These are all the concerts I've ever been to in my entire life (that I've paid for). Click on a ticket stub for a set list. I compiled the set lists myself from memory or by taking notes unless otherwise noted.

depeche mode, Blockbuster Pavillion, Glen Helen, CA, Sat., 21 May 1994, 8:00pm

This Depeche Mode concert rocked. These guys have been around, at least commercially, since 1981, and are still going strong. Opening were Stabbing Westward and Primal Scream. The concert was at the Blockbuster Pavillion in Glen Helen in the middle of nowhere. Aside from Dave and Martin singing and the whole synth ensemble, there were live drums and electric guitar, plus a video system and an animated background. The whole trip here from San Diego was a whole day-and-a-half thing.

spin doctors, Greek Theater, UC Berkeley, Fri., 02 Sep 1994, 6:30pm

The Spin Doctors also kicked ass, with their blues-rock style and everything. Opening, well, actually, all three bands were the main attraction, the others Cracker then Gin Blossoms, making this one of the best concerts I ever went to, to this day. They all rocked, and in the nice Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley, the entire show was one yet to be rivaled. During Cracker's segment, Adam Duritz from Counting Crows guest sang for one of the songs. Gin Blossom's lead singer Robin Wilson took Polaroids during their show and distributed (flung) them at the audience.

They Might Be Giants, Price Center Ballroom, UC San Diego, Fri., 18 Nov 1994, 8:00pm

They Might Be Giants is in a class all by itself. This synth to hard rock band prides itself in its humor, quirkiness, and educational value(?). Opening for TMBG was Frank Black, formerly of the Pixies. This show also kicked ass, and was a lot of fun to attend. TMBG fans in particular, like me, love going to their shows. This show was at the Price Center Ballroom at UC San Diego, kinda small but up close and personal. They played at the Price Center main area (outside) earlier in the year, for the annual Sun God Festival (in honor of one of the monuments here at UCSD), where Brian DeWan, frente!, and No Doubt (before major label!) opened. This was definitely the best FREE concert I ever went to!

the cranberries, The Warfield, San Francisco, Sat., 26 Nov 1994, 8:00pm

The Cranberries were a nice, wholesome band for the whole family to watch. If you like good music, they're the ones to see. Opening were MC 900 ft. Jesus, then Gigolo Aunts. MC was an interesting choice for an opening band, since they seem to have no relation to the rest of the acts. It was kind of a hip-hop alternative deal, but, hey, the DJ was really good. The Gigolo Aunts seemed like a good rock band. I liked all the songs they played here. Then the Cranberries showed their stuff. Ben keeps reminding me of how I cheated the two drink minimum with waters for the tables here at the Warfield in SF, but, hey, I was busy trying to keep a set list, like I always try to do. It was after this concert that I bought both the Cranberries' albums (from BMG, but anyway...).

weezer, Soma, San Diego, Fri., 07 Apr 1995, 8:00pm

Weezer cannot be defined, only shown by example. Maybe a milder version of Green Day, this rock band uses its power chords and awesome solos and lead singer Rivers Cuomo's unique voice to project their infectious melodies to any audience. This was a mild concert, not flashy, but good, with mild variations of the self-titled album's songs performed. Opening were Lutefisk, then Archers of Loaf. This concert was at Soma in San Diego.

Oingo Boingo, Open Air Theatre, San Diego State University, Fri., 20 Oct 1995, 8:00pm

This definitely has to be the best single-band concert I've ever been to. Oingo Boingo needs no opening act; it filled the 3 hours+ with their own brand of hard rock, ballads, and classic '80s tunes. This concert was part of the Farewell Tour, their last tour ever as a band, here stopping at the Open Air Theatre at San Diego State University before going on to the Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City for their final Halloween concert. They played everything from their early stuff to their harder rock self-titled album stuff, especially their hits, which are many! Great show, 'nuf said. There will never be another one like it.

