Question Time: The best concert I’ve ever attended?

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Dan asks:

My question is somewhat unrelated to the craft of creative writing, but you have used music and musical artists to add to your characters’ depth and definition. What was the best live musical show/concert you ever attended and what made it so special?

I love this question. It lets me remember all the amazing shows I’ve been lucky to attend.

There was the Springsteen concert at Crystal Palace in London (Bruce truly did a handstand on a mike stand, kids — I did not make that up). There was the sing along Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall. And the New York Philharmonic playing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at Lincoln Center, when it didn’t matter that my mom and I walked out of the concert hall into a driving rainstorm and had to take a bus downtown, because anonymous New Yorkers paid our bus fare and we had just heard “Ode to Joy” and were full of happiness at being alive. There was Los Lobos at La Casa de la Raza in Santa Barbara, a raucous concert that was like the most crowded, jubilant high school dance in history. There was Jesus Christ Superstar, performed by the movie cast at the Santa Barbara Bowl, where the first chair guitarist was a guy I didn’t know yet, but ended up marrying.

But the best concert I ever attended was The Police at Twickenham Stadium, London, in September 2007.

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It wasn’t the first time I saw The Police. That was at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, back when I was in law school, the Husband was still the Boyfriend, and a junior family member was too young to go unattended. That first concert turned me into a lifelong fan of the band. Seeing them again at Twickenham, on a perfect summer evening, with dear friends, family, and my youngest son… it was epic. The band was hot. Sting was hot. Andy Summers played mesmerizing, ringing guitar solos. Stewart Copeland owned the stadium. We sang ourselves hoarse and stumbled home exhausted.

And I now realize that none of my books reference The Police or their music. It’s time to correct that, pronto.

5 responses to “Question Time: The best concert I’ve ever attended?

  1. Coolest. AMA reply. Ever. Thanks so much for sharing those memories, Meg.

  2. I love your description. There is nothing like the joy of watching a concert that just pumps you up. It does make you feel great to be alive.

  3. Without question it was “Eric Clapton & Friends” at Alpine Valley, Wisconsin in August of 1990. I was 21 years old and I was with the girl that I would marry. The line-up included Jeff Healey, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, and Jimmy & Stevie Ray Vaughan. They all played “Sweet Home Chicago” together during the encore. It was electric. It was obvious that they were having as good a time as the audience. We didn’t find out until the following morning that it would, tragically, be Stevie Ray Vaughan’s last.

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