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Question of the day 10/14/17

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Seven times.

Into the Great Wide Open---1


Echo Tour---1

Summer tour before Last Dj----1 

30th Anniversary Summer Hits Tour '06 with Pearl Jam opening---2. 

Made the decision at this show to stop seeing them, figured it was the last time I'd see them in concert and made the most of it. 


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Pretty sure the number is 17 (the late 80s are a little fuzzy)


- includes 3 Mudcrutch shows / 2 at the Troubadour (2008) and 1 at Webster Hall (2016)
- includes 2013 where I saw shows just 2 weeks apart at the Beacon Theater (NYC) and then at the Fonda Theater (LA)

While not a live show, I also attended the premiere of Running Down A Dream at the New York Film Festival (I was hoping TP would show up and take questions)

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Looking back at the shows I've seen, with one exception there was usually four years between tours, so each time I saw them there was a new feel to the show, with a bunch of songs I'd not heard performed before in addition to the usuals. But beyond the songs, the overall feel of some was different. 

ITGWO had the most elaborate stage show and my sentimental favorite with the giant tree.

Wildflowers felt more like a garage band on stage than a world famous group.

Echo had a completely different vibe to it, the band in fancy coats (or at least Mike and Tom) that made the whole show seem almost ethereal, power chords contrasting with their clothing, yet somehow making the whole thing feel different, unusual.

The last two tours I caught  didn't have any real different feel, just a band on stage. 

Elaborate fairy-tale stage or simple lighting and carpeting, it's the music that counts. 

With so much space between seeing them, each time felt refreshingly new. I still remember the first time they played Jammin' Me, a song I never thought I'd hear them play. But before '06 I had more of a feel for what they were or weren't going to play and while those last two shows have some highlights, the level of joy I experienced before was gone.



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11 times in total. 

2012...Dublin and Cork (first two shows of the European leg of that tour) Cork was the best show I've ever seen, a truly magical experience close to the stage in a circus tent! ☺

2013 The third show at The Beacon NYC..House in The Woods and no Free Fallin 😉

2014 Tampa, West Palm Beach, The three Red Rocks shows, Anaheim on my birthday (Mike was particularly out of this world brilliant on that night) and the two closing shows of the tour at the Forum LA.

I just feel so thankful and blessed to have enjoyed the band live 11 times at a time when I could get to the shows, twice in my home country Ireland and as part of my travel adventures in America 2013/14 and also when Tom still had his stage performance strength. 11 of the best nights of my life. Those who have seen the band live in their multiple different eras are very lucky indeed. I'll always treasure my live experiences with the band. Always. Thank you Tom.

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Here are my first and last concert tickets. September 21st and September 22nd. Funny, the Hollywood Bowl ticket looks like it says $69.50 but that's $269.00!!  How crazy is that?  Both shows were not close to the stage but they were highest energy and amazing shows.  They will always hold a special place in my heart  



 Here are some of the other cities I've traveled to.   I've have gone to some of these cities several times and in different venues. Man, I'm going to miss this band so much!  What a wild ride with some amazing friends  

Tampa, Fl
Santa Barbara, CA
Boston, MA
Atlanta, GA
Holmdel, NJ
Camden, NJ
Bristol, VA
Raleigh, NC & Charlotte, NC
Los Angeles, CA (multiple locations)
Chicago, IL
Milwaukee, WI
Memphis, TN
Daytona, FL
Ft. Meyers, FL
Morrison, CO
Gainesville, FL
San Diego, CA
Ventura, CA
Philadelphia, PA
Omaha, NE
Kansas City
Orlando, Fl

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On 10/17/2017 at 12:41 AM, wild1forever said:

Thirtysomething. First time New Year's 1979, last time June 2013.

That is a great, fantastic span! Not sure if you caught them all, but to have seen them in the 79-82 era must have been really special! The breaking big tour of 79, the first tours as an established, yet young act in 80 and 81. To me, the 1982 tour specifically must have been so cool. Has to be a real peak, at least in some ways. They had gathered some real pro experience by 82, but they were still young and wild to some extent, rocking out no limits. AND they were riding on the back of one of their best and finest ever albums (imo)! Plain to see in the old Heartbreakers Beachparty documentary from the same era - the energy and creative juices were all just a mad wonderful blend. Those versions, from Breakdown to Kings Road to Straight Into Darkness.. Oh, my my.. "Let that sucker blast!" like it was said...

