posted on January 20, 2022 by Julie Stone

Bucket List Magic

A few years back, I had the opportunity to go and see the Eagles live in concert. We had great floor seats, just far enough from the front row to not look straight up. We were adults, we could finally afford the good ones! I was ecstatic, because, you see, live music is my thing. For me, there isn’t anything better than hearing my favorite musicians playing the songs that give me all the feels, live. I love the way they interact with the audience, tell jokes among themselves. It feels like you’re in on something special. I walk out of a concert renewed. My soul alight.  And I’d never seen the Eagles before. That is to say, I’d been to an Eagles concert, but we’d sat so far away I couldn’t see them, not even a glimpse.

Well, life happened. We had unexpected visitors and I let the tickets go.

“I’ll see them the next time,” I said to the friend I gave them to. “The next tour.”

A few days after that show, Glenn Frey died.

There would be no next show for the original Eagles, for Glenn Frey

To say I was devastated would be dramatic. But also, it wasn’t inaccurate. That’s how I felt. Though I’d never known him, I’d heard his voice for years. It seemed ridiculous how sad I was over the death of someone I’d never met. What his death did was shift something for me. What’s that old saying-you never know what tomorrow will bring so don’t put off tomorrow what you could do today…

Hold on loosely, but don’t let go… if you cling too tightly… oh, wait those are lyrics to a 38 Special song…

Where was I? Oh, yes. Devastated about the loss of Glenn Frey.

I called up my concert-loving-life-long-best-friend and we commiserated about it, and that conversation turned into a mission.

We were determined to see as many bands of our glory years as we could. While we could. I mean, realistically we weren’t getting any younger either.

We made a list, a bucket list, if you will. Of every band we wanted to see at least one more time. Some we’d seen multiple times already, some we’d seen separately, but not together. If one of us wanted to see them, they made the list.  Over the course of the next few years, we flew to Las Vegas to see Billy Idol in residency at the Hard Rock Café. We’d seen him before, when we were sixteen, not of legal drinking age, back when General Admission wasn’t an insurance liability and teenagers ran in respectful droves to claim a spot as close to the stage as possible. This Billy Idol show was small, intimate, had a bar. And though we all still stood for every song, none of us looked as good doing it as Billy himself. He played for two straight hours and even took his shirt off!

In the midnight hour, we did in fact cry MORE! MORE! MORE!

Next up, Brian Adams at Red Rocks in Colorado. There is no more beautiful setting for a concert. Under that wide-open mountain sky, the canyons sending the music right back at you. It wasn’t hard to believe, we were in Heaven.

That one was hard to top, but we tried. At one of the most nostalgic, venues of our concert going lives, The Iowa State Fair. Is it as glamorous as Vegas, no. As breathtaking as Red Rocks? Again, no. But there’s something about that ancient Grandstand, the smell of fried food in the air, that takes me right back to when I first fell in love with live music. And the artists were the stuff of 80s Rock legends: Night Ranger and Foreigner. Still pouring their hearts out to their fans, still singing all the songs that made me feel like I still had a curfew.  And I was going to break it.

Because that’s what music does, for me, for all of us. It takes us back to a time and a place that matters to us personally. Or it says the thing you need to hear the way you need to hear it. It gives you a place for your emotions that isn’t messy. Its personal, but communal.  We can all sing our guts out, to Sister Christian, our phone lights glowing, but everyone singing along has a distinct memory of that song that makes it important to them.  Those songs, if you’re lucky, are like catching a bit of magic.

Now listen, I know there are some great new artists out there. Toe-tapping, sing-along jams that are fantastic. The same as I can remember my mom cranking up the radio and singing along to the Beach Boys or Elvis. But, for me it will always be the music from the Eighties.

I will love it, Always…

(In case you missed the reference, next up? Bon Jovi!)

It’s My Life.

One reader who comments will be chosen to win a digital copy of He’s with the Band and a $10 Starbucks gift card!


Julie Stone

Julie Stone

Julie Stone writes Rom-Coms with a more mature heroine, because Happily-Ever-Afters shouldn't have an expiration date. She grew up watching John Hughes movies, pegging her jeans, and avidly reading everything Judy Blume and Sweet Valley High. A native small-town Iowan, and graduate of the University of Iowa, she happily settled back in her home state over a decade ago. Always a fan of big hair and an even bigger fan of Eighties music, she is currently working her way through a bucket list of reunion tours. Follow her on twitter and Instagram to join in on the fun!

8 thoughts on “Bucket List Magic”

  1. bn100 says:

    interesting experience

  2. Colleen C. says:

    The last concert I went to was many years ago… it was so loud that when I left, everyone sounded like chipmunks around me… love music, but I will stick to my playlist, LOL

  3. Elouise Lord says:

    It sounds like you are in a good place. I am now too, retired and living my crocheting dream, doing all the projects I wanted to do but didn’t have time for. It’s nice being 74 and free!

  4. Barb Nickelsen says:

    The last concerts I went to were The Cure (my favorite band!) and Duran Duran. Got to see them in my company’s suite. We were far from the stage but I only paid $50 for each show and we had the comfort of the suite!

  5. Eliana West says:

    We love live music and going to see shows whenever we can. Our son is a musician and now it’s even more fun to see him play. We joke that we’re the parent roadies! The last concert we went to was to see him play at Pickathon in Portland, OR. Our friend is Mick Fleetwood’s drum tech so we’ve been able to see Fleetwood Mac a few times and it’s always a great show.

  6. GB says:

    I love that you are embracing the opportunity to see your favorite singers/bands. When I graduated college, I got into an exchange program to England that allowed me to work there for a few months. One of the jobs I got in London was working at a concert theater, The Hammersmith Odeon, on weekends and sometimes during a weekday night. My job was to seat people and as a perk, I often got to be present to watch the concerts. It was an eclectic mix of performers. I saw Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, A-ha, Johnny Mathis, Bollywood stars, Hong Kong pop stars. Great fun!

  7. Joanne Pineau says:

    Sounds like a fun bucket list for sure. There’s nothing like live music.

  8. Onara Garcia says:

    I haven’t seen many concerts but the Eagles was one I’d have liked to see too. It seems we can appreciate the live music and all that goes with it when we’re not kids anymore.
    Enjoy every concert!

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