When I ordered tickets for my wife and I to see Maren Morris this fall, I apparently made a new friend at Live Nation.
We’ve only just met, but my amazing new pal — I believe his name is Al Gorithm — claims to know me so well that he emailed me a “personalized concert lineup” with shows just for me! Not anyone else … me!
Granted, if he really knew me he’d call, text or send me direct messages on Facebook or Twitter instead of email, but I appreciate a guy who looks out for me.
So how did he do?
Lewis Black, Dec. 14, Capitol Center for the Arts — I do love me some Lewis Black. Of course, “Back in Black” from “The Daily Show” is legendary, but my wife, brother and I saw him do standup at the Cape Cod Melody Tent when we lived in Hyannis. Great show … very funny.
Jason Aldean, Friday, Sept. 20, Xfinity Center — Between Sugarland, her solo music and other places she has shown up, I could probably hear Jennifer Nettles sing all the way through a cross-country flight, since I have about 90 songs of hers. (Hmmmm … I’m taking one soon. Perhaps I’ll try it.)
On the other hand, I have one Jason Aldean song. And that’s his “Don’t You Wanna Stay” duet with Kelly Clarkson.
Steve Miller Band/Marty Stuart, July 25, Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion — It’s booked as “Classic Rock Meets Classic Country,” and I bet artists like Steve Miller Band and Marty Stuart will be able to fill 5,200-seat venues like Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion until they’re 100 if they want to.
They’ll just do it without me.
Dane Cook, Oct. 19, Mohegan Sun Arena — You young folks may have to look this up or just take my word for it, but Dane Cook used to be a really big deal, as in sell out TD Garden for his “Vicious Circle” HBO special big deal.
As in sell out Madison Square Garden with “Rough Around the Edges” big deal.
I surfed into “Vicious Circle” one night, and remember thinking that he wasn’t incredibly funny, but was a hell of a storyteller.
Of course, since he’s a comedian, the lack of funny thing was kind of a dealbreaker for me.
The Black Keys, Oct. 11, TD Garden — I hope everyone who goes has a good time.
Phish, July 5 and 6, Fenway Park — Phish has been around since the early 1980s. They’ve toured heaven knows how many times. I could not tell you one song of theirs.
Miranda Lambert, Sept. 13 and 14, Mohegan Sun Arena — Al actually brought some logic to this one, since Maren Morris is opening on some of these shows, although not the ones at Mohegan Sun.
But for whatever reason, I have never been able to get into Miranda Lambert.
Ben Folds and Violent Femmes, July 28, Mohegan Sun Arena and Aug. 3, Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion — In spite of Jennifer Nettles’ endorsement, I was very late to get into Sara Bareilles, so maybe Al is trying to push me toward Ben Folds because Sara Bareilles loves him.
Toby Keith, July 4, Mohegan Sun Arena — The closest I have ever come to a Toby Keith show was going by his eponymous restaurant in Patriot Place when I was with a group going to a New England Revolution game last year.
Things didn’t work out so great for the restaurant.
Old Dominion’s Make it Sweet Tour, May 24, Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion — There’s a band called Old Dominion? I thought it was Virginia, or a college in Virginia.
Billy Joel, Sept. 14, Fenway Park — Legendary … I saw him in Albany back in 1991, when he added shows after the one he had scheduled sold out. It was a quick turnaround before I went back to Utica for finals, but it was a heck of a show.
I won’t see him at Fenway, but I like what Al’s thinking here.
Julia Michaels, Oct. 26, House of Blues Boston — Maybe Al’s trying to push me toward Julia Michaels the way my wife pushed me toward Maren Morris. However, there are two fairly substantial differences:
1. I actually had heard of Maren Morris, and had recently downloaded “The Middle” by the time my wife told me to check her out if I was looking for new music.
2. It was my wife making the recommendation.
JAM’N 94.5’s Summer Jam 2019, June 1, Xfinity Center — When I was a much younger lad, the top-40 station in Albany, 92.3 WFLY, hosted a “Summer Jam” show, and apparently still did through last year, when it was canceled. I used to listen to it on the radio.
That was then. This is now.
blink-182 & Lil Wayne, June 29, Xfinity Theatre and July 10, Xfinity Center — What would make me less likely to go to a concert than an artist I have absolutely zero interest in?
Two artists I have absolutely zero interest in!
Adam Sandler, June 19, Xfinity Center — I do enjoy “The Hanukkah Song.”
Elvis Costello & The Imposters And Blondie, July 21, Mohegan Sun Arena and July 23, Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion — Next
Brad Paisley, July 27 Xfinity Center and Aug. 29, Xfinity Theatre — I wonder how many people are going to do the Xfinity double dip for both blink-182 with Lil Wayne and Brad Paisley.
Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band, Aug. 10, Xfinity Center — My wife and I have friends who are obsessed with Jimmy Buffett. It was the first dance at their wedding, and since I know the two or three Buffett songs that probably everyone else does, I enjoyed the rather sweet instrumental that they chose …
… which was actually a song that the vocals were stripped out of by accident when they programmed the playlist.
Not that Jimmy Buffett is a horrible singer; that’s just my one Buffett story.
Social Distortion & Flogging Molly, Aug. 28, Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion — Some of my wife’s work friends talked her into going to see The Smashing Pumpkins at TD Garden. They left early because my wife said it got really old waiting three hours to hear them play “1979.”
(Raise your hand if you didn’t realize The Smashing Pumpkins actually had three hours of material.)
Not that Social Distortion would ever do such a thing, but if I want to hear their cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” I’ll just pull it up on my phone and be done with it.
Country 102.5’s Street Party, May 25, House of Blues Boston — I’m not entirely sure how you can have a street party indoors, but maybe someone who goes can tell me.
Hey Al, if it helps, we’re going to see Maren Morris, Sara Bareilles, Kacey Musgraves and Leslie Odom Jr. with the Boston Pops this year. We saw Sugarland, Mumford & Sons and Josh Groban with Idina Menzel last year.
Please find shows like those.