What a great idea for thread indeed! I have actually spent a lot of time recently reflecting on my past and all the amazing things I've had the chance to do, those thoughts spurred by coming to a place where many people have not ventured far outside their immediate geographical realities, nor feel it's a reality to do so even given the desire and means. I feel so fortunate to have never had limitations put on me by any influence, realizing fully that life is what you make it. At 33 years of age I sometimes feel stunted materialistically and professionally given some of my choices, but when all is said and done I wouldn't trade my experiences for anything. Off the top of my head:
-- Going to my first punk show in Detroit at Trumbull, I would have been 15 or 16. I honestly can't remember who we saw, but it was incredible. I'm tempted to say it was Drop Dead but I could be very wrong about that.
-- My first experience in NYC. 1996 I think -- I was going to college in Baltimore and I went to meet up with a high school friend attending the New School Conservatory. Went to my first punk show at ABC No Rio -- Choking Victim and Citizen Fish. After that we went to Bar d'O where my friend was working as a dish washer and got to hang out with transvestite diva extraordinaire, Raven. Walked thru Washington Square park drunk as shit, and the next day took the subway up to Columbia to visit another friend who's now a high power lawyer in Chicago via D.C. The whole weekend was amazing and eye-opening.
-- My first trip from Baltimore to Philly and show at Stalag 13. Again, can't remembered who played, but that place was to be instrumental in who I am as a person now. I may not remember the specifics of each show, but I'll never forget the people and the experiences I had there.
-- Spiderfest 1996 or 1997 in Marmora, Ontario, a huge punk fest.
-- Making the trip to Milwaukee Metalfest in 1998 from Philly. Saw Emperor, Sodom, and Destruction among many other bands. My dog was less than a year old and my human travelling companion was a new friend, but already a dear friend. He died last year at the age of 30. I'd give anything to do that trip over with both JP and my dog, who also died last year only a few months before Jipp Dawg.
-- Going to Milwaukee Metalfest in 2001, again, from Philly. Macabre, Einhurjer..... man oh man, some great bands on that one. Met my (now ex) husband there that week. My dog, Meridian, was with me still too.
-- Attending a huge gathering of folks from all over the country for an annual meetup during the crazy St. Patrick's day celebrations in Savannah, Georgia after voluntarily giving up my apartment and leaving Philly after about 5 years for a life on the road which was to last for about a year. The then-boyfriend, now ex-husband and our two dogs lived out of my 1990 Toyota Corolla, subsequently a 1994 Jeep Cherokee after the Corolla succumbed to a wiring short and caught on fire in Austin, TX. A "peak experience" for sure. That was freaky. Hit all sorts of locations that year, and saw lots of live music including the next peak experience.
-- Seeing Dio, Deep Purple, and the Scorpions at the Aladdin Ballroom in Las Vegas. Powerful. I wish I'd been able to see Dio at least once more, but that was it. At least I got to see that magical mystical man perform once before he died. I'll never ever forget that.
-- I'm going to have to include the PaganFest tour of 200__, ummm, 8? 9? at the Starlite Room in Edmonton -- Swashbuckle, Primordial, Moonsorrow, Finntroll. I was into folk metal before that, and had seen Finntroll and other Finnish folk-metal bands live even, but that show was really what cemented my love for the genre and was exceptionally powerful.
-- And of course 70,000 Tons of Metal 2011. The maiden voyage. Peak of the peak of the peak.
Wow. A trip down memory lane.