Dire Straits

Top five concerts of all times

I have never really thought about lining them up like that, but here they are, my favourite 5 concerts of all times, as asked by Daily Rock Report. I don’t choose by absolute quality but rather how they felt at those specific moments.

1. Suicidal Tendencies, Vienna, 1994: this one caught me (and others) by surprise and we still haven’t quite recovered. This is their concert from Madrid a year earlier:

2. House of Pain, Vienna, 1994 (?): I was on the stage with them! (Pulled out from the pit for suffering, but still!)

3. Rock in Riem, Germany, 1994, two-day festival with Clawfinger, Rage against the Machine, Therapy?, Aerosmith & Peter Gabriel (the first three bands I saw repeatedly over the years and they always more than delivered, and during the last two we were resting in the beer tent). This line-up of all the line-ups included Extreme (!), The Breeders, Manic Street Preachers, Soul Asylum, Nina Hagen, Crowded House, the Cranberries, Bonnie Raitt, Richie Havens, Paradise Lost, and ok also Smashing Pumpkins – so that we weren’t TOO angry that we missed Radiohead since they played first and our bus driver got lost.)

4. Pearl Jam (I saw them 8 times, each one was special, narrowing them down to three: Budapest 1996 – because it was the first, Ljubljana 2000 – because it was at home, Prague 2012 – because it was the happiest).

5. Urban Species, Paris, 90’s: Another unexpected perfect one

(Honorary mention: Plavi orkestar, Ljubljana, 1984; Dire Straits, Ljubljana, 1985; Michelle Shocked, Vienna, 90’s; Guns ‘n Roses + Faith No More + Soundgarden, Vienna, 1992; Ice-T & Body Count, Vienna, 1993)

These are just the very best, the other hundreds were merely good (ok, there were a few bad ones too, but really just a few).

It is obvious that all these dates are a bit removed, but I’m not done yet, just a bit more picky. Last year I heard Pearl Jam in Trieste as well as Caparezza and Paolo Nutini in Roma, this year possibly Manu Chao in Slovenia. And below is how I like to look at concerts. It’s interesting that nowadays I think my chest is examined for other reasons. In Italy nobody reads.

≈ Manja Maksimovič ≈

From Iggy Pop and The Stooges gig in Tivoli, Ljubljana, 2008. Photo: Zedd


Prvega nikoli ne pozabiš. / You never forget the first.

—Maja / —May


R+F in Capalbio. Photo: MM

We’re not talking uncles here (I have two and they came into my life at the same time – or better I came into theirs). We’re talking concerts.

And when I was 13, you took me to my first. It was Uriah Heep in Ljubljana Tivoli Hall. It was exactly on my birthday. And two years later, almost on my birthday, you took me to my second big one, Dire Straits, again in Tivoli. This time we were in the standing area and it made all the difference.

In between and later came Bajaga and Plavi orkestar, Spandau Ballet, Zabranjeno pušenje, and when I was 17, again almost on my birthday, Duran Duran in Munich, my biggest concert wish since I discovered this feeling. (And only now I see that they released an – unofficial – live album from this concert.)

I saw, or rather heard, Duran Duran again two years ago when they came to Ljubljana. It was pre-glasses, and I was devastated: my eye-sight was too poor to see on stage, so all I was left to do was listen to their polished playback break down after a few notes into Save a prayer so they had to reboot. And check out John later, at home, online, when uploads started to come in. (Nah, I’m mean, it was not only bad.)

Sometimes you took me to the cinema too. I remember how, after seeing Pink Floyd’s The Wall at quite an early age, you turned to me and asked: “But did you understand anything of it at all?” (A few years later, my Poljane secondary school sent all its students to watch just this film in the cinema on the day of culture or some such, which I found incredibly cool of them.)

I can see that it was you who have instilled the love of concerts in me. And you have shown me that sometimes wishes do come true. If you’re lucky in geography, and uncles.

Happy birthday, tiček Lako, and come back so that we can go somewhere SKP (together) again.

≈ Manja Maksimovič ≈

Since all the concerts where we were together are pre-internet, here is a song by Mark Knopfler from his Belgrade concert last year. Some people and things just never get old.