Nick Lowe at Slim's. I was crashing with a friend/co-worker at the time, due to an unfortunate roommate situation. (When I moved in, my roommate said "oh, the landlord doesn't want to put you on the lease until you've been here six months, so you should give me the rent money and I'll write the rent check." You can probably imagine where this one goes — I came home from work one day to find a 3-day eviction notice on the door. She'd been pocketing the rent and not paying the landlord. My co-worker John and his partner very generously let me and my cat crash in their extra half-bedroom for a couple of months — way above and beyond the call, if you ask me.) I had two tickets for the show when I came down with a bad case of bronchitis. Couldn't find anyone to sell or even give the tickets to, so John and I went. I was half-zonked on cough syrup and spent the evening propped up against one of the pillars. (John stuck to vodka tonics.) Nonetheless, it was a kick-ass show.
The Blue Nile at the Great American Music Hall. The most acoustically perfect show I've ever been to. If you closed your eyes, you'd think you were at home listening to the album on headphones. Amazing. It was kind of sweet — they played all the songs from their one album at the time, then left the stage. The audience kept applauding, whistling, and stamping their feet. Eventually the band came back on stage and said, somewhat sheepishly, "Um... we don't really have any other songs to do... but we could play something over again..." and the audience went mad. So they reset the synths and played the singles again. Woot!
The Jazz Butcher with Max Eider at the Great American Music Hall. OMG OMG OMG. I've been a Jazz Butcher fan since about age 14, when a friend of a friend shoplifted a cassette of Bloody Nonsense. I figure the Butcher came out ahead, considering that from that one shoplifted cassette he wound up with at least five dedicated fans who went to multiple concerts and bought t-shirts and everything. (They played San Jose in July of 1988, a week before my 18th birthday... at an 18&over club. I don't think I've ever been more persuasive in entreating someone than I was that night, talking the doorman into letting me in. "It's my birthday next week! And my friend's 40+ father is even here to keep an eye on us! Please please please please please!" They let us in, we had a fantastic time, and one of my friends even managed, after the show, to swap t-shirts with the drummer, Dave's "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro" t-shirt for the drummer's tour shirt (which were not on sale at the show)... which he gave me as a birthday present a week later. He did wash it first, luckily.) When the Butcher and Max parted ways, most of their fans thought they'd never see them together again. When they reunited for this tour, it was amazing. Even introvert-girl wound up in spontaneous conversations with other people in line: "OMG! Can you believe it? I never thought I'd get to see them together again!"
...I'm realizing it's been a while since I've been to see live music. Gotta fix that.