Whew, this one is gonna be tough. Ever since going to my first concert in 1985, I've been hooked on going to shows. Here's 50 that stick out:
50. Krokus-April 12th, 1985. Dallas Convention Center (Dallas, TX)-I'll always remember this one because it was the first. I cried when I saw my older brother smoking a joint. Hey, I was 12. Memorable.
49. The Black Crowes-July 11, 1998. La Zona Rosa (Austin, TX)-The Crowes should never have played this joint. The place was packed and chicks were passing out left and right from the heat. Hell, I felt like I was about too. But it was my first time to see them and it was cool as shit that it was at a venue that small.
48. The Beach Boys-July 4, 1986. Arlington Stadium (Arlington, TX)- The main reason they are on this list is because it was the last concert I saw with my Dad. Sure, they are no Iron Maiden, but I remember walking out of this show thinking they were pretty fucking cool.
47. Marty Stuart-March 18th, 2006. Central Presbyterian Church (Austin, TX). Another one that happened by accident. I had an open slot and was checking the SXSW schedule when I noticed he was playing. I figured why not? It'll be in a church so I can sit down, and I remember my Dad always liking him. His set almost led me to the Lord.
46. Dimmu Borgir-April 21st, 2008. Stubb's (Austin, TX)-My first black metal show. I went thinking it would be a good show for a laugh, but I walked out of there a converted fan. Behemoth were pretty rad too.
45. Anthrax/Public Enemy/Primus-October 9th, 1991. Bronco Bowl (Dallas, TX)-I started to get into rap around this time thanks to "Bring Tha Noize". Actually, Public Enemy were probably the most metal of any of the bands.
44. Gin Blossoms-February 22nd, 1994. Rhythm Room (Dallas, TX)-Yeah, I was a big fan when New Miserable Experience came out. The great thing about this show was that it was before they blew up. Also, I had a great conversations with Robin Wilson about local Dallas bands. Dude knew his shit. Small room, small crowd, excellent show.
43. Cheap Trick-October 30th, 2005. Verizon Wireless Amphitheater (Selma, TX). Cheap Trick were the opening band for Def Leppard at this show, but totally owned them. Plus, I caught a Rick Nielsen guitar pick.
42. Sand Rubies-March 19th, 1998. Hole In The Wall (Austin, TX)-Viva Los Sidewinders!
41. Bodeans-July 1st, 2005. The Saxon Pub (Austin, TX)-This was my first time to see this band in 6 years and they didn't disappoint. It was an acoustic set, with a new spin on a couple of tunes.
40. Hyakkei-March 14th, 2007. The Hideout (Austin, TX)-I stumbled onto this show by accident. I didn't have any bands that I wanted to see during the 11 o'clock hour of Wednesday's SXSW, so I thought I'd check them out just because they were from Japan. I done got my ears blowed off!
39. Whiskeytown-September 17th, 1998. Liberty Lunch (Austin, TX)-At the height of my Y'allternative phase and Whiskeytown were faves. Ryan Adams was wasted, but still killed it. Discovered Six String Drag at this show too.
38. Lollapalooza-August 22nd, 1991. Starplex (Dallas, TX)-My one and only Lollapalooza show. Lineup: The Rollins Band, The Butthole Surfers, Ice-T's Body Count, Fishbone, Living Colour, Siouxie and the Banshees, Jane's Addiction. Besides Siouxie (I fell asleep), every band on this bill were awesome. Jane's alone was worth the price of admission. And I got to meet Angelo Moore.
37. Centro-matic-December 8th, 2006. Emo's (Austin, TX)-I'd seen these guys numerous times before, but on this night they were better than ever.
36. Drivin N Cryin-November 9th, 2002. 40 Watt Club (Athens, GA)-I was in town to visit my sister and bored out of my mind. I was more than ecstatic to know that DNC were playing that weekend. Very cool to see them play in front of a somewhat "hometown" crowd. The place was going nuts.
