I want to be Bob Dylan.

I’m a big fan of lists–like a big, big fan. I keep the normal ones of course: to do, grocery, what have you. But a few weeks ago I was reminded of how much I geek out on lists. I was making mayonaisse and realized I was nearly out of dijon mustard, so I went into my bills and coupons drawer to grab a grocery list. While in there, I came across two more lists: spices and vinegars on my shelves.

I might harbor a few OCD tendencies.

For the past week I’ve been giving a lot of consideration to another, less strange, list. I keep a running list of all the concerts I’ve attended, and a complement to that is my top five concert experiences. (Of course.) Last week I saw The Swell Season perform in the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, a show that elicited more standing ovations than any single event I’ve ever attended. 

I’m still contemplating that evening’s potential place on the top five list, and who will drop out if I add it in. But tonight’s agenda has me reflecting on a top five show that I certainly won’t bump down to top 10. 

It’s been two years since I first saw the Counting Crows on a night when everything felt right. I worked late and missed part of the Goo Goo Dolls’ set, but I wasn’t concerned. I met one of my best friends at our favorite coffee shop, changed out of my work clothes and grabbed a cup of coffee. He drove us to Oak Mountain, because I was so amped up on adrenaline and caffeine that speed would have been a problem. We arrived in time for a few Goo Goo Dolls songs, and well in advance of the Counting Crows taking the stage.

Early September is too hot in Alabama, but autumn made an early appearance that night. The temperature dropped into the 60s–a sure-fire way to make my night. Adam Duritz was in a strangely fantastic mood that night (if I remember correctly, he even said so himself!), and the band played a set highlighted by many of my favorite songs. The music was good, the company was great and the weather was perfect.

Tonight I’ll return to the amphitheater with the same friend and a group of newer friends. I’ve debated for years whether I would be willing to see the band again after such a perfect first show. But we researched set lists from recent shows, and after discovering that the band has been focusing more on their older material than new, we decided to take the chance. I don’t expect tonight to compare to that September 2006 show. But I’ll embrace tonight’s memories for whatever they’re worth.

Sept. 5, 2006: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Pelham, AL

Anna Begins
Hard Candy
Ghost Train
Perfect Blue Buildings
Murder of One
A Long December
Hangin Around
MrJones (slower version)
Big Yellow Taxi
Holiday in Spain

My top five concert experiences:

Nickel Creek, Auburn University, 2003
Counting Crows, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 2006
Josh Ritter and Jamie Cullum, Alabama Theatre, 2006
Chris Thile and the How to Grow a Band, WorkPlay Theatre, 2007
Nickel Creek and Fiona Apple, Central Park, 2007 

My top five Counting Crows songs:

Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby
Murder of One
Holiday in Spain
She Don’t Want Nobody Near


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3 Responses to I want to be Bob Dylan.

  1. i totally understand your hesitancy. no matter what happens, nothing will take away the first time. tonight’s show will be a whole new show that you’ll remember for different reasons. hopefully it won’t suck. 😉

  2. Katie

    I do believe that I was at concert number 3 of your top 5 concert list… therefore, I would like to contribute its amazing-ness to…. well, me. 🙂 I wish…. it was a really good performance.

  3. inkstainedlife

    Scott, did I ever tell you that the Counting Crows show I wrote about here ended up being one of the worst concerts I’ve ever attended?

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