Musical Bucket List – Part One – Caitlin’s List

21 Aug


When you’re a part of a music couple, your free-time conversations tend to gravitate toward music discussions. So when Zack and I were sitting around this past weekend, watching a Paul Simon live concert DVD, the conversation turned to who our top must-see-before-we (or they) -die acts would be. The rules were fairly simple: Yes, it could be a “reach” band (aka a band highly unlikely to get back together); no, it couldn’t be a band where primary members were dead* (so no Beatles, Beasties**, etc.)  We didn’t have a set number in mind, but our lists ended up being top 10 (Zack flooded over to 11 but conceded to take Pink Floyd off the list for consistency***). And the lists had to be made up of people we would legitimately travel somewhere to see, because that’s how badly we wanted to see them. Oh, and, duh — these are all musicians we’ve never seen before, not just a list of our favorites or anything like that. So here you go:  our individual top 10 “must-see” artist lists with little explanations as to why. Hope you enjoy!

*This part gets a little tricky. I know Keith Moon, John Entwistle and John Bonham are dead, but with Pete & Roger and Jimmy & Robert & John Paul alive and rocking, they still can, and do, call themselves The Who and Led Zeppelin. Paul and Ringo would never dare call themselves The Beatles without John and George.

**This one still breaks my heart. Glad I saw the Beasties a couple times while I still could. It seems like they’ll never play again, but if they did, I think they’d count.

***Both Roger Waters and David Gilmore tour and play Pink Floyd songs and apparently both put on an awesome show. If I ever get to see one of them, I still wouldn’t say I’m seeing Pink Floyd.



1. Daft Punk – I mean, duh. You might think I’d count this French electronic duo’s cameo at Phoenix’s Madison Square Garden gig as “seeing them.” It merely fueled my fire. I am SO JEALOUS that Zack was able to attend Daft Punk’s Alive tour* back in 2007, and wish I’d been a little hipper at that time so I, too, could have danced my ass off while my face melted and my heart exploded. Body parts flying everywhere!! My younger brother Edward was hip to Daft Punk way before me (but probably not before LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy – don’t worry, Murphy, you only slightly lost your edge). He was super into anime and video game culture at the time (actually, he kinda still is) and Daft Punk fit into that aesthetic beautifully. To be fair to myself, at the time Edward was into Daft Punk and the White Stripes, I was still years-deep into singer-songwriters like Jason Mraz and Sondre Lerche and any other adorably handsome dude crooning at me with a guitar. Anyway, now I’m all about brilliantly written electronic dance music, and I can only pray to the music gods that we get a tour on the duo’s latest release, Random Access Memories.

*This was an all-time top-5 show for me. They played right after LCD Soundsystem at Lollapalooza and their pyramid light show was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen on stage. We would drop everything and travel anywhere to see Daft Punk. No question.


2. Talking Heads – This is a long shot, but who knows*? Maybe we’ll get lucky. Zack has told me that David Byrne will typically treat his fans to many of the Talking Heads hits at his solo shows, but I want the whole gang and I want to do the “Once in a Lifetime” dance and I want to wear a big suit. I enjoyed the Talking Heads somewhat in high school, mostly when my dad would force them upon me, but in college my appreciation blossomed, and now I’ve gone so far as to attend a cover band’s show and it was brilliant. If the cover band was able to put so much joy in my soul (which they totally did), I can only imagine the happy tears** at the real deal.

*Tina seems up for it. It’s not out of the question. I pray Byrne is up for it one day. Why not?

**And all the sweat from the dance party! Tears and sweat and love.


3. Paul Simon (Graceland tour) – Ol’ Paulie here was once my favorite musical Paul, until I got the wind knocked out of me by Sir Paul and was set straight. Still, Simon is an amazing musician, and Graceland was a game-changer for me in the way that the movie Yellow Submarine was. Paul Simon just on tour would probably get knocked down a few rungs on this list, but if he does another tour of Graceland* and comes anywhere near striking distance, I am there and weeping during “Homeless.”

*Seems unlikely he’ll do a Graceland Tour soon after he recently did a 25th Anniversary tour, but maybe for a 30th? I think we travel anywhere in Texas for him either way.

Fleetwood Mac Live in San Jose

4. Fleetwood Mac – Now that I have had the opportunity to see the great Stevie Knicks live*, I know unquestionably I have to see her full band perform. I want to be made uncomfortable as she and Lindsay sing songs they wrote about each other, and I want to feel how powerful she is with the full band behind her**, and I just want to get transported to the 70s and the songs and the moods. The Mac almost kicked Simon out of his spot when I realized they weren’t on my list, because I just know that their show would be unforgettable.

*She really was awesome, even for just five songs with “Sound City Players.”

**Yeah, we have to go. I’m sad the timing didn’t work out on their last tour when they played in Dallas.


5. Prince – Prince was almost my very first live concert. My mom had won tickets (after a whole lot of unfair rigamarole) to his show in San Antonio back in the late 90s, and she originally invited me to tag along as her show partner. The more we both thought about it, though, the more concerned we were that I would just be too timid*. I had visions of being squashed up against a fence while people pushed to try to touch Prince (I watched far, far too many Michael Jackson live show docs during that time) and ultimately didn’t put up a fight when my mom said it might be too loud and crowded for me. I will never forgive myself. Zack was able to check Prince off of his list** this past SXSW (on my birthday***, because that is how it works sometimes) and living vicariously through his experience made my hunger for the purple one that much stronger. Prince, I will C U someday and U will C me and we will dance 4ever.

*How different would Caitlin be if this was her first concert instead of Hanson at Sea World? I don’t want her to change a bit, but I have to wonder if that would have changed her.