It's interesting and fun to follow this thread that way. To get a sense of how long people been following the tour trail, so to speak, how intensely people been at it and so on.

One observation I've made, is that a most fellow fans that I've met or encountered over the years, who have been attending more than 20 shows, has been comparatively late comers to the cause. Very few of the "obsessives" I've met saw the band prior to 1995. Most didn't see them til the 2000s, even among people who are considerably older than myself at 40+. Perhaps this is somewhat unexpected. For one thing, TPATH as a classic rock act must have had tons of obsessive traveling fans even in the old days of all their gruesome far and wide touring? Especially considering how comparatively new and fresh experience you got for each tour you saw them up until somewhere around the late 90s. Save for American Girl and perhaps Breakdown and Refugee, every tour, every set was new, more or less and to me it was bound to be exciting for this reason alone to try to see them at least two or three times every tour. 

After the mid or late 90s, the core of performed songs have grown very static even from tour to tour, but still people seems more inclined than ever in this era to follow the band for multiple shows and collecting 20, 30, 40 shows total personal counts. This is a cool fact to me! And a very cool accomplishemt for an older band like this, to keep adding to their fanbase all the way to the end, new groups of younger fans perhaps being part of the explanation for what I think I've encountered. Another one might be that the band has gotten better technically, which I believe they have, the shows more exciting despite the setlists, that people find traveling easier and more affordable in recent years? I don't know. Then we have the recidency type shows that pretty much started with the Fillmore runs of 97 and 99 and then the Vic in 2003 and the Beacon and Fonda in recent years.. that must have been totally mindblowing to experience, but that are comparatively few dates even for the rare few who went to several of them. (Unless you went to all of the Fillmore dates...)

To me those recidencies would explain a lot why some people that may "just" (haha) have been fans for 10 or 20 years, still have so many dates. But, I still have not met a fellow fan that has attended more than a handful of such shows. Then we have people outside of the US, like myself, that spend most of their lives waiting for TPATH to come around at all. Living in USA helps. I know, cause I tried for many years and my statistics got considerably better :D . Unfortunately I came around only when my interest to see more than one show per tour (if even that) was  a bit on the decline, due to cost and repetition reasons, I guess you could say. If I had lived in the states in the 88-99 era, I am sure I would have collected dozens of experiences. And if I would have been old enough to go in the 76-85 era, there would be no limits to how many shows I would have seen, I'm sure. Then again, the real perk of being in LA in the 2000s was seeing them close to their homebase and most of all - experience the magic that was the reunioun of Mudcrutch at the Troubadour. Musically that beats all the huge arena rock shows I've ever seen.

Those contemplations aside, what is plain to see is that most people have kept seeing them, once they started, once they've got a taste. It's a hard habit to knock, is what we learn and what we know! :)   

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I guess, while seeing how some of us has an average of seeing 2 shows or more per year (yeah, dollardime seems to have a staggering 3.66 on average, if in a rather short period of time!) - and others have seen a lot of really old shows - both aspects of which are making me a bit jealous, admittedly - I guess, even with my own very modest average of 0.3 shows per year, I was quite happy to catch them as far back as Touring The Great Wide Open! And I suppose every hard core European fan knows how hard the waiting was - over 20 years it was, between 1992 and 2012, for any substantial touring overseas to happen.. And from that perspective I also count myself very lucky! And when I think about it.. my average, over the years I spent in the states, is actually about 1 show per year. That sounds like the what used to be the UN declaration of Human Rights, to see Tom Petty at least once a  year, no? ;)

Either way, it's gonna feel empty and sad not to be able to add any more dates to the count! Too bad it was all over so soon... :(

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I think the internet has drawn more people together and made it possible to make travel plans.  That is how I met all of you!  Before that it was keeping in touch with other fans by writing letters.  I have a friend who has been around long enough to have had Tom Petty pen pals and she collected her bootlegs by seeing ads in music magazines and ordering them through the mail. The boots were on cassette tapes. It took weeks to get information!  And the fan club sent out newsletters through the mail. The internet changed the whole game.

And now we are mourning together. 😟 

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