Gin Blossoms, Montezuma Hall, San Diego State University, Thu., 29 Feb 1996, 8:00pm

I already saw Gin Blossoms with Spin Doctors, but once again they rocked. This time with songs from their second album, Congratulations, I'm Sorry. Opening were two other Tempe, AZ bands, The Refreshments, then Dead Hot Workshop. To us, the Refreshments sounded like a mini Gin Blossoms, but with a slightly different style. After the concert, my two roommates bought the album. Dead Hot Workshop was okay, maybe they should have gone first. All the bands were rockin', though, at the San Diego State's Montezuma Hall.

the CARDIGANS, RIMAC Arena, UCSD, La Jolla, CA, Wed., 19 Feb 1997, 8:00pm

I didn't get to see Beck this time; I had to leave early because I had a Bio midterm the next morning (which I do believe I kicked butt on), but I hear from everyone that he rocked. I actually came to see the opening act, the Cardigans. That alone was worth the ticket. The set only consisted of nine songs, mixed from both their albums. The band rocked, and Nina's sweet sweet voice charmed the audience here at the RIMAC Arena at UC San Diego. Beck came here once before for a free concert, a TGIF, in the Price Center, with moderate response from the crowd, but then again, compared to this concert people paid for, it's no wonder he was received much better this time around for the real fans.

U2, Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego, Mon., 28 Apr 1997, 7:00pm

What can you say? It's *U2*, as they were with the ZooTV/Zooropa Tour, only now instead of several sets of screens, one huge video screen showing lots of different stuff (read the set list for details) a huge yellow arch, and other props. We were supposed to be in section A9, which is the front floor section all the way to the right. When we got there, there was no section A9, instead a staff member to trade our A9 tickets for *A3* tickets (shown below)! The opener Rage Against the Machine rocked at 7, playing a short set from their two major label albums. This was louder than the actual concert, but still kicked ass. We actually saw them from section A4 (dead center), then moved to our actual seats during Pride, so we still got to watch U2 get on stage via the catwalk. Of course U2 rocked as well, playing songs from various albums along with those from Pop. This show was on Monday (*doh*!), 28 Apr (my sister's birthday), the day before two midterms, at Jack Murphy Stadium (now called Qualcomm Stadium), home of the Chargers. This is the first US tour since the ZooTV tour. The Zooropa tour was only in Europe and Australia. I guess that album didn't do incredibly well in the US. But that tour was basically an extension of the ZooTV tour, with additional Zooropa songs. Another Bio test the next morning, but I think I kicked butt on that one too.

Sarah McLachlan, UCSD RIMAC Arena, Sun., 07 Dec 1997, 7:00pm

Sorry, no real set list because I didn't know the names of all the songs yet and can't find the info anywhere else. (Instead you'll see the Mirrorball track list, similar to the set we had.) It was a good but short concert, especially compared to her others on the same tour, so I hear, but still very nice. Sarah sang (of course) and played guitar or piano during her songs. Also playing were Abra Moore (who we missed) and Barenaked Ladies (fellow Canadians). BNL's set just about stole the show, though. Sorry no list for them either. But they're very entertaining on stage, a little like TMBG, but their own style, and a little more mainstream. All of their songs rocked, and they did their usual (I guess, it was also on San Diego's Star 100.7FM Jingle Ball '98 concert) medley of interesting covers, including Sugar Ray's Fly, Aqua's Barbie Girl, and I think Third Eye Blind too. Quite a contrast for Sarah's songwriting forte. A good concert, and yet another night-before-a-test concert, where I do believe I kicked butt on the Bio final the next morning! I like this pattern. Some of my tests have some major suckage. My new strategy: go to a concert the night before!

