Recently, I’ve been thinking about which concerts I wished I had gone to but did not because I wasn’t aware they were happening until it was too late.
The first I think of is Simon and Garfunkel at the Concert in Central Park. It happened on September 19, 1981. My parents listened to that concert on vinyl around the time I was 10 years old. I remember it sounding like a sweet, sweet love fest. The music varied, but so much of it was gentle and subtle, just the way Art and Paul’s voiced blended. The music makes me think of a time when there was less to watch on TV and so my mom would play that album in the house and sing along until we all knew the words and sang along with her.
The second concert I wish I had gone to would be U2 live at Red Rocks on June 5, 1983. They were barely known at the time and the concert was almost canceled due to one of those lightning storms that comes rumbling over the Rockies. It rained but the band, perhaps used to Irish Atlantic squalls, played on. It was anthemic. Spiritual. Lofty. Audacious. And beautiful! No more! No more! No more war! The crowd chanted in unison, drenched in sweat and rain, believing that if they sang it with their whole selves, it would surely be so.
More recently, I discovered that The Cure played a 40th Anniversary concert in London in 2018. Normally, I’d wonder whether a band that had been around for so long might be washed up. Not so. Listening to the recording brings me to another place, especially the sequence of “Push” into “Inbetween Days” followed by “Just Like Heaven.” I can hear the crowd’s euphoric response. I imagine that I would have been lifted out of my body had I been there.