Saturday, January 5, 2008

Project Ticket Stub - 1982

1982. Falklands War. Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, Ebony and Ivory. The situation in Poland looks bleak. The Vietnam Veterans memorial is dedicated. Barney Clark gets the first artificial heart.

And for me, graduation from college. I spent the summer in St. Louis, enjoying the incredible feeling of accomplishment before moving to Blacksburg, VA to start graduate school at Virginia Tech. Only five ticket stubs for the year, and three of them were in August during that wonderful summer. Interestingly enough, those three August shows allowed me to visit each of the three major St. Louis venues one last time - Keil Auditorium, Kiel Opera House, and the Checkerdome.

The Police, April 1, 1982 The Police
The Checkerdome, St. Louis, MO
April 1, 1982

The Police were very popular around this time, and this tour was in support of The Ghost in the Machine album - both Spirits in the Material World, and Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic were getting lots of air play. But nothing about this concert really stands out, I'm afraid.

Grateful Dead, August 4, 1982 Grateful Dead
Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, MO
August 4, 1982

My sixth Dead show, and another U.S. Blues encore! That's five out six! Oh well, at least I got a Terrapin Station, which I was really into at the time.

Elvis Costello, August 5, 1982 Elvis Costello
Kiel Opera House, St. Louis, MO
August 5, 1982

Of all the musicians I have seen, I feel most conflicted about my memory of this show. You see, today I am in complete awe of Elvis and his work. He's written or performed so many iconic songs - Alison, Pump It Up, Watching the Detectives, Almost Blue, Radio Radio, (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding. And his body of collaborative work is incredible - Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, Lucinda Williams, Brian Eno, Burt Bacharach, and more. Not to mention he had the good taste to marry Diana Krall.

But my memory of this concert is spoiled by Elvis' attitude toward the audience at this show. I distinctly remember a sort of "you're not clapping loud enough for me to give you an encore" moment that really turned me off. And that's my overwhelming memory from that night.

Crosby, Stills, and Nash Crosby, Stills, and Nash
The Checkerdome, St. Louis, MO
August 24, 1982

Hmmmm, nothing stands out.

Arlo Guthrie, 1982 Arlo Guthrie
Stages, Granite City, IL
Unknown date in 1982

I'm listing this last, but I'm fairly certain this show was early in the year - March or April maybe. Unfortunately I didn't write the date on the back of the stub, and my internet searches have come up empty.

But I distinctly remember this show, partly because this represents the first concert I saw that wasn't in a large stadium, arena, or theater setting. Stages was a bar geared toward live acts. I remember the room was set up with long rectangular tables arranged perpendicular to the stage, so that everybody twisted a little sideways to see the stage. (As opposed to half the crowd having to turn completely around.)

Arlo was, well, exactly what you would expect for Arlo - humorous and folksy and slightly offbeat in that Alice's Restaurant sort of way (which, yes, he did play).

2 comments:

Kerry M said...

Speaking of the Elvis Costello concert, what I remember most is him "sticking it" to KSHE, the official sponsor of the St. Louis appearance. The trouble was, KSHE didn't really play Elvis' music much, but KADI did, so Elvis Cleverly unfurled a KADI poster, much to the anguish of KSHE personnel in attendance. After the show, the crew adjusted the amps to produce "white noise" in order to drive the audience out of the auditorium. A very satisfying punk-rock evening, I enjoyed it tremendously!

T.C. said...

I believe your memory of the Elvis Costello show is incorrect (as is the previous commenter). The show you are probably thinking about was the 1979 show, where he played about 45 minutes (not exaggerating), running through each song without a pause, and no encores. And of course the infamous row with KSHE, which he was absolutely right about.

In 1982 however, it was a completely different story. He played at least 2 encores, more than 30 songs, and played nearly 3 hours. He was genial and this still ranks as one of the top 5 concerts I've ever seen (out of many hundreds). I even remember the Post Dispatch review of the show commenting about how surprised they were at how friendly and un-"angry" he was (not to mention a little chubby).