Last year I went to over 30 shows. The year before that was largely the same but one thing never changes….no matter how many shows you go to, there are bands you wanna see live but just don’t. The reasons may vary. Some break up before you can catch them (Murder City). Some price their tickets too high (Beasties) and some might even refuse to tour your state as is the case with one Mr. Justin Townes Earle and Florida (though I managed to catch him at SxSW). So that’s the basis for this weeks Top 5: Band you have not seen live but would really like to. Please keep this list to bands you actually could see live (ie: no Nirvana since it’s completly impossible) and maybe next week we’ll do, 5 bands you wish you could have seen live.

With that said. Here are mine:

Murder City Devils: By the time I found this band they had broken up. They do short tours now but nothing that gets close enough to me to make the trip. I’ll catch them one day though, of that, I have no doubt.

Murder City Devils – Every Shitty Thing

I Can Lick Any sonofabitch In The House: Never got a chance to see these guys before they broke up and I am not sure if their new album will generate any Florida shows. Fortunately for me, I’ll be catching them in Denver in a little over a month.

I Can Lick Any sonofabitch In The House – Regrets To Greyhounds

Beastie Boys: I don’t know why I’ve never seen these guys. I do know that the last time they came to Tampa their ticket prices were just too high for me to justify. At this point I doubt I’ll ever see them, but man, I wish I had.

Beastie Boys – Pass The Mic

Jane’s Addiction: God damn I loved this band and listening to Nothing’s Shocking reminds me of skateboarding in fall and hanging out with my first high school girlfriend to this day. By the time I could actually afford to go to shows there was no more Jane’s Addicition. Pale versions of their former selves or not, if they came to town on a reunion tour….I’d be there.

Janes Addiction – Had A Dad

Lady GaGa: Nope, that’s not a joke. I tried to go to her last show here in Tampa but it was sold out and I couldn’t get a press pass. I’d love to see her for the spectacle of it all. I can’t see how it wouldn’t be a blast.

Lady GaGa – Bad Romance

Okay, what are yours?


  1. 1. Slobberbone, then and now.
    2. Merle Haggard
    3. Neko Case
    4. Ray Davies
    5. KISS, then, not now.

  2. Billy Joe Shaver: I cleared alot of “bucketlist” artists off the list in one swoop with the recent Willie Nelson festival…however Billy Joe, who I was most anticipating seeing, didn’t make it due to health concerns.

    Todd Snider: I flaked on seeing him twice due to “marital disagreements” but now that that’s not an issue I’m dying to see him but he never makes this area so it will always be a road trip to see him

    Scott Miller: This is one where I have no excuse really for not seeing him cause he has come to the area twice the last few years…timing just wasn’t right

    Doc Watson: One of my heroes, and another I will blame on marriage. Luckily he is going to be about 2hrs away later in the month with Justin Townes Earle opening

    Drive-By Truckers: They have really just never came anywhere less than 3hrs away. I was real close to seeing them when I was in Nashville (and they were playing Mufreesboro) a year or so back, but I had obligations like work. I also could have saw Jason Isbell and Mofro that same week but again…those damned work obligations

  3. I’ve actually been spoiled by living in a place where almost every band comes through on south eastern tours.

    Drag The River
    We’re lucky to get just Snodgrass here in Atlanta, much less DTR. But my plot to see them in Denver and get them to play Oxes & Horses (our wedding song)on our anniversary weekend is in full effect.

    Armchair Martian
    Maybe if they were together Jon wouldn’t laugh at me for requesting “Not Fine”.

    The Takers
    They were here a couple months ago but the steel guy stayed home to have a baby, so I don’t count that as seeing full band.

    No River City
    They’re actually from ATL but I didn’t hear about them until they’d broken up. I even missed their last reunion show.

    Corey Branan & Ben Nichols together
    I have many recordings of this, but haven’t actually experienced it.

  4. I am a lucky man, as I have seen a lot of shows in my day.

    That being said, there are a couple of acts that I just never quite got to see:

    1. Neil Young solo acoustic (which I will rememdy Sept 22nd in Clearwater, since I just scored 2 tickets today!)

    2. Social Distortion (which I will remedy in Novemeber during their run with Lucero)

    3. Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds…I am not a big fan of DMB, but I love the stuff he does with Tim. Hey, don’t bust my balls – you picked Lady Gaga!!! 🙂

    4. The Beastie Boys…I had tix to a show with Run DMC back in the day, but it got cancelled and I just never got around to seeing them again.

