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Top 10 Artists Never Seen Live

I’ve been blessed to see the great majority of my favorite musicians live in concert, and I knocked a recent favorite off my list when Matisyahu came to The Pageant last weekend. I thought it’d be fun to look at my favorite artists I’ve never seen live, sorted by scrobbles on my last.fm account, and speculate about my chances of seeing them.

10. A Fine Frenzy (532 scrobbles) Matisyahu was #10, but I finally got a chance to see him. So now A Fine Frenzy is on the list. I can’t remember hearing too much about tours. There’s supposed to be a new album coming up relatively soon, so maybe Alison will tour to support that. My wife and I would probably go The Pageant if she came and tickets were $25 or less.

9. The Fray (584 scrobbles) I don’t listen to The Fray as much as I used to, but they still have enough to chart on this list. I got into them when they were getting really big in 2006, and I’m pretty sure they played at The Pageant that year like three different times. The last time was an opportunity I knew about in advance but passed on for one reason or another, and I figured they’d be back soon enough. Well, they weren’t, and now I don’t know if I’d go see them or not. It would probably depend on the cost, who was playing with them, and how much I was into their latest music.

8. Jon Foreman (659 scrobbles) I’ve seen Switchfoot at least 3 times, but I don’t count that because Jon Foreman’s solo stuff is so good I really would love to specifically hear those songs live. I have a huge regret about a missed opportunity when Switchfoot played at The Family Arena less than a couple miles from my apartment, and Jon tweeted about an aftershow outside the Arena. I (incorrectly) thought driving would be too crowded, and my bike had a flat tire, so I stayed home. Later I learned that several of my friends just drove into the parking lot and got to be a part of it. Huge regrets. Oh well. It’s the past, can’t change it. And Jon didn’t do an aftershow when Switchfoot played Cornerstone last summer. But he still tweets about them every now and then, so maybe I’ll get another chance.

7. As I Lay Dying (684 scrobbles) I’ve had a few opportunities to see the first metal band I ever got into. They played Cornerstone in 2008, but we had to leave a day early for a family reunion. The played with Underoath on a heavy tour at the Pageant a little while back, but I decided not to pay the $30 or whatever to enjoy 2 of the 6 bands or whatever, when I had already seen Underoath several times. I guess I passed on a great opportunity, but I guess I’m OK with that. If they come around again I’ll probably try not to pass that one up, especially since I really enjoy their most recent 2 albums.

6. Brave Saint Saturn (711 scrobbles) I’m probably in the minority of Reese Roper fans who likes the BSS side project more than the primary Five Iron Frenzy. Probably, though, I just happened to get into all three albums before my FIF album collection really got going, even though I heard a variety of FIF songs growing up. The rumors of FIF reunions keep getting shot down these days, but I don’t know that there are even rumors about Brave Saint Saturn. I don’t even know if the project ever played shows at all.

5. Ian McIntosh (723 scrobbles) Ian is a really cool keyboardist and worship leader in Bethel, California, and I don’t know that he tours very much at all. He seems to have some affiliation with Come & Live! nowadays, but he hasn’t come with them to play at their tent at Cornerstone the last two years. Maybe next year?

4. Coldplay (731 scrobbles) Coldplay has been to St. Louis but they tend to play in those giant venues or stadiums with ticket costs that run into triple figures, and while Coldplay is my #21 most listened to artist, I don’t like them that much.

3. Howard Shore (757 scrobbles) I listen to the Lord of the Rings soundtrack a lot. While Howard Shore probably doesn’t do very many public concert tours, the soundtrack has been performed a couple times by the symphony at Powell Hall in St. Louis. I didn’t attend the most recent one due to relative costs (we were about to buy a house!) but if there is another opportunity I will hopefully get to see some of the music played live, and I think that would count.

Also I want to note that Howard Shore is #20 on my overall scrobbles list, and there are only two other artists left. I’m quite blessed to have seen 17 of my top 20 artists live.

2. The Beatles (909 scrobbles) OK, this one almost shouldn’t count, but it’s on the list. Considering that half the original members are dead, and the other two aren’t getting any younger, this will probably never happen. I kinda missed this one by a few decades.

1. Jars of Clay (1,369 scrobbles) The band has been around for a long time, but they’re still kicking, and their 2010 album was pretty good. They famously attended (at least partially) Greenville College, which is not too far from St. Louis, but either they don’t come by too often or I don’t hear of it. I think I remember a concert at a college (UMSL? Maryville University?) in recent years but I couldn’t attend. They probably won’t be doing Cornerstone Festival, but there’s still a pretty good chance I’ll get to see them live before they call it quits, whenever that may be. Maybe I just need to be more active in keeping up with their tour schedules.

All in all, I’ve had opportunities to see 25 of my top 35 artists live, and many of the other 10 were either my own fault for choosing to miss opportunities. But sometimes life is like that. Things cost money and time and you have to choose. Maybe I’ll get more chances on some of them, maybe not. I already have an immense collection of memories from concerts over the years, and I’m sure I’ll be having many more.

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