Monday, February 9, 2009

5 Artists I Would Like to See Live (If I Had a Time Machine) Vol. 1

I have always been in agreement with the fact that there is nothing more unbecoming than aging rock star who, despite their age, still believe they "got it" and continue performing well into their later years. This does not sit well with me. Many people have asked "wouldn't you love to see the _________?" to which my reply is always..."yeah, but not now". It is always interesting to me that people cannot quite understand why I would not want to see a band from decades ago performing in the present. I am troubled by the fact that inevitably the artist often becomes an imitation of themselves. For example: something is lost between James Taylor playing "Fire and Rain" in 1970 and James Taylor playing that very song on a stage today. The act of merely playing the song becomes bigger than the actual song. So...if I had a time machine, I could avoid the gap and go straight to the moments in which the product is still warm to the touch.

Some of the artists listed are either:

A) dead
B) still alive but I have no desire to see them now
C) the band is no longer performing together
D) some/all of the above

1. The Beatles, 1970

This is the most obvious pick for just about anyone. The photo above is of the very last time The Beatles ever played live together. Why not choose to go ahead and watch the curtain go down on the greatest band of all time?

song I would most want to see performed: "Don't Let Me Down"

2. The Rolling Stones, 1974

The Stones at their absolute peak. I would get to hear classics from the late 60's and also songs from "Sticky Fingers", "Exile on Main Street" and "Goat's Head Soup". It couldn't get any better than that. The Rolling Stones were amazing live performers and I would have loved to been in their audience in the mid 70's.

song I would most want to see performed: "Winter"

3. The Clash, 1980

The Clash changed everything in 1977 when they released their self-titled album. They made everyone stop in their tracks and say "I don't know what this is...but it is amazing". I would choose to see the Clash in 1980 because they were fresh off the release of their triple LP "Sandinista!" which proved to be the turning point in their political awareness. 1980 was also the period in which The Clash progressed from the edgy punk sound to more of a reggae/dub influenced sound.

song I would most want to see performed: "Guns of Brixton"

4. Bruce Springsteen, 1984

The "Boss" was on top of the world in 1984. "Born in the U.S.A." was all over the radio along with several other songs from the album "Born in the U.S.A.". Springsteen had worked his way to the top of the charts after years of struggling in the dive bars of New Jersey. As much as I would love to see Springsteen in the late 70's, I have to take him in 1984.

song I would most want to see performed: "I'm on Fire"

5. The Doors, 1969

The Doors are legendary for their live act. Jim Morrison was about as wild as they come, whiskey drunk + insanity (a.k.a. genius) are a pretty explosive mixture. The unique sound of The Doors has never been duplicated so you would have to go to the source to get the real thing.

song I would most want to see performed: "The End"

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