I've always liked going to concerts. Not that I've gone to hundreds and hundreds or anything, but I do like going. I try never to miss a Santana concert or an Allman Brothers concert if it is in this area. Here's some concerts that I've been to that I thought were pretty damned good.

Santana, September 22, 2006

We rarely miss an opportunity to see Santana. To us, his music never gets old, and his concerts are always excellent!

This evening started on a sour note. Heavy traffic prevented us from making it to the Oakdale in time for a full sitdown dinner. Normally we eat at Serafino's Ristorante across the street, and it turned out the wait for a table would be far too long. Instead we opted for take-out and had a disastrous experience. You can read about it in my review page.

The concert itself was awesome. Los Lonely Boys opened and were great. Santana came out and played all of our favorites and was just spectacular!

The highlight of the evening for me, however, was the encore. For as long as I have been going to Santana concerts, I've wanted to hear him do "Soul Sacrifice", the song made famous by the 22-year old and his band at Woodstock.

After the last number, the band left the stage, and the lights went down. After we all hooted and hollered and clapped for a bit, they started showing the scene from the Woodstock movie that precedes Soul Sacrifice on the big video screen. The lights came up and the band returned to the stage. Finally, I got to hear my favorite Santana tune played live. It made a great evening into a stellar evening!

Heart, September 10, 2004

One of my wife's favorite bands is Heart, and they had been back on tour that fall. We saw them at the Fox Theater at Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Ledyard. It was the first time we'd ever gone there, and they handle their ticketing slightly differently than most places.

You buy your tickets ahead of time, but you have to pick them up at the will call window one hour before the show starts. Your ticket guarantees you a seat in a section of the theater, but it is first come, first serve from there.

On the other hand, they have waitresses and waiters who will serve you drinks at your seat. You can't argue with that!

The show was GREAT. Ann Wilson has lost a lot of weight, and Nancy (also known as Mrs. Cameron Crowe) still plays a mean guitar. They played a couple of Led Zepplin covers in their encore, including "Battle of Evermore", and it was all very well done.

Afterwards, we hit B. B. King's Night Club across the hall. They had a great band as well.

Allman Brothers, August 22, 2004

We saw the Allman Brothers at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT.

They were awesome (as usual), but this time even more so. The opening act, Los Lonely Boys, had cancelled their appearances, so the Allman Brothers came on at about 7:50, played a full set, took a break, and came back out and played until around 11:20.

Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes sound like they have played together all their lives, and Gregg is, well, just Gregg....

Here's the set list:

Set List 1:

Set List 2:

Set List 3:

Aerosmith, September 2002

Place: The Meadows Music Theater, Hartford, CT

Run-DMC opened the concert, and they were good. Kid Rock was the second act, and wile I was not all that familiar with his stuff, I really, really enjoyed that part, especially his guitarist at the time, Kenny Olson.Aerosmith brought the house down. They did most of the show from the stage, and about midway through, they moved up the aisle (right near me) to a smaller stage set up just about where the lawn meets the Pavillion. They did some numbers up there, and then went back on stage to finish out the show. All in all a wild evening.

The Grateful Dead, 1987

Place: The Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CT.

This was the only Dead concert I ever attended. A co-worker, who was a real Deadhead, got tickets and I went with him. It was a wild evening, one that, obviously, all these years later I have not forgotten.

Most memorable tunes that evening were "Louis, Louis" and "Stagger Lee." Another co-worker's husband was a taper, and I got a cassette tape of that evening's concert. Of course, I wore it out.

Harry Chapin, 1978

Place: Welte Auditorium, Central Connecticut State University.

This was the first time I saw Harry Chapin, when I was going to college. He was phenomenal performer who had a knack for holding the audience in the palm of his hand.

This night was special, in many ways, most of which I won't go into, but I do remember at one point during the evening, Harry putting his guitar down, and explaining to us that he'd written a sequel to his big hit "Taxi". He said he hadn't quite worked out the music and how it would fit with the words, but would we mind listening to him recite the words and letting him know what we think.

Of course, the lyrics he read were to the song "Sequel", which continues the story of Harry and Sue. It felt very special to hear them that way.

I saw him again at the Hartford Civic Center in 1981.

When Harry was killed in the accident on the Long Island Expressway, it was devastating news to me. He was a favorite.