(From Mrs Nerd)
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is, “So, do you play games too?” and I’m always so disheartened and embarrassed (considering who my husband is) to tell people that I simply do not. I just didn’t play games growing up nor do I really play them now. I respect games and those who play them, I understand their appeal, and have actually learned a lot about them over the years but I’d never consider myself a gamer. That said, my follow up to that initial question always seems to be, “but where James and I really see eye to eye is movies and music.” James is just as passionate about movies and music as he is about games and I absolutely share those passions. James did a video a few years ago where he went through his concert ticket stubs and lots of people really enjoyed that so I thought I’d be fun to bring you a list of my Top 10 Favorite Live Shows that James and I have attended over the years and a little back story to go with them. Hope you enjoy!
10. Rob Zombie at The Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA:
James has seen Rob Zombie a total of 11 times, and I’ve personally seen him at least 5 times but we both would definitely say this particular show ranks up there as one of the best Rob Zombie shows we’ve seen. The Electric Factory is also one of Philadelphia’s best venues. It’s small, grungy, intimate, and an overall awesome place. The best part of it is the upstairs overhanging bar section. The trick is to get there early and secure a great seat overlooking the stage. When we saw Rob Zombie we were so close we could read the set list sitting on the sound mixer. We could also see Sherri Moon Zombie sitting in the corner enjoying the show from back stage. Oh and the Electric Factory has awesome waitresses who will bring you beers so you don’t have to waste a minute out of your seat.
9. Twisted Sister – A Twisted Christmas at The Keswick Theater in Philadelphia, PA:
When I saw advertisements for a Holiday themed Twisted Sister show, I was skeptical, but I thought, what the hell and got tickets anyway. I think the fact that it was my 25th birthday also helped. What a better way to enjoy your quarter century milestone than with crazy metal dudes in drag singing Christmas songs? It ended up being a mixture of regular Twisted Sister songs and traditional Christmas songs. The whole stage set up and Dee Snider dressed as Santa was a hoot. It was an all around fun night and a birthday I’ll never forget.
8. The Offspring at The Festival Pier in Philadelphia, PA:
Festival Pier in Philly is probably my favorite venue ever, especially in summer. It’s outdoors right on the Delaware River, the sound is typically pretty great, and it’s a really laid back place to hang out with friends and see a show. The Offspring had always been on my bucket list of bands I needed to see, so checking that off the list was pretty awesome. I’ve seen them a few times since, but this show was one that will always stand out.
7. Robert Plant at The Tower Theater in Philadelphia, PA:
Anyone who knows me is aware that I fell in love with Led Zeppelin when I was about 12 years old and have been obsessed ever since. I even have the symbols from Zeppelin IV tattooed on me. Yea, I’m fucking serious. So, when I was able to see Robert Plant play live I was one quarter of the way to achieving bliss. I have made my peace with the fact that a) John Bonham is dead so it’ll never be the same and b) a reunion with the living members is highly unlikely. Still, seeing Plant was pretty cool! He played a lot of his (then) new album “The Mighty Rearranger” and when he did play Zeppelin songs he “folk-ed” them up a lot. I can die a littler happier though having seen him play “That’s The Way” (my favorite song ever) live and unchanged for the most part. We’ve also seen Jason Bonham in “The Led Zeppelin Experience.” Mixed feelings on that… too much to go into.
6. Dio Disciples at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ:
In a humble and heartfelt effort to honor the life of Ronnie James Dio, musicians who have played with him and admired him for years formed the tribute band “Dio Disciples.” Notable members include Tim “Ripper” Owens on vocals and Rudy Sarzo on bass. James and I made a weekend of it and went up to Asbury Park to catch them play. What a great night. Apparently no one else got the memo though because it was a near empty bar enabling James and I to get so close to the stage that we were nearly on it. Ripper killed it to, hitting every note! The opening bands were great also. A great NJ local Judas Priest tribute band called “Rapid Fire” opened and we got to meet comedian and “The Metal Show” host Jim Florentine that night. Good times.
5. Metal Masters Tour (Heaven and Hell, Motorhead and Judas Priest) at The Susquehana Bank Center in Camden, NJ:
Let me start by saying I hate this venue, but unfortunately most of the awesome shows that roll through the Philadelphia area are played there. For this occasion though James and I had amaaaazing seats. We were so close. This show was particularly special because it was the first and only time I was able to see the great Ronnie James Dio before he passed away. It was also the first time I saw Motorhead and of course, Judas Priest killed it as usual. (We’ve seen them at least 5 times) An awesome concept for a tour and a great night for metal.
4. Heart at The Borgata Ballroom in Atlantic City, NJ:
I’m going to paint you a mental picture. First, imagine the crappy ballroom where your high school prom was held. Now, sink a low lying, relatively small stage at the front of it and on top of that stage put two of the most powerful and influential hard rock women in history – Anne and Nancy Wilson. That’s right, the first time I saw Heart was in one of the most intimate settings possible and it was completely amazing. Heart has had one of the most varied and prolific careers in hard rock and are (in my humble opinion) often undervalued by many music lovers. I just love their story. Two young sisters who genuinely love music, rising to success on pure talent. They are definitely awesome in their own right but to hear Anne belt out live renditions of Zeppelin classics just put it over the top for me.
3. Whitesnake at The Sovereign Center in Reading, PA:
I was kind of a morose little kid and so my favorite song ever at the age of 5 or 6 was “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake. Flash Forward twenty or so years and I finally got to see them live. Unfortunately for them, they’d fallen from the heights they new in the late 80’s and were playing a dumpy, old place in the little “city” of Reading, PA to a half empty auditorium. Completely self-aware, David Coverdale channeled this situation and was a total comedian on the stage, letting go of all his cares and just singing his heart out. Truth be told, I think he was drunk or high or something, but it was a great show and a childhood dream come true. It was also James and my first wedding anniversary.
2. Metallica at The Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA:
I have loved Metallica for a good long time now. (I admittedly came to them a little later than most hardcore fans, but still consider myself among them.) However, seeing them live has alluded me for many years. Throughout the late 90’s and early 2000’s whenever they’d pass through town I’d mysteriously miss out on the opportunity. Be it ticket confusion, college finals, natural disasters, etc. When I finally got to see them on the Death Magnetic Tour I was literally like a kid on Christmas. I’m not sure I’ve ever looked forward to anything as much as I did that show. The day of the show was a typical January day in Philadelphia – cold as shit! Aside from that it was awesome. The center 360 degree stage set up for this tour was so cool. It totally lived up to my hope and expectations and I was a happy head banger that night.
1.The Big 4 (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax) at The Polo Fields in Indio, CA:
Probably the most compulsive and random thing that James and I have ever done is to get tickets to a show that was being played 3000 miles from where we live. Upon hearing of this historical metal event (the first time these 4 bands ever played together in the USA), we desperately wanted to go, so we decided to make a pilgrimage of it. It also helped that we had a meeting set up to discuss something about the AVGN movie but still, quite the commitment. It was totally worth it though. Even though we got to see the whole thing again when they came to Yankee Stadium in NYC, I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.
– Mrs Nerd