    5. Cory Branan and Ben Nichols acoustic…had tickets to their NYE show at the Whitewater Tavern, but child care issues forced me to stay home. 🙁

  5. @Brit = I got Jon to play Not Fine in Santa Barbara earlier this year with Drag. I’ve been obnoxiously requesting it for years and years (and I always feel guilty about it later for some reason). I keep hoping for another Armchair tour too.

  6. James Mcmurtry
    Social distortion
    Gaslight anthem
    Chris knight
    Dexateens (back In time to red dust rising era)

  7. 1. Lucero – yeah. I know. Everytime they are in California something comes. Even had tickets twice and still managed to miss the show.
    2. The Dexateens – Do they ever come west?
    3. The Takers – See Above
    4. The Jayhawks Classic Line-Up – Have considered going to MN if they do another one of their reunion shows. Kind of bothered that they only play material from ’95 or before. Ignores too much of the god stuff that came later. That being said this is the line up I always wanted to see.
    5. Paul Westerberg – tried to see him in LA once but couldn’t get in

  8. I have always always always always wanted to see Billy Joel and Elton John when they do their tour together but tickets are always too expensive to get the good seats..

    And on a rubbing in note: The Takers, Drag the River, Dexateens, Glossary = All amazing live!! 😛

  9. 1. Glossary – As far as I know, they haven’t been to SF since I started listening.
    2. Jason Isbell – couldn’t make it to the Justin Townes Earle/Jason Isbell show last year at the Independent. JTE has been back since, but not Isbell.
    3. Smoking Popes – thankfully they’ve put themselves back together and are playing a few shows here and there. I’m hoping a real tour happens with the new album release.
    4. Hayden – SWOON. he doesn’t tour much.
    5. Alkaline Trio – sigh. 15+ years of loving them and it just hasn’t happened… Generally a combination of location, money, and unwillingness to deal with the hoards of Hot Topic emo tweens.

    Honorable mentions:
    Drummer – I was completely in love with their album last year and they were supposed to tour the west coast but then the whole Blakroc thing took of as well as other projects getting in the way and the new Black Keys album, etc, etc… Don’t know if they’re planning any more work together, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

    Lucero – They’re supposed to play Hardly Strictly Bluegrass this year, but I’m hearing it may not happen… we’ll see. I’ve seen Ben Nichols solo, but never the whole band.

  10. Truersound: fwiw…the era to see DBT has passed. It’s still a descent show but it used to be magical.

    Also, as many times as they’ve come through Tampa I tend to assume everyone has seen Lucero as many times as me….so to see them popping up here is a tad surprising.

  11. Just FYI, a reliable source told me that the Glossies will be doing a 10 day run up the east coast at the end of August. Keep an eye out for a mid-western tour this fall hopefully. If you have venue connections in your town, you’re probably a lot more likely to get em there.

  12. I’m lucky to be in seattle – we get most touring bands here.
    Plus I went to sxsw this year which let me fill in a few blanks, but:

    * T model ford – Seeing him this friday!
    * Left lane cruiser
    * The duke and the king
    * the black diamond heavies
    * strawfoot

  13. Left Lane Cruiser and The Black Diamond Heavies are so fucking good live. Surprised you didn’t catch LLC @ SxSW. I tried but that venue was running so fucking late.

    I too would love to see Strawfoot.

  14. @Autopsy IV
    I probably would’ve seen Lucero the last time they came thru SF, but it was within a week of friends seeing them in Chicago – and they gave it a terrible (TERRIBLE) review. They were extremely unimpressed with the addition of the horn section to the live show. Kind of put me off.

  15. @AutopsyIV Yeah I hear you RE: DBT, but I still want to see them if only to help me “get” the new stuff. Honestly I think I would be more excited about Isbell at this point though.

    I will save 2004 era DBT for the “wish I coulda seen” list next week

  16. Anyone who hasn’t seen Cory Branan and Ben Nichols together is seriously missing out. Three of the best nights of my life were doing a tour with them a few years back.

    I’d still love to see Joe Pug.

