Spring 2021 has arrived! A year of the lockdown due to the virus, and over a year since I’ve been to a live concert, something that I truly miss and cannot wait until we are able to see our favorite bands or singers live, on stage once again.
On Feb. 28, 2020 at The Canyon, here in Valencia, I went to see Berlin. Berlin’s lead singer Terri Nunn is married to a friend both my husband and I have known since high school. I went with my son and my dear friend Nancy and we got a table, enjoyed some wine and watched Berlin perform all of their hits. Nancy and I danced, and sang along, loving every minute of it.
We got to go backstage and meet Terri and we took selfies together. I told her I had been a fan since the ’80s. She was as beautiful now as she was then. We all left the club, shared an Uber and went home. We had had a great evening, and who knew within three weeks that all venues would be closed “until further notice.”
This got me thinking, so I started to make a “Bucket List” of the future concerts I would want to go to when COVID was over. Sure, my list included my old favorites, Tears For Fears, and I can proudly say I’ve attended most of their California concerts since the ’80s. Even when they broke up and Roland Orzabal went solo as Tears For Fears, he made some incredible music. I have a pretty cool collection of their memorabilia and when I go to see them in concert, I wear my “I LOVE ROLAND” shirt that has the “I Love Lucy” heart only with Roland’s name instead of Lucy’s. My husband would wear his shirt that said, “My Wife Loves Roland” in the heart and my kids wore, “My Mom Loves Roland.” Yep, custom-made concert shirts so we could “Shout It All Out”!
Another favorite of mine is Justin Furstenfeld, of Blue October; I have seen him solo and with his group pretty regularly since 2006. Leaving those favorites aside, I decided to add bands to my “concert bucket list” that were, as the saying goes, “Out Of My Wheelhouse.”
When COVID began, I became an avid radio listener, delving into new areas of indie stations, pop, rock and alternative music. I found comfort in doing this as music in my opinion soothes the soul, and speaks to the person inside, allowing us to hear the message that perhaps was sent to us directly. Recall my article about how Ambrosia’s “How Much I Feel” still brings tears to my eyes when I hear it.
So here it is, Jennifer’s Bucket List of Concerts, in no particular order.
Pearl Jam: After listening to their newest album, Gigaton, I became an even bigger fan. Of course, I liked Eddie Vedder before, but the song “Dance of the Clairvoyants” made me think of how epic they would be in concert. Imagine seeing them live performing “Better Man” as the finale!
Weezer: If nothing else, just being able to see them singing all of their hits would be quite an entertaining concert. Although, I wouldn’t be able to share in their lyrics, “I’ve Got My Hash Pipe,” because….well, the first time I did try that I couldn’t stop laughing, which prompted me to think, what if I never stop laughing? Which made me laugh even harder. Which added complete paranoia to the mix, and I asked my Party On Garth friends to take me to the local hospital because I couldn’t stop laughing, and the long-haired stoner dude said, “You’re high, enjoy it!”
I said, “No something’s wrong,” as I giggled and guffawed out loud, “please take me to the emergency room.” To which none of them obliged and since I was ruining their “collective high” they simply drove me home. I got to the front door, and my mother opened it, and I told her I what I had done, as I laughed and laughed, as if she didn’t know; my eyes were completely bloodshot. She told me to go sleep it off. She never told my dad. And well, I can say that experience for me was a “one and done.”
Black Pumas: In my opinion they should have won the Best New Artist Grammy in 2020, and I think their soulful sound will continue to bloom. They were up for a Grammy this year, too, but alas they didn’t win. The song “Black Moon Rising” is incredible. They’d be terrific to see at the Greek Theatre under a starlit summer sky.
Steely Dan: Need I say more? OK, let me add in to see them live singing “Asa,” “Don’t Take Me Alive” and “Black Cow,” would be something that would stay with me forever. Which brings me to:
Michael McDonald: Formerly of Steely Dan, and The Doobie Brothers. Back in the ’80s, there was a restaurant and a nightclub called Josephina’s. It was on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks. Amy Holland would sing there, and she was Michael McDonald’s then-girlfriend, and now wife. She would sing, “I’ll Take You Back” and rumor had it that if she cried while singing that song, it meant they were going through a rough patch.
Mumford & Sons: Imagine, The Hollywood Bowl, a warm, summer’s night, a waxing crescent moon in the sky and seeing this band live. Of their many songs, one resonates with me the most: “If I Say.” It’s possibly one of the most “real” songs about relationships I’ve ever heard. I’ll leave it at that and let you decide.
Dionne Warwick: Ms. Warwick is pretty incredible; I saw her in concert several years ago. My friend was the designated driver, a non-drinker, so my other gal pals who do imbibe spiked my Propel water with vodka from the bar, and needless to say, it was quite fun. At the end of the concert we were in the parking lot blaring our Dionne Warwick CD and singing along. A few other concertgoers joined in and I took my Propel bottle, pretended it was a microphone and led the crowd. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone filming us, well, me…I think if you search YouTube, I might be on it. Shh, don’t tell anyone.
Khruangbin & Leon Bridges: For their amazing collaboration of the song: “Texas Sun.”
Maybe when things get back to normal, or the “new normal,” I’ll be able to sit and watch any of these above-mentioned “Bucket List Bands” on stage, LIVE and in concert! Until then, I’ll be singing in my living room, with my fake mic water bottle, keeping my ears open for more soul-soothing music to add to my list.
Jennifer Danny is a Santa Clarita resident.