2004 Steven Was A Big Dummy

In April of 2004, I complained in a LiveJournal post that the $76.50 ticket price for a Prince concert was just too expensive. I was an idiot and a first-class buffoon. If I could time-travel, I would absolutely go on a tour of my stupid decisions, and I would repeatedly slap these younger stupid Stevens.

I did see Prince once, with Jade Walker and another friend. The year was 1997, and Prince was going by “The Artist” at the time. The show took place at the Miami Arena, a venue which has since been demolished and turned into a parking lot. The price for that ticket was a smidge over fifty bucks, and I would happily pay a much, much higher fee to see His Royal Purple Badness one more time.

I never had the chance to see David Bowie live. I didn’t really know how much I loved Queen until Freddie Mercury was already gone. I never saw Michael Jackson or George Michael. I missed Oingo Boingo’s touring days, although I did finally manage to see Danny Elfman in London.

Music is life. I say that so, so often on this blog, but it’s more than just a pithy slogan for me. Concerts are so much a part of my identity that I push through travel anxiety and a dislike of crowds to go to them over and over.

I went to 28 ticketed shows in 2019. In 2020, I went to seven.

Thanks to the pandemic, almost all the shows I wanted to see for the other nine months of last year were either canceled or postponed. It will be months before we can really do concerts again- there’s a sprinkling of new shows available at a few venues, but at greatly reduced capacity, and in a very different form than what I’m used to.

Now that vaccines are starting to be distributed, I’m more impatient than ever to get back to regular concert-going, and I have a not-really-very-short-list of artists that I would go far, far out of my way to see.

From the “I had a chance to see them, but circumstances kept me away from the show and I’m still mad about it” file:

  • Betty Who – She played downtown Orlando and I was otherwise engaged.
  • Ciel Gloss – She did a show in New York when I was there in December of 2019 and I couldn’t make it work.
  • Imagine Dragons – I actually had tickets to this show, and was unable to go at the last minute.
  • Mindy Gledhill – She played a Northern Virginia venue really close to here. I wasn’t here yet. Timing is everything.
  • Kesha – This is another tour that was canceled by the pandemic.
  • Janelle Monae – Another Orlando show that I am KICKING myself for not catching.

From the “I deeply respect their artistry and I really really really wanna see them live despite all the hype!” file:

  • Taylor Swift – Does Taylor Swift really need commentary from me?
  • Mavis Staples – This woman is a badass and she’s toured vaguely near me a few times and I really should have just made the drive.
  • P!nk – Pink is one of those shows that I really just should have ponied up the money to see when she played Orlando.
  • Lorde – I wonder if she’ll ever tour outside of New Zealand again. Damn, I hope so.
  • Carly Rae Jepsen – I actually saw her once, and the show was so good that I would absolutely see her again. If your opinion of her is based solely on “Call Me Maybe,” you should check out some of the other stuff on her five albums.

From the “I learned about this artist after their last tour concluded and then a pandemic happened and now I want to see them live so badly it probably looks like I have to pee” file:

  • Meg Myers – I was introduced to this artist by another friend, right after her tour in support of “Take Me To The Disco” ended. If I had a time machine…
  • Grendel – This band has been around for 20+ years already, but I was unaware of them until just recently, and I love what I’m hearing.
  • Marit Larsen – I’m not sure if Marit Larsen ever tours in North America- she’s from Norway and has mostly stuck around Europe and the Nordic countries. Maybe once it’s safe to fly long distances again.
  • Kelsea Ballerini – She’s a much newer artist with one song that got plastered all over the radio, but I’ve listened to more of her stuff and she’d be a blast to see live.
  • Ladyhawke – She’s another New Zealander, and I have no idea if she tours the US.
  • Jackie Venson – I first saw Jackie Venson on Austin City Limits, and she kicks ass.

I’m aware that most of the names above are in one particular genre of music, but I promise there’s other stuff on my radar. Don’t get me wrong- this is by no means a complete and unabridged list of who I want to see live- I’ve already got tickets to see eleven different shows later this year, and I’m watching carefully for announcements about others.

Music is life. And I miss living.

What concert do you most wish you’d seen when you had the chance?



