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ACKERMAN: My Top 5 Concerts of All-Time

Discussion in 'OFF TOPIC' started by -X-, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. -X-

    I'm the Dude, man.
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    Jun 20, 2010
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    North Carolina
    [wrapimg=left]http://cbsstlouis.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/img_5867.jpg?w=300[/wrapimg] ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Sunday’s U2 concert at Busch Stadium looked absolutely spectacular. Where does it rank for you?

    Unable to attend last night, I’ve devoured as much footage of the 360 tour stop as possible: photo galleries, Youtube videos, reviews, Twitter comments. Overall, it’s been great to see St. Louis fall in love with the production, the music and the electricity that makes a U2 show unforgettable.

    I’ve seen U2 multiple times, with the best performance coming on February 3, 2002. It was the Super Bowl after 9/11. We gathered in New Orleans to see the Rams and the Patriots.

    And what we witnessed was the greatest halftime show ever: <a class="postlink" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og0V1UtjPt4" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og0V1UtjPt4</a>

    Which brings me to my Top 5 concerts of all-time. We all have stories. What are yours?

    Here are mine:

    5) U2, Superdome, New Orleans, LA — 2002

    I’ll let the Super Bowl show (see above) stand as No. 5, although it was more than a concert that night; it was an outpouring of American emotion packed into a three-song set. Talk about leaving the crowd wanting more.

    4) U2, Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO — 1992

    I was 17. Ever since obtaining my driver’s license, I had been constantly blaring Achtung Baby on my car stereo. The music was inspiring, exciting to me. I remember how incredible it was walk into Busch Stadium in anticipation of seeing a show that night. We were on the field, about 80 rows back. Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr. took the stage and totally blew me away.

    Then the unthinkable happened.

    My sister, Lauren, had landed some front-row tickets through a friend connected with the promotion of the show. As in, Row 1. And because Lauren and her high school friends were instructed to meet their chaperones near one of the gates at 10:00 PM, they were certain that late in the show they’d be able to hand over their ticket stubs to me. I grabbed a few friends and we made the exchange.

    We proceeded to work our way through the crowd to the front row. We were stopped about every 100 feet, but we weren’t denied, making it all the way to the front of the stage for U2′s encore.

    Stunning, to say the least. It’s a memory I will hang onto forever.

    3) Def Leppard, St. Louis Arena, St. Louis, MO – 1988

    The first concert I attended without parental supervision. Needless to say, I was thrilled.

    The Hysteria tour was in-the-round, meaning that the stage was set up in the center of the Arena floor, with the crowd surrounding it evenly on all sides. Not bad for a first show, eh?

    The stage was set up just like I had seen in the band’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” video. The speakers looked huge, pointing out in all directions in the old barn. The lights went down, the crowd erupted, and I had my first live rock n’ roll experience — on my own, hanging out with friends. It was an unbelievable atmosphere.

    I think about this night sometimes and laugh. There I was — probably looking like I was ten years old — yelling my head off in the middle of a sold-out concert…in the heart of the 80′s hair band era. And loving every second of it.


    2) The Rolling Stones, Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA — 2005

    I have my good friend Adam Crane to thank for this one. As the Director of Communications for the Hollywood Bowl, Adam accompanied my friend Vijoy and me for an afternoon visit to the historic venue.

    Upon arriving, we walked through the gate and made our way out to get a look at the stage. We came around the corner, stage right, and standing there — with guitar — was Keith Richards. Holding a piece of paper in one hand and a microphone in the other was Mick Jagger. The next thing we saw: a large man with a badge that read: “Rolling Stones Security,” telling us to leave. As it turned out, Adam was admitted backstage, but Vijoy and I were not.

    That’s when we made our move.

    Sneaking up to the top of the hillside seating area, we hid behind a row of bushes and watched the Stones’ sound check. Just me, Vijoy…and the Hollywood sign, off in the distance. “Tumbling Dice” was the first song out of the gate.

    Later, for the concert, the Stones opened with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and closed two hours later with “Satisfaction.” The celebrity quotient was off the charts: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong and U2′s The Edge were all there…and that’s just part of the guest list. It was a phenomenal night.

    And to this day, I can’t hear “Tumbling Dice” without thinking of our sound check triumph.

    1) The Samples, Jake’s, Bloomington, IN — 1994

    The Samples, a band from Boulder, Colorado, became very popular among my friends in the early 1990′s. They’d come into town once or twice a year to play Mississippi Nights, the longtime music venue in Laclede’s Landing (that is now a Lumiere Place parking lot).

    The Samples possessed a rare combination of rock, pop, reggae…a musical experience that immediately took me back to those relaxing places I knew: the beach, mountains, etc. My kind of band, my kind of fun.

    My freshman year at Indiana University, I discovered that the Samples were coming to Bloomington to play a show. The problem: the venue, Jake’s, didn’t allow patrons under 21. As a result, I had pretty much dismissed the idea of going.

