On Facebook not too long ago there was one of those “20 Best Concerts You've Seen” memes going around.

I read some of my friends' lists. They all seemed pretty impressed. But not me. I've seen a shit-ton of really terrible shows. Here are the highlights lowlights:

1. Husker Du, The Replacements double bill, 1984

First Avenue, Minneapolis

Did shots (and at least one line of meth) with Grant and Paul and the two Bobs before they went on. Lost my underwear at some point and missed the show.

2. Weezer, 1991


Weezer hadn't even really formed yet, so technically this was just Rivers Cuomo and some dudes and this girl Rivers met at karaoke that night, and they kept making out. Most annoyingly, a Sapporo was $13, though the exchange rate was difficult to figure out and that number may be wrong.

3. Wu-Tang Clan, 1993

Beer Goggles dive bar, Staten Island

Didn't hear much because they had this amazing air hockey game in the back.

4. Van Hagar, like eight times

Collinsville, Illinois and other places

Keep hoping to find out how I'll know when it's love, but they keep saying they can't tell me. (Cool that it'll last forever, though.)

5. Samantha Fox, 1986

Cal State Northridge

Wanted to have some fun, move my body all night long. Didn't come to pass, though, because parking was fucking six bucks so I just went home.

6. Beastie Boys, forget the year


Back in their punk rock days before they rapped. Oddly, the show was too quiet. Mike D kept telling the sound engineer to turn the volume down, and Ad-Rock kept asking the crowd to stop moshing.

7. Talib Kweli and Mos Def are Black Star, 1997 maybe

Friend's bah mitzvah, Chatham, New Jersey

Verbose. Smoked my first cigarette that night and had to be taken to urgent care in a coughing fit.

8. Whitesnake/ White Lion/ Great White, 1989

Bartlesville, Oklahoma

“White Powers of Metal” tour. Fell asleep after David Coverdale began blow-drying his hair onstage.

9. Uncle Tupelo, 1990

Belleville, Illinois

Held in Jeff Tweedy's mom's house's basement's extra bedroom, every time Jeff tried to sing Jay Farrar stepped on his foot.

10. MF Doom, the fake one

Like six times

(I never learn)

11. Prince with Sheila E, Morris Day and the Time, 1984

First Ave club, Minneapolis

For some reason I thought Prince sang “Brick House,” left pissed.

12. Phil Lesh, 2000

23 European dates


13. Jimi Hendrix, 1968

Some coffee shop in Seattle

Memorable. Come to think of it this was a Jimi Hendrix tribute show, performed by his brother Leon, and it took place in 2004.

14. Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, 1994

Some frat house in Boise

A rare bill. Left early because someone said there'd be a buffet but there wasn't.

15. Joy Division, 1978


Fucking boring. Joyless Division, I call them.

16. Living Colour, 1988

Mankato, MN

They opened for Guns 'N Roses. I heard there was racial tension. Left after “Glamour Boys” because I wanted to catch Live With Regis and Kathy Lee in its entirety the next morning, and I need at least eight hours of sleep. There was no DVR back then, keep in mind, although come to think of it there were VCRs so I probably could have just taped it.

17. ODB, 1996

Grand Central train station bathroom

We smoked something together, can't remember what except it wasn't weed. He kept encouraging me to freestyle, so I did and dropped like 96 amazing bars.

Joan Jett and Lita Ford at the Whisky; Credit: Jenny Lens

Joan Jett and Lita Ford at the Whisky; Credit: Jenny Lens

18. Runaways, 1975

The Roxy

Kinda wish I'd just waited for the movie.

19. Jeff Buckley, 1993

Some junkie's apartment in Portland

He and Elliott Smith played these interminably-long duets. River Phoenix was there too, fucking monopolizing the bathroom.

20. The Smiths, 1983


After 35 long minutes of this show I yelled out “Morrissey, I hope you get hit by a ten ton truck! Or a double decker bus.” They stopped playing and he started crying and I felt kinda bad for a minute but jeez it's not my fault they were so dull.

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