Genesis: 3/1/1987

Genesis_3-1-87

I don’t remember a whole lot about this concert. I don’t even recall who it was I went with. I do remember not being very impressed with the show. We had seats in the upper deck way in the back, and Genesis was not able to connect with a stadium crowd, in my humble opinion. I remember them opening with “Mama,” which was good, but then as I watched the ants mill about on stage, and had to sit through a plethora of their poppy songs, I lost interest rapidly. I did manage to make it through the entire show, in spite of it all.

Peter Gabriel solo was way better in concert than Genesis with Phil Collins at the helm. But that’s just my opinion.

Anyway, I found the setlist online, so here it is. Really, that’s about all I have to share on this show. Rock on!

Setlist:

  •  Mama
  •  Abacab
  •  Domino
  •  That’s All
  •  The Brazilian
  •  In the Cage
  •  …In That Quiet Earth
  •  Afterglow
  •  Land of Confusion
  •  Tonight, Tonight, Tonight
  •  Throwing It All Away
  •  Home by the Sea
  •  Second Home by the Sea
  •  Invisible Touch
  •  Drum Duet
  •  Los Endos

Encore:

  •  Turn It On Again

The Police with The Fixx and Eric Burdon and the Animals: 10/28/1983

Police_10-28-83

As the ticket stub shows, this concert was originally supposed to be at the Miami Baseball Stadium. But because of the huge demand for tickets, the concert was moved to the Orange Bowl, a much larger venue. Even in the big stadium, it was a packed mob scene.

I went with my girlfriend at the time and my brother Mike. We got there plenty early, since it was general admission and I wanted to see The Animals, who were opening the show. The Animals were great and Eric Burdon’s voice was strong. The only downer song was “House of the Rising Sun.” They kind of changed the arrangement around and it felt like they were playing it half-assed. I felt like, really? I’m sure you are getting tired of the song, but if you are going to play it, at least put some energy into it and realize that it is such an iconic song that futzing with the arrangement  is akin to Led Zeppelin playing a reggae version of “Stairway to Heaven.”

The Fixx played next, and they were cool. They had some hits at the time: “Saved By Zero” and “One Thing Leads to Another.” They definitely had a good energy and light show. Plus, their style fit in well with The Police.

So I have to say that The Police were way better live than I expected. They always seemed more like a studio band than a good live act. But I was pleasantly surprised. They were really high-energy and sounded great, even in an acoustic hell hole like the Orange Bowl. My big complaint, though, was the overcrowding. It was really uncomfortable to be mashed among so many people sweating in the South Florida heat for the entire day. But other than that—good times!

Here is the Police’s setlist, courtesy of setlist.fm:

  1. Voices Inside My Head
  2. Synchronicity I
  3. Synchronicity II
  4. Walking in Your Footsteps
  5. Message in a Bottle
  6. Walking on the Moon
  7. My God
  8. De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
  9. Wrapped Around Your Finger
  10. Tea in the Sahara
  11. Hole in My Life
  12. Spirits in the Material World
  13. Invisible Sun
  14. One World (Not Three)
  15. King of Pain
  16. Don’t Stand So Close to Me
  17. Every Breath You Take
  18. Murder by Numbers
  19. Roxanne
  20. (encore) Can’t Stand Losing You / Reggatta de Blanc
  21. (encore) So Lonely

Heart and Blue Oyster Cult: 4/19/1981

HeartBOC_4-19-81

While the stub only lists Heart and Blue Oyster Cult, there were several other bands at this all-day rock fest:

  • Firefall (don’t ask me how they managed to get on the bill)
  • Motorhead (they were cool)
  • Freewheel (a most forgettable act)

So a little bit about the Miami Baseball Stadium. Back then, Miami had no professional baseball team. The stadium was a dump that was used by northern teams for spring training. And occasionally, they would book a large show there. Since I was a huge BOC fan and I also really liked Heart a lot, going to this concert was a no-brainer.

As I mentioned, Freewheel was completely forgettable, and if it wasn’t for the wonders of the internet, I would never have even been able to tell you who was the first band that played. But Motorhead was very good. They rocked and got the crowd riled up. Unfortunately, Firefall sucked all the energy out of the crowd. It was kind of like being on a musical rollercoaster.

Finally, BOC came out. This was right before they released Fire of Unknown Origin, so they were still a powerful force in rock music. I had seen the Cult before, so I knew what to expect, and they delivered, tearing through a set of hits like “Cities on Flame,” “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” and “Godzilla.” During “Godzilla,” a huge Godzilla monster emerged from behind the stage, shooting menacing red lights from its eyes and breathing clouds of smoke. It was impressive.

Heart took the stage and proved that they deserved the headliner slot. They totally rocked! I was in the stands at that point, having spent most of the day on the open field and desperately needing a break. I remember feeling the stands trembling under the concerted stomping of feet as Ann and Nancy Wilson kept the crowd rockin’ after a long day of music.

It’s kind of weird to think back on this show, which was almost 35 years ago. Makes me feel old. But, one good thing about being old is that I was able to go to see great shows like this for less than what TicketMaster now charges as a “convenience fee.”

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to go out and see some live music!

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.”