Last week I went out to the big, bad, terrible, claustrophobia inducing storage unit and readily--thank god--found my old ticket stubs. I'm certain there are a ton that I'm missing for whatever reason, but I still have enough to go on for a bit.
Depeche Mode - DM played at Dodger Stadium back in 1990 for their Violator tour. I was still with my first girlfriend back then and we had both spent a ridiculous amount of time pouring over Depeche Mode's appropriately titled Catching Up With Depeche Mode video, which in all likelihood is sitting somewhere in the scary storage unit. We loved the Mode and made the trip to LA to see our favorite band. Parking took forever, getting to the gate took forever, getting inside took forever, and getting to our goddamn seats took forever as well. We ended up only seeing the last couple of songs for opening band Nitzer Ebb, who I really loved--"Control I'm Here" is my favorite song from them.
When Depeche Mode finally took the stage, they played all of the old and new favorites and they put on a great show, but something just didn't click with me the way that other shows had; something was missing. I still can't even describe what the problem was, but near the end I was glad to be on our way back home. Maybe their albums sounded much too much like their live show...who knows. What I do know is that it took us a fucking eternity to get out of the damned Dodger Stadium and on the freeway. I am almost fine never going back there for the rest of my life just to avoid the traffic issues. Shit...I'm old.
Morrissey - This show was at the Santa Barbara County Bowl in 1991 and I should not have gone. This was in my bad student days of skipping classes to boogie board, playing 720 with my housemates at the quad or traveling to comic book stores in Ventura with the guy, who at the time was my best friend, but ended up becoming a doucebag criminal. Anyways, I should have been studying for my final, which was the next day...actually, I should have been studying for my final a week prior, but I was a dumb college student basking in my freedom and dead set to implode and--as usual--learn my lessons the hard way. As it happens someone had an extra ticket to see Morrissey live and I immediately forgot about the final, wrote out a check, and was making plans to head off to dinner with friends. Hours later we were sitting in our seats and watching the opening band, which might have been the Godfathers, but then again, they might have been the openers for Elvis Costello...not sure.
Anyhow, Mr. Bona Drag himself eventually hit the stage--very late--and shit went nuts...seriously nuts. For years, I have complained that Santa Barbara concert audiences are comprised of a handful of super-fans who ruin the show for everyone, or for the most part medically sedated drones who won't dance or sing or enjoy themselves. This was not the case at this show. People were losing their fucking marbles. A steady stream of flowers and carrots (???) were flying onstage to the point that it looked like Morrissey was singing in the middle of a big salad. People were singing, dancing, screaming, and a four-eyed fat kid (not me) jumped on stage to hug him.
One of the guitarist was so into dancing while he was playing that he slipped on a flower and slammed face down on the ground. My initial reaction at seeing the poor soul stack in front of thousands was "oh my god, that must have hurt," but he was right back up and playing; that is dedication...or at least a healthy fear of Morrissey. Flowers continued to rain down and on the fourth or fifth song he casually walked offstage. The crowd was freaking out and I thought that he was going to change outfits or do something dramatic and people began to really chant and scream for him to come back out. With my heart pumping the thought crossed my mind that I had made the right decision in coming. Fuck MacroEconomic, I'm at the best concert of my life!
Not even a second later came an odd sort of feeling. Call it dread. Call it foreboding. Morrissey was taking a VERY long time to return and the crowd was slowly figuring this out, but denial is a resilient emotion and even that was dashed as the tour van sped down the hill and away.
Are you fucking kidding me? Four, maybe five songs and he just drives off? What? I shelled out a lot of money that I did not necessarily have to spend, I should not have gone to dinner to prepare for the show, I should have been home studying and it was still going to take about an hour to get out of the Bowl and back to Isla Vista. Shit. Suffice to say, I did not do so hot on the final, which is my own fault, but I was so mad at Morissey that I never went to another show or bought another album by him after that. Five songs? C'MON!!!
1st Annual Weenie Roast - 1993. This was one of those KROQ all day concerts, but it was fun because we actually had fairly good seats and did not have to contend with moshing morons like at Lollapaloozer. Only the severely soul-crushing heat diminished the experience of this show. After we downed an economy sized bottle of Jaggermeister we saw: Terrence Trent D'arby(seriously, and he was great), Dramarama, Gin Blossoms, Lemonheads, Suede (yay), The Posies, Rocket From the Crypt, Bettie Serveert, Stone Temple Pilots (great show), The The and X.
2nd Annual Weenie Roast - 1994. For this one we saw: The Violent Femmes, Oingo Boingo (Yay!), The Pretenders (amazing), Counting Crows (wake me when it's over), Green Day (a blast), Rollins Band, The Offspring (people went berserk), James, Beck, The Afghan Wigs, Pavement, Frente, Candlebox (who?). Again, long hot day, but well worth the trip.
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