As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, my wife, Catherine, and I recently bought and moved into a new home in Fondren. While unpacking, we stumbled upon our collection of ticket stubs from our years of going to concerts. The stubs, housed in two large cookie jars, got packed up over a year ago as part of our effort to prepare for moving, so we hadn't even thought about them in a long while. But, as always, seeing them brought back many good memories, which is why we keep them in the first place. So, as Catherine took on the task of organizing our arts and crafts closet (yes, gangsters can have arts and crafts closets), I went through the ticket stubs. I thought it would be fun to share a short list of some of my favorite shows whose stubs survived, in no particular order.
• Wu-Tang Clan, Dec. 18, 2007, Fox Theatre, Boulder, Colo., $40
Maybe not the best Wu-Tang show I have ever seen, but seeing my all-time heroes in a packed theater with a capacity of only 700 was something that will always be special, even when you know for a fact from experience that they are going to encore with "Triumph."
• Sebadoh with Man or Astro-Man, Feb. 10, 1994, 121 Millsaps Ave., Jackson, $8
This show was such big news for us in high school—a sub-pop band coming to Jackson. What really made the show memorable, though, was Man or Astro-Man's performance. We had never heard of them, but were turned into instant fans of the surf rock from three guys from Auburn, Ala., who were a little too convinced they were from outer space.
• The String Cheese Incident, Sept. 26, 2003, Fox Theatre, Atlanta, Ga., $27.50
I am well aware of the fact that The String Cheese Incident is not the coolest band in the world. But judging by the inch-high stack of ticket stubs from their shows, I obviously don't care. There is a part of me that loves to spend a few nights dancing around with a bunch of dudes who smell like patchouli and chicks wearing fairy wings to songs about love and nature. On this night, the second set went like this: "Land's End" > "Looking Glass" > "Joyful Sound" > "Texas" > "Orion's Belt" > "Black Clouds." If you know what that means, then, well, you know what that means.
• Sonic Youth with Polvo and Unwound, Nov. 19, 1995, New Daisy Theatre, Memphis, Tenn., $15
In high school, my folks did not trust me to drive out of town for concerts, mainly due to the fact that my car was a 1979 Datsun station wagon that had a hard time topping 50 mph. So, in a father-of-the-year award move, my dad drove me, my brother Jesse and our best friend to Memphis for what was, at the time for us, the show of the century. Sonic Youth was on the tour for "Washing Machine," so we got a 20-plus minute "Diamond Sea" to end it, which bookended well with the opener, our all time favorite, "Teenage Riot." After the show, dad was waiting out front to take us back to Jackson so we could make it to school the next day, which was part of the deal.
• Sound Tribe Sector 9, May 1, 2004, TwiRoPa Live Room, New Orleans, La., $20
You know how it goes at Jazz Fest. Spend all day at the fairgrounds at the festival. Go to any one of many 10 p.m. shows (Galactic and Jurassic 5 at State Palace on this night) and then hit up a 2 a.m. late show. Our cab driver from the State Palace to TwiRoPa was a guy named Charlie. He gave us his number and told us to call when the STS9 show was over. We did. I will never forget watching the sun come up as Charlie diligently plowed through hippies who were looking for rides to find us.