Music matters to me more than most things in life, and live music has changed me — my physical state, my mind, and yes, my heart and soul — on more occasions than I can count. Wherever you are, whatever genre you love, you can find live music pretty much anywhere. (Although you lucky ducks in places like Austin, NYC and New Orleans pretty much just have to walk out your door.) Plus, now that there’s an inexhaustible supply of live music on the internet? Who even needs to even go out?
Big Rock Shows
Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden is the show I’m sorriest I missed this summer, mostly because of my deep love for Chris Cornell.
Mötley Crüe brings their final tour with special guest Alice Cooper into Pelham, AL tonight, Alpharetta, GA tomorrow, and Tampa on Sunday. Madness — and a lot of fun — is a guarantee for this one.
The website says that the makeup is provided by MAC, so you know they’re going out pretty — and with a bang. I don’t have tickets for the D.C. show yet, but I think that has to happen.
Finally, Arcade Fire’s Reflektor Tour is in D.C. on Sunday, and while I’m not a fan of the band (I know, I know), I’ve heard rave reviews of this tour, so if a ticket fell into my lap from the universe, I’d be game for checking it out.
Some of the very best concert experiences I’ve ever had have been in small venues. I’m thinking especially of my favorite band that sadly, rarely tours, Hem, and the show I saw in 2006 at the Rams Head on Stage in Annapolis. Second best was the Cowboy Junkies in 1995 in Cincinnati. Hem has no dates upcoming, but the Junkies will be in Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario on Saturday.
My favorite place to see small shows in my area is at The Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria, VA. It’s hands down one of the greatest places to listen to music, ever (in addition to the Rams Head). Trigger Hippy, featuring Joan Osborne and The Black Crowes’s drummer Steve Gorman, among others, will be at the Birchmere on Sunday, and none other than Night Ranger will at Rams Head tomorrow night.
An embarrassment of riches! I recommend finding, and patronizing, the smaller venues in your area — especially the ones with seating, says my 40-something, overworked feet that can no rarely tolerate the chaos of general admission and SRO. We don’t want these places to close down, ever.
Tweet Your Shows
First concert? Best concert? Your favorite concert tee? The TueNight Twitter and Facebook feeds have played host to some great answers to these questions and more this week. My answers: Donnie and Marie at the Kennedy Center with my mom and grandma, then Howard Jones with friends when I was 15 (my parents sat outside in the parking lot). The absolute best? That’s a tie between a surprise Prince show in Dayton, Ohio, and the Foo Fighters in a bar (not kidding) in Cincinnati. Both amazing. And concert tee? Poison, naturally. Don’t hate.
Head over to Facebook and tell us yours.
If you like to plan ahead, break out the check card and do some ticket shopping this weekend. They’re on brief breaks right now, but Tift Merritt and Rachael Yamagata are two women who will be back on tour very soon. They’re noth multi-talented musicians who are among the best I’ve ever seen live. Tift will be appearing at the Trans-Pecos Festival in Marfa, Texas on September 25.
This weekend, Trans-Pecos is holding an extravaganza of “live music, sandlot baseball, workshops, art installations and more in the majesty of Marfa, Texas,” andjust went to the top of my concert bucket list. Also on sale now are tickets for Citizen Cope’s 10th Anniversary of the Clarence Greenwood Recordings tour.
He has a few dates in Massachusetts and New York to wrap up August, but things kick off for real in late September. He’s a lot of fun live, and these shows will sell out, so get your tickets now.
Here’s to having a rocking weekend!