Not including the many gospel shows I attended growing up or the one local indie rock gig I caught some years back, I’ve been to exactly three concerts in my life. The first was the Elvin Bishop Band when they played the Orlando-Seminole Jai Alai fronton in the summer of ’76 (I got in free, was almost kicked out, marijuana smoke everywhere and a disco ball that spun and glittered when they finally got to “Fooled Around and Fell in Love”–long story). The second was the post-Lionel Richie Commodores in 1985 (“Night Shift,” girls from work, a cute sister who backed out at the last minute–long story).
I enjoyed myself immensely at both concerts, but by far the best was the third, which was Arlo Guthrie at the local college (FSU) in 2006. Just me and a friend and a full auditorium….and Arlo mixing music and stories like nobody else (many mix music and stories, few are so skilled at stopping in the middle of one to pursue the other at moments that are both completely unpredictable and utterly logical).
But he didn’t do this one. Too bad. I’m sure every one of us (including the unreconstructed hippie who counted what had to be the greatest version of “Coming Into Los Angeles” ever committed to the air as “the one thing I needed to hear”) could have sung along: