I've attended over 1000 concerts since 1994
I used to keep a journal that documented every show I'd been to and every band that played each one, but I lost it. I know by 2001 I'd been to over 800 concerts, and by 2005 I decided it was safe to say I've been to over 1000.
And for the record, I count each concert by the venue that hosted it. That means a 3-day festival counts as one, whereas something like SXSW which hosts shows in multiple venues over several days counts as however many venues I made it to (rather than just counting it as my going to SXSW once). However, in the rare case of a venue hosting an all-ages concert in the afternoon, followed by an 18/21+ only concert later the same night, if I attended both they'd count as 2 separate shows (mainly because I paid admission for 2 separate shows, unless one was free of course).
For an exhaustive if incomplete list of all the bands I've seen live, please visit my Bands I've seen live list
Most shows seen in one year
As stated above I've lost my journal that tracked my concerts, but I think it was 287, and I'm pretty sure that was in 1998. At that time I was heavy into the Dallas/Fort Worth area music scene and attended as many local artists' shows as ones for national acts. That year I also took several road trips to see shows in other cities.
That comes out to an average of about 5 shows per week!
How does that work, you may ask? Well, in some cases when a local band released a new album, they would play an in-store in the afternoon followed by a club show that night. In many cases I would attend both. Also if I wanted to see 2 concerts at different venues I could if one was all-ages (which typically end before midnight) and the other was a 18/21+ club show (which typically end at 2am). That worked especially well if I wanted to see an opening band at one show and a headliner at another. Occasionally that might work out with club shows too, depending on what bands played at what times.
Farthest I've driven for a concert
--961mi (over 16 hours) - Float-Rite Amphitheatre, Somerset, WI for Skatin' with Satan!
In 1998, Ozzfest decided to skip the southern half of the U.S. for some reason. I was disappointed. Then I read that Ozzfest would play the same venue as Warped Tour on the same day, and decided I HAD to go. I talked my best friend at the time into going with me and we had a blast! We saw Tool, Deftones, Bad Religion, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Rev. Horton Heat, Soulfly, System of a Down, Coal Chamber, and several other punk and metal bands all in one day. Oh yeah, and look at that ticket price! You can't attend Warped Tour for that anymore, nevermind Ozzfest.
As a result I was able to say I'd never missed an Ozzfest well into the 00s, though eventually poor line-up choices & costly ticket prices would convince me to give up on it. Too bad Warped & Ozzfest didn't decide to make "Skatin' with Satan" an annual event.
Farthest I've traveled for a concert
--Empire Polo Field in Indio, CA - Coachella (2007, 2008, & 2009)
--Driving it'd be: over 1300 mi (over 21 hrs, which I've never tried)
--Flight time is about 6 hrs with changeover, plus about 1 hr drive
I love going to Coachella because it's absolutely beautiful in Indio, watching bands play in the desert surrounded by mountains & palm trees. Plus the crowd is always super-cool & friendly, and it's a great way to see some bands I wouldn't get to see otherwise as well as check out some new bands I'm curious about. Oh yeah, and the ticket price is reasonable for 3 days of mostly good music.
(To see larger versions of the above images for the 2007, 2008, & 2009 line-ups, click on each.)
First artist I ever saw in concert: Chuck Berry
I got into Chuck Berry's music after watching Back to the Future & finding out that "Johnny B. Goode" was written by him. A couple years later he played the state fair in Illinois (where we lived at the time) & my parents took me to see him. He could still kick out a great show, and what a great introduction to concerts for me.
A tour that was almost my first concert
In 1984, the Jackson 5 announced their Victory Tour. At that time Michael Jackson was my favorite artist, and I would have given anything to go. Well, as a surprise to me my dad went down to buy tickets so he could take me. Unfortunately the person ahead of him in line got the last ones.
That wound up being the last Jacksons tour, and I never got to see them or Michael in concert.
First band I saw without my parents
Also my 2nd show ever, unless you count the couple of crappy, forgettable country artists I suffered through at other fairs with my family (I don't). I tried many times before to see other bands I liked, but none of them were my parents' taste so they wouldn't take me. Most disappointing was missing the Metallica/GNR tour a couple years before this one. Anyway, in 1994 they let me go with one of my best friends to see Metallica, and I was introduced to mosh-pits and bonfires (both of which I was too scared to go near). Unfortunately we missed Suicidal Tendencies because we showed up too late, but the upside to that was we also missed Candlebox (who had replaced Alice In Chains after they'd dropped off the tour due to Layne Staley's heroin problems).