35. Tool-November 14th, 2007. Frank Erwin Center (Austin, TX)-Ok, I'll admit, I wasn't that big of a Tool fan before this show. But I was definitely a convert afterwards. The visuals at their show is amazing.
34. Judas Priest-June 25th, 2005. Verizon Wireless Amphitheater (Selma, TX)-My first time to see Priest since 1987. It was so cool to see Halford back where he belongs.
33. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band-April 14th, 2008. Toyota Center (Houston, TX)-Yes, I do love me some Springsteen. What was great about this show was the setlist: Cadillac Ranch, She's The One, Rosalita, and The E Street Shuffle to name a few.
32. Foo Fighters-September 29th, 2008. Austin City Limits taping (Austin, TX). Anytime you get to see a show here it's gonna be good. Add in the fact that it was the Foo Fighters and it goes from good to great. Only thing that sucked is that I broke the seal and had to pee 4 times.
31. Metal Skool-May 10th, 2007. Body English (Las Vegas, NV)-These guys are hilarious and can seriously play metal at the same time. Highly recommend you check them out if you get the chance.
30. Boris-October 17th, 2007. Mohawk (Austin,TX)-One of the loudest shows I've ever been to. Proud to share the same motherland with this band.
29. The Secret Machines-February 24th, 2005. The Parish (Austin, TX)-This was like seeing an arena rock show in a small club.
28. James Brown-September 20, 1991. Texas Stadium (Irving, TX)-With Kool & The Gang opening up. Very large black women sitting next to us made us dance with them all night. Simply awesome.
27. Robert Plant-August 4th, 1990. Starplex (Dallas, TX). Man, I was front row and center for this show. Enough said.
26. Slayer-June 23rd, 2006. Freeman Coliseum (San Antonio, TX)-After 20 years of being a Slayer fan, I finally get to see them. What the fuck took so long?
25. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers-September 17th, 1999. Frank Erwin Center (Austin, TX)-First time to see the Heartbreakers. As Dave Grohl said, this band is an American institution.
24. Golden Smog-March 14th, 1996. Austin Music Hall (Austin, TX)-Jeez, how many Tweedy related shows are gonna be on this list?
23. Iron Maiden-January 22nd, 1987. Reunion Arena (Dallas, TX)-The best metal band at the best time of their career. Up the irons!
22. Richmond Fontaine-March 15th, 2001. Wherehouse Music (Austin, TX)-One of my all-time favorite bands came to my record store to play during SXSW. Great bunch of guys who were totally cool about no one other than the staff being there for their gig. They still played for 45 minutes and hung around for a bit afterwards.
21. Josh Rouse-April 25th, 2006. Cactus Cafe (Austin, TX)-Another one of my favorite songwriters. It was really cool that his back up band were the guys in Strays Don't Sleep. Great memory of a night out with my girlfriend at the time.
20. Blue Rodeo-March 15th, 2008. Santa Fe Tobacco Company (Austin, TX)-Another band I've seen numerous times, but what made this night special is they brought up the likes of Luke Doucet, Rhett Miller, The Sadies, etc. to play with them.
19. Monotonix-October 9th, 2008. The Mohawk (Austin, TX)-Do yourself a favor and go see this band. You won't remember a single one of their songs, but it's also a show you'll never forget. Even when you're 80.
18. Dave Chappelle-November 13th, 2005. Frank Erwin Center (Austin, TX)-This show was so funny, I could have listened to him for hours and hours.
17. Mark Kozelek-October 11th, 2006. The Parish (Austin, TX)-What's great about a Koz show is that in between songs he comes across as the world's biggest asshole, but then he sings melancholy love songs. He was in fine form this night. Wish I had a bootleg.
16. Bruce Springsteen-Decemeber 2nd, 1992. Reunion Arena (Dallas, TX)-My first Bruce show. I was a late-comer getting on the Bruce train. Yeah, it wasn't the E Street Band, but it was still amazing to see the Boss live in the flesh. Plus he did "Santa Clause is Coming to Town".
