A while back I read going to music concerts is good for your health. I immediately relayed this info to my dearly beloved, as concertgoing is one of my all time favourite pastimes, while she was becoming of the opinion I (we) go to too many such events. Poppycock I, and as it turns out, a bunch of brilliant scientists, say. In fact, the study revealed attending and/or participating a 20 minute show resulted in a 21 per cent increase in a feeling of well being, compared to yoga or walking a dog, which caused increased of only 10 and 7 per cent respectively (with all due respect to Fionn Moose McNalty). Attending concerts is likewise said to translate into an additional 9 years of life expectancy. Live music is my jam and if I play my cards right I have a shot at living forever.
Of course, this is all pending a return to actual live shows, which the pandemic put a real damper on. In fact, lockdown caused me to miss three shows for which tickets had been purchased. Dallas Smith and The Glorious Sons were both to be enjoyed at The Kee to Bala in the summer of 2020, while the Hella Mega Tour featuring Green Day, Weezer, Fall Out Boy and The Interrupters was permanently interrupted just this summer past. I did attend a live Blue Jays baseball game just a couple of days ago, so things are trending in the right direction.
I have indeed enjoyed many different shows covering a wide variety of musical genres in keeping with my self-admitted eclectic tastes in several different venues over the years. I’ll do my best to work backwards here through some of my highlights. The timelines may be off, but the memories are firm for most of the shows. I’ll provide a few links so you can follow along if you see fit.
- I attended an awesome acoustic performance of The Songs of Eddie Vedder performed by two members of a local Pearl Jam cover band called Vitalogy, who then also performed the entire Ten album in the summer of 2019.
- I introduced my better half to a Canadian alternative rock band called July Talk at The Kee to Bala in 2019. The Kee is a classic old concert hall up north in cottage country. It was a spectacular show in sweltering heat where we witnessed an almost uncomfortable personal interaction between the duo, Leah Fay and Peter Dreimanis, who front this group.
- In March 2018, the Boy, his girlfriend, my wife and I experienced our second Our Lady Peace concert (opened by Matthew Good) at the famed Massey Hall in Toronto. Our Lady Peace is another classic Canadian alt rock group. I feel I have done a good job fathering by virtue of the fact the Boy is a huge fan.
- I had the good fortune of winning very good tickets to see Kid Rock at the Air Canada Centre (ACC) in Toronto. I know he is an acquired taste for some with his often raunchy and over the top mid-American lyrics, but he is a fantastic musician who played nearly every instrument on the stage and puts on one helluva experience.
- Incubus is one of my favourite bands from the 90s. My wife and I saw them with Jimmy Eat World at the then Molson Amphitheatre (now the Budweiser Stage cuz naming rights and corporate marketing suck). She did not appreciate the show as I think there were too many songs she didn’t recognize, but I thought they gave a solid performance.
- One week later, I crossed the Dropkick Murphys off of my bucket list with my wife and a good buddy at Echo Beach in Toronto. I generally can’t get enough Irish Folk Punk music. I mean, who can? Another classic punk group, Rancid, was the co-headliner. The two shared the stage and rocked their pants off.
- The wife, the Devil’s best friend and I caught City and Colour in June 2016. It was a beautiful cool night listening to the serene voice of Dallas Green down by the waterfront.
- Only one month earlier, but at long last, I saw Pearl Jam live at the ACC. Bucket List ✔️
- On a cool October night, my bride and I found ourselves in a little country joint called Avening Hall, bopping our heads with the locals to the smooth folksy stylings of The Skydiggers, who just happened to record our wedding song some 23 years prior. The highlight of this night was slow dancing with a slightly inebriated and apparently kinda lonely nurse, while my beloved looked on and giggled.
- To date, my all time favourite show (with deference to a couple of Green Day concerts farther back in the day) was put on by another of my bucket list bands, The Foo Fighters, on July 8, 2015 also at the Molson Amphitheatre. The Foos founder, lead singer and God of Rock and Roll Dave Grohl had broken his leg earlier in their worldwide tour, but continued with a full cast perched upon a Throne of Guitars. The injure appendage did not slow him down and only added to his rock deity status. The Boy and I were both awed by the power and passion of the man and his band. They played another show the next night and we both wanted to go back.
I’ll hit the pause button here and continue my walk down this musical memory lane later. Methinks the aforementioned have added at least a decade to my lifespan. Whaddya think?