What band/artist would you pay a small fortune to see?

I am talking about someone you enjoy they’re music so much that you’d be willing to spend a LOT of money to go see. So far in my life I’ve had three.

  1. Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam – still waiting, don’t think it’ll ever happen unless I travel to Europe
  2. Peter Gabriel – saw him in Boston, 2002 – every bit as unreal of a show I would have hoped for.
  3. Jethro Tull – just found out they’ll be playing in Bethesda, MD on 12/3 – I’m there, no matter how much the tickets cost!!!

I’m not sure if you’re allowing time travel in your OP. If so, for me it would be any show* on the Stones’ U.S. tour, October-December 1969.

*except that free concert at that speedway at the end of the tour

I saw my all-time favorite artist, Tom Waits, just about this time last year. The ticket was $60 – much more than I’d pay for just about anyone else, but I would have paid twice that (or possibly even more) to see him. Of course, the closest concert was in Atlanta, so I had to drive eight hours up, stood around in front of the stage for three hours to reserve my good spot, enjoyed the show, drove eight hours straight back home, and went to work the next day after a short nap. Crazy experience overall, but so worth it to see Tom on a very rare tour!

I paid $250 to go to Bonnaroo last month and while I was interested in a number of artists there, I was really paying to see Tool and Regina Spektor.

I saw Roger Waters earlier this year and paid around NZ$150 for the ticket. I would pay that again without hesitation, and I’d gladly pay more than twice that to see a reunited Pink Floyd concert.

Supertramp or the original Queen with Freddy Mercury

  1. Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam – still waiting, don’t think it’ll ever happen unless I travel to Europe
    Did you catch him on that Live Earth gig?

Three artists immediately come to mind:

  1. Davey Graham, solo, acoustic, in a small club setting.

  2. Phil Pearlman, either solo or with a band, playing his material from Relatively Clean Rivers and telling stories about his time in RCR and Beat of the Earth. Those are tales I’d give my eyeteeth to hear, and the music is utterly transcendent…

  3. I’ve already seen **Vashti Bunyan **in a small setting–but I’d love to hear her in her living room, just playing and singing. Ditto Shirley Collins.

Not to horn in or anything, but I’d chip in serious cash to have some apparatus built so we could see Vashti Bunyan and friends 35 years ago. [Any small venue would work for me as longs as she’s backed up by all my favorite guys.]

That depends on whether we’re talking a normal concert setting or a special small club show (say under 250 people). The only act I’d pay over $60 to see at a regular concert would be Dylan. In contrast, I wouldn’t flinch at paying $250 to see Regina Spektor at a small club, and I would seriously consider $1000 on the hypothetical chance Dylan ever played small clubs.

Right around the time Just Another Diamond Day came out… damn, that would have been great.

Then again, if we’re indulging in time travel, to have been a fly on the wall when Linda Perhacs was doing Parallelograms would have been something else.

-Steve Goodman (dead): I’d pay ~$150
-Queen w/Freddie Mercury (dead): I’d pay ~$350
-The Beatles (1/2 dead): I’d pay ~$1000
-Led Zeppelin ca. 1975: I’d pay ~$200

Including plane tickets, hotel, getting my passport renewed, and all the other incidental expenses, I figure I laid out just about a grand to see the Nice in London on their reunion tour five years ago. It was worth every penny.

I saw them in mid-eighties in Ohio. Musically, the best show I ever attended. Flawless.

I would love to see Giacomo Castellano, Phillipe Theabault and Simon Gardner. All guys who have put out fabulous instrumental albums I bought at guitar 9. Seeing as none of them live in this country, and their solo work isn’t widespread enough for ‘world tour’ status, I would have to spend a fortune to see them.

Suddenly the $20 I spent to see Ms. Spektor last year seems like quite the bargin.

I broke my own rule regarding tickets and concerts and bought some second-hand tickets via a broker to see Tom Petty last year. I think I only spent about $200 on the pair but that’s considerably more than I’ve ever spent to see anyone else. I think I was half lamenting that I’d miss the show when there was a SDMB thread about which artists you’d miss the most when they died and it occured to me that Tom Petty isn’t on his deathbed by any means but he’s no spring chicken either and if I never saw him live, I’d really regret it.

Like I said, I’m sure someone has a story about spending in the thousands to see someone but $200 for a pair of tickets was easily $125 or so more than I’d spent on tickets before.

I’d pay a bunch to see Jason Mraz by himself. He is completely in his element when it’s just him and his guitar.

I would pay all I had to see Elvis when he was in him prime. Even after that.

There are a lot of people who died before my time that I’d pay just about anything to see (Judee Sill, Harry Nilsson even though he never really performed, etc.), but not too many modern people that I’d have to pay that much to see; I saw Calvin Johnson (who runs K records and used to be in Beat Happening) the other week for $10, and got to hang out and chat with him for a while, and he’s one of my favorite songwriters of all time. I guess that’s what esoteric tastes will do for you.

But on the more familiar tip, I’d be willing to pay a good chunk to see R.E.M. in a very intimate setting, say a 100 or 200 person audience or so.


Any sign of that happening anytime soon?

Pretty much just Morrissey. I think I might be addicted to doing anything that enriches that guy. And he’s such an enabler, what with releasing quality songs as b-sides on singles (I mean, who does that anymore?). And he seems to bring out obsessiveness in his fans.

You’re right. I saw him at the Taft Theater in Cincinnati a week after I graduated high school. It was the “curbside prophets tour” or somesuch, but I just knew he was playing. They started the show with Makana (Hawaiian Slack-key player) and then Raul Midon played. As they both finished, Mraz came out to play, and near the end he had the other two join him. One of the best shows I’ve ever been to.

I would pay a ton to see Simon and Garfunkel together again. I caught the Old Friends tour in Columbus, and I did see Garfunkel by himself last year, but I would like to see them together again.

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