Mark's Concert History

So I have a "theatre history" page for my wife and I, and a "sports history" page for myself, and find it incredibly convenient to be able to see when and where I saw what. I've never been a big music-goer, but I'm trying to retroactively build a "concerts" page here, though I'll be missing a few dates. Having only briefly lived in a big city (Seattle for three years), there's really not much on here as I'm usually far away from the good shows.

Sheena EastonSeptember 4, 1987Oregon State Fair, Salem, OR
Go ahead, make fun of me. I still think she has an amazing voice. I saw her in a musical in Vegas too, so there.
U2April 20th, 1992Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, WA
U2's Zoo TV tour. Just days before I was moving out of town, a friend was going and had to cancel; three other friends gifted me with his ticket. We got to our nosebleed seats, and they're taped off. Tracking down an usher, we're informed that they needed our seats for a spotlight line, and they're moving us. We shrug, and start following him downwards. We end up on floor level, and we're smiling. Get halfway to the front, we're laughing at our good fortune. Get to our seats, and we're pretty much speechless - front row, center. One of my friends, three seats down from me, shook Bono's hand during the show. Amazing seats, amazing experience, amazing show.
CranberriesSeptember 20, 1993DV8, Salt Lake City UT
Okay, I confess to having no memories of this concert save that her voice was amazing, and that a coworker reported the next day that his wife had helped her in The Gap, of all places.
They Might Be GiantsMay 13, 1994Utah State Fairpark Coliseum, Salt Lake City, UT
Again, too long ago - I went, and remember going, but little else. Afternoon show at the fairgrounds. I still have the shirt somewhere...
Sons of Dean MartinezSeptember, 1995The Peacock, Corvallis, OR
Not a full show; just a few songs.
Cherry Poppin' DaddiesAugust 17, 1996Venetian, Albany, OR
An obscure little band from Eugene, OR, Lorena and I went to this with friends pretty much just as a social thing, and the band was amazing! It wasn't more than a year or two later that they went big nationally.
Squirrel Nut ZippersFebruary 18, 1997La Luna, Portland, OR
Pretty rockin' show; if I'd never seen them again I would have loved this band for life. However, they were uninteresting at the HORDE Festival, and their fans were offensive-at-best at Bumbershoot (see the Morphine entry directly below for both of these), and I've forever had my feelings towards the Zippers colored. I still listen to their CDs on occasion, but I wouldn't go see them live if you paid me.
MorphineJuly 13, 1997HORDE Festival, Portland Meadows, Portland, OR
MorphineSeptember 6, 1998Bumbershoot, Memorial Stadium, Seattle, WA
Orchestra MorphineMay 13, 2000Showbox, Seattle, WA
Show one here was the HORDE Festival; I went with friends pretty much just to see Squirrel Nut Zippers but other performers included Ben Folds Five, Big Head Todd, Leftover Salmon, Neil Young, Primus, and Toad The Wet Sprocket. I remember being horribly underwhelmed by the Zippers; Primus was not my usual style but rocked a great show (I can still hear their "My Name Is Mud" almost 12 years later), and Ben Folds Five was fun as well. But... a friend of mine told me Morphine was a great band, and so we went over to their stage early and ended up standing only a couple people back from the stage. Mark Sandman was an amazing showman, and their sound was so rich/deep that I still have this visceral memory of just bathing in their sound, absorbing it right through my skin. I was hooked right there, a Morphine fan for life. My best concert experience, hands down.

Show two was the next chance I got to see them, at the overcrowded Bumbershoot Festival at the Seattle Center. We edged our way up to ten or fifteen people deep; I remember the people there being complete assholes and literally making my wife cry (she's ever since refused to go to concerts where she didn't have seats). The Morphine show was to be followed by Squirrel Nut Zippers; after a few Morphine songs the crowds of teeny boppers up front began chanting "Squirrel Nut Zippers." Morphine played their set, and I can still picture Mark Sandman's flourished closing bow as he thanked the crowd, both middle fingers subtly extended to the chanters up front. Lorena and I left during the Zippers' first song, and I've never again been a fan of theirs, nor have I ever gone to a Bumbershoot again.

I had tickets to see Morphine at Pier 62/63 (I rave about this venue below under "Everclear") in Seattle on July 22nd, 1999, and was exuberantly excited to see them with a crowd that was there for Morphine after the Bumbershoot fiasco (I was actually debating buying tickets to see them in Vancouver BC the previous day and Portland, OR the day after as well). The shows were, of course, canceled - I was stunned when I heard that lead singer Mark Sandman had died onstage in Italy on July 3rd, less than three weeks prior to these shows.

Orchestra Morphine was the rest of Morphine with some guests playing Morphine songs in tribute to Mark; I enjoyed their show, though it wasn't (as I'm sure they'd say) Morphine, and because of the loss it had a distinctly somber feel. It was, however, very beautiful and moving for that.

EverclearJune 27, 1998Pier 62/63, Seattle, WA
EverclearAugust 22, 2003Beasley Coliseum, Pullman, WA
One of my favorite bands. The first of these concerts was the most amazing place. Literally on a pier on the Seattle waterfront; we sat in the bleachers and had Puget Sound and the Olympics glowing off to our right all night until the sun set. An amazing concert venue, and so, of course, they don't do shows there anymore. Marcy Playground and Fastball opened for Everclear there.