They Might Be Giants at Street Scene, Downtown San Diego, Sun., 13 Sep 1998, 4:40pm

Once again, They Might Be Giants took to the stage, their "natural habitat," according to their latest (and only) live album, Severe Tire Damage, which was Rattle & Hum-esque with new studio tracks. Although part of a larger event for downtown San Diego and a short set, the ticket price was worth it just to see this band. Others were Dishwalla, No Doubt, and Edwin McCain. Their usual antics and humor abound. No tests this time, plus it's during the day.

depeche mode, Cox Arena, San Diego State University, Tue., 15 Dec 1998, 8:00pm

My second time seeing dM, and quite a show this was, too. Here was another trip down memory lane of classic dM songs, played by none other than the band itself. This concert, also complete with live drums, may have rocked even more than the Glen Helen concert, especially going with other true dM fans again. I think we all sang with just about every song the whole time, which was, by the way, all dM, no openers! We still look forward to seeing them again. No tests, but I had to go to the next day at 6:00 in the morning (which eventually became a pseudo-half day).

Santana, The Meadows, Hartford, CT, Tue., 17 Jun 2003, 8:00pm

Santana is one of those living legend bands, especially the rock and guitar icon himself, Carlos Santana. They played only songs from the last two guest-artist-packed albums, Supernatural and Shaman, plus two classic songs, Jingo and Samba Pa Ti, and one unreleased song, Supernatural Thing. Angelique Kidjo opened for Santana, and wrote and performed Adouma (featured in Shaman) with Santana. And in the middle of the show, the mayor of Hartford declared the day Carlos Santana Day. This was Timmy's first real live concert, and what a show for his first one. We went with two other families from Timmy's daycare, one of which invited us to go since we like Santana and tickets were $10 that day. The concert was still worth more than the real ticket price.

Dido, Open Air Theatre, San Diego State University, Sun., 30 May 2004, 8:00pm

Dido rocks and raves too, with her awesome band with two percussionists, keyboards, and guitar and bass. She performed all the songs from the second album except one and about half the first album. It was a lot of fun, with her club dancing to her upbeat electronic songs, the audience singing along, and her "little conversations" with the audience. I bet she'd be fun to take clubbing in London, just that kind of person that would be cool to hang out with, but don't cross her or she'll write a song or two about you. Tom McRae opened for her with his "songs of misery and death" with himself on guitar and a cellist and keyboardist. He has a very unique voice, and the atypical cello (sometimes with effects) made the songs even more unique.

U2 Vertigo, Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, CA, Sat., 02 Apr 2005, 7:30pm

U2 rocks again, with the Vertigo Tour in support of their latest album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Kings of Leon opened for them, but we came in the middle of their show. U2 started at 9:00 with a rockin' Love and Peace or Else, the song that I had in my head the most the days before the concert, probably my favorite song on the album. Pairing the songs with activism for social issues really makes the songs more meaningful. Bono dedicated the song "Miracle Drug" to Pope John Paul II, who passed away earlier the same day. They displayed the UN Declaration of Human Rights to cheers by the audience. They promoted the ONE organization to help end poverty. Overall, it was a rockin' and spiritually uplifting concert, as usual with U2.

Moby, 4th & B, San Diego, Sun., 08 May 2005, 8:00pm

Moby rocks and raves! Not only does Moby write his own songs, he plays them too, on guitar, bass, congas, and bongos. He also does good covers, and he has a great supporting band for concerts. In particular, Laura Dawn from MoveOn does the backing vocals and some lead vocals for the Hotel album, and she joined Moby on this tour. Moby played a good mix of new and old, with songs from the new album making a good chunk of the set. There were also a lot of Play songs and a few from 18. The classics he played were Go and Next Is the E. All the techno/disco songs he did were excellent, with such energy. And he proves he knows how to rock. And to see Moby and Laura Dawn in person (from 10 feet from the stage!) was awesome. Buck 65 opened for Moby. He's a DJ/vocalist/rapper who does his own scratching, with a backing vocal for the concert. Very entertaining.

