Guns n’ Roses with Soundgarden: 12/31/1991

I was never a huge GnR fan, but I like some of their stuff. When I heard they were holding a big New Year’s Eve concert with Soundgarden, and some of my good friends were going, I figured this would be the time to check them out and scratch them off the list of bands to be seen.

The concert was being held at Joe Robbie Stadium, which kind of sucked. I’m not a fan of stadium shows, but such is life. One thing that made me chuckle, though, upon getting my ticket, was the statement *Showtime Approximate*. Axl was notorious for showing up late for performances (or not showing up at all), so the audience was duly warned.

We got there and our seats were straight back, lower section. Soundgarden came out and started their set, and some asshole in the upper deck started tossing down M-80s, one of which exploded at my feet. I was beyond pissed and stormed upstairs, seeking out the jerk with every intention of having an altercation, but alas, I could not find him. He either moved on or ran out of ammunition.

After what seemed like an unusually long time, GnR took the stage and kicked right into “Welcome to the Jungle.” I have to say, I was pretty impressed by the energy with which they opened the show. Reminded me of how I felt when I saw The Clash and they exploded on stage with “London Calling.” Even sitting at the back of Joe Robbie Stadium, I felt the power of the music emanating from the stage.

The band played a long time, and the show was killer. I gained a new level of respect for the band, and understood why people liked them so much. I still don’t own any Guns n’ Roses albums, but I have good memories of seeing them live and tend to turn the volume up a bit when one of their songs comes on the radio.

Here’s the setlist.

  • Welcome to the Jungle
  • Mr. Brownstone
  • Live and Let Die
  • Attitude
  • Nightrain
  • Bad Obsession
  • Double Talkin’ Jive
  • Civil War
  • It’s So Easy
  • Patience (w Wild Horses intro)
  • Rocket Queen
  • November Rain
  • You Could Be Mine
  • Matt Sorum Drum Solo
  • Slash Guitar Solo
  • Speak Softly Love (Love Theme From The Godfather)
  • Sweet Child O’ Mine (with Sail Away Sweet Sister… more )
  • Don’t Cry
  • Move to the City
  • Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door  (w Only Women Bleed intro)
  • Estranged
  • Paradise City
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The Who: 7/30/1989

who_7-30-89

I’ve seen The Who multiple times throughout my rock and roll life, but this show was by far the longest of all the Who concerts I attended. Some people griped about this tour, because the band had a plethora of backing musicians and Pete played mostly acoustic guitar (supposedly because of his tinnitus), but I thought it was an “amazing journey.”

I went with my two brothers and a bunch of our friends, all piled into my friend Lydia’s van. We got there fairly early and found our seats, which were on the field and not bad. As we were waiting for the show to start, a young woman of questionable morals took a seat in front of us. She was obviously a dancer and proceeded to stand on her chair and “perform” to the music piped in over the PA. While I was in no way offended by this show, I was somewhat taken aback by a couple of frat boys who were sitting off to the side of us, commenting about how sweet she was. They started talking with her, and within a very short time, they each took turns going into the port-o-john with her. They came back to their seats, smug and smiling, giving each other high-fives. All I could think was that they would be going home to some poor, unsuspecting sorority girls. It took me a while to get the vision of them in the porto out of my mind.

Finally, the show started, and the band opened with a “Tommy” mini-set, playing a nice chunk of the album. It was still light, which was a little disappointing, because I would have loved to have seen a killer light show accompanying the performance, but it was great nonetheless. After Tommy, they played a bunch of other songs, building in intensity and energy before taking a break.

After the break, they came back and played another long set, opening with “Magic Bus” and just ripping through one great song after another.

Finally, the set ended, but they returned for a multi-song encore and closed the night with  “Summertime Blues.” For me, it was an awesome concert. I was particularly surprised by “Trick of the Light,” a more obscure song that I LOVE.

After the concert, the traffic was insane, so we all hung around in the van and indulged in a post-concert tailgate until the traffic cleared.

Here are the set lists, to give you an idea of how long this show was.


Set 1:

  • Overture
  • It’s a Boy
  • 1921
  • Amazing Journey
  • Sparks
  • The Acid Queen
  • Pinball Wizard
  • We’re Not Gonna Take It
  • See Me, Feel Me
  • Eminence Front
  • Let My Love Open the Door
  • Face the Face
  • I’m a Man
  • I Can’t Explain
  • Substitute
  • I Can See for Miles
  • Trick of the Light
  • Boris the Spider
  • Who Are You

Set 2:

  • Magic Bus
  • Baba O’Riley
  • My Generation
  • A Little Is Enough
  • 5:15
  • Love, Reign O’er Me
  • Sister Disco
  • Rough Boys
  • Join Together
  • You Better You Bet
  • Behind Blue Eyes
  • Won’t Get Fooled Again

Encore:

  • Hey Joe
  • Dig
  • Summertime Blues

Paul McCartney: 4/15/1990

McCartney_4-15-90

I’m bummed that this ticket has faded! What was it Neil Young said: “It’s better to burn out, than to fade away.” Still, here is the stub in all its faded glory.

I went to this concert with my good friend Lowell. It was a huge stadium show at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, and it was amazing.

First off, I should say that seeing a Beatle in concert was a really moving experience for me. My mom turned me on to The Beatles at a young age. To this day, I still have some of her old vinyl Beatles’ albums and listen to them with my kids (thanks to my brother for saving those and passing them on to me).

The concert was a solid mix of Beatles, Wings, and McCartney solo material. When you see McCartney live and start singing along with all his songs, you realize just how prolific he was and how much music he created that impacted our world.

High points of this concert? There were too many to list. Consider it one long high point. But the songs that really stand out in my memory are “Let It Be,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (with a great liquid light show), and “Golden Slumbers Medley” as the final encore.

I was fortunate enough to see McCartney again with my daughters, many years later. But that’s another stub and another story.

“And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.”