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Miscellaneous - Ticket Rewind

  by Carl Bookstein

published: 14 / 6 / 2019

Miscellaneous - Ticket Rewind


In the latest edition to our new column 'Ticket Rewind', Pennyblackmusic writer Carl Bookstein looks back at concert tickets from his past.

The song is 'Jet,' the singer is Paul McCartney. I have just scored a ticket and rocketed into the Palace arena; this, the second song into the show. The experience was eye-opening and phenomenal. For this one, maybe from 2006, I don’t have the ticket. I have seen the iconic Beatle three times (this was the first) and each have been among the best shows of my life. For some reason, I have not saved a lot of concert tickets. Maybe it’s because I see the memories as the souvenirs. But I saved the last two McCartney tickets. The 2011 show was from the 'On The Run' tour, where Paul played Comerica Park in Detroit, the baseball stadium. I reviewed the show for Pennyblack, and it ranks among my top, three, favorite shows of all time: many Beatles hits and chestnuts, Wings and solo fare. McCartney was in fine voice and the performance was spot on. The show was also a shot in the arm for Detroit at the time of the city’s then-struggling economy and emerging bankruptcy. The encore included a 'Helter Skelter' delivered with sonic force and a beautiful 'Golden Slumbers.' This third McCartney show, too, in October of 2017, also in Detroit, was very special. Paul’s voice was not as much at that age of perfection that it was at age 69, in 2011, but it was still remarkable. It was another three hour endurance test, and was mind blowing, like the impression of a great athlete that never quits. Again, a show filled with Beatles songs and solo gems, again, a concert for the ages. I saw Jerry Garcia with the Grateful Dead 15 times. I was on the road in the Midwest following the Grateful Dead’s final tour in the summer of 1995. I was at seven of the last eight Jerry Garcia/Grateful Dead shows, including the final two July of 1995 Soldier Field, Chicago dates- Jerry’s final two shows. I have these two tickets, both artistically printed up by the Grateful Dead’s own homespun ticket service. The July 8th show was the last, great, Saturday night in the long, strange 30-year history of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. This one was a peak experience and a set list filled with well-chosen nuggets and gems. Among them, I remember a particularly delightful 'Tennessee Jed.' It was a show that ranks among my all time favorites, and if Jerry Garcia missed a lyric or two, it was really beside the point. I was thrilled to be a Deadhead then and there and never more so than on this treasured last Saturday night. The Sunday, July 9th show, at Soldier Field remains even more monumental in memory than it was at the time. It was a very good show, but it was also history in the making, as it was the final concert with Jerry Garcia, who passed away a month later, following the tour. There was a beautiful 'Box of Rain' and the finale 'Black Muddy River,' which would be the beloved singer (and guitarist) Garcia’s last song. “I will walk alone by the black muddy river/ Sing me a song of my own.” It remains in memory, touching and heartfelt. A month later, Jerry would be gone. This 2003 Simon and Garfunkel show at the Palace in Detroit was perfect, with Simon and Garfunkel’s duo vocals lovely, pristine and resonant. My friend and I bought single tickets in the parking lot, and I scored a fifth row center seat. The whole show was letter sharp, and wound up a dream that had come to fruition. It connected back to young childhood and my early playings of the vinyl album 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.' It was a fantastic night. The 2016 Brian Wilson show was special, too. He was at the beautiful Fox theater in Detroit, recreating the 'Pet Sounds' album, regarded almost unanimously as the best Beach Boys' album ever. I had seen the Beach Boys once without Brian Wilson, when his brother, Carl Wilson, was still alive and with the band. It was a wonderful show, but the 'Pet Sounds' concert felt like a missing piece in the puzzle. Brian Wilson’s genius, as a songwriter and composer, I feel, is beyond question. With a first rate band of musicians at the Fox, I feel Brian recreated 'Pet Sounds' very well indeed. At the outdoor amphitheater, still called "Pine Knob” by old time patrons, in August of 2008, I saw a double bill: Ratdog (the band of the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir) and the Allman Brothers Band. This one has become clear because I found a piece about it, handwritten in a previously-lost, writer’s journal. Both bands were on the money this night, creating music, both electric and organic. Ratdog played a memorable 'Tomorrow Never Knows' cover from the Beatles 'Revolver' album. From the Allman Brothers, 'Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More,' 'Trouble No More' and 'Revival' were highlights. Because I have saved concert tickets only sporadically, finding this one surprised me. I am grateful for the memories.

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Miscellaneous - Ticket Rewind

Miscellaneous - Ticket Rewind

Miscellaneous - Ticket Rewind

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