Okay, lets give it a shot...
THE TOP FIVE CONCERTS I HAVE EVER ATTENDED
(the dates are rough estimations)
1.1981 THE WHO; Athena tour
I was in 9th grade and a big WHO fan. Had never been to a large concert before. There were plans to go with my brother and a friend Jason, somehow tickets got lost, tickets changed hands. There were two nights of shows, they ended up going a one night, I ended up going the night prior. My night was spent trying to figure it all out. The opening act of no interest to anyone, Davy Jo Hanson. THE WHO came on and I could not get close enough. The nose bleeder seats were not good enough for me. I made several successful attacks to get onto the floor, succeeded each time, also succeeded to get physically removed from the floor each time. Managed not to get kicked out of the Capitol Center for my efforts and decided the large venue concert was not where it was at.....from then on it was "shows" rather than "concerts."
so I revise that this list be...
MY TOP 5 SHOWS of ALL TIME
2.Minor Threat/Trouble Funk 1985 Landsburgh Culture Center (what was once the Landsburgh Department Store): The Funk Punk Spectacular
This goes without saying to be one of the best shows of my limited rock and roll history. If you have to ask, you will never know. Minor Threat, the raw power, the energy, the magic, and perhaps the honesty. There is no question about this band's influence on my adolescence and on modern music and the music industry as a whole. To be able to catch this moment in music history and to appreciate it at the same time is really something. And GO-GO, there is a piece of music history that gives Washingtonians much pride, that is our hometown sound, and that drum beat...it makes you want to get up and dance! It was great to get to ride the TROUBLE FUNK EXPRESS even if I had to leave before the set was over so that I would not break my already extended curfew for that evening.
3. The SMITHS; 1985 At Warner Theater, part of The Smiths first American/World Tour. This band goes in a very different direction than the prior punk band. The music, the composition, and the energy of this band is phenomenal, Johnny Mar rocks, and well, Morrisessy he ranks number one in my list of Whinning Whusses!
here is where my memory starts to fail me
it has been a long time since I have tabulated such a list
and much of my old memories have become blurs
4. A Memory of many outdoor festivals: RAR aka Rock Against Reagan and/or Lollopalossa (pick any one, well other than the first, I was in San Francisco, Johnny Ray had my ticket, but we did not connect till the day after the event, he still had my ticket, but I lacked the time machine to get me to the show on time) By this point in time my idea of a Concert/Show had become many things, both social and the show itself. The multiband experience, with the large show and the side shows offered a great opportunity to entertain my short attention span.
5. Okay I will have to cop out one step further. Hard for me to remember any one show from my misspent youth. There were countless trips to the Wilson Center in Mt Pleasant at the corner of 15th and Irving, or Pierce Hall, or even Sacred Heart Church. Black Flag, DOA, or even better, local heros and local greats; Rites of Spring, the never appreciated Marginal Man, Bad Brains (HR or any other incarnation), Scream and Beefeater, or the overblown bravado of King Face....but no one show stands out. As now these shows are not each individual memories, but rather just one whole memory. Many shows acts as a conglomeration to become one blurred memory. In my youth we went to hardcore shows as something to do. There were many nights were we would go to the (old) 9:30 Club to see a band that we were less than familiar with, but that is what music was about at that point in time. We would bring our skateboards and skate before the show, during the opening acts we had no interest in, and after the show. There were people who went to the shows with no interest of ever entering the front door. The steps of the Wilson Center was always crowded with a bunch of Circle Jerks (no the California Skate rock band, but a group of beer drinking lounge abouts that tended to meet and hang at Dupont Circle, then at night they would migrate to various shows or bars)
The DC punk scene was alive and well. But just as I went to the local punk shows I also went to high school dances, Go-Go was alive and well and pumping and bumping through the veins of the B-CC students. And when we weren't dancing in the gym we were heading downtown to some of the clubs who hosted DJs that played New Wave and SKA dance music. We were underage, but too poor to buy enough alcohol to get drunk. It was actually about the music and having a good time. We just like to get up and dance. With the DC drinking age being 18, being tall and 15 was often close enough, then after going enough times, the door men let us in.....chances are they knew we were good kids, not up to any trouble, and it helped to keep some numbers on the dance floor....no one wants to go out on an empty dance floor.