Five? Make that EIGHT.

The last time I wrote about the concert lineup I had for 2015, I was at a record-breaking (for me) five shows in one year. For those just arriving, here’s a quick recap.

2/11/15 – Fleetwood Mac, Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines
6/13/15 – Belinda Carlisle, Capital City Pride, Des Moines
8/6/15 – Shania Twain, Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines
9/12/15 – Madonna, Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
10/8/15 – Taylor Swift, Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines

I joked in the post if we’d like to try to make it six. Little did I know that I would make it eight.

carpenter300-94667a293c6aa1bf9c20ef91bc951959c1a6bc00-s6-c30Not long after I posted about the anxiety attack that was buying Madonna tickets, I was surfing the web and found out, quite by accident, that Mary Chapin Carpenter was going to be in Minneapolis on May 2 at the State Theater. I’ve been wanting to go to one of her shows forever, and she frequently hits Minneapolis, but it’s never worked out with my schedule. One time, she played Iowa City and I found out the day before the concert, when the only seats left were in the very back row of the Englert Theater. It wouldn’t have been awful, but it seemed like a lot of money to spend for back-row seats and it would have required some very creative last-minute scheduling to make it work with my work schedule.

So when I saw that she’d be just a few hours drive from here, I had to go. The show I’ll be seeing is an acoustic show, but she’ll be playing some of her best known songs, as well as digging deeper into her catalog. Tickets were relatively inexpensive, but I’ve learned that years of buying Madonna tickets has numbed me to ticket prices in general. As of this moment, I’m unsure who will be going with me – it’ll be either Anna or Heidi – but seeing Chapin live is really a bucket list item for me. Her music was instrumental in my “new adult” years, seeing me through so many rough patches and, well, I’ve written all about it all throughout the blog so I’ll let you investigate it if you are so inclined.  I’m super excited to finally be seeing her live, and the fact that it’s in a small theater makes it so much better. Having added a 6th show to this year’s lineup, I said “no more.”

betteI shouldn’t have spoken so soon because, hot on the heels of my “Oh Industry” post, I got this bee in my bonnet to go see Bette Midler when her Divine Intervention Tour stops in Omaha on June 5. Like I detailed in my post, I’m not a huge diehard Bette Midler fan by any stretch of the imagination, but a Spotify marathon of listening to Midler’s music really put me in the mood to just look and see what kind of seats were available.  Surprisingly, there were some pretty decent seats left, but I kind of talked myself out of it because it seemed silly to add YET ANOTHER concert to a year already jam packed with them.  I told Heidi about it and how I kind of wanted to go and, ever the enabler, she encouraged me to ask a friend of ours if he was interested. So I did. And he was. And then there were seven, just like that.

The thing that is interesting about the Bette Midler show is that it’s in an arena – Century Link Center. We saw Lady Gaga there in 2011, and when Bette announced her tour last year, I was surprised that she was playing arenas. It just seemed like she probably wouldn’t have the draw that other arena fillers do. A friend of mine said that she probably needs to tour bathhouses – agreed, because it would really bring her career full circle. But arenas it is.  A look at the seating chart shows that the entire upper level was not even opened up for sale. It kind of seems like a waste of a venue, but then I wondered if perhaps her stage show needs an arena sized stage.  Still, it should be a good show and it has caused me to listen to more Bette Midler in the last few weeks than I have in the entire 42 years that preceded it.  And since Bette’s pushing 70, this could easily be her last tour, except for that tour of bathhouses which she and Barry Manilow totally need to do.

11090872_10153257358302300_7400006135346613106_oSeven shows. I could do this. No more. That was the limit. Until the other morning and I found out that Brandon Flowers (not Wayland Flowers, which is always who I think of when I talk about Brandon Flowers) will be playing First Avenue in Minneapolis. I’m not a big fan of The Killers, although I like enough of their songs, but I really really love Flowers’ 2010 solo album Flamingo and can’t stop playing his new single “Can’t Deny My Love.”  So who could blame me when I felt like I had to click on the link?  I was crushed to find out that it was on September 10th – a mere one day before I board a plane to go to D.C. for Madonna. Well, that was that, I couldn’t do it. Out of the question. I resigned myself to either missing it of hoping for another show that was remotely close.  I saw the list of tour dates later that day and sadly, Minneapolis was it. The next closest show was in Chicago on 9/11, the day I was to be flying out of Des Moines. The thought of missing the show bummed me out more than I thought it might. Seeing Flowers in a small venue like First Avenue would be really fun.

But the more I thought about it, who says I can’t do it? I toyed with the idea of flying out of Minneapolis, but all the airline tickets were more expensive than flying out of Des Moines. There was one cheap flight for $177, but it flew into Baltimore and the idea of having to navigate my way into D.C. either via a rental car or train didn’t really appeal to me. I went back and looked at what time my flight on Friday left and that’s when I remembered it didn’t leave until almost 5pm on Friday – plenty of time to get back from Minneapolis, pack another bag and head south to Des Moines to get on a plane for my audience with her Madgesty.

Yesterday I preordered Flowers’ new solo album, The Desired Effect, on vinyl so that I could get a crack at presale tickets today. Honestly, I don’t know what good presale tickets are going to do me at a general admission show, but whatever.  Tickets are only $30 and Heidi said she might even come with me, even though she doesn’t usually do general admission shows and if she can’t, I’m sure I can talk someone into going.  His set list from a recent show looks pretty damn good, so I’m excited to be going.

All I can say is that 2015 is really turning out to be the year of the live concert.  What’s even more amazing is that usually in a year of a Madonna tour, she sucks up my entire concert budget like a vampire.  I’d say that I’m not doing any more live shows this year, but the last time I said that, I ended up adding three more.  You should never say never – and as I always say, life is way too short to not see your favorite acts live.

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