The Pencilstorm Mailbag: My Top Five Favorite Concerts - by Doug Leed

This was sent to us from Pencilstorm reader Doug Leed. You can join the discussion at Take it away, Doug!

Nice list, Pete! (Click here for Pete’s List) I was at both the Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones shows that Pete wrote about (seeing them both for the first time) and agree that they were amazing shows. Haven’t seen ELO yet, but REALLY looking forward to the show this summer! My #1 has to be Lou Reed in Cincy on the New York album tour where I had a front row seat and Lou stood right in front of me shredding the solo for “The Original Wrapper.”

5) Pretenders with Iggy Pop 1986 - Cleveland / This was only the second concert that I went to (without my parents, although they sent a chaperone) and Iggy had just released Blah Blah Blah and the Pretenders had just released Get Close. My first girl rocker crush was Chrissie Hynde, so of course I was drooling in awe through most of their set. I wasn’t as familiar with Iggy at that time but I had Blah Blah Blah and really liked it, in particular the song “Shades.” At one point Iggy climbed on top of the PA speakers and started dancing/thrashing around. The PA speakers started wobbling and I thought that everything, including Iggy, was going to come crashing down but it didn’t. I had never seen anything like that in my life. (I was 17 at that point!)

4) Grateful Dead with Sting at Soldier Field, Chicago 1993 / I am a Deadhead and saw them at least 21 times while Jerry was still alive. While I could say that every one of their shows was in my best concerts list, this particular show stands out because during Sting’s set Jerry joined him on stage to perform the Police song “Tea in the Sahara.” Completely mesmerizing!

3) Sugar Cubes, PIL and New Order, not sure of the exact year (maybe 1988) or venue (maybe Blossom) / First of all, just that line- up in that time period warrants this show being on the list. Second of all, I feel like I had a connection with Bjork during the SC set. Some of you may be thinking, oh that happens to me at a lot of shows where I feel the artist is singing directly to me, but this was different. Bjork kept staring at me through most of the show, so much so that other concert goers around me kept saying “Dude, I think the singer is checking you out!”.

2) Paul Simon, Nutter Center, Dayton. OH, around 1990 / Paul was touring on the Rhythm of the Saints album and had the Brazilian percussionists on the album with him at the show. Part of my enjoyment of this show may have been how high I was after eating some pot brownies. I recall at a few points everyone was clapping indicating that the song was over and by the time I started to clap they were already playing the next song. “You Can Call Me Al” was still pretty huge at this point and after playing it everyone went CRAZY. Paul then said, “Oh, you guys like that one? Well then let’s play it again!” He then proceeded to play the entire song again making the audience go even CRAZIER.

1) Lou Reed as mentioned above.

*Note - it goes without saying that this list changes on a day to day basis!