The latter show was just Everclear, here at WSU, and had what seemed like a huge turnout to me.

Alanis Morissette
No Doubt
June 24, 2000Experience Music Project Grand Opening, Memorial Stadium, Seattle, WA
We figured it was the only chance we'd ever get to see the Eurythmics live, so we splurged for best-possible tickets (16 rows out, slightly stage right). Eurythmics were okay, though a hovering helicopter drove Annie Lennox into a snit and they quit midshow. They eventually came back out after the 'copter left, but their set felt abbreviated/awkward thereafter. Still, beautiful voices from her and Alanis Morisette. The show-stealer was the one I was least interested in, as Beck put on an amazing show and was a lot of fun. No Doubt, though also great, suffered for having to follow him. Matchbox Twenty was the closer here, but we left after a song or two, happy with what we'd seen. An abbreviated version of this was televised and I videotaped it, but it was somehow lost in the following years. :(
Sarah McLachlanJune 21, 2003Concert for Toronto, Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
Like Morphine above, Sarah McLachlan has the richest fullest deepest sound, though for Sarah its her voice while its instrumental for Morphine. Anyway, I was going to an ALA conference in Toronto when I heard she'd be headlining a "Concert for Toronto" in response to the SARS crisis there. I was online the second tickets went on sale and still ended up half a basketball court away, but her music was everything I hoped it'd be. There were a number of other acts there (Diana Krall, Jan Arden, and others I don't recall) who were very good, but for me, it was all Sarah. Live on screen from the other building, I also enjoyed Avril Lavigne and really enjoyed Barenaked Ladies. I believe the closer (again, live from the other venue) was Swollen Members, who I'd never heard of and who were completely anticlimactic after Sarah McLachlan, and so I left, wanting to keep her sounds with me.
Bernadette Peters with the Spokane SymphonyOctober 13, 2007INB Performing Arts Center, Spokane, WA
I'd actually somehow, for many years, forgotten going up to Spokane for this show. Pre-intermission was all symphony, and then Ms. Peters joined them in the second half. Wonderful voice, obviously.
Elton JohnApril 12, 2008Beasley Coliseum, Pullman, WA
Okay, Lorena dragged me to this one. He puts on an entertaining show, but it felt completely preprogrammed. I distinctly remember him frantically signalling some crew guy to move a speaker, and then when the song ended he put his foot up on it to wave to the crowd - apparently even his waving was preprogrammed. Enjoyable show, but it felt so canned to me for whatever reason...
The Blues Brothers (Dan Aykroyd & Jim Belushi)Nov. 11, 2011Beasley Coliseum, Pullman, WA
I suspect another "Lorena dragged me," though I could have been there for Aykroyd. Adding this here six years later, I have no memory of this.
KimbraSept. 26, 2012The Showbox, Seattle, WA
Saw her on my own in Seattle, which isn't as much fun as with friends or wife. But lovely voice, very fun, and wearing the oddest skirt I've ever seen in person. Very glad I went over.
Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon RangersJuly 2, 2014Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA
We were in L.A. right before the 4th; how could we resist? We were really there to see Steve Martin live (and to see the Hollywood Bowl), but the music was wonderful; I bought the albums after. Edie Brickell was charming and sweet. I love many of these songs now; it says something that even with the wonderful quality of Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, my favorite performance was the one with the Rangers' lead singing.
2 CellosApril 18, 2016INB Performing Arts Center, Spokane, WA
Kind of a whim thing, as I love string instruments and had been impressed by them in YouTube performances and on Glee. Just an intense, deep, absorbing sound at its best, and a lot of fun in their style. I think this is now one of Lorena's favorites that we've seen together.
PinkApril 21, 2018Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
We were going back to Atlanta for a vacation, and once I saw she'd be in town I moved our vacation up a couple days to manage this. Buying tickets the minute they went on sale put us halfway back at floor level, but Pink was simply amazing, whether she was on the ground or doing aerials. Great voice, great staging, great show.
The KillersAugust 31, 2022Ball Arena, Denver, CO
Y'know, I had tickets to see The Killers in Vancouver BC in 2012; I had to be in Seattle for a conference so I made plans to fly to Vancouver, and take Amtrak down to Seattle after. Then Amtrak canceled something like 24 hours before I left, nothing worked, and I swallowed the tickets and hotel. Cut to almost a decade later - once a local airport got a direct flight to Denver we wanted to support that, so this, Hadestown,and six national parks became our first real post-Covid vacation. A frustrating show, however; the sound was so awful you couldn't understand much of any singing from Brandon Flowers. Completely drowned out by the instruments.
Florence + the MachineOctober 6, 2022Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, WA
One of those voices and musics that I love. Bucket list for me, and after the Covid era I grabbed this as soon as I heard it was happening. Ethereal / wonderful voice, complete control of her crowd, lovely grace and enthusiasm. An amazing stage presence and a great show.

A shade over 20 shows in total. I do have to mention, though its on the theater list instead of here, Teatro Zinzanni in Seattle on Nov. 19, 1998, since the singer in that was one Ann Wilson, of Heart. Amazing, but I'm not quite counting it as a full show as she only sang like four numbers. Still, though, amazing. I've seen a few more, small local bands, of course (My Sister Jane in SLC pops to mind), but most of that has long since faded...

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