concert memoirs pt. 20 - hunters & collectors, echo & the bunnymen, new order, gene loves jezebel, game theory & naked rayun

Hunters & Collectors
5/31/87 First Avenue w/John Ticket Price: $5.00

I didn’t know this Australian band well, but John really liked them. I enjoyed the show very much. I’ve got to say this band definitely wore their hearts on their sleeves. They played some of the most heartfelt music I’ve ever heard at a concert. Not the best vocalist, but he was dedicated to getting his point across. They also had a big sound with meaty bass lines and a hot horn section.

These next three entries do not have ticket stubs. What I have is a back of an ATM receipt on which I had written the basic show information. You know it goes back a few years because there are no ads on the back. Why I did this for only these three shows, I have no idea.

Echo & the Bunnymen, New Order & Gene Loves Jezebel
8/13/87 Northrop Auditorium w/John Ticket Price: Unknown

As far as I can remember, this was the only show I had seen at the Northrop Auditorium located on the University of Minnesota campus. I seem to recall seeing a show at the Coffman Union on campus which was a popular venue for the punk bands, but I can’t remember what act we saw.

Anyway, the Northrop show was a mega show with three pretty good bands. Any of which could have headlined at First Avenue. And, of course, I don’t remember much about the show. Hmm. It’s weird how this happens, because I can assure I was stone sober.

What comes to mind is going to the U of M campus, noting the braveness of the campus squirrels (so used to people being around) and hanging out on the steps waiting to head in for the show.

Of the show, I remember the lead singer of Gene Loves Jezebel prancing around and hanging on the other band members.

I can also picture the New Order bass player with his legs apart and bass hanging low. So low it was nearly hitting the floor. I thought it was so cool that he played that way. He was also the most animated member of New Order.

Nothing comes about Echo & the Bunnymen.

Game Theory w/27 Various & Swingin’ Uncle Jimmy
1/15/88 7th Street Entry w/John Ticket Price: Unknown

Ed Ackerson was a bit of an icon of the local music scene whose first band was The Dig. The Dig was a mod band that was part of the brief mod revival thing. He went on to form 27 Various and, then, Polara. All three bands had a different sound. All were very interesting.

So, this night it was 27 Various. They had a kind of Sonic Youth discord sound going.

Later, Game Theory was doing their jangly, pretentious, catchy, alterna-pop show, when Scott Miller (the bandleader) slowed things down to talk to the crowd. He wanted to thank the opening acts for playing.

He mentioned something interesting about 27 Various. He said that he didn’t quite dig their sound at first. He thought that they sounded out of tune, but then he started to catch onto what they were doing. And he dug it.

Naked Raygun
3/5/88 7th Street Entry w/John Ticket Price: Unknown

Ahhh, Naked Raygun in the Entry. What could be better? This band never disappointed us. And this was another outstanding show. It was also the last time we would ever see them.

Naked Raygun should have been bigger than they were. They could have been bigger than Nirvana. Well, enough hyperbole.

The highlight of this night was seeing John at the front of the low set Entry stage, his arm flung over some hefty fellow’s shoulder (no, we didn’t know him), that fellow with his arm across John’s shoulder, their other arms held aloft, shaking their fists and heads, all while bopping up and down. This was an unbelievable sight. It was absolutely uncharacteristic of the normally stoic and standoffish John. Especially when he is sober, which he was.

Such was the power of Naked Raygun. God damn! I miss them.

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