The crew at RIFF got the call this week … or maybe last week, but we got it: live music is back. Like fighter pilots in the ready room hearing the siren, we knocked over furniture, grabbed our pitchforks, slid down the fire pole, and ran to our battle stations, excitedly infused with a willing spirit of confusing mixed metaphors.
It’s been a long year. We were told to report virtually to the trusty document where our highly trained team of professionals in the war room monitor all the comings and goings of Bay Area concert happenings.
It took me three days to remember where it was.
But now I’m all vaxxed up and ready to go. So I browsed the list of upcoming shows, on which we used to volunteer to cover live music, and found my name a few times on leftovers from last year. Now it’s all coming back to me. When COVID ruined everything, I was lined up to review Pearl Jam, Bad Religion, Journey …
Journey? Did I volunteer for Journey?
Apparently I’m on the ancient rock beat; the Stonehenge beat, if you will.
Which explains my name next to Steely Dan. I’m not even sure some of these acts are still alive. OK, Steely Dan was supposed to play Concord Pavilion, close to my home, which is probably why I agreed. Even after not seeing a concert for more than a year, I can’t consciously decide to drive to the Shoreline, for example, unless Mick Jagger himself invites me to come watch the Stones from his rocking chair on the side of the stage.
By the way, someone mentioned the other day we’re creeping up on the Stones’ 60th – 60th – anniversary. Consequence of Sound asked Keith Richards last November what the band had planned for 2022. He confirmed they planned on being alive, so …I’m guessing that means a tour.
He actually said that, and I’m calling shotgun right here and now. I don’t care if someone has to wheel all of them out.
I almost put my name next to Def Leppard, Motley Crue and Poison, which was supposed to happen at Oracle Park in San Francisco last year, and hasn’t officially been rescheduled. That’s how badly I need to get out of the house.
There are no rescheduled dates on any of these shows I was supposed to see last year, but my name remains. If nothing else, the pandemic made everyone miss concerts. As long as promoters are willing to buy lots of insurance, we should see a rush of good shows.
Of the new dates being announced, many of my fellow RIFFers have already got to the good stuff. But the Backstreet Boys are playing Concord on Aug. 8, which sounds as wonderful as a root canal … but there are going to be a lot of recently-middle-aged women there, so …
Someone already claimed Alanis Morissette, Garbage and Liz Phair in Concord on Aug. 3. Same for the Black Crowes on Aug. 21, also in Concord. The Pavilion really seems to be on the ball, so far. Must be the ventilation.
How are the Monkees playing San Jose Civic on Sept. 15? Via hologram?
None of these are really doing it for me yet … Celine Dion at Chase Center Sept. 3. I covered opening night of her Las Vegas residency many moons ago, and only wish we had video on cell phones back then. Because some of the people I interviewed about the show … I had no idea Dick Clark knew words like that.
Anyway, the point is to get moving. Get your shots, buy new masks (admit it, the old ones smell), and start your own list. Musicians need us, and we definitely need them.
Follow music critic Tony Hicks at Twitter.com/TonyBaloney1967.