As I sit and lament the fact that Jack White will be touring this summer yet not coming within twelve hours of me (fingers crossed for added dates), my mind wanders into morbidity. What if Jack White died? What if I were never able to see him perform live? The impact White has had on my life has been tremendous. The entirety of the White Stripes discography got me through some of the toughest times of my life. He is a complete stranger yet my gratitude towards him is enormous because of the profound effect he was able to have just by yelling melodically and hitting metal strings with a plastic disc.
It's a question that gets asked in record stores across the country and likely will be for as long as music exists: if you could see anyone, living or dead, who would it be? To me, what is the point in naming someone you could actually see when the theoretical question is exactly that... theoretical? So my mind immediately goes to the bands who've lost someone, since retirement in music seems to only happen when death comes knocking. Not just a Cliff Burton but someone who is the heart and soul of the band, their presence being noted the moment they're gone (calm down Burton fans, I didn't mean offense).
Mercury aside, Queen has a live lineup that would absolutely destroy: Killer Queen, Under Pressure, Don't Stop Me Now, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, oh and a little song called Bohemian Rhapsody. Good look up the live performances on youtube for each and every one of those songs if you want your mind to be blown. The lyrics, the builds, the energy of Mercury, all of it accumulates to something unique and rare. The remaining members of Queen have tried to recapture it with various other frontmen, but no one compares to Freddie Mercury. They're fools for even thinking they can pull it off. Mercury is Queen. And Queen is a band I would kill to see.
The next has been one of my favorites since I was a kid and a song about smelling like teen spirit came into my life. Now I've seen Foo Fighters live in concert and during the performance, Dave Grohl got on the drums and showed us what he had. This should have been enough to warrant Nirvana being at the top of my list for the sole purpose of seeing Grohl drum the shit out of those songs but that's not even including the most important part of the equation: Kurt Cobain. Cobain killed himself in 1994 and changed music forever. Nirvana provided a rock performance unlike many others, with such natural chaos that it was infectious. Watch Live at Reading and you'll be including them on your own list as well.
I sat and thought over and over about which of these two bands I would actually put at the top of my list but then I realized... why am I thinking so hard about a hypothetical question that would never happen? It's not like somebody is going to be browsing the internet, come across this blog entry and go "Oh hey, I should really use my last genie wish up on this." It's not gonna happen. Maybe. Framing it who I would like to see is much harder so I decided to view it more as -- if I were to have tickets to see either of these bands, missed the show, and then their respectives leads died, which would I have more regret about having not seen?
Nirvana. It's gotta be Nirvana.
Oh yeah, my parents see Jack White in July.
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