In my youth I was never the kind of music fan who attended a lot of concerts, frequented local scenes, had the money for tickets to arenas or stadiums, or had friends who invited me along to any of the above. My rock intake chiefly came via radio or physical media, very little in the way of firsthand experiences with a professional band standing and/or jumping around in front of me. As the years rolled on, isolated opportunities popped up here and there that got me out of the house and in the presence of live jamming. Eventually I learned the joys of an energetic crowd, an imperfect performance, and blessedly temporary tinnitus. It didn’t take long to learn that in-person rock acts were a vastly different experience from the three years I spent in junior high band playing bass clarinet.
I’ve been meaning for some time to compile those nights into a single chronological list for my own handy reference and sharing and whatnot. Over the past few days this has been on my mind for a couple of reasons I’ll get to at the end of this miniseries — to wit: my life at concerts over the past 25 years, mostly but not entirely rock-based, including a smattering of stand-up comedy and a pair of classical orchestras in more recent times. That number of years might sound impressive if I were a 30-year-old roadie and if the results were novella-length. As a 45-year-old introvert, I’m surprised they add up to as much as they do.