  17. RE: DBT
    The Isbell era was definitely the best. I spent the last couple DBT shows waiting on them to play the old stuff and doing beer runs during Shonna’s songs (and laughing at the frat guy who kept yelling Goddamn Lonely Love). But if anyone ever gets a chance to go to the annual Athens Homecoming shows, totally worth it.

    Jason Isbell live – killer.

  18. –Circle Jerks – I am still kicking my own ass for not making their last show in Nashville. Work prevented the two hour drive.

    –The Melvins – It seems like their schedule and mine never jives. The irony is that I was supposed to see them open for White Zombie/Reverend Horton Heat in the 90s and got lost getting to the venue (pre-GPS) and arrived just as White Zombie were starting.

    –Neil Young & Crazy Horse – I’ve seen him twice solo and I want to see Crazy Horse…dammit!

    –Michael Dean Damron – I want to catch at least one solo show and more SOB (see below).

    –Murder City Devils – Ditto on discovering them after the demise.

    I got to see the SOBs open for some band called Lucero several years ago. At the time, I knew nothing about Lucero (even though I’d actually seen them open for the North Mississippi All-Stars previously but didn’t remember much) and went to see the SOBs. It was a great night getting to talk to MDD and it was the night I became a fan of Lucero.

    Kiss – I was a huge Kiss fan as a kid and was lucky that my mom took me to see them in 1979 when I was 10. I saw them many times in the non-makeup days, twice on the reunion and twice on the farewell tour. Now that there’s a couple of guys pretending to be Ace and Peter, Kiss is dead to me. The upside is that I got to see Ace solo for a fraction of the cost and got to meet the man, too.

  19. @truersound DBT live actually makes the new stuff sound worse. The Decoration Day tour was the last time I really enjoyed seeing them.

    Cory and Ben is definitely worth the trip if they’re playing anywhere near you. Seeing them with The Fox Hunt opening in Richmond is up there with the most fun shows i’ve seen.

    I figured everyone who reads this site had seen Lucero alot as well. Don’t listen to complaints about the horns. They sound great live and the arrangements in the older songs are great.

    I’ve had the good fortune of both living in an area packed with shows and having the ability to travel for anything else I want to see. I can really only come up with three but i’m sure i’ll think of more later.
    1. Drag the River – I’ve seen John solo, Chad solo and John/Chad together playing DTR tracks but never the full band.

    2. ICLASOB – I doubt they’ll make it up this way but I should see them next month in CO.

    3. The Cure – Not sure how I never ended up seeing them but I still think it’ll be a good time.

  20. …Trail of Dead (full line-up)

    Drive-By Truckers
    (unable to attend 4 times in a row in Nashville/M’boro because of either school/work/Only Sons tours)

    Built to Spill

    Broken Social Scene


    Maybe not a Top 5. More like an Off The Top of My Head 5

  21. @Nick re: horns – I heard exactly the opposite. that they ruined the old songs with the new arrangements. And I’m not generally a fan of horns anyway.

  22. I saw Lucero in Madison last Friday. I loved every single minute of it, and I like the addition of the horns. Just my $0.02

    Shows I skipped and now really regret:
    1) Green Day in 1996 – actually my mom wouldn’t let me go since I was 15 and it was in Milwaukee.
    2) Weezer in Madison on their Pinkerton tour. It snowed like a bastard that night and I decided to skip it. All my friends went and said it was best show of the year.
    3) The Hold Steady & the Constantines – they played a show in Madison literally a month before I got into both bands. I’ve since seen THS but the Cons have never come through town since.
    4) Drag the River – they’ve never played in America’s Dairyland since I’ve been following them, but there was a show in Chicago last year that I really should have attended.
    5) Slobberbone & Blueheels – I saw SB on their farewell tour with Two Cow Garage & ICLASOBITH in Chicago. It was the best show I’ve ever seen. They played over in Port Washington last summer, with my favorite local band opening (yay Blueheels) but for some stupid reason I didn’t make the drive.
    6) The Bouncing Souls – I have no excuse for this one. It was a Friday night show last fall and I had no other plans. I don’t know what I was thinking.

  23. @britt, funny-I saw Isbell in Savanaha and some dude kept yelling “tornados.” I’ve seen him solo about six times and he really hasn’t evolved. I was excited about seeing the full band acoustic show in Atl. a few months back , but wasn’t really impressed. He’s gonna have to knock it out the park on his next album in order to keep it going.