Metallica put on a really good show that day, which is good because I've never had the urge to see them again since.
(Remember when those dudes had long hair?)
Best luck I've had at a concert
In 2000 The Cure released Bloodflowers, and around the time of its release they did a small tour playing small venues (capacity around 1000 people). I was living in Dallas, where the tickets sold out in less than a minute. This was back in the days where people still waited in line to buy tickets, so since I was nowhere near first in line I was out of luck.
The day of the show I drove downtown with $60 in my wallet to spend on a ticket in case I could get one. Upon arriving I discovered that the scalpers were selling tickets originally priced $40 for $300 or more each. I also discovered a long line of hopefuls waiting to see if the box-office would release more tickets at some point. So I hung around outside the venue talking to my friends and killing time, not really expecting to get in anymore.
About 30 minutes before the show was set to start, a guy I knew from seeing each other at most of the same shows walked over to where I was sitting. He asked me what I was doing. "Waiting for a ticket to fall from the sky," I said. He informed me that he had 2 tickets & was waiting for his friend to show up, but if said friend didn't get there soon he said I could buy the ticket from him. I told him I only had $60 to spend on it, which he thought about for several seconds before saying, "Come on, let's go."
And thus I saw The Cure in a small venue...and it was Amazing.
Texas band I've seen the most times: Slow Roosevelt
Slow Roosevelt thanked me in the liner notes of this, their final CD, saying I had "been to more of our shows than we have." Which isn't true since I only saw them locally & they played other cities, but I rarely missed any of their local performances between 1997 and 2004. (And when I did miss a local performance, one of them would usually tell me the next time I saw them that their shows weren't the same without me. I know, "awww.")
(I'm in this picture, but you can't see me well because of the camera angle.)
A festival I MUST attend: Fun Fun Fun Fest
FFF Fest takes place in Austin, TX, and has only been around since 2006. I first attended the festival in 2007 just because Murder City Devils were playing a reunion show as part of it.
I missed it in 2008 for a variety of reasons, but I went in 2009 & 2010. The ticket prices are very reasonable, and they have more bands I want to see each year than most festivals seem to (not to mention all-around better line-ups than the other local festival ACL). Now that I live in Austin as long as they keep booking bands I like I'll keep going. Usually the "Black Stage" guarantees my attendance, as it has for 2011 (already bought my tickets).
(To see larger versions of the above images for the 2009, 2010, & 2011 line-ups, click on each.)
Number of albums I own
1180 according to Listal, but that doesn't include albums by bands that weren't big enough/around long enough to sell their albums on Amazon (not to mention the bootleg albums I own heh).
1187 physical CDs
75 mp3 albums
200 cassettes (estimated)
30 vinyl (estimated) Total: 1492 (we'll say about 1500)
Artist I own the most music from: Nine Inch Nails
23 total (albums, EPs, singles, and bootlegs, whether on CD or mp3 format), 25 if you count my owning copies of Pretty Hate Machine on vinyl, cassette, and CD instead of just one format. That doesn't include the soundtracks their music has appeared on (which would raise the total by 3 more), nor the 5 DVDs I have featuring their music.
Best album I've ever heard
Tripping Daisy was my favorite band to come out of Dallas, TX. Their live shows always left me with a smile on my face, and I still listen to their albums on a regular basis. They peaked with Jesus Hits, but they might have gone on to create even better albums had their guitarist not died in 1999. We'll never know.
If you'd like to stream the entire album on Youtube go here.
Album I know the best
There are many albums I have every word and note and beat memorized in my head & etched across my heart. But I've spent so much time with Portrait that I even have the samples memorized, a fact that once scared a couple friends back in the late 90s when we road-tripped & listened to it.
First musical voice I remember hearing: Johnny Cash
"(Ghost) Riders in the Sky"
This is the first song I ever remember hearing as a child. I'm told I used to fall asleep in the backseat of my parents' car whenever it came on the radio, but that was a very long time ago. I can stay awake through it now haha.
Johnny Cash is also the standard to which I hold all country music, which is why I don't like much country. Mostly my tastes in country are old-school (Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Sr., Patsy Cline, Roger Miller), and the only current country artist I'm really into is Hank Williams III.
