James Taylor: My Last Concert

James Taylor is the reason why I don’t go to concerts anymore.

That’s not to say Taylor’s concerts are bad. Nor is it to say you shouldn’t attend one of his shows. It’s just the last concert I ever saw was fifteen years ago and it was Sweet Baby James.

Despite my experiences, I would highly recommend you buy a ticket to a James Taylor concert. His legendary voice is even better in person than it is on his recordings.

Taylor starts his Down Home Tour 2009 on April 23rd in Austin, Texas. The singer song writer will also visit venues in Dallas, Houston and Nashville.

Come August of this year, Taylor will perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Lenox, Massachusetts. I would have really enjoyed seeing Taylor in Lenox, Massachusetts. I would have enjoyed seeing Taylor perform just about anywhere.

Maybe if I had tickets to see James Taylor in Milwaukee or tickets to see James Taylor in St. Louis, I would still be going to concerts. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case and now I only listen to music on my IPod.

It was the early 1990’s and I was still in my classic rock stage. Listening to bands from the 60’s was my way of rebelling against the so called “commercial” music of day.

Somehow folk singer James Taylor got included into the classic rock genre. His albums (the actual vinyl variety) were filed alongside bands like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Who. I have no idea what I was thinking.

Back then, I knew a few people with connections and was able to buy some cheap James Taylor Concert Tickets.

I wish I could say I had tickets to see Taylor at the Tanglewood or even the Fillmore, but I had tickets to see him perform at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, Washington.

That’s a great place to see a show, and since I lived in Vancouver, Washington I only had to drive about eight hours to get there.

Accompanying me on this epic journey was my best friend’s girlfriend. The two of us drove all day, through the ugliest part of the state, to the dusty amphitheater’s parking lot. The show was scheduled to start in about an hour.

We walked about mile under the hot sun to reach the amphitheater’s entrance and then about another quarter-of-a-mile to find a seat. All the while, we were carrying lawn chairs, blankets and a cooler full of refreshments.

The term amphitheater is a bit misleading since there are very few seats—it’s mainly the side of a hill with a great view of the Columbia River. Fans just find a place on the grass or on a rock or on the dirt.

Most of the concert-goers had been then since sun rise, so all the good seats (and most of the mediocre seats) were taken.

After getting yelled at by a few hippies for being in their line-of-sight, we finally found a patch of grass at about an 88 degree angle to center of the stage.

The concert was fine. Taylor sounded great and he put on a terrific show.

To be honest, I’m really not that big of a fan. At the time, I was young and stupid, so I just thought I was a fan. In actuality, I don’t like folk music all that much and I only really like one of his songs. So I basically drove 16 hours round trip to hear him sing “Fire and Rain.”

After the concert was over, we spent two hours finding my car. The Gorge Amphitheater’s  parking lot is sans lamp posts and land marks. That was not fun.

We didn’t drive home that evening instead we spent the night at a house owned by a family friend. The secret key was not in its hiding place, and since cell phones had been invented yet, we broke into the home.

Now, the girlfriend of my best friend was a catch-and-a-half. Thinking about her now, she was even more of a catch then I thought but the folly of youth prevented me for seeing the full breadth of her appeal.

So alone in the middle of nowhere with a super hot chick I did the only thing imaginable, I immediately went into the spare bedroom and fell asleep.

Had I to do it over again, I still would have been the consummate gentlemen but I would have at least brought along a bottle of wine and some wishful thinking.

The next day we drove home in silence as we were both too tired to speak (and sick of each other’s company). My friend broke up with her shortly thereafter and I haven’t seen her since.

Certainly this concert took an extreme amount of time of energy but it was so taxing and miserable that I gave up going to shows altogether.

If a band has an album, I’ll listen to that. If a band doesn’t have an album, why would I want to see them perform live anyway?

Learn More About .