    Everything comes to Atlanta so I’ve seen about everything I’ve ever wanted, but heres a few-

    Javi Garcia- Love the album and can’t wait for a tour

    Misfits- Saw the new but would’ve loved to see the old

    Steve Earl- never got around to it& I’ve heard mixed reviews

    Pink Floyd- gonna see roger waters do the wall in Nov.

  24. @Nick Re: The Cure – They always put on an amazing show. Just as atmospheric, expansive, and vivid as you’d hope. It really elevates the material to a new level when you hear it live. I’ve seen them three times and look forward to doing it again.

    @acedbt Re: The Misfits – I saw the reconstituted band in ’97 or ’98 at Dragon*Con. I enjoyed the first new album but the performance just didn’t work for me and I was pretty let-down by the whole thing.

    My list:

    [this list intentionally left blank]

    Just in the past few years I’ve seen The Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Mudhoney, Jane’s Addiction, and Nine Inch Nails. I decided years ago that I’d never see any of them live but fortunately I was wrong!

    But with those shows behind me, there are very few bands that I’m still interested in who I haven’t seen live, and none of them strongly enough to mention here. That’s a product of both my selectivity and changing preferences, combined with the, uhm, short lifespan of so much music I enjoyed through my twenties.

  25. 1. For Squirrels: I lived in Gainesville when they were taking off but stupidly never made it out to any gigs. Tragically a van accident ended the band prematurely.

    2. Soul Asylum: Never in the right place at the right time.

    3. Sixer: I saw Leer when he was still with Ann Beretta but not after he split and formed Sixer. Great band who are no more.

    4. Two Cow Garage: I need to head north to Tampa/Orlando next time they come to FL.

    5. William Elliott Whitmore: same as TCG. No one comes to south FL.

  26. Hmmm….

    1. Charlie Daniels Band
    First “favorite” band when I was a kid. I really should get around to seeing the old man before he kicks it.

    2. The Band
    Naturally this won’t happen, but I find that a lot of the music I enjoy now had its beginnings in The Band. Thus, would love to see where my favorite music started.

    3. Chris Knight
    He doesn’t get up to N.C. often. The last time he was here I had other obligations.

    4. Old Crow Medicine Show
    I really have no excuse not to have seen these guys. Just haven’t had the chance to do so, but they’ve been around plenty.

    5. Paul Thorn
    I hear this guy is a riot live.

  27. 1. Social Distortion
    2. Gaslight Anthem
    3. Two Cow Garage
    4. The Jayhawks
    5. Rancid

    Living in Australia makes it harder to see bands, especially here on the west coast, fingers crossed that I may at least get the chance to see a couple of these over the next year or so

  28. Another Aussie, what do you know. We get stiffed down here cause bands tour rarely and the tickets are expensive. Most gigs are around $40 for an international act. Thankfully I spent some time living in Canada and the uk so I crossed off a few of the biggies like social d, rancid, Lucero and the pogues. My big regret was not seeing strummer before he died I went to a festival when about 10 years ago that he played at and did’t see him. Also the Hold steady, always out of the country when they tour here. Lain gaslight are playing siundwave but it’s probably still not worth going to just for them.

  29. @acedbt
    Ahh I had car trouble that night and missed the Smiths show. I was more stoked to see Abby again than Jason. I didn’t really dig the last album either but I have a weakness for a good Alabama accent so I might be a bit biased. Rumor has it that the album they’re working on now is going to be a true rock n roll record (yet it has accordion on it). If it’s more of the same I’ll probably lose interest.

    That first AthFest he played with them though, that was pretty awesome.

  30. every time i manage to cross someone off the list, i found out about someone else that gets added, in chronological order of how long i’ve wanted to see them:

    Entombed – if they played Wolverine Blues in its entirety that would be perfect

    NOFX – don’t listen to them much any more, but they definitely topped the list for a few years in the mid 90s

    Willie Nelson – @ATruersound, man would i have loved to be at the picnic this year. that seems like the right place to see Willie, for sure. also, here’s hoping Billy Joe Shaver heals up and hits the road again soon, he’s definitely worth seeing

    Social D/Mike Ness – here’s hoping they add some more convenient dates to the Lucero tour

    Kool Keith – or Dr. Dooom, or Dr. Octagon, or whoever he decides to be that day

    Los Lobos – one of these days. maybe they’ll pair up with Willie. that would justify a really long trip

    Goddamn Gallows – Couldn’t stick around for their Muddy Roots set, i think that was seriously unfortunate

  31. 1. The Fox Hunt (will take care of that on the 27th)
    2. Old Crow Medicine Show
    3. Chris Knight
    4. Will Quinlan and the Diviners
    5. The Beatles (in their prime)

    Hey, I live in Central Ohio and a lot of touring bands and musicians won’t even stop here as there’s barely a decent venue. You have to go to The Ark in Ann Arbor and everybody knows how Ohioans feel about going north.

