The Clash: 3/31/1984


As you probably know by now, I have seen a lot of concerts, but only a few bands totally blew me away the moment they took the stage. The Clash was one of those few.

I was really into The Clash at this time. In my opinion, they were one of the best punk bands ever. I was really psyched to be seeing them, even without Mick Jones.

They opened with “London Calling,” and like I said, I was blown away from the first note. It was like an explosion of energy shot from the stage and shattered every cell in my body. And I could tell it wasn’t just me. The entire Sunrise Musical Theater erupted. I doubt there was a single person in their seats.

As was to be expected at a punk concert, people were climbing onto the stage and diving into the crowd. I suspect that the security was not prepared for this. Police and Sunrise concert security decided to stop it and seized a kid who had clambered onto the stage. Joe Strummer, ever the anarchist, stopped and got in the faces of the security and began yelling and gesticulating at them. I wish I knew what he said. Regardless, they released the kid who ran and did a swan-dive into the crowd. Everyone cheered, and then Joe stepped up to the microphone and said, “I don’t know what you all are doing, but you have the police really nervous.” At which point they broke into “The Guns of Brixton.” It was pandemonium!

As far as the rest of the show goes, there were no weak spots. It was kick-ass right up to the last note of “White Riot.” For those of you who are interested, here is the full set list from the show.

Forces have been looting
My humanity
Curfews have been curbing
The end of liberty

Hands of law have sorted through
My identity
But now this sound is brave
And wants to be free – anyway to be free

(Excerpt from “This is Radio Clash”)

Big Audio Dynamite & Public Image Limited: 3/15/1992


This is one of those amazing shows that really stands out in my memory, and the ticket stub only tells a small part of the story. This was a big show that included a total of four bands, all of whom I was so psyched to see. It was an outdoor show at Miami’s Bayfront Park Amphitheater and I went with a big group of friends.

The first band to perform was Blind Melon. They were very good and performed an amazing set. The band suffered a tragedy a couple years later when the lead singer, Shannon Hoon, died of a cocaine overdose on October 21, 1995. I feel fortunate to have seen them.

The second band to perform was Live. Wow! I remember being blown away by the energy this band had on stage. It did not surprise me that they later rose to stardom. I had heard some of their music on the alternative college stations, but when I saw them live (pun intended), I immediately went out and bought “Throwing Copper,” which is an amazing CD.

Finally, we got Public Image Limited (PiL). Johnny Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols, commanded the audience in a way that is difficult to describe. He stalked the stage, engaged the crowd, and got everyone’s hearts pumping along with the music. When they finished, I was so psyched, but not quite able to grasp that there was STILL MORE! The main act, Big Audio Dynamite (or BAD), was still up next.

For those who are not familiar, BAD was formed by Mick Jones of The Clash after he left the band. I really like BAD and was virtually crawling out of my skin with anticipation. Was I in for a disappointment.

They came on stage, and immediately I could tell they were really wasted. The musicians staggered around the stage, slurring incoherently into the microphones, and getting tangled up in guitar cords. It was so anticlimactic after three amazing performances, each more energetic than the one before. The contrast was stark. And then, as if it couldn’t get any worse, the drummer fell over backwards and knocked his drums over. I felt like I was watching Cheech and Chong! I looked around and noticed people leaving in droves. We decided that we had to join them. There was no way we were going to sit through that kind of pathetic performance.

I was really bummed out about Big Audio Dynamite’s lack of professionalism. But I did not let that ruin the show as a whole. I got to see three great performances that day and have a great memory to go along with my ticket stub.