15. Matthew Ryan-June 14th, 2008. Cactus Cafe (Austin, TX)-Probably my favorite songwriter. In all the times of seen him live, he never sounded better than he did this night. And he did a great cover of Joe Strummer's "Johnny Appleseed".
14. Texxas Jam- August 24th, 1985. Cotton Bowl (Dallas, TX)-Here was the lineup: Deep Purple, Scorpions, Night Ranger, Ted Nugent, Bon Jovi, Grim Reaper, and Victory. I passed out from the heat during the Nuge.
13. Wilco-November 8th, 1997. Liberty Lunch (Austin, TX)-The last night of their Being There tour. Very possibly the night that they became my favorite band and still are.
12. Van Halen-January 24th, 2008. AT&T Center (San Antonio, TX). Sure the seats were nosebleed and Michael Anthony wasn't there, but fuck dude, Eddie and Dave together again? Amazing.
11. Acetone-May 21st, 1998. Stubb's (Austin, TX)-Damn, I loved this band. And I love when you see a band you love and hardly anyone is there. They played the whole show in silhouette. R.I.P. Richie Lee.
10. Metallica-February 5, 1989. Reunion Arena (Dallas, TX)-The streets of Dallas were iced over that day. My parents were out of town and me and my friends didn't have a ride to the show. So of course we stole my Dad's car. I didn't plan on locking the keys in the car at the show and having to break the window to get back in though. Boy, was Dad pissed at that burglar who tried to steal his car. Ha! Oh, and Metallica fucking destroyed!
9. Uncle Tupelo-March 16th (?), 1991. Liberty Lunch (Austin, TX). My first SXSW experience. We went to go see Drivin' n' Cryin and at the time, had never heard of Uncle Tupelo. Needless to say I was blown away. I remember going to Camelot Music the next day and buying No Depression on cassette for $5.98. 17 years later and Tweedy is still a hero.
8. David Gray-May 12th, 2001. The Backyard (Austin, TX)-I was really into his "White Ladder" album at this time. I took a chick with me and got superlaid that night to boot.
7. Def Leppard-December 13th, 1987. Reunion Arena (Dallas, TX). Def Lepp were my fave band back in the 80's. Anyways, first time to see them and it was the "in the round" show. Just fucking incredible. Tesla opened up too.
6. Rush-August 12th, 2007. Verizon Wireless Amphitheater (Selma, TX)-Good grief, I can't believe it took me this long to see Rush. I usually think drum solos are a waste of time and a good opportunity to go grab a beer or take a pee, but at a Rush show, Neil Peart is God.
5. Bodeans-October 7th, 1991. Deep Ellum Live (Dallas, TX)-I went nutzo at this show. I was front row and sang every word to every song at the top of my lungs. Sammy gave me his guitar pick after the show. I lost my voice for 3 days.
4. Wilco-May 11th, 2008. Stubb's (Austin, TX)-The first of a two night stand. Yeah, I went to the second show too, but I the main reason this one makes the Top 50 is the setlist on this night.
3. My Morning Jacket-November 20th, 2005. Austin City Limits taping (Austin, TX)-This was one of those, "Holy fuck, I can't believe what I just saw" moments.
2. Jeff Tweedy-January 24th, 2007. Hogg Memorial Auditorium (Austin, TX)-It was a cold as shit night and I had just broken my collarbone in 4 places five days before this show. But no way was I gonna miss this show. Tweedy is probably the best ever at in between song banter. I remember walking back to the car with my friend Lorena after the show and my collarbone hurt so bad, I thought I was going to break down crying. I couldn't wait to get home and pop that Vike.
1. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band-April 17th, 2000. Frank Erwin Center (Austin, TX)-Although I will still deny it to this day, my girlfriend at the time swears that tears were streaming down my face when they walked on stage. C'mon, I'm not that big a pussy!