Music Concerts from Madonna to Yo-Yo Ma by Amie Denman

Since the announcement that Apple is surrendering its iTunes platform (download your music, friends), I’ve been thinking about my vast collection of music and musical experiences. I was lucky to grow up with a mom who loved music, and there were frequent living-room dance parties with mom and my three sisters. My parents took us to touring Broadway shows, local orchestra concerts, and ballets. I realize now how lucky we were!

The music concerts came later when we became teenagers and ventured out with our friends. There is an outdoor concert venue about an hour from my hometown (Blossom near Cleveland if you're from Ohio), and it was AN EVENT to go there. We’d get concert t-shirts to take home, and the family vehicle had its own souvenir from a misunderstanding with a light pole in the parking lot (for the record, my oldest sister was driving).

I have a somewhat wild range of musical tastes as you’ll see from this partial list of the concerts from 1985-2019 I’ve attended.

Survivor
Bryan Adams (Survivor opened for him at one concert)
Madonna
Amy Grant (Madonna did not open for her)
Jimmy Buffett
Yo-Yo Ma
Barry Manilow
The Piano Guys
Josh Groban (I’m going tonight! I can’t wait!)

Sure you can download music and listen to it for a fraction of the price, but I think attending concerts is fun. Part of the concert experience is the excitement of getting tickets, anticipation before the event, attending with people you love, and then talking about it afterward. It’s all worth the price of the ticket.

All of the above concerts were fantastic in their own (very different) ways, but if I had to choose the best one (I’m revealing something about my actual musical taste here), I would choose the mesmerizing cellist Yo-Yo Ma. He played four encores that night, and one of them was the beautiful piece The Swan. If you’ve never heard him play it, here’s the Youtube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qrKjywjo7Q

I hope you’ll get to see a live performance of something you love this summer! If you have a fun memory or story of a concert, please tell me about it in the comments!


Comments

  1. I never grew up with live music in our family home as you did, Amie, but we had a stereo and lots of records. I loved playing them while alone in our rec room and pretending to be the conductor. Later, in the 70s, my husband and I went to a lot of live concerts, especially rock concerts. A big memory is a Jimi Hendrix one when he set fire to his guitar at the end! I love the Yo-Yo Ma link...thanks for that.

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  2. I love live music, mostly I think because I never got to see it until I was an adult. My favorite has to be Peter, Paul, and Mary, whom we saw twice and loved both times. Thanks for the Yo-Yo Ma link--he's stupendous.

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  3. Concerts, plays, being there for sporting events...it's all different than watching or listening to them at home. That's great, too, and I'll admit to being a multi-tasker, doing a variety of things while I've got the music or something else on. But that's also part of the joy of being there. You can't multi-task as easily. You have the opportunity to just experience it.

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  4. The 80s was a great decade to go to concerts!

    denise

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  5. I love music and in my household we had plenty of music and singing. In high school, I was part of a project that sent us to concerts where the orchestra played. After graduating college, I bought a piano and took lessons for 15 years. I never wanted to play for anyone except myself. This is why I can't write with music playing. I know too many songs and I can't help singing to the music. I still take voice lessons.

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  6. I'm so glad you took me on this trip down memory lane. I have the same feeling of gratitude about seeing so many greats live--and Yo Yo Ma was one. I was just reminiscing about that concert with the friend who was with me that night. And, aging myself here, I've been lucky enough to see people like Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Mahalia Jackson, Kris Kristofferson, Taj Mahal, Bruce Springsteen, et al. What a privilege!

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  7. Hello Amie! I love concerts. Growing up in a small town far away from the cities, I didn't get to attend many concerts growing up. The first concert I ever attended was Van Halen, thanks to a friend of mine who had 2 older brothers that were fans and willing to let us tag along. The next one I went to was with my now husband. Ricky Van Shelton. (a little known singer named Garth Brooks opened up for him). Now I love concerts and go whenever I get a chance and I think my own list is almost as varied as yours! And thanks for introducing me to Yo-Yo Ma. I have to admit I had never heard of him. I am, however, a huge fan of Yiruma.

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  8. That is a lovely song, and fascinating to watch him coax the sound from his instrument. I've only been to a few concerts, but enjoyed them all. In college I saw Heart with my boyfriend (now husband) and recently discovered a good friend from high school was probably somewhere at the same concert.

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  9. Amie, I spent a summer in college working at Blossom as an usher. The pay was minimum wage, but I got to see some of the concerts for free. My favorite nights to work were when the Cleveland Orchestra played as the crowd was pleasant and the music was fantastic. Many times I didn't even have to usher, just sit at an entrance and listen to the music on beautiful summer evenings. Plus, I got to see Aerosmith, Toby Keith, Alanis Moressette, Bare Naked Ladies. I remember when Aerosmith played, there was a rumor among the staff that Liv Tyler and Kate Hudson were in the audience and my co-workers and I spent the entire evening trying to see if we could spot them, lol.

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  10. When I was a kid, my dad took us to the Overton Park Shell where live performances were performed. It was great and even though I can't carry a tune, I love music.

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  11. We always had music in the house (I'm dating myself) but dad had a Victrola. I currently still have about 40 of the one-sided records we played. No bands that anyone has ever heard of now. In our house there's music going all of the time. I especially love country, but really have eclectic tastes. The first concert I ever went to was Elvis. A group of us went to Portland, OR to see him. For the day it was costly. I was so mad as concert goers stood on their chairs and screamed so loud you couldn't hear him sing.

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