I want to rock!

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by Tim Burdick on 12 February, 2014

This blog will be dedicated to one of my ‘loves’—music or more specifically enjoying live concerts.

Growing up in Allentown, PA was pretty boring in the 80’s. Lots of groups didn’t perform at the fair ground and the cool clubs didn’t exist then. So, instead, I had to travel to Philadelphia which was a two hour drive, including parking your car. After the show, I bought a t-shirt, found the car, and battled the traffic as I drove up the turnpike.
It’s easier to invade a small country.

To see a show was a highlight of the year and I treasured each one. Naming my top five shows was a chore. During a class ( I was supposed to being teaching) I spent 30 minutes creating a master list of shows and it included over 20 bands, in seven different countries over three decades (for the majority).

First Show: Willie Nelson (’83, Allentown) vs. Pink Floyd (’87, Philadelphia)
I like to tell my peers that Pink Floyd’s “Learning to Fly” tour was my first big stadium event, but sadly it was Willie Nelson. I was 8 years old and my dad bought two tickets. My mom and I had a coin toss to see who would go and I lost.

Best Sing-a-long (or Best Fans): Indigo Girls (1997, Newark, Delaware) do a great live performance and their legions of fans attend every show. These people can sing the song lyrics by heart. Seriously, Indigo girls strum the opening notes and the crowd goes bezerk. I don’t know why they sing. They could just drink tea and rest their voices.

Wildest Show outside the US: Molotov (2003, Santiago, Chile)
Mexican punk, do I need say anymore?

Honorable mention: the Subways, their second concert in Lucerna (2010, Prague), if you have never seen an entire audience mosh, consider yourself lucky.

Longest show: Pearl Jam (1999, Prague): They felt guilty about a previous show when the fans had to wait outside in the snow after the band was delayed at the border. They played around 3-4 hours in a packed stadium. Due to sweating, I lost 2 kilos of water weight and almost fainted. True story.

The Surprise: Ivan Mladek, Hooverphonic, Shed 7, Emiliana Torrini, Imogen Heap, Baron Bane, Jake Bugg,Team Me, The Wombats, Sophie Hunger, Sunflower Caravan, and Cartonnage. My unexpected joys that I discovered at festivals or as opening acts and their performances were amazing, awesome, crazy musical roller coast rides that left me breathless.

I can’t wait to see the next one. I wonder who is coming to town? If you have heard anyone good, write me.

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