Five of my favorite shows. In no particular order.
1. U2 at Rice-Eccles stadium, May 1997
Like all good mormon kids I loooooved U2 growing up. They hadn't played a show in Utah for something like 10 years and so when the Pop Tour was announced, we all sort of went insane. I was in college in Southern Utah and a bunch of my friend went to the show in Vegas. But Kelli and I wanted to see them in Salt Lake so we paid kind of a grip of money for a couple of students and made the trip. The show was pure perfection. I ran into about a million old friends, the crowd was wound up beyond reason and hearing "With or Without You" live was even better then all those times it played at a high school dance and for the first 30 seconds you really thought your crush boy might ask you to dance.
2. Ben Harper at Deer Valley, August 2000
You were probably at this show. EVERYONE was at this show. I went with my friend Tom who scored tickets after I was lazy and didn't get them before the show sold out. It had rained all day and I was afraid the show would get cancelled. We drove to Park City anyway that evening as the rain kept falling. It rained through dinner. And the opening act. Then Harper came on stage and the clouds parted and he played a completely amazing and dry set. And yup, the rain started up again when it was over.
3. Iron and Wine in Providence RI, June 2005
Sometimes it's a struggle to find even one person who wants to go to the shows I'm excited about. So I went pretty much out of my mind with joy when seven of us drove down from Boston to see Iron and Wine play in a little club in Providence. There was a moment during "Fever Dream" that was so sweet and peaceful and safe that it still gives me little chills when I think about it.
4. The Postal Service in San Diego, May 2003
My friend Keith and I managed to tickets to the very first show of the very first Postal Service tour. I almost missed it because of a delayed flight home from a business trip but we made it in the nick of time and had a glorious evening. Keith and I could have had fun together in a cardboard box and the encore was this
so seriously, what was not to love?
5. Ryan Adams in New York, September 2004
Mr. Adams is a constant presence in my top five favorite artists but I had yet to see him live that fall. Randomly, I was going to be in New York for a work event, my friend Brooke needed to be there to catch a plane, and her friend had two extra tickets to a sold out show. The stars seemed perfectly aligned. And despite reports that he could be fussy at shows, he played a nice long set full of things I was dying to hear. And then Brooke and I ate ridiculously rich desserts at Cafe Mozart and stayed out way too late. Which is exactly what you should do in New York City.