  32. @John – i hear you on the lack of venue in central OH. i live in Cincinnati, but saw more than a couple great shows at Little Brother’s before it closed down. if you’ve never been to either, and depending on which side of 70 you find yourself on, the Southgate in Newport, KY and the Beachland in Cleveland are good non-Michigan options.

  33. I’m pretty lucky to live in a huge city where most of the bands that I want to see pass through at least once a year. That being said, there are still a few I have not seen:

    1. Bruce Springsteen – I usually hate arena shows, but I will make an exception for The Boss (and Neil Young and Bob Dylan, who I have seen 3 times each). Unfortunately I’ve been too broke for an arena show when Bruce is in town.

    2. Two Cow Garage – I don’t think that they have ever toured Canada.

    3. Todd Snider – Ditto. At least no eastern Canadian dates in the last 5 years.

    4. Drag the River – supposedly going to be in Toronto this fall. Unfortunately, I may be deported by then.

    5. Paul Westerberg – I grew up in the upper midwest during the Replacements prime, but my mom would never let me go to a show. Now I must see Westy!

  34. 1) Paul Westerberg
    Saw the ‘Mats once in Atlanta on what would be their last tour. They were good but actually too slick. Particularly for their legend. Figures I’d get them on a sober night…

    2) Lucero
    Living in Winnipeg sucks.

    3) Gillian Welch
    Saw a Gillian/Greg Brown/Ani DiFranco triple bill (twice actually) which was amazing but I’d still love to see her on her own.

    4) Tommy Keene

    5) Dan Stuart / Green on Red
    Saw Chuck Prophet in Minneapolis once (wonderful) but would love to see him with Dan. Almost went to the Tuscon reunion show a few years back… Shoulda gone…

  35. To add to the conversation – I have seen Jason Isbell live a handful of times and his live show is amazing. His best songs are what he wrote with DBT so it’s never a good thing when your best songs were written 5-10 years ago and you’re barely 30. Hopefully his next album will impress.

    1. ICLASOB – Just got into them about a year ago but will catch them in Denver.

    2. Drag the River (full band) – I saw Jon and Chad on the revival tour but haven’t seen them do a full set.

    3. The Smashing Pumpkins – This is another of those shows that my mom wouldn’t let me see.

    4. Centro-matic – I had the chance to see them last year but couldn’t make it. I’m still pissed.

    5. Chuck Ragan and Austin Lucas (together) – I would love to hear them do a set of stuff off Bristle Ridge.

  36. Social d and the descendants tours just got announced for australia. It’s like Christmas

  37. Cory Branan
    The Rolling Stones
    Guy Clark
    Justin Townes Earle
    Two Cow Garage


    U2 (I can feel the hate coming my way)

  38. 1. Gotta be Slobberbone – I saw the Drams and am friends with Brent but never got to see them play live.
    2. Drive By Truckers Got tickets for this one soon
    3. Drag The River (and this one)
    4. Glossary
    5. Steve Earle and The Dukes with Buddy Miller

  39. 1) AC/DC: My all time favorite band, but somehow I just keep missing them. I was too late to get tickets this last time around and would have had to spend $500 to get one on Craigslist. I hope they give it one more go around before they retire for good.

    2) Willie Nelson: I’ve had a couple of chances, but it hasn’t come together yet. He played up here in the NW on the 4th of July a few years ago, but I think we were on the road.

    3) Neil Diamond: I’ve had many people tell me Neil puts on one of the greatest live shows ever.

    4) The Meteors: They rarely toured the states when they were younger, and now that they’ve retired and unretired at least once I doubt they’ll make it around again.

    5) Devo: They’re touring again, but I don’t think they’re playing anywhere near me, which is a shame.

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