Updated: Mar 7, 2022
While I aim to entrench myself into a lifestyle of live music photography, for me personally, I don’t need a reason to go see a concert, and nor have I ever. The first show I ever saw was in 1981 (or was it 1982???). My cousin took my “older” sister (sorry for the descriptive Jackie!!) and I to the CNE Grandstand in Toronto, Ontario to see April Wine https://www.aprilwine.ca/. While my memory can’t pick out the exact year, or my age (I believe I was 10), there are two thing I remember distinctly:
1. The funny smell of the cigarettes that people were smoking, and
2. Drummer Jerry Mercer’s drum solo in which his drumsticks glowed different colours on the darkened stage
After that, I didn’t see another show until my junior high school friends and I went to see Triumph https://www.triumphmusic.com/ at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, during their Thunder Seven Tour in 1985. No chaperons for us in those days. And damn, did I feel free!!! After that, the number of concerts I have seen are many, and it is something I continue to this day.
Perhaps the only difference now, while I still “Die Hard” for Thrash Metal, my doors have opened to seeing shows I would have never guessed I’d see a million years. As an example, in 2017 I took my mother to see Kenny Rogers at Casino Rama https://www.casinorama.com/ in Orillia, Ontario, with a handful of other friends and family. In 2019, my better half took me to see Lionel Richie at Budweiser Stage https://www.livenation.com/venue/KovZpZAEkkIA/budweiser-stage-events?utm_source=GMBlisting&utm_medium=organic in Toronto, and I now have a love for “country” artist Chris Stapleton https://www.chrisstapleton.com/ thanks to her. I parenthesize “country” because I consider him to be more blues/southern rock, but that’s a debate for another day.
What most importantly stands out to me here is that Kenny Rogers passed away in 2020. And of my metal/hard rock/grunge idols, some have passed on, and I never got a chance to see them. Specifically, Chris Cornell comes to mind. The lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave passed in 2017, and I never saw him live. Nor did I ever see Kurt Cobain, Joey Ramone, or Prince, among many many others.
Of course, many of our favourite musicians live long and fulfilling lives and they grace us with their talents for decades. But we all know that the show must come to an end at some point. We just never know when that is going to be. As I age, I try to get to see as many of the artists from my time as I can. For sure, a lot of these artists are beyond their heyday, but for me personally, I’m happy to say that I saw Kenny Rogers. His music reminds me of my mother, and thus I will always remember this show. So do yourselves a favour and go catch some of your favourites before the show comes to an end.
Need another reason to go catch some live music? Here is a list of a few of the musicians we have lost already in 2022… just 2 months in:
· Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age
· Gary Brooker of Procol Harum
· Dallas Good of the Sadies
· Queen of Funk singer Betty Davis
· Ian McDonald of King Crimson
· Meat Loaf
· Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes
· Burke Shelley of Budgie
What are your favourite concert memories? Leave a comment below, subscribe, like, and share!