    But on the day of the show, as I was walking down Kirkwood Avenue near the IU campus, I happened to run into Sean Kelly, the Samples’ lead singer. I proceeded to engage him in the below conversation:

    TA: “Excuse me, Sean?”

    SK: “Yes?”

    TA: “My name is Tom Ackerman. Welcome to Bloomington. I’m a big fan.”

    SK: “Thanks, I appreciate that.”

    TA: “I see you in St. Louis when you come into town. I always enjoy the show.”

    SK: “Hey, that’s great, man. Cool. You coming to see us tonight?”

    TA: “Actually, no. I’m actually, um, 18. So I won’t be able to get in the door.”

    SK: “Then why don’t you just walk on stage with us?”

    I paused for a moment, trying to process the situation. Just like that, I was accepted not only into the show, but I was about to roll with my favorite band for a night.

    I arrived outside of the parked tour bus at 7:30, as instructed. I knocked, and a member of the band’s staff opened the door. He quizzed me for a moment before Kelly intervened — and asked me to join them on the bus. I was introduced to each member of the Samples. And within minutes, I was treated like a friend. Was this really happening?

    Shortly after 8:00, Kelly told me to follow them inside, as they would be making their way directly to the stage. There was a chair on the side of the stage, he said. That was for me.

    We walked in together. The lights went out. The crowd roared. And The Samples took the stage at Jake’s and put on one of their classic free-flowing, head-bobbing sets for the eager college-age fans.

    The four members of the band: Sean Kelly (guitar, lead vocals), Andy Sheldon (bass), Al Laughlin (keyboard) and Jeep MacNichol (drums) shared the stage…along with some freshman kid that couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.

    After the show, I shook hands with Kelly, thanked him, and disappeared into the crowd. As I took the quiet walk back to the dorms, I thought about the way the band had taken care of one of its biggest fans. Without questions, without hesitation.

    Best show I ever attended.

    Tom Ackerman is Sports Director at KMOX. He can be heard weekday mornings at :15 and :45 past the hour on “Total Information A.M.” Follow him on Twitter: @Ackerman1120.
  2. PhxRam

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    My top 5

    Grateful Dead/CSN | Rich Stadium | July 16, 1990
    Pink Floyd | Carrier Dome | October 3, 1987
    Neil Young | Syracuse | September 1983
    Grateful Dead |John F. Kennedy Stadium| July 7, 1989
    Roger Waters | US Airways Center | November 27, 2010
  3. -X-

    I'm the Dude, man.
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    Jun 20, 2010
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    North Carolina

    Mine are (I don't remember dates. I don't even know what today is)

    1. David Bowie (VA)
    2. Neil Young (VA)
    3. Ozzy Osbourne (FL)
    4. Marilyn Manson/Nine Inch Nails (FL)
    5. KISS (FL) Can't sing worth a damn, but man what a show! (make-up era)
  4. Selassie I

    H. I. M.
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    Jun 23, 2010
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    This is a cool question. Here's my list...

    5) Ziggy Marley

    I've seen him in concert 6 or 7 different times. My favorite one was at Universal Studios here in Orlando about 7 years ago or so. I was right in the front and the Zig-Man grabbed my hand and yanked on my arm after hearing me scream "JAH,,, Rastafari, The Almighty I" after one of his songs (you guys may have seen that somewhere before). My back was to the stage when I yelled it out,,, and when I felt my arm being yanked on, I couldn't believe my eyes when I turned around and saw his giant smile right in my face. Awesomeness at it's highest level almost.

    4) The Police

    This was just a couple of years back when they did that reunion tour. It was in St Petersburg, FL in the Ice Palace or whatever it's called down there. Just incredible that those guys can sound so good (just 3 of them). Sting is so talented. Sting's son was the opening band.

    3) David Lee Roth

    This was about 9 years ago I'm guessing at a TINY LITTLE place here in Orlando called Fern Park Station. It was actually some old train station that was converted into a bar. This place was super small, had a full bar pouring stiff drinks and we were probably only 20 feet from the stage. Everyone was talking crap with him in between songs, and he totally talked crap right back. He freaking Rocked just like he did with Van Halen,,, great showman. He even whipped out a samurai sword at one point.

    2) Damian and Stephen Marley (together)

    At the Hard Rock here in Orlando when Stephen had just put out his Mind Control album. Damian has always been my favorite Marley son. Together, they were Beast. Just a great show with a great vibe in the place. Major smoke was everywhere... and I mean everywhere.

    Number 1 was easy for me,,,

    I got to see Bob Marley in 1979 in Oahu, Hawaii. It was right before we moved back to the Mainland. It was in Waikiki and I still thank my Madre for taking me, I was only around 12 years old. I'm so thankful that I got to see him. My Favorite Artist by a long way.