OK, so maybe I'm not old enough to be composing "bucket lists" just yet. But I do care a heck of a lot about music, something that has been an integral part of my life since I was a kid. And some of the musicians who have made a big impact on me aren't exactly aging in reverse Benjamin-Button-style, so I figured I'd better get this list down before I regret it. Because, you know, that might actually win me some tickets or something. In an alternate universe.
This is a unique list. It's not a list of my favorite artists, which is insanely long and heavily peppered by relatively obscure acts like Toad the Wet Sprocket and completely obscure and practically defunct artists like The Deliriants. No, this is a list of (rock) bands that I haven't seen live, but want to, somehow, somewhere. Admittedly, some of these are probably pipe dreams. But others aren't, so let's take a look:
1. Led Zeppelin
I know what you're thinking: "Ha ha, very funny Mike. One of them is dead, and they'll never tour again." But hear me out. In 2007, Led Zeppelin reunited for the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert with Jason Bonham on the drums. They considered touring but Robert Plant backed out. But outside of John Bonham obviously, they're all still alive! It could happen again! I would totally see basically any combination of these guys if they came to the States - even if Jason Bonham couldn't be on drums. (My personal fantasy would be if Dave Grohl could be on drums.) But wouldn't it also be cool if Page, Jones, and Bonham toured with some young punk like Andrew Stockdale who could still hit all the high notes? Let's just pretend it could happen and leave it at that.
2. Peter Gabriel
Right, so here's another long shot. But I can't make a list like this without including the Sledgehammer. I've watched enough YouTube videos of his tours to know that any live performance by him would be epic to witness in person. Try finding one of the videos of "Come Talk To Me" (particularly with Paula Cole singing the harmony parts) and tell me I'm wrong. Heck, I bet he could even deliver a compelling performance from a wheelchair. He toured the States in 2012 so maybe it'll happen again.
3. Sleater-KinneyAnd now we're not only getting realistic, but completely changing the dynamic of the list! After reading the first two entries, this has to throw you for a loop, right? Well, I have to admit that after seeing the video at the top of the post and reading this review, my interest has been piqued.
And, let's be honest, I simply can't bring myself to make a list like this that's full of dudes when I've enjoyed so many concerts by female artists or female-fronted bands, like these:
- Letters to Cleo (multiple times)
- Liz Phair
- Jonatha Brooke
- Sarah MacLachlan
- Patty Griffin
- Tori Amos
Let's stick with the quirky West Coast alternative bands for a bit, shall we? These guys are nothing if not unique, featuring a trumpet in almost every song and a deadpan delivery that probably turns off most music fans. But I once heard that their typical club show includes full-blown crowd involvement, particularly on the songs where there's a lot of "callback" shouting vocals. Whenever I listen to their songs from Prolonging the Magic and Comfort Eagle, I can't help but picture how awesome that must be.
5. OK GO
How can dudes who came up with this idea be anything but brilliant in concert?
And that's just ONE of their zany videos! Have you seen the Rube Goldberg one? Or the one with the treadmills? How about the drone one? Sign me up.
6. Pearl Jam
Thankfully, these guys have continued to produce excellent music and continue touring. And I think they've finally found "their drummer" with Matt Cameron. So I'm really hopeful that someday this will come together. Cost might be an obstacle, but really, shouldn't something on a bucket list be worth spending money on?
7. Del Amitri
As far as I know, these guys are broken up. The lead singer gets out once in a while, but I think this is also a long shot. I'm a bit pessimistic at times. Probably because I've listened to a lot of Del Amitri.
8. Carbon Leaf
So let's find some optimism! I only know a few of these guys' songs, but what I have heard is really, really amazing. That rare group that can make upbeat, poppy songs without sounding like Hanson.
9. Beth Orton
All right, I'll admit it, once I got to like seven on this list I started coming up with reaches so I could get to ten. I have a few of Beth's songs, and love them, and she'd probably be great in concert. But I won't be heartbroken if I never see her.
England's loudest band!!!! Here's another confession: I ran out of steam talking about these groups. What's that saying on writing about music? Forget it...just watch the video already. And turn it up!