Coldplay, Coors Amphitheatre, Chula Vista, CA, Fri., 26 Aug 2005, 7:30pm

Maureen and I had to go south with moderate traffic to get to Coors Amphitheatre in Chula Vista and get a decent spot on the lawn, but it was worth it! Black Mountain played a set at about 8, for about half an hour or so. We thought they might be a local band since they share a name with a pretty major street that goes from the south end of Mira Mesa up to Rancho Peñasquitos here in San Diego, but no, they're from Vancouver, BC. They were interesting. Every song had a different style. Coldplay came on about 9:15, opening with the first track of the new album X & Y, Square One, which has sort of a 2001: A Space Odessey sort of feel to it, and ended with Fix You. They played mostly songs from that and the previous album, with Yellow being the only Parachutes track. There was a screen in back of the stage with graphics and occasionally video of the band itself. The two screens on the sides weren't used at all, unfortunately, and they would have helped us vertically challenged people in the lawn. Anyway, they're solid performers (especially with Chris Martin's unique vocals) and showcased a good balance of mellow ballads and hard rock over 17 songs. Also, they're activists for fair trade, something I first learned about through them at a televised performance, with "Make Trade Fair" written on the piano.

Depeche Mode Touring the Angel, iPayOne Sports Arena, San Diego, CA, Sat., 19 Nov 2005, 8:00pm

dM always rocks, especially in San Diego (and So. Cal in general with its great, dedicated fan base), according to Kim (who saw an Exciter Tour show in DC with a just a lukewarm crowd). Kim joined me and the usual suspects (Ben, Bob, Natalie, Carl) as with last time, except that Ben wasn't there for the Singles tour, and Joanne and Susan also joined us this time. Pretty much the same set list between concerts on this tour, except that, according to Tita Fabbee, who went to two LA shows, her second show had "A Question of Lust" replacing "Somebody" (not a bad substitution). Also according to her (from an LA Times article), the new album's sales were double in So. Cal compared to its next market. No surprise, Playing the Angel is a good album, and Touring the Angel was a good show, typical high-energy fun from frontman Dave (shakin' it and showin' it off) and Mart (guitar riffs and sensitive vocals), the continuing tradition of live drums and a hi-tech-looking stage setup. The Raveonettes opened, good house-music band with possible New Order influences and two female leads.

Radiohead, Embarcadero Marina Park S, San Diego, Mon., 26 Jun 2006, 7:00pm

In downtown San Diego, near Seaport Village, is the standing-room only (or, lawn apt for picnic blankets (until the main act arrives on stage)) Embarcadero Marina Park South, where Viejas Entertainment hosts Concerts @ Bayside. It really is right at the San Diego Bay. You could probably just boat over by the stage and hear the concert. It's there that I saw Radiohead for the first time, and probably not the last. This tour is a pre-release tour for the yet unnamed, upcoming album. (Ben believed the name to be the name of one of the new songs, Down Is the New Up, reflected in the T-shirts with downward-pointing white arrows set in upward-pointing black arrows (or barns/hangars/houses like in the shirt I bought); that title turned out to be one of the bonus disc tracks). The concert was a good mix of old and new except with nothing from the pablo honey album. It's at this concert that I realized how much Radiohead is influenced by jazz, since much of the music is about the mood and heavy on the bass and rhythm, with sometimes incomprehensible lyrics (electronically modified that way on purpose), where the sound of the words is more important for some songs. The rockin' songs rocked, and the groovin' songs grooved. Plus you get to see Thom Yorke wobble his head about and dance like Michael Stipe (as Ben noted). The highlights for me were the dynamic rockers "2 + 2 = 5," "Paranoid Android," and "Just," and the new songs sound like an extension of Hail to the Thief. But, of course, I also appreciated the grooves of the slow and deliberate electronic songs. The opening act was Deerhoof, experimental rock with a native Japanese female lead singer, like, I don't know, maybe the's fused with Sonic Youth or something. The concert T-shirts from w.a.s.t.e. (Radiohead's merchandiser) are made sweatshop-free in the USA from 100% organic cotton. Yea, progressive bands!