21 thoughts on “2004 Steven Was A Big Dummy

  1. This was such a fun post to read! My husband and I have already agreed that literally the moment we feel comfortable doing so we are going to drop TONS of money on concerts and hockey games (go Preds!). I’ve been reluctant to spend on concerts in the past but not anymore. I will drop the big bucks to go see Taylor Swift asap.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She was part of a “jingle ball” when i was in new york that one december, but I felt like she would only get three or four songs, tops, because of the huge number of participants. I decided to wait for a show that was just her and an opener.


      1. …looking back at this a year later, I realize that once again, Past Steven Was A Big Dummy. I should have gotten that Jingle Ball ticket. Even five or six songs of live Taylor would have been worth it. Stupid, stupid Past Steven.


  2. Lorrie

    I had a ticket to see Elton John 2 or 3 years ago but circumstances changed. The nostalgic side of me has been playing catchup with singers and groups from the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’m eager to get back to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a long history of missing Elton. My family saw him at the Hollywood Sportatorium in the 1980s, but I was sick and had to stay home. Then he played Regensburg while I was over there, but it was at the palace and the ticket prices were beyond my means. Then I got a ticket to see him in Orlando, and BLAMMO, pandemic. Oh well, there’s always 2022.


  3. Bunny

    I’m with you about Queen. Had I but known…

    I saw some great stuff when I lived in VA, a hundred years ago. Jimmy Buffet had a broken leg, but performed anyway, sitting on the stage with his legs dangling over the edge,. Cat Stevens was sick with the flu, but performed through it. I saw him twice. ELO was waaay too loud. Ear-splitting! Back in the day, sitting in the way-up cheap seats gave new meaning to the word high, as the smoke wafted upward… People lit Bic lighters in tribute, back then, not cell phones.

    I saw Neil Diamond in Ft. Lauderdale, and it was embarrassing. All those old folks boogying in their seats. One woman near me knew every word of every song and SANG ALONG! I’d seen him in VA, in his skin-tight jeans 25 years earlier, and was doing the can’t-sit-still thing myself. This time, though, he was in sans-a-belt slacks up to his armpits. I mean, he was OLD. The whole thing was… unsettling. But he still put on a great show. I was with a young friend, who looked around in awe and giggled. I couldn’t blame her. I felt like crawling under my seat. You can’t go home again…

    I also saw Barry Manilow in Ft. Lauderdale. I don’t care what anybody says, I would go again in a heartbeat. Not long ago, I went to Kravis Center in WPB to see Johnny Mathis. Hadn’t heard about him in years, so I went, just to see. He was about 80-something, and still going strong. The high notes were a bit strained, but damned if he didn’t do a whole concert. I was pretty impressed.

    I saw Jack Jones at FAU. What a great show. I’d go again. Do you see kind of a genre thing going, here?

    Let’s not forget Liza Minelli. I was about as far away from the stage as you could get, but she made it seem as if I was in the front row. Talk about compelling. That was in VA, so a lot of years ago, but I’ll never forget the nightclub feeling she was able to produce in that giant venue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve seen Diamond and Manilow and Tom Jones, not Jack. All excellent shows. I haven’t seen Liza, but I’ve seen Bernadette Peters, Idina Menzel, and Alan Cumming…


  4. Great post! One of the best entertainers that I have ever seen live is Melissa Etheridge! She has crazy guitar skills! We have seen her three times and I would see her anytime she is in our area! I highly, highly recommend her to be added to your list.
    I saw Nora Jones in concert. And although I think she has a beautiful voice, she’s not a good entertainer. There was no interaction with the audience. I could have played a CD and gotten the same feel!
    I would love to see a lot of different artists in person… Chris Stapleton, Cam, Alicia Keys, and I saw a shortened concert with Tierney Sutton. I would love to see the Tierney Sutton band in person again!

    My husband just added a reunion tour of the Eagles! That would be wonderful!

    Thanks for the fun post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would have bet Nora Jones would be good, and that’s sad to hear. I felt the same way about seeing Mannheim Steamroller- zero audience interaction, and Chip Davis doesn’t perform with the larger group any more. It felt like a Mannheim cover band.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I had tickets to see Incubus in Frankfurt about 11 or 12 years ago but the concert was cancelled the day before due to illness. They haven’t been anywhere near me since. If they ever come back to Europe I will definitely buy tickets!

    Liked by 1 person

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