Mr E Man and I got to talking last night about bands and artists we really wish we could have seen in concert. After I started my list with the Beatles, we decided that this could go on all night and therefore limited the game to bands that have existed within our lifetime, and which we could therefore have feasibly seen if we’d had the means and the will to do so.

I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had the chance to see the vast majority of my favourite bands and artists, but I did come up with a few regrets quite quickly:

My initial list was Nirvana, the Stone Roses, the Happy Mondays, and Pulp.

I was offered tickets for Pulp once during university, but had already said I’d go out with a peripheral friend for her birthday. The birthday outing was, frankly, boring and I completely lost touch with that person within a few months of graduating, while my friends who went to Pulp still talk about it as one of the best gigs they’ve ever seen, so I think it’s fair to say that I made the wrong choice there. Realistically I was a bit young for the others (my parents wouldn’t even let me see Roxette at around the same time, so I’m sure the Madcester and grunge scenes would have been right out), but I still wish I could have seen them play.

Mr E Man’s initial list was James Brown, Johnny Cash, Black Sabbath, Nirvana, and Jane’s Addiction.

We then met up with a couple of friends, who had their own lists:

JM’s list: Forgotten Rebels, Sinead O’Connor, the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, Iggy and the Stooges, the Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Happy Mondays, the Charlatans, and the Clash

JA’s list: Zeppelin, Floyd, Nirvana, the Travelling Wilburys, New Order, and the Grateful Dead

I promptly added the Charlatans, the Clash, the Travelling Wilburys, and New Order to my list; Mr E Man added Iggy and the Stooges, the Clash, and the Travelling Wilburys to his. I made all the guys jealous by saying that I saw Iggy (sans Stooges) at the Glasgow Green music festival once… not in his prime, but it was still a great show!

As you can tell, this kept us occupied for hours! It’s a fun game.

Add your own “bands I really regret not seeing” in the comments, please!

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
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21 Responses to Regrettapalooza

  1. Eva says:

    Mine *was* Ben Folds Five, but then they reunited and I saw them a few months ago! \o/ I got into the band after they’d already broken up, so it seemed like a lost cause, and besides, I’d seen Ben Folds solo a few times, so it was all fine, really. But then! Reunification! Tour! London! It was awesome.

  2. Natalie says:

    Sinead O’Connor – I’ve heard from a friend that it was one of his favourite shows (he’s been to many) and Soul Coughing, a defunct band from California that I’ve heard were crazy live.

  3. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Eva, that sounds like my Roxette story! Hooray for reunion tours!

    Natalie, I do like Sinead O’Connor, but I wouldn’t have thought of her as a must-see live act – sounds like I was wrong though! I confess I haven’t heard of Soul Coughin

  4. chall says:

    Iron Maiden and Metallica… I’ve never seen them live. Missed Oasis and Pulp too – would’ve been a lot of the bands that went to the festivals when I was a teen (not ‘allowed’ to go) that probably would’ve been good to see.

    Have seen though, without even paying for it (long story) Nirvana that last tour they did. And Iggy when he came through Memphis in May a few years back. Not the same thing maybe, but it was a good show.

    I’m a little distracted atm, need to think about this more, since the habs-leafs game is on in the background 😉

    • Cath@VWXYNot? says:

      I saw Oasis at a festival once. It’s always great to be in a crowd that knows every word to every song!

  5. Robyn Roscoe says:

    I hope I’m not dating myself: Queen, Eurythmics, the Dubliners, the Pogues, Police, Tears for Fears, INXS, and the Travelling Wilburys.

    I still hold out hope to see Paul Simon, Neil Young, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin and U2 someday.

    I did see Sinead O’Connor, and can confirm she is/was must-see-live. I’m sure today it would be a much odder experience than it was all those years ago.

    • cromercrox says:

      I am lucky enough to have seen Queen, twice. With Freddy. And they were every bit as good as legend says they were.

      • Cath@VWXYNot? says:

        Judging by their performances on SNL last year, Paul Simon’s voice is holding up much, much better than Paul McCartney’s, but then again so is my cat’s.

        U2 are still great to see live – they play mostly old favourites, with just a few of their new songs mixed in. Smart move given their (IMO) declining standards…

        • Grant says:

          I should probably have seen Paul Simon when he played here last year. (We’ve a new covered stadium that is helping to bring the gigs in.)

          I’ve been to very few big gigs, sad to say. Does seeing B.B.King pre-world tour gig in a local pub count? All of about 200 people in the audience (the place was packed!), no stage to speak of–they were just playing on a part of the same floor–with me in the front row and the players maybe 20 feet from me. (Saw the advert in a tiny local paper, more a circular than a paper, didn’t quite believe it, but when along anyway.)

  6. Cromercrox says:

    Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. And Wham!

  7. When I was at school about ten miles north of Portsmouth, I had a friend called Ken Raistrick. He was more adventurous than I and he would occasionally visit clubs in Portsmouth. One day he came back very excited as he had just seen a new band called the Rolling Stones – I would love to have been there that night. He also saw Steam Packet with a very young Rod Stewart.

    Later when I was a postdoc at UC Berkeley, Joni Mitchell came to the Berkeley Auditorium on her Miles of Aisles Tour. For all sorts of reasons I didn’t go to the concert and I wish I had!

    • cromercrox says:

      Ah! When I was a graduate student, me and the other grads would be in awe of a postgrad in our lab who, when very young, had seen Jimi Hendrix at the Isle of Wight Festival.

      • Cath@VWXYNot? says:

        I had a music teacher in high school who’d seen the Beatles and the Rolling Stones on consecutive nights, but was so stoned he couldn’t remember anything about either gig

  8. I can think of many bands I couldn’t realistically have gone to see (Beatles, Hendrix, Led Zep, etc. etc. etc.). The one that I could have done that really sticks out is Queen.

    • Having thought about this a bit further, I also regret not seeing Blue Oyster Cult at Kingswood Music Theatre (on the grounds of Canada’s Wonderland) when I was in high school. I did see them, much later, at Rock ‘N Roll Heaven in Toronto, though.

      Of all the acts mentioned above, the only ones I *have* seen are Sting, Peter Gabriel, and U2.

      And, along the lines of Henry’s last comment – I had a high school history teacher who was actually at Woodstock.

      • cromercrox says:

        Wow. One Is Not Worthy.

        Mind you, I suspect that the magic of such occasions owes a great deal to nostalgia. I once heard a comment on this topic by some wag who said ‘by the time we got to Woodstock we were half a million strong – and three hundred thousand of us were looking for the toilets’.

        • Yes indeed – and many stories of not enough food or shelter, rain and mud. I suspect I would have been completely miserable.

          • Cath@VWXYNot? says:

            Music festivals always seem like a really good idea when you buy the tickets… but then you find yourself calf-deep in mud in the middle of a field in Scotland after half an hour of sleep, surrounded by obnoxious drunk Scots who don’t like your accent, and wondering if you’ll ever get your sleeping bag dry again.

            (I do have some very happy memories from various music festivals over the years, but yes, there have been some miserable moments too!)

  9. I passed up the opportunity to see Public Enemy live in Hong Kong (lack of funds – should have spent them) and the Police when I was a 16 year old (my mom would have killed me but like so many other things I could have snuck out of the house)

    but have seen Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan (twice) and Def Leppard (embarrassingly – back when the drummer had 2 arms :))

  10. dave says:

    I saw the stooges at Glasgow green too and I remember all the douchebag lostprophet and linkin park fans booing and throwing toilet roll at the stage.


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