother was supposed to be there too. We buried mom the day before. Sara Evans is always great, finally got to meet her backstage. Didn't really care for her closing act, but since I paid for it and I was in the front row, I stuck around for Brad Paisley. I enjoyed Styx, but it wasn't the same without Dennis DeYoung. However, seeing him in concert solo was better than seeing Styx. He is THE voice of the group. I feel the same about the time we saw Davy Jones. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha! Dan Hill... remember him? Saw him twice in Sarnia, Ontario. Trust me, the speaking voice does not match the singer. Working at a country station afforded me the opportunity to introduce Larry Gatlin onstage, and meet Chris Cagle, now residing in the "Chris who?" category. Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys - he sat behind the keyboard the whole concert and never played it. Guess he still has his issues. Yes, I saw the Beach Boys, too. But by then, Brian's egotistical cousin was the only original member left.
People I wish I could have seen: Of course, the late great Bobby Darin tops the list. The Carpenters, too. Would have loved to hear Dan Fogelberg or Jim Croce.
I've seen too many Christian acts to even begin to count. The Newsboys always give an amazing show, but I have yet to see Chris Tomlin or Sidewalk Prophets. They're on my bucket list.
There are more... I'll probably edit this post more than once. Stay tuned.