Radiohead, Cricket Wireless Amphitheater, Chula Vista, CA, Wed., 27 Aug 2008, 7:30pm

Not much to say different from what I said for the pre-album tour (i.e. before the release of In Rainbows. We had seats this time, interestingly in the same venue where we saw Coldplay. It was a very entertaining show, especially for the fans, but unfortunately I don't remember who the opener was. As a 58hours commenter noted, we got all 10 songs from the new album (not including deluxe disc 2), so big show for hardcore fans, plus "Talk Show Host."

Gin & Tonic, House of Blues San Diego, Fri., 20 Feb 2009, 8:00pm

Wow, it's been a long time since we've seen Gin Blossoms. They are visibly older now, especially Robin, but they still remember the magic. We hadn't yet seen Tonic live, so I checked out some of their albums so I could get familiar with the non-single songs. I own them now and know them pretty well, but I during the concert I couldn't quite construct an accurate set list, so my apologies. Good overall show, and I'd gladly watch either band again. Sorry about the lack of a ticket scan, but Ben got them at Will Call, so I didn't get the chance to see them before the show, or indeed after. Hmm.

Muse, Viejas Arena, San Diego State University, Wed., 22 Sep 2010, 7:30pm

I admit I hadn't heard Muse, let alone become a fan, until last year, several months before their last album came out. I borrowed all their studio albums and eventually bought them all too. They were all brilliant, especially after Showbiz, which still has some great tracks and showcases the band's talent. So I was well-prepared for their opus The Resistance, an ode to rock both classic and modern. The light show and stage dynamics (not just the band movement but actual stage movement) only highlight what a great live band Muse really is. Even new-wave revival band (with a little bit of MGMT-like funk), Passion Pit, got some good lighting work with their danceable rock set. We got some classics, though none from Showbiz, but most of The Resistance, including one of my favorite non-singles, "Unnatural Selection," a Queens-of-the-Stone-Age-esque rocker. That song and hard-rockers like "Stockholm Syndrome" and "Plug in Baby" made my neck hurt from head-banging, but it only started in the evening the next day. Hmm. Three days later, it's finally close to normal, but the experience of this spectacular performance is one I won't forget.


Below are the ticket stubs for all of the musical shows I ever watched.

The Phantom of the Opera, Curran Theatre, San Francisco, Fri., 09 Sep 1994, 8:00pm

Even after its long running for years, Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera finally came to San Francisco, at the Curran Theatre, and delivered its promised excellent show. But I shouldn't need to tell you, everyone knows what Phantom's about. If you don't, well it's kind of a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, with the story centered on an opera house where the Phantom resides, and his soul, and the people who perform there. A different version than the original Phantom story, with more emphasis on the emotion and the music than the humor. Great show!

Beauty and the Beast, Shubert Theatre, L.A., Sun., 12 May 1996, 1:00pm

Disney's play version of Beauty and the Beast has to be the most enjoyable musical I've been to; it's already my favorite animated film of all time, even to this day. The sets and costumes are very well done, as are the special effects. The only real story differences between this and the film are the absence of Philippe (Maurice's horse) and the mobility of Maurice's invention; he rides this toward the fair instead of the horse. Other set differences have to do with what you can physically do on stage and what you can draw on animation cels. The extra length (compared to the film) is due not just to intermission but to added dance scenes and new songs, all of which are very charming and nicely done. I highly recommend this to anyone who liked the film; hopefully it will still be around somewhere. It was a hot day, and the Shubert Theatre here in LA was air conditioned. It was chilly, though, but that didn't detract from the wonderful and inspiring show.

BeauSoleil, California Center for the Arts, Escondido, CA, Fri., 28 Feb 1997, 8:00pm

BeauSoleil isn't actually a show besides the music aspect; it's a band from Louisiana that's been around for 20 years playing Cajun music. But this concert was held at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, CA, their first time here. I didn't know what Cajun music was like until I came here. I was pleasantly surprised. It sounded a little like country with French lyrics, but had an added twist with definite Louisiana jazz influence in it that I liked. The frontman Michael Doucet has to be the best fiddler I've ever heard. I don't think anyone can top him today. Given how long they played, about 2 1/2 hours, and the virtuosity of the players, and also the price of the tickets, it was a nice surprise of a concert.

