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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Paul McCartney: 7/28/2010

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This was the second time that I went to see Sir Paul McCartney in concert, but it holds a special place in my heart because I went with my two daughters, who are both Beatles fans (I raised them well). I had seen McCartney 20 years before (I think there is a song reference here), but was particularly excited about this show because it was indoors as opposed to a big stadium show. My friend Bob was also taking his two daughters, so we all piled into his van and made the journey to Charlotte for the show.

We got there with time to get dinner, so we went for pizza. The streets were teeming with McCartney fans, which was very cool. There was a real sense that we were all part of something big.

After entering the arena, we had to split up, since we did not all have seats together. My daughters and I had seats in the upper deck on the side of the stage, which was cool because we looked right down on Paul and when he played piano, he was facing right at us. We missed some of the video stuff, but that was not a big deal for me.

Paul opened the show with Venus and Mars > Rock Show > Jet. I was floored right off the bat. Not what I would have expected, but Rock Show is one of my favorite Wings songs. The rest of the concert was heavy on the Beatles stuff, with a good dose of Wings and McCartney solo material. What was really cool, though, was that he played some George and John stuff, which was totally a surprise for me. It was like he was acknowledging the influence his former bandmates had on his musical career. I found it to be very moving.

Watching my kids dance and sing along to these songs made me happier than I can really express. My mom was a huge Beatles fan and actually went to school with Ringo in Liverpool. So watching my kids at this concert, it was like the music formed a bridge connecting generations. Music is like that. It transcends.

Paul played a marathon concert. I was really impressed with how long he played and the energy he had. There were so many high points, it would be impossible to cover them all. In addition to the opening, definitely “I’ve Got a Feeling,” “A Day in the Life,” and “Helter Skelter” were probably the top moments for me. But again, it was all great. There was nothing about this concert that was anything less than fab.

Here is the setlist. Let’s all hope that Paul keeps on rollin’ for years to come. He has been part of the soundtrack of my life and I would like to keep him around as long as possible.


Setlist:

  • Venus and Mars
  • Rock Show
  • Jet
  • All My Loving
  • Letting Go
  • Drive My Car
  • Highway
  • Let Me Roll It (With Foxy Lady Snippet)
  • The Long and Winding Road
  • Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
  • Let ‘Em In
  • My Love
  • I’ve Just Seen a Face
  • And I Love Her
  • Blackbird
  • Here Today
  • Dance Tonight
  • Mrs. Vandebilt
  • Eleanor Rigby
  • Ram On
  • Something
  • Sing the Changes
  • Band on the Run
  • Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
  • Back in the U.S.S.R.
  • I’ve Got a Feeling
  • Paperback Writer
  • A Day in the Life (With Give Peace A Chance Snippet)
  • Let It Be
  • Live and Let Die
  • Hey Jude

Encore:

  • Day Tripper
  • Lady Madonna
  • Get Back

Encore 2:

  • Yesterday
  • Helter Skelter
  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
  • The End

Paul McCartney: 4/15/1990

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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.”