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Column: Concert Season

When I was a junior in high school, I was able to go to my first concert, and it was an eye-opening experience I will never forget.

I had been to a few concerts at the local fair, but it was nothing like what I would experience when I was able to travel three hours to Salt Lake City to see Guns N’ Roses blow the roof off the Delta Center. The only concert I remember was from the Sweetwater County Fair was going to see Chubby Checker, and watching 1,000 people do the twist probably haunted me more than residing in my head as a positive memory.

That first concert with two of my good friends from high school started a live music journey where I would see some incredible live acts in some of the best venues across the United States. I’ve been lucky enough to see some of my favorite bands at places like the Hollywood Bowl, The Gorge and Red Rocks Amphitheaters. I was also able to see my favorite band Pearl Jam at its peak of popularity in the mid-1990’s open a tour in Casper, Wyoming, of all places, and words cannot describe how incredible that evening was.

The transition from spring to summer is always such a magical time with so many opportunities to be outside for recreation or something as simple as spending the evening in the backyard, but it also means that concert season is on its way. It’s a little bit frightening that I always seemed to have plenty of money to attend a concert when I was in my late teens and early twenties and now have to limit my attendance, but that probably had more to do with the fact that I was living free of bills at my parents’ house.

While I certainly don’t attend as many concerts as I used to, I still try to get to at least one show a summer and over the past few years have been able to recapture my youth a little bit with some amazing outdoors shows and to see Pearl Jam and Guns N’Roses once again. The Pearl Jam show was in Missoula, and that was the icing on the cake.

2019 was no different with a trip to the USANA Amphitheatre for a festival. With the start of the new decade, I was already excited to see what 2020 had in store for concerts with my mindset on seeing Billy Joel and another trip to see Pearl Jam.

Probably my favorite part of attending concerts now is taking the kids. They constantly hear my favorite music around the house and have learned to like many of the bands I still listen to like I was an 18-year-old without a care in the world.

As we all know, 2020 took a very unexpected turn, and there would be no shows, and the summer was just not the same without one trip as a family to a show.

I kept waiting for the pandemic to leave as quickly as it burst onto the scene, but it never did, and now in 2021, I have no idea what this summer will hold.

I recently read that Guns N’ Roses would be wrapping up their four-year tour this summer with a show that will take place in Missoula. Many scenarios could make this concert go away, but as of right now, it is a go.

I’m thinking that once again, we will make the trip as a family and once again be able to see live music, with the added luxury of it being only two-plus hours away.

It will be two years since I have been to a concert, but what better way to get back into the mix than going to see the first band I ever watched live.

I most likely won’t have the same type of energy then I did as a junior in high school, but I’m sure it will be a wonderful evening.

And looking towards the future, hopefully, I can go to two or three in 2022.

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