Have you ever experienced “gig regret”? I know I have.
I’m not talking about gigs that you regret going to here (although I’ve got a fair few of those!). I’m talking about the gigs that you turned down the opportunity to go to, only to regret it later.
My biggest gig regret is Prince. I forewent the opportunity to see the Purple one and his entourage in concert on three separate occasions. Each time, I cited easily surmountable work commitments or travel issues and reasoned that “I’d get another chance” to see him in concert on the “next tour.”
When Prince died in 2016, I was gutted. Not just because we’d lost a musical legend, but because that “next tour” I’d been continually holding out for would never come.
While Prince is an artist that I feasibly could have seen, there are plenty of other “before my time” legendary artists that I wish I’d witnessed in concert.
Led Zeppelin immediately springs to mind. They’re probably my favorite band, and during my “teenage obsession” phase, I devoured countless live bootlegs from Messrs. Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham, vicariously experiencing some of their most notable performances in the process. How I wished I could have been at one of the legendary L.A. Forum shows from 1970 or 1977, witnessed that five-night stand at Earl’s Court from 1975 in the flesh, or taken in one of their magisterial gigs from the Japan 1971 tour in person.
Then there are those artists that I can still see live today, but wish I had witnessed in their imperial phase. To have seen the Stones in ’69 or ’72, supporting the releases of landmark albums like Let it Bleed and Exile on Main Street would be nothing short of exhilarating. Or to catch Dylan in the turbulent mid-1960s, on the cusp of electrifying his sound and completely changing the game.
Really, when it comes to gigs, I shouldn’t complain. I’ve been fortunate enough to witness hundreds of acts over the years, and I’ve witnessed many of my musical heroes in a concert setting. But still, that “what if” question always remains, and there’s some fun to be had speculating what could have been…
Which is where you all come in. We want to know: “what are the gigs that you wish you’d seen?” Whether it’s an instance of “gig regret,” an iconic band from before your time, or an act you never got to see in their prime, tell us your stories below. And, while you’re at it, let us know about the iconic gigs that you did see. Were you at a concert that’s gone down in the history books? One that was preserved on a famous live album or concert film? Or did you experience one of the great, unsung live shows that hasn’t yet made it into the history books? Let us know in the comments.