Ever since I was a teenager, there have been three bands I’ve wanted to see in concert – The Beach Boys, R.E.M., and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
The Beach Boys
Yeah, go ahead and laugh but the Beach Boys are awesome. For a kid growing up in the Midwest, the boys from California brought the ocean to my doorstep. Even today I can’t listen to them without feeling summer. It’s all light hearted, fun, and actual instruments and music. Call me old fashioned.
Of course, it’s pretty hard to see a band that started in the 60s, almost fifteen years before I was born. Then in August of ’93, the Beach Boys did a show in Moline, IL as one of the ‘Concert for the Heartland’ flood relief concerts. My brother and I and a friend got to go. We were probably the youngest people there but we didn’t care. All the classics, a few new, and all around, a great night.
I think R.E.M. was the first ‘alternative’ rock band that I ever heard. Our friend, Nathan, turned us onto it and I immediately found myself liking the band. Chalk it up to the teenage angst years but even afterwards, their music was great. It grew up with me and you can’t not like that. When they broke up in 2011, I marked the occasion with post entitled ‘The World Is Not Ending …”
In the summer of 1995, I and a friend drove up to the Target Center in Minneapolis. We had seats that were behind the stage but the way the concert was setup, we had a near-perfect view and only about 20 rows back. It was, without a doubt, one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
‘Running Down a Dream’, ‘Free Falling’, ‘Learning to Fly’, ‘Don’t Come Around Here No More’.
It’s kind of hard to pick which of Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s songs is my favorite. It goes with the mood, the season. Running Down a Dream was our anthem in High School cross country. I constantly played ‘Free Falling’ and whenever it came on MTV (back in the day when they actually played music videos), I made sure to sit my ass down and watch it. I can’t tell you why I like the music and I think that’s what I like best about it. It feels right. There’s something for every day, every mood. I can’t really ever get tired of listening to it.
I always promised myself I’d go see him in concert but as the years dragged on, the chances dwindled. A few of years ago he was playing in Minneapolis but it fell on a big weekend here at the college and I couldn’t take the time off. When R.E.M. broke up, I began to realize that so to, someday, would Petty retire and I might never get the chance to see the concert.
Until last week, that is.
That’s when Steph came into the office and said, “Hey, did you want to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for your birthday?” To which I replied, “Uh … duh.” And thus she said, “Okay. Tickets bought. June 29th, 2013 at the Target Center.” After a few moments of disbelief, I squealed like a little girl.
Yes, I’m in happy-ville.