**He was literally #1 on my list before March. Prince played over 3 hours with five encores and it was all unbelievably great. My ears rung for days and it was worth it.  If Caitlin wins the LCD won’t play in five years bet, I’d happily take her anywhere in the US to see Prince. I think she has him too low, if anything.

***Caitlin was especially cool about letting me see the show on her birthday.


6. Beyonce – Who can deny the Queen Bey? From watching her at the Superbowl to seeing photos galore of various tours of the past, I want to experience the spectacle that would surely be a Beyonce live show. Not to mention, she’s become such a strong female figure in the pop world, I feel like it would be undeniably empowering to enjoy her presence live* on stage. She has hits galore, she’ll get me dancing, and she’ll make me walk away strutting like a goddess with my head held high.

*Caitlin’s “Halo” moment would be more like this than this train wreck.


7. Jay-Z – Jay-Z has always been one of my favorite rappers*. I think there’s a stereotype about him being the most white-friendly rapper, which is something he’s said he struggles with to a degree, because he wants to be true to himself and his history without alienating fans too much. I think he balances this very, very well. Plus, I just think his flow is incredible. He’s an entertainer, his songs are amazing, and I think this show** would just knock my socks off.

*My #1 favorite rapper all time, both studio albums and live. 

**He has it down to a science, not wasting a single second on stage. I gave his show a 9.8 a few years ago at Coachella. I think Caitlin may be more excited for Bey than Jay, but I have a hunch she’d have a hard time arguing she loved her performance more than his. 


8. Stevie Wonder – I have a sense that a Stevie Wonder show is the kind where after every song, you think to yourself, “Oh my gosh, I forgot he did this one, too*!” His catalogue is incredible, and from everything I’ve heard, he still puts on one hell of a show. This is, historically, another artist that makes me think of my mom, so I think the nostalgia factor alone makes Stevie a must-see artist.

*That’s 100% true. The hits just keep coming and he totally still has it.


Photo by Andy Shore

9. Earth, Wind & Fire – We were in the presence of this greatness* at a Bjorn’s in San Antonio, which was a surreal enough experience on its own. Now it’s time to enjoy this storied group in person. Again, this would be a hits-filled night of singing along and groovin’ on down. Had I known they were playing San Antonio the night before our Bjorn’s experience, I would have tried to see them. I won’t make the same mistake if they come through Texas again. 

*Earth, Wind and Fire is an experience! Their voices are all still immaculate and maybe it was just the incredible vibes at Jazz Fest, but something magical happened at the end of their set. I don’t expect almost anyone reads the hyperlinks to other Festival Crashers articles, but I promise you that this video I shot of EW&F at Jazz Fest is life affirming and glorious and you have to watch it closely. Every single person that hops into the dance pit, from the young man in the white shirt and sunglasses to the shirtless old guy with the ponytail and the two women who shimmy down the line and hug, are just the best. Please watch this and tell me your favorite part.


10. Desagrimes – OK, so this is a cheat. I was trying to keep anyone off of my list who I know for a fact I’m going to see later this year, but I can’t help it. These two artists are ones I am equally dying to see; in fact, they’d be higher on the list if I wasn’t guaranteed to a show. So who is this, you ask? Well, obviously it’s Desaparecidos, Conor Oberst’s punk band from the early years that has gotten back together and started putting out venomous, powerful political 7″s. I never thought in a million years they’d reunite, let alone come close enough to Austin, Texas for me to see them. But October 30th, they’ll be at the Mohawk and I’ll be putting on my shit-kicking boots, baby. Then, of course, my more recent obsession, the Taylor Swift-obsessed feminist (yeah I don’t get it either), trying-to-be-vegan Grimes. I follow Grimes’ Tumblr, and what I love about it is how vulnerable and unpolished it is. She is simply a creative young lady, trying to put some art out into the world, living up in Canada, wearing crazy but awesome almost-cosplay outfits. She will be at Austin City Limits* and I will possibly wear a dyed wig in her honor. When I’m running to her song, “Genesis,” I sometimes fantasize about doing a cover version of that song with a kickass all-girl band, performing it as we ride on bikes (with a boombox set up in one of our baskets), cruising down Congress street. If a song does that for you, you know it’s special.

*I’ll check out Grimes with Caitlin at ACL, but I’m not sad I’m missing Desaparecidos. I’ve grown to really like Bright Eyes and all, but this one’s more Caitlin’s thing. 

Check back tomorrow for my top 10 with Caitlin’s thoughts.


4 Responses to “Musical Bucket List – Part One – Caitlin’s List”

  1. tapeparade September 24, 2013 at 6:42 am #

    I know you are two are travelling but I miss blog entries from you guys so I’m re-reading older posts! I love this list and Talking Heads are probably top of my list of bands to see live. I’ve seen Stevie Nicks, Wonder, Beyonce and JAy-Z and they all KNOCKED my SOCKS off. Can’t wait to read your reviews of concerts later this year! XX

    • Caitlin October 2, 2013 at 7:41 am #

      You are TOO SWEET. I didn’t have any electronics with me while we were abroad but I was able to read this comment at one point and it made my day. Jealoussss of your Jay-Z & Beyonce-seeing, I can’t wait to see them myself!


  1. Musical Bucket List – Part Two – Zack’s List | rockloveaustin - August 21, 2013

    […] even if they may be a few decades past their prime. I feel lucky to have seen half the artists on Caitlin’s list and especially lucky to have crossed Paul off as my #1 to see with her.* On that note, I’m […]

  2. Jay-Z proves to be the kind, benevolent, fan-loving king of rap. | rockloveaustin - December 30, 2013

    […] I realized I was going to know a lot more than I’d expected. *Caitlin had HOV at #7 on her list, just behind Beyonce and ahead of Stevie Wonder. **She told me she only knew two songs. I assured […]

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