Favorite artist during my childhood: Michael Jackson
Before I got into heavy metal and started evolving my tastes, Michael Jackson was my favorite artist. This was probably largely due to his being inescapable once singles started hitting the airwaves from this album, but even though I didn't entirely understand what he was singing about all the time I loved every song I heard, and insisted on having as many of his albums as my parents would buy for me (including a Jackson 5 Greatest Hits tape). Dangerous would be the last album of his my parents bought for me, and I barely listened to it in favor of listening to louder and faster music at the time.
I don't love Thriller as much as I used to, nor do I listen to it much, but I'd never get rid of my copy of it.
(Still the best video I've ever seen, and probably responsible for my enduring love of horror...)
Favorite male vocalist: Mike Patton
The man can do everything with his voice, which never ceases to amaze and impress me. He's also a great frontman, so he could be on a stage with anybody and I'd watch him.
Favorite female vocalist: Björk
I've loved Björk's vocals since she was with the Sugarcubes. Her voice is truly unique, very expressive, and she sings just as well on album as she does live. The fact that she follows her own unique artistic vision elevates her even more in my estimation. She's not afraid to push boundaries and explore unfamiliar territory, and that's why she's my favorite...and she always will be.
Favorite current band: Liars
Liars are a band I found on my own. I saw an ad for their debut album in a magazine & the title (they threw us all in a trench, and stuck a monument on top) caught my attention. So the next time I was in my favorite indie record store I looked for it, and as luck would have it they had it in their listening station. I picked up the headphones, pressed play, and have been in love with them ever since.
I love them because they reinvent their sound with each new album, thereby defying all expectations (though some elements of their sound unite their albums). I love them because they're great live. And I love them because they still feel like they're mine, since most people either dislike them or still haven't heard them.
Favorite hip-hop artist: Sage Francis
I got out of mainstream hip-hop years ago, so right now my favorite is Sage Francis. I've enjoyed all of his albums he's recorded so far (which I can no longer say about the older hip-hop artists), and most of his collections of unreleased material. Probably the fact that we're the same age makes it easier for me to relate to his lyrics, and I love that he can be both thought-provoking and hilarious.
I quit listening to the radio in 1995
You've heard this song, right?
Well, Rubberneck came out in 1994 & I bought it soon after thanks to a review in the local paper. In 1995, Interscope finally decided to start supporting the album they'd released a year earlier & "Possum Kingdom" hit the airwaves. I knew it'd be big, so I decided to give up on the radio in hopes of never growing tired of the song (as well as any other singles that would come off the album). That's not to say I've NEVER listened to the radio since, as it's sometimes avoidable when riding in a friend's car or whatever, but I definitely haven't gone out of my way to listen to the radio for music since 1995.
Instead I relied on magazines, concerts, and word-of-mouth to help direct me to new sounds...and it's been great for me ever since. I don't get tired of songs I like anymore, I don't have to listen to ads and DJ banter, and I don't have to flip from station to station just to find a song I actually want to listen to. So if you ask me if I've heard the current flavor of the moment, the answer is NO. :)
I have permanent hearing damage from a Ministry concert
The last time I went to see Ministry in 2006, I made the mistake of not wearing earplugs & stood near the front, off to one side of the stage. For years I NEVER wore earplugs, a fact I'm regretting as I get older. Anyway, my ears rang for over a week afterwards, and my left ear has been noticeably worse ever since.
I've performed on stage with a band
Caulk was another favorite Dallas band of mine. In early 1998 they released their 3rd album and spent most of the year playing shows to support it. At most of those shows they invited me on stage to sing one of their oldest songs ("Gumbo") with them, which I was honored to do. After all, I'd spent the previous year bugging them to start playing it again.
(See that guy on the left side of this picture with his hands behind his head? In the OLD Nirvana shirt? That'd be me.)
I have a music-related tattoo
In late 1998, Caulk decided to break up for several reasons (mostly because they'd failed to find a home on a major label despite their best efforts). I was bummed. I wanted to honor them, however, so I went out and got a tattoo of the CD art from the album Love American Style (my favorite of theirs). It's a pictograph representation of "I Heart Star", my favorite song on the album, and if I had a picture of it or a scan of the artwork it came from I'd put it here.
Anyway, to this day I'm the only person with such a tattoo, and when I showed it to the band at their last concert they were first stunned & then very excited & honored.