Concerts are the matter that began this brainstorming sessions of mine a couple of weeks ago. Becasue, in and of themselves, concert are a fully integrating event. The music will probably be very enjoyable and very loud. Most of us have a couple of music genres which truly appeal to us. So most of my live music experiences have been rock or heavy metal. I admit that a couple of country artists have put on good shows while I was taking in the event: which brings me to my next point of why I was there. 

Carrie Underwood was my favorite singer in season four of the show American Idol. And I have bee a fan ever since. In edition to how beautiful and wholesome she is, I like her songs and her performances. Her singing ability is extraordinary; she also tries to connect to the audience, explaining her music and how it is so important. When I was assigned to Fort Riley, a mission was to work at a large outdoor country music event. I got to watch performances by Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan before I was familiar with their music. I came to enjoy them as artists. I still purchased the actual CDs of their latest albums when I’m moved enough. 

I would be very happy to meet them. I did get to meet Carrie Underwood after her show. That was a very nice experience.Other antirust whom I have met during a show include the members of Cavo and of Chevelle. I met the singer and the guitarist for Shinedown. Shinedown, whom I watched in Kuwait, put on one of the most amazing shows. When I saw them, I had only heard one of their songs, but I was blown away by the music and by their performance. That is in spite of the minimalistic stage set up. They were traveling light on their world wide tour to entertain the US Troops. The band is touring this summer again and I would be very interested in watching a full set up performance. 

On the subject of exceptional performances, the among the better shows I have watched include Queensrÿche , who played two complete albums and did everything that can be done with lasers. The best moment was when then singer Geoff Tate ran toward a video image projection of himself and disappears into a screen. Joan Jett opened for Robert Plant in El Paso, in the UTEP Special Evens Center. I was young, before I left home with the Army. Robert plant was of course, amazing. The show had been postponed a few weeks due Robert Plant falling ill. But Joan Jett herself put on an emotional performance. Robert plant left everyone want more performances of Led Zeppelin tunes. If that had happened, I thing it would have been even more spectacular. Interestingly enough, Robert Plant’s lead off band was supposed to be the Mission UK; the lineup changed after the postponement. The Mission UK actually opened for the Queensrÿche  event, a a few years later. And thy put on a great set, though we missed a bit due to tardiness. I got to that show and Mike Heroux, one of my best friends, during my first assignment to Fort Riley, and I went to Robert plant with Robert Castillo. I’ve been at a few concerts with Robert…when we were around more, he would invite me if he thought I would be interested. 

The worst experience was White Lion opening for AC/DC, the night before I left for the Army. That should have been a great show, and it was. But I decided to leave in the middle of the AC/DC set to go say goodby the my girlfriend who lived in the area. I got to say goodbye and I got mugged on my way back to the coliseum. So memorable for so many reasons.

Other shows with Roberts dragged me along include the Iron Maidens, in a bar in El Paso, and Birthday Massacre opening for Black Veil Brides. Performances of other great tribute bands I’ve seen include Cowboys from Hell Paso (with Robert) and Guns and Roses, AC/DC and Eagles cover bands. The same place (Junction city, Kansas’ “Annual Sundown Salute”) I also got to see Eddie Money. He was so good, even though he looked so weathered. His son came out to play saxophone at one point and the kid just blew everyone away.  

While in Korea, with the Army of course, I saw performances by Twisted Sister, Collective Soul, Wayne Newton Chris Isaac. During deployments to Afghanistanå and Iraq, I had the great fortune to see shows by Finger Eleven, and by Bryan Adams. Of course, each of those had their own associated memories, but to being away, and being deployed. Only two shows that I saw in a Date situation, Stacy Q and the Jets, which I saw with Mimi and her little sister. My friend Wendell joined my ex-wife and me in a double date to see Kansas opening for Styx on the airfield in Fort Riley, Kansas. It’s an event that was good for her and me. It wasn’t the only good memory we had together, but one of the best events, to be sure. 

I almost forgot to mention the classic bands I’ve watched with my brother Andrew: Foreigner, Pat Benatar and Bob Dylan (the same year he was awarded the Novel Prize in Literature – I believe). For someone like myself who has a deep appreciation of music and of live performances, concerts have to got top the list of pleasant and memorable experiences/memories. Like a lot of my other memories, these event are slipping away – the less memorable events only surface as names to me. As if they happened to others. I am glad for this medium…the chance to preserve my thoughts and the the opportunity to tell the stories to others. 

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