Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It Was 9 Years Ago Today...

...that I saw Blur live in Boston (July 18, 2003).  I wrote up my memories of that incredible concert for 6 Music to (possibly) include in their Blur special, along with the audio they requested of me.  Below is what I wrote about that night, if you'd like to read it:

I was a junior at university in 1999 when I heard they would be playing a show in New York City showcasing their "13" album at the end of March. I lived north of Boston at the time (~4 hour drive to New York) and was all set to go, had tickets, etc but decided at the last minute to not go due to some tough exams I had coming up. I remember thinking "I'll see them later this year when they come back to the US" which of course they never did. Fast forward to 2003 and they played a show in Boston (actually, 9 years ago to this day...July 18, 2003, and I've got a copy of that show on CD, too). I had ordered tickets well in advance and began to panic as they hadn't shown up until 3 days before the show. It was a very hot and humid July evening (much like tonight!) and they played the now defunct Avalon NightClub on Landsdowne St in Boston. After taking the subway into the city, my brother and I walked the rest of the way to the club, got there early, and made our way right to the front of the stage to stand and wait.  The club ended up filling up to capacity, which was nice...I knew Blur had a huge cult following here in the US so it was nice to see so many fans and talk with them. After the opening band (who I don't remember their name), Blur came on and played a stunning show, nearly 2 hours. Standing at the front of the stage, the view was of course great, we got to shake Damon's hands a few times as he came by and the few times he jumped into the crowd, we held him up and carried him back to the stage.  When they came back on for the encore, they were hanging around on the stage before they started and we got to chat with Alex for a minute before they began playing (he was having a cup of tea, complete with saucer, with his bass slung over his shoulder, waiting for the encores to start!). The coolest thing about the show was it was the first time on the 2003 tour they played The Universal. I also remember Damon wearing a sportcoat over his Fred Perry to start the show, but he soaked through it so quickly that he took it off after only a few songs!  After the show, when milling around to leave, I ended up speaking to a fellow from the UK who was there with his wife and he'd actually been a light tech on their 1995 UK tour so had seen them loads and said this was one of the best shows he'd ever seen them do.  By the end we were all very hot and soaked with sweat and walking out into the muggy summer night didn't help, but it was honestly the best concert I've ever been to to this day and I still remember it fondly. I can even hear myself cheering and yelling loudly on the recording I have of it (I was very close to the taper, maybe ~15 ft away from him).

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