My friend Sarah just posted one of these on Facebook, and I decided to not wait until I was invited to jump in (sticking with my usual practice of posting FB memes here, because I try to never pass up a decent blog post these days). If you want to join in, feel free to post your list in my comments, on your own blog, on Facebook, wherever — just let me know, because I want to see your list.
Sarah specified just a few rules: 1) Be sure to note your first concert. 2) Bands you’ve seen as openers or as part of festivals count, but try to come up with 50 headliners first. 3) Don’t worry about what order these are in — a stream-of-consciousness list is fine. And I’ll add one more: 4) Any additional notes you want to add are encouraged.
EDIT: I’m having way too much fun with this, and I’ll probably continue to add notes for a while.
1. Grateful Dead (the band I’ve seen the most, at 40-something shows)
2. Phish (First time should have been at The Dugout in Athens in 1991. First time instead turned out to be a year later at the Newport in Columbus.)
4. Blues Traveler
5. Spin Doctors (They were the biggest of the three likely Grateful Dead replacements [Phish and Blues Traveler were the others] in the early 1990s, and they were easily the worst band of the bunch. Saw them again years later during some festival on Walnut Street and they looked like they absolutely hated being there.)
6. Yonder Mountain String Band
7. Railroad Earth
8. Infamous Stringdusters
10. Steve Winwood
11. The Rolling Stones (In Richfield Coliseum [Tattoo You tour], at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville [Steel Wheels tour] and in Ohio Stadium in Columbus [Bridges to Babylon tour].)
12. Bob Dylan
13. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
14. Kiss (Headliner of my first show, in Cincy’s Riverfront Arena, just a few weeks before The Who’s disaster there.)
15. Judas Priest (Opened for Kiss in Cincinnati. Still the loudest thing I’ve ever heard.)
16. Eric Burdon Band (At what is now the Newport in Columbus. He didn’t start until about two hours late, testing my patience of my father, who took junior high-aged Juan and me to the show on a school night; the back of his tour shirts read “Fuck me, I thought he was dead,” testing the patience of pretty much all the adults in my life.)
17. Little Feat
18. B.B. King
19. The Fabulous Thunderbirds
20. Stevie Ray Vaughan (A co-headlining tour with No. 21 Jeff Beck, at Louisville Gardens while I was in the Army. I’d be hard pressed to recall a show with better guitarists. And I was lucky to see Stevie Ray when I did; he was killed in a helicopter crash not long after.)
21. Jeff Beck
22. The Allman Brothers Band
23. Greg Allman Band
24. Gov’t Mule
25. Widespread Panic
26. Jimmy Buffett (A fun thing — sneaking oranges loaded with vodka in to Blossom Music Center.)
27. Pink Floyd
28. Living Colour
29. Wilco (Should be higher on the list, as I continue to maintain they’re the best live band out there today.)
31. Black Crowes
32. Tedeschi Trucks Band
33. Georgia Satellites
34. REO Speedwagon (My buddy TJ and I drove from Athens to Cincinnati to see Georgia Satellites, the night’s opening act at Cincinnati Gardens; we didn’t stay for much of the headliner, REO Speedwagon, opting for a late dinner at White Castle instead.)
35. Molly Hatchet
36. .38 Special
38. Blue Oyster Cult
39. Hot Tuna
40. The Pretenders
41. Cheap Trick (My one and only concert at Ohio State’s St. John Arena. There were no tickets sold in the upper deck because it bounced too much.)
43. Sinead O’Connor
44. Avett Brothers
45. Black Moth Super Rainbow
46. Sonic Youth
47. Bruce Hornsby
48. Keller Williams
49. Disco Biscuits
50. Etta James
Note: I could keep going for a while…
Love it! I forgot about the Spin Doctors. I saw them open for the Rolling Stones once. Good times.
Going to Rolling Stones shows gave me the chance to see Etta James and Living Colour. (The opener for my third Stones show was Blues Traveler, but I had already seen them a couple times.)
You made the right call on the Georgia Satellites… Great rock and roll band, and very under-rated. Saw them at Peabody’s Down Under in the late 80s.
I wish I had the chance to see them as a headliner at some point. A 45-minute set as an opener didn’t do them justice.
came here from Sarah’s Facebook page. I was at that Phish show at the Newport! And also have kicked myself many times for not being at the Phish show at the Dugout!
Also: Rocky Top!
(I’ve been singing that in my head since leaving the above comment)
I had completely forgotten about the Dugout show until I found a recording of it about a year ago. I remember being curious, but … nope. Seeing them at the Newport was pretty cool, but man, to see them in Athens would have been perfect.
Great list! You have seen a great number of bands that are truly worth it. Many of them are long gone, which is a shame. Sometimes I wish I could see a Jimmy Hendrix play live. I always imagine it when I walk through the neighbourhood where he grew up…