I’m lucky because with this blog, I’m able to get into a lot of shows for free. I also like a lot of bands that are still playing small bars and generally their tickets are under 20 bucks. But sometimes, like everyone, I get drawn in for the spectacle and the feeling of being one of the few who got to see whoever play that cover of that one song that no one’s ever heard before. Or something like that.
There aren’t a lot of them, but I can come up with ten bands I would never even dream of asking to let me in for free (but if they offered I would be a fool to decline).
10. Roger Waters-Now, preferably this would be Waters and David Gilmour, if not a full Pink Floyd reunion show. For whatever reason, it seems like that won’t happen again (not on a tour anyway, but the idea of one-off shows has been something they’ve considered). Waters is just fine by himself, though. He just finished touring The Wall around the world, so it may be a bit before he comes around again. Have your credit card ready when he does.
9. Radiohead-It’s true that over the last decade my love/hate relationship with the band has turned decidedly sour, but they are still one helluva live band. It’s odd that their records, for me, have been getting worse but their stage show is just as good or better. Oh well.
8. Wilco-Flat out, Wilco is the tightest live band I’ve ever seen.
7. Prince-Not only is he worth the money, he’s worth standing in line for five or six hours to get tickets. And then he’s worth another few hours while you wait for him to take the stage, even though he was supposed to start two hours ago.
6. U2-If you’re a fan, which I am to a point, it doesn’t get any better than their ridiculous shows. The budget for their set is more than some small countries GDP, but when you charge a couple hundred bucks a ticket, the money comes back pretty fast. I’d only see them now if they were playing the early stuff, as I haven’t really enjoyed any of their more recent works.
5. REM-Michael Stipe still gets it done, and the band have been together for so long they barely have to look at eachother to know what’s coming next. I’ve never seen them actually live, only in videos and live recordings. Maybe the highest band on my wishlist to see.
4. Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band-Thirty years on and he’s still rockin’ three hour sets with more energy than most young punk bands. Hopefully they’re planning a 2012 tour to stop in Chicago so that I can be obnoxious and yell along with “Backstreets” and “Jungleland.”
3. BB King-This may seem like an odd choice, but seriously he’s getting old. If you’re gonna go see him, now’s the time. I’ve seen King three times, and each one was a complete joy. One thing about the old blues guys, they are all great storytellers. BB’s set is about three quarters music and one quarter open mic comedy set.
2. Paul McCartney-Got to see him twice a couple years ago and I was floored with how good his voice has held up. He played for almost three hours and hardly took a sip of water. He’s a machine. When he played at Wrigley Field a month or so ago, I almost had just the smallest iota of an idea that maybe we’d go see him again. If I had that kind of money, I would have. Unfortunately I also have to eat and pay rent, so the tickets weren’t in the cards.
1. Neutral Milk Hotel-Here’s an idea for a charity that wants to raise more money than EVER. Figure out a way to get NMH to play a one-time reunion show. Make them sign a waiver saying they’ll never do it again, and then put the tickets on ebay like those Back To The Future II shoes. Depending on the venue you rent out, you could be looking at a billion dollar day. DISCLAIMER: This will never happen.