FMD: Bucket List Artists

The theme of my selections this week has been my notion of a “4-Hour Bucket List” — artists I would happily drive four hours in one direction to see if that was the closest show to my area.

The inspiration was an artist I first saw after COVID, am thinking I may have missed my opportunity. Fortunately, I’ll be seeing him for a second time in a couple weeks, at which point I’m fairly certain he’ll be the oldest performer I’ve bought a ticket to see: Willie Nelson , who just turned 91 on Monday.

So, let’s see your bucket list artists. Who is on your bucket list?

28 thoughts on “FMD: Bucket List Artists”

  1. I'm at a place in my life financially and with very little family obligations that I now can fly across country to see bucket list artists. For instance, I was in LA last week to see the Magnetic Fields play all 69 Love songs over two nights. It was wonderful. Of course I went to Vegas last fall to check out U2 at The Sphere.

    One bucket list item is Radiohead. I've never seen them and they don't appear to want to come to Minnesota when they tour so I would definitely go anywhere to see them if they ever decided to tour again. I'm not holding my breath however.

    The other bucket list item is seeing the Feelies play in NYC. This one is doable as they still play occasionally. I've lined up a number of other people also interested and will definitely do this, probably in 2025.

    I'm finally seeing Social Distortion at the Palace, Echo and the Bunnymen at First Avenue in May. The Breeders later this fall. Robert Plant in June at Mystic Lake so will at least one member of Led Zeppelin will be crossed off. Not sure if I have any other artists left to see. I guess if there was some classic 90's band that I never saw (Like Echo and the Bunnymen) I would go see, but nothing comes to mind.

    Radiohead is really the last big name not checked off.

  2. I'm in almost the exact opposite place as Free with regard to this - so many financial and family obligations that I don't even really have bucket list artists anymore. I would absolutely love to see Weird Al again, specifically with my kids. I'm bringing the oldest 2 to see They Might Be Giants this summer, which feels like a big get since I'm bringing them along, but otherwise I wouldn't be going. Other than that... I guess if Rilo Kiley ever did a reunion tour, that would maybe make my list.

    1. I'm in your boat, Philo. I just don't have the time, energy, or money to go to shows. I saw the Hold Stead at the State Fair (below) because they're my all time favorite and it was only an hour away. It feels like these days anything less is just not worth it.

      For instance, Lyle Lovett at the State Theater in July would be cool, but also, like I just don't have it in me.

      At this point, the only person I would stop and make plans for is Willie Nelson largely in part due to his ever-advancing age and I've mostly made peace with the idea I'll never get to see him.

    2. I completely get it. I never saw Nirvana for example because basically at the time they were around, I had little kids. Soundgarden would be another. There's a bunch of bands that toured in mid-90s to mid-aughts that I never caught due to family obligations. I've kind of filled in now later in life.

      One of the coolest things I did see during that time however was with my dad to see Johnny Cash when he was touring after the first American Recordings album in 1994. That will always be a top 10 concert experience for me.

    3. I really like both Petty and Pearl Jam. I was wondering how I could have missed that concert. Looked up the date to realize we had a two year old and two month old and work was pretty shaky. Now it makes sense.

  3. I consider Tool to be one of my all time favorite bands and would really love to see them before they inevitably stop touring at some point. I've heard their shows are an incredible visual experience. The main problem I've had is that I really haven't had anyone to go with. My wife is not a fan of my "angry" music. My kids like various bands, but none of them have really taken to Tool. My oldest daughter has become my concert buddy in recent years, so I might be able to convince her to go with me the next time they're nearby. But then the other problem is the outrageous cost of the show.

    Other than them, I've heard really good things about the show that Shinedown puts on. So they're my next target.

    In the meantime, I'm seeing Nothing More for the third time on Saturday. Freaking love their shows! They're actually coming to my town in 2 weeks, but I'm going to be out of town at a board game convention.

    1. I would strongly suggest you see Tool even if it's by yourself, or any show you really want to see.

      I go to a bunch of shows by myself and have become friends with other regulars I see from time-to-time. Remember, everyone who's at that show is also someone who is a big fan and took the time and resources to attend. So you've already got a built-in friends at the show to connect with. I've literally become friends (and dated) IRL with people who I met by turning to them at a show and saying "holy crap that was amazing."

    2. I’ll pile on for Tool. I saw them in 2006 when they were supporting 10,000 Days and it really was a fantastic visual experience (the contact high I got from the teenagers next to me probably added something as well).

  4. I really want to see Neil Young but I really want to hear the songs I want to hear. So far, it looks like his set list has been pretty good. Considering a trip this fall.

  5. Beyond the artists I’m sharing this week, my list includes:

    Emmylou Harris
    Charles Lloyd (in Chicago this October!)
    Ibrahim Maalouf
    Bill Frisell
    William Tyler
    The Comet Is Coming
    Aziza Brahim
    Rodrigo y Gabriela
    San Pascualito Rey
    Sonida Gallo Negro
    Joep Beving

    But the caveats others have expressed — time and available money — mean I have to prioritize those less likely to be active in the future over those in their primes now. I will never regret seeing John Prine in May 2019.

  6. Sunn O))) played a church here in Chicago 5 years ago that was practically in my back yard (less than 30 minutes away) and I didn't go. Still regret that one (although my ears are probably OK with that decision).

    1. That's one of the problems with where (you and) I live. Lots of great people come though town, but I generally don't want to/can't drive and hour each direction to see them. If it's a bucket list thing, sure, you can work it out, but there are so many smaller acts I wish I could just pop over to.

      1. One bucket list one I suppose I missed was when Stevie Wonder played a free show at the Taste of Chicago. I thought it would be a giant hassle, so far away, it probably won't be that good, etc. The paper the next day couldn't stop talking about how awesome it was though. Whoops.

  7. On my birthday in 1995, The Beastie Boys played in Minneapolis. I win tickets from the local radio station and ended up having to work and missed the show. Also, missed out on Soundgarden twice.. Best show? The Black Crows in St. Joseph, Mn (Delwin Ballroom) right before they hit it big.

    1. I took a day off work to see Stevie Ray Vaughan and then was told I had to work anyway because special event. The ticket was my birthday present from my wife, we were so poor then we could only afford one ticket and she knew how much I wanted to go. So I gave the ticket to a friend of ours, he just raved about the show. That was in April. He died that August. And I have never forgiven the boss who reneged and made me work after giving me the day off.

  8. I think the top three bucket list for me are U2 because I haven't seen them yet... Eminem... and I know it's basically impossible, but I would seriously consider traveling just about anywhere if Oasis somehow reunited.

    1. Also, that Mats show at Midway with the Hold Steady was just four days before Honest Abe was born, so I knew there was no chance I was getting permission to attend it.

      1. We were so broke when that Midway show happened but Dr. Chop gave me the green light to take on CC debt to go to that concert. My midwestern upbringing kicked in an I did not pull the trigger. I wouldn't say I have regrets..........................

        1. I was going to fly up from Austin for it and crash on free's(?) couch.

          But I had a Texas Cup game that day and decided I couldn't ditch my team.

          I sat on the bench for like 90% of the game...

  9. Revolverheld, preferably in D-Land. Also Bosse and Glesinger feat. Clueso or Grönemeyer.
    Tokyo Police Club.
    Stones' Hackney Diamonds.

    1. An addition 4-5 shows were added, but I just couldn’t muster the courage to plan it all right now. With all of the added shows, waiting until fall to see how I feel (or if, say, a Chicago date was added) seemed worth the risk.

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