Concert Greats



There are only so many more chances I'll have to tell my wife about the time that the '90s noise-rock superheroes of my college years, Unwound, played in my basement.

We hosted them in the tiny house I lived in Bloomington back in 1994. But if I tell her about it again, she might just fall immediately to sleep or scream bloody murder. Still, I love to reminisce about old concerts, shows and performances, because for a gigantic part of my life seeing live music was what I did nearly any minute that I didn't work or sleep or read.

For me, remembering and talking about old shows brings up a lot of different kinds of memories -- about music, yes, but also about life, friends, and all the little things that weren't major milestones, but things that majorly influenced me.

Photographic proof of Unwound in Ben's basement back in 1994. - COURTESY OF ANDREW HUTCHISON
  • Courtesy of Andrew Hutchison
  • Photographic proof of Unwound in Ben's basement back in 1994.

To take a break from Unwound nostalgia, I asked some other local, musically inclined friends to share their three favorite performances in Indianapolis history. I picked people I knew would probably struggle as hard as I did to narrow it down to three favorites out of so many. It's fun to see shows listed that I also attended, almost exclusively before I knew the person who listed it. There is one concert below which I saw with the listener, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy -- and therefore not terribly upset that she took one of my most likely selections. At the bottom, I've listed my own top three. Below that or on our facebook page, I hope you'll list yours.

MP Cavalier -DoitIndy Radio Hour,Radio Free Indy

  1. Flaming Lips at The Vogue, August 2003.
  2. Henry Grimes Trio at Madame Walker Theatre, October 2005
  3. Midwest State of Mind at Rock House, August 2014

Julie Cicada Crow -Tim & Julie's Another Fine Mess,Modern Times

  1. The Rolling Stones at the Coliseum, July 1966
  2. Johnny Cash with June Carter and the Carter Family at the Vogue, October 1995
  3. Elvis Costello & Steve Nieve at the Murat, October 1999

Mike Contreras -Shimmercore's Cat Wizards, Indy CD & Vinyl

  1. Lana Del Rey at Klipsch Music Center, May 2015
  2. Spiritualized at The Vogue, October 27th 2003
  3. Morrissey at Old National Centre, April 2013

Zach De Pue-Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra,Time for Three

  1. Delta Spirit, Avid Dancer at The Vogue, March 2015
  2. Father John Misty, Alabama Shakes at The Lawn at White River State Park, June 2015
  3. Zach De Pue Plays Barber at Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts, March 2015

Drew DeBoy -Smallbox,Luna,Miami Mice,Everything Now,Wooves

  1. Oneida, Pnature Walk at Joyful Noise Recordings, July 2014
  2. Apache Dropout at Broad Ripple Park, June 2013
  3. Calvin Johnson at General Public Collective, September 2013

Dave Fulton -, Naptown Radio Rock Wars

  1. The Beatles at Fairgrounds Coliseum, September 1964
  2. Carl Perkins at The Patio
  3. The Cramps at Crazy Al's, July 1981

Mina Keohane -Mina & the Wondrous Flying Machine,Brandon Whyde & the Devil's Keep,Sarah Grain & the Billions of Stars, and Freddie T & The People

  1. Josh Ritter at The Music Mill, May 2008
  2. Brian Blade Fellowship at The Jazz Kitchen, January 2013
  3. Alabama Shakes at Radio Radio, December 2011

Marc McAleavey - Playworks Indiana

  1. Beastie Boys, Da Lench Mob and Rollins Band at Indiana State Fairgrounds, October 1992
  2. Fugazi and The Grifters at City Lights, May 1993.
  3. Innocence Mission and Emmylou Harris at The Murat, Fall 1995.

Gwynneth Reitz -There Are Ghosts (at the Melody 8/21!), Lunar Event

  1. The Joy Formidable at The Vogue, December 2011
  2. Wanda Jackson at Radio Radio, October 2012
  3. Lana Del Rey and Grimes at Deer Creek, May 2015

Nora Spitznogle - Second Helpings, Tonic Ball, Broad Ripple Gazette, Queen Bee Music

  1. Red Hot Chili Peppers at The Patio, October 1985
  2. Inaugural Tonic Ball, celebrating the music of Gram Parsons at Radio Radio, November 2002
  3. The Ramones at The Vogue, May 1983

My Shows:

  1. Neil Young, Sonic Youth and Social Distortion at Market Square Arena, January 1991
  2. Dow Jones and the Industrials Reunion at Radio Radio, May 2003
  3. Beastie Boys, Da Lench Mob at Henry Rollins Band at Indiana State Fairgrounds, October 1992

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

Add a comment