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?

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