Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Top five concerts

1. Chris Isaak. Sardine's, Oslo 87. The first concert I ever saw.
2. The Pogues. The If I Should Fall From Grace With God tour. Shane McGowan wasn't too drunk, he was standing upright during the whole show.
3. R.E.M. Green tour.
4. Iron & Wine. Copenhagen, around 7 or 8 years ago? I had no idea who they were at the time. They had a concert with Calexico. It was during a comic book festival, my Danish publisher brought me there. They did a great version of All Tomorrow's Parties.
5. Martin Stephenson & The Daintees. Also in Oslo, during my art school days, for their debut album Boat to Bolivia. Warmup artist was a then unknown Melissa Etheridge.

Wish I had seen:
1. David Sylvian. Preferrably around Secrets of The Beehive
2. Tom Waits. The Asylum years or after Swordfishtrombones, but really - anytime!
3. The Waterboys. Raggle Taggle Gypsy period.
4. Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. Early sixties. This would require a time machine.
5. Leonard Cohen. He had a concert in Nîmes in France a couple of years ago, and I didn't go - the idiot that I am.


  1. Man, I bet that Pogues show would've been good!

    My first concert was seeing Leonard Cohen in 1993, on The Future tour, around sundown at an outdoor amphitheatre in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I was traveling. That was a pretty good first concert!

    I managed to see R.E.M. four times, but sadly all those shows were in the post-Bill Berry era. I wish I'd seen them earlier. I did get to meet Michael Stipe after a show, though.

  2. Wow, that Leonard Cohen concert sounds amazing. I got the recent Live in London dvd and it's very good - he hasn't lost it. It's almost a spiritual experience.

  3. What a great time to have seen the Pogues! I saw R.E.M. too late. Wish I'd seen them in the pre-Out of Time days.

    Cohen's still touring, so if you get another chance, you must absolutely go. His energy and charm and power are unbelievable, one of the best live performers I've ever seen.

    Waits is also well worth seeing live--if only for his hilarious stage banter.

  4. Leonard Cohen has a concert in Montreal this winter, but I'll be gone by then. And being here I missed Joan Baez' recent concert in Montpellier.
    Ah yes, Tom Waits... "Is it possible for a woman to get pregnant without intercourse?" My answer's always the same, I say: "Listen. We're gonna have to go all the way back to the civil war."

  5. Hey, I saw the Pogues in Spain during that tour too!

    Fond memories: a few days before I was mugged by two junkies in a park. On the day when I bought the ticket for the concert I was walking home with it in my pocket when I bumped into them again.

    "Hey! It's our pal! Remember us?" I managed to grunt: "Not again!" and walked on. Somehow, they decided it was not worth it.

    I'm not a big Pogues fan, but Kirsty McColl singing Fairy Tale in New York keeps giving me goosebumps.

  6. Yes, Fairy Tale is a great song (There's a whole documentary about it on youtube). Good thing the junkies didn't steal your Pogues ticket...

  7. Blimey! I've not been to that many concerts over the course of my life but I guess my active gig-going years must have coincided with yours as I've seen three of your top five (all, I think, on the same tours). R.E.M. were terrible for the first song and became great; The Pogues were just pretty good the night I saw them (or maybe they were great but I wasn't, that night); Martin Stephenson was funny and wayward and warm (saw him again a few years later and he was more wayward and a bit infuriating).

    Tom Waits is my number one all time "why haven't I seen him?" artist. Missing out on tickets for the tour in 2004 was actually traumatic to me at the time.

  8. Unfortunately, he seems to be touring less these days.