Fender Concert Series: Christoper B. of Reston, Va.
As part of our Fender Concert Series, we invited our Fender.com readers to tell us about their first, best, worst or just overall most memorable ever concert. We appreciate the response we’ve gotten so far (keep ’em coming), and have chosen to first feature the following entry from Christopher B. of Reston, Va.:
Wow, did this give me an opportunity to relive some really, really memorable moments of my life. So let me take some time and share the first, the best, the worst, and overall most memorable.
My first concert was Cream in NYC 1966. I was 11 years old and my “hippie” sister took me into the city from northern Jersey. I couldn’t believe my parents let me go. Cool, huh?
I cannot even remember the venue, but I can remember the volume. My ears rang for days, and the music was truly amazing. I was just standing there with my mouth agape watching Eric Clapton play amazing stuff. I had never heard anything like that before in my house, but that music (along with Jimmy Page and Carlos Santana) became a staple of my life and gave me a reason to want to play guitar.
The best concert I ever saw was probably Prince’s Musicology tour in 2004. I saw them at Verizon (then MCI Center) in Washington, D.C. The showmanship, musicianship and production value was just stunning. I took my teenage daughter and she was just in awe—as I was back in 1966 with Cream.
The overall most memorable show is a toss-up between Pink Floyd in Milwaukee County Stadium in 1975 and ZZ Top in 2001.
I’m a huge David Gilmour fan and was able to watch him up close; I was in the third row, on his side of the stage, with the projection screen behind them. Then the plane comes flying onto the back of the stage from an upper tier of the stadium, crashing into the stage set. Amazing, especially when your mind was being altered by recreational pharmaceuticals at the time.
The ZZ Top show was a private affair during the inauguration for the Texas delegation’s celebration for Bush 43 (George W. Bush) after his first election. They played a small room at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C., for about 500 people. I stood right in front of Billy Gibbons’ mic stand––about two feet from his hands––with my wife of 20 years, hearing his amazing tonal sculptures. We both felt like teenagers again; that’s what a great concert does. To top that off, we got to meet Billy, Dusty (Hill) and Frank (Beard) after the show. Since Billy is one of my all-time guitar heroes, I was in nirvana.
The worst concert I ever attended was, unfortunately, a Stevie Ray Vaughan show at Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis during the height of his drug use. I saw SRV about 30 times over the years, but for this show I was in the back row in the floor-level seats, with the balcony over my head and the volume and mix of sound washing over me, including the reflected sound off the back wall, which was excruciating. Stevie’s playing was often sloppy and he sometimes had difficulty with the lyrics of his own songs. I’m glad I saw him as many times as I did, because when he was on, there was no one better.
There are so many other memories I might have included, but these are the ones that jumped to my forebrain when I saw your Twitter posting. Hope you enjoyed me sharing them with you as much as I enjoyed reliving them.
Click here to find out more about the Fender Concert Series, and how you can participate!