I feel like every time I attend a concert these days, it’s the chance of a lifetime. Having a 20-month-old might have something to do with it.
A lot of it has to do with growing older myself.
Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, I had the chance to see the Steve Miller Band in concert. I was all smiles the whole time. This wasn’t the first time I had been to one of the classic rock icon’s shows. Back in my college days, the Steve Miller Band toured every summer, and my friends and I made sure to see him each time he came through Indianapolis at the former Deer Creek Music Center, now called the Klipsch Music Center. The Grateful Dead played quite a few shows out there back in the day.
I’m kicking myself now for not going when I had the chance.
I’ve liked Steve Miller all through my life, beginning with the classics heard on the radio in the car growing up, like “Fly Like an Eagle,” “Jet Airliner” “Jungle a Love” and “Abracadabra.”
Just to name a few.
I truly became a Steve Miller fan in the early ’90s, when I ordered my first-ever CDs through the old Columbia House mail-order music club. I bought my first eight CDs for a mere penny back then, and it was all very magical until we had to start paying full price for each CD. That was tough on the tiny college budget. We survived on ramen noodles and 88-cent bean burritos.
A $12.99 CD was considered a luxury.
One of my first magnificent eight CDs was Steve Miller Band’s biggest selling album in the U.S., “Greatest Hits 1974-78.” The blue cover art with the red and orange horse is easily one of the most emblazoned in my memory of good times and good music. “The Joker” lyrics, “I really love your peaches, want to shake your tree …” are my favorite.
They were common at many-a-party at my alma mater, Purdue.
Some of my best memories involve the Gangster of Love’s blues-infused rock music. So it was a thrill to see him play live again on Carb Day as part of the Indianapolis 500 Festival entertainment. He killed it on stage, not surprisingly. I still can’t believe he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame until last year.
I would go as far to say he’s a national treasure.
Seeing the Steve Miller Band live after all these years reminds me that every time I get the chance to see an old favorite perform, it’s a gift. Just a week before Chris Cornell’s passing, my husband and I talked about attending the Soundgarden show at Klipsch.
Sadly, we decided not to go.
Bob Seger just announced he’ll be playing a Labor Day weekend concert in Indy, rumored to be part of his final tour. I would be beside myself if I missed that show.
I have to hear “Old Time Rock and Roll” and “Beautiful Loser” live at least one more time in my life.
My best friend Megan and I saw Bob at Market Square Arena in the ’90s, before it was demolished. We’ll always have that memory of hearing him live in that youthful, magical time in our lives. Even though we were up in the nosebleed seats, I specifically recall enjoying watching his impressive dance moves.
And the fun of singing along to every song.
That’s one of the great aspects of seeing and hearing music played live. There are the fantastic memories that go with each show, fuzzy and otherwise, that make us remember how much music matters in the world. Music is the universal art that brings us together and bridges gaps between race, gender, socioeconomics, and more. Whether it’s some old-time 1970s rock or grunge from the ’90s, music is part of our life experience. Music is with us when life lifts us up and brings us down.
And all the places in-between.
April E. Allford will be seeing Def Leppard, Poison and Tesla live in July, and can’t wait. She can reached by commenting here.