I've been to a lot of concerts. Last night I went to see one of my faves play, Mount Eerie (for the third time), and I got to thinking about all the ticket stubs I have and how many great memories I have of those shows. I love being able to look at a ticket stub, and instantly recall a flash of the concert or a snippet of a memory. Like when Michael Stipe dedicated "Tongue" to Radiohead (their openers for the show), or when I was upgraded to 3rd row seats at Madison Sq. Garden for the New Year's Eve show of Wilco and the Flaming Lips (!), or all the road trips I have taken to Canada to see Radiohead play (and Jonny waving to my friends and I after we called out to him after the show in Barrie, ON), or seeing Rainer Maria at a dive bar in Buffalo, NY and them not getting on the stage until almost 3am. Ani Difranco was on crutches when I saw her (also in Buffalo) and the memory of her beautiful voice carrying throughout the auditorium, grabbing the setlist from The Arcade Fire's tiny show at a church in NYC (and my 2-hour wait in the freezing cold without a ticket and ending up inside standing next to David Byrne in the audience!), all the road trips to Bonnaroo and the amazing bands that played, seeing Gwar and really trying hard not to get any of their blood and other fluids that they spew into the audience on me (I made it until the last song, when they shot out some sort of liquid straight out and it reached the very back wall where I was standing), all the warehouse shows of tiny bands that went onto be big bands, standing in line without a ticket for Beck at the Hiro East Ballroom and slipping the bouncer $20 to let me in (he did), cutting in line and making it into The Boredoms "77 drummers" show on a beautiful summer day in Brooklyn. PJ Harvey, Sonic Youth, Underworld, Sigur Ros, Massive Attack, Liz Phair, Bjork, and I could go on forever.
I've never really thought of myself as a "collector" of anything, but I guess I do have one real collection in all the ticket stubs I have amassed over the years. My Dad is a really avid concert-goer and I was always in awe of his ticket-stub collection when I was younger (think of just about any classic rock and blues players and he has probably seen them...). I definitely am my father's daughter in this respect, and he was the inspiration behind me saving every ticket stub I was left with after a show.
Anyways, I was sad last night when there was no ticket stub and it got me thinking back to all the will call or free concerts I have been to (probably quadruple the amount of ticketed shows) and how I don't have that printed stub to trigger a memory of it. Sad! I wish I had thought to document them in other ways in the past...
Tomorrow night I'm seeing Radiohead for the 12th time! I'm just really excited to have seen so many of my favorites play in person, ticket stubs or not (but hopefully!)