Stomp, Orpheum Theatre, New York City, Sat., 21 Aug 1999, 10:30pm

Stomp is another show that's really a music group, but they play more of shows than concerts. They're a percussion group that uses ordinary items to make their beats, such as barrels, playing cards, tables, and car parts. The show has a set related to the music, and even directly involed with the music. They show that music can be made anywhere, and I believe music exists in nature if we just listen to it. This show is a good time for all ages and cultures.

Forbidden Broadway Cleans Up Its Act, Stardust Theatre, New York City, Sun., 22 Aug 1999, 7:30pm

The Forbidden Broadway series (Forbidden Broadway, Forbidden Broadway Strikes Back, and Forbidden Broadway Cleans Up Its Act) is satire of musical theatre on, well, Broadway. This particular show parodied Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Cabaret, and The Lion King among others. My favorite parodies were the turntable of Les Mis and the octave for "Bring Him Home", the toy helicopter and kazoo-sax for Miss Saigon, and the over-the-top costumes for The Lion King. Most of it wouldn't make sense without seeing the original shows, though, but it's still a good time.

Fosse, Broadhurst Theatre, New York City, Wed., 25 Aug 1999, 2:00pm

Fosse is a revue of musical dance numbers choreographed by the late, great Bob Fosse (1927-1987). It went through numbers in Chicago, Sweet Charity, Pippin, Big Deal, The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, and various televised performances, ending with an extended version of Benny Goodman's "Sing! Sing! Sing!" This show won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Musical.

Star Trek: The Experience, Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas, 1999

Star Trek: The Experience is an ongoing attraction at Las Vegas Hilton. It's more than just the ride, similar to Star Tours but with riders standing up. It involves a cast walking around just like extras on the set of one of the TV shows and features props and a really, really long timeline from (real) history to the present, and through to the "history" of events in the entire Star Trek universe from before the original series to beyond all of the movies and recent TV shows. Highly recommend for Trekkies like myself as well as "Trekkers" like my sister who don't want to be called Trekkies.

The Lion King, Pantages Theatre, Los Angeles, Sun., 20 May 2001, 6:30pm

Disney's The Lion King is beautifully adapted to the stage, a bit like their Beauty and the Beast adaptation, but with a different musical style. More score and African melodies and beats dress the story well. Some of the new songs come from the album, Rhythm of the Pride Lands, which sets the film score to words and includes some great new songs like He Lives in You, used in the play.

Man of La Mancha, Martin Beck Theatre, New York City, Wed., 19 Mar 2003, 2:00pm

Man of La Mancha is a musical retelling of the Don Quixote story. I didn't know much about it before I saw the show, but I was pleasantly surprised. This show featured Brian Stokes Mitchell as Don Quixote, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as "Dulcinea", and Ernie Sabella as Sancho.

Thoroughly Modern Millie, Marquis Theatre, New York City, Sat., 12 Jul 2003, 8:00pm

Thoroughly Modern Millie is a musical retelling of the film of the same name. I saw it with the original lead, Sutton Foster, who plays Millie, a girl from the country who arrives in New York in the 1920's to accomplish her dreams. Typical country-to-city migration story, but with added themes of feminism and our immigrant heritage.

Mamma Mia!, San Diego Civic Center, San Diego, CA, Sat., 29 Oct 2005, 2:00pm

Mamma Mia! is a fun show with a wedding story and its backstory set to the music of ABBA. It's set on a Greek Island in present time with a single mother, Donna, whose 20-year-old daughter, Sophie, is getting married. Sophie wants her dad to walk her down the aisle, but she doesn't know who he is, so she invites the three possibilities, according to Donna's diary. Many ABBA songs already have a feeling of being from a musical (especially "I Have a Dream," "The Winner Takes It All," and "Thank You for the Music"), so it all fits together. There were three encore songs, "Mamma Mia!" (reprise), "Dancing Queen" (reprise), and "Waterloo."

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!