David Bowie: 4/27/1990

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David Bowie! I almost don’t need to say anything more, do I?

This is my ticket stub from the one and only time I got to see Bowie live. It was on the Sound and Vision tour which featured the great Adrian Belew on guitar. The show in Miami was the first stop on the North American tour and it was nothing short of mind-blowing.

I went with my then girlfriend Joyce. We had decent seats with a great view of the stage. Bowie opened with “Space Oddity” and it was one classic hit after another for the entire show.

The tour was being promoted as the last time Bowie would be pulling from his older catalog of music, and although I really liked Tin Machine and Bowie’s other later works, it is still the older music that really speaks to me. Some of the songs that really stood out for me were “Life on Mars,” “TVC15,” “Ziggy Stardust,” and “Ashes to Ashes.” But without a doubt, for me anyway, the high point was the last song of the encore, which might be my favorite Bowie song of all time: “Panic in Detroit.” Wow – I’m getting chills just thinking about it. My mind was definitely warped by the end of this concert.

I never had another chance to see Bowie, and it does not seem like I will. I would definitely have paid to see him again, even if he was not doing all the older hits which comprised this concert. He was one of the great rock and roll stars, and I feel really fortunate to have seen him live.

“Ziggy plaaaaaaaaayed, guitaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar!”

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jeff Beck: 11/21/1989

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I have to admit that this show holds a special place in my heart and this is one of my prized stubs. That’s because this was the only time that I saw either of these amazing guitar gods, and I saw them together! It was a mind-blowing concert. Also, the great Stevie Ray was to die tragically in a helicopter crash less than a year after this show. He was 35. A huge loss for music.

Each of the guitarists performed a full set on their own. As a guitarist, it’s hard to convey just how inspiring it was to see these legends on stage. I kept fluctuating between intense inspiration, wanting to do nothing but practice guitar 12 hours a day, and utter dismay, feeling like I will never come close to the skill and talent that each of these musicians possessed.

To close the night, Stevie and Jeff came onstage together and performed “Going Down,” swapping off licks and leaving everyone awestruck.

Jeff Beck still performs. If you ever get a chance to see him, I highly recommend doing so. He is one of the guitar greats, right up there with Clapton and Page.

I did a quick search on YouTube and found a video of Beck and Vaughan performing together. It was from the same tour that I saw, but a different show. Anyway, I figured I would include it, just to give an idea of how great this was. Camera work is a little shaky in the beginning, but then it stabilizes. Watch it till the end. You will not be disappointed.

Peter Gabriel: 8/4/1993

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I have to say, I was FLOORED by this concert. Peter Gabriel is a musical genius, in my opinion, and his stage show was nothing short of mindblowing.

This tour was in support of his album “Us.” I really connected with that album and was listening to it a lot at that time. My wife is also a huge Gabriel fan, so when the show was announced, we immediately bought tickets.

Gabriel had two stages for this performance: a “male” stage that was your traditional stage at the end of the arena and a circular “female” stage in the center. The two stages were connected by a long runway with a conveyor belt that symbolized the connection between the masculine and the feminine.

He opened the show with “Come Talk To Me.” An old-fashioned phone booth rose out of the main (male) stage with Peter inside, singing into the telephone. As the urgency of the song increased, he began pulling on the phone line, coming out of the phone booth and making his way down the runway to the circular (female) stage, all the while tethered to the phone booth by the cable and singing into the receiver. As he finished the song on the circular stage, the telephone cable pulled him back into the isolation of the phone booth. That was just the first song… it kept getting better after that.

The entire show was nothing short of amazing. He played everything you would expect him to play and his theatrics captivated everyone there. This is one of those concerts that is forever etched in my memory.