THE NIGHT CHUMBAWUMBA KNOCKED ME DOWN (AND I DID *NOT* GET UP AGAIN)
Because I love telling this story, it was not chosen as my "worst concert" in the 20 Music Questions list.
- •Q101's Twisted Christmas 4 occurred on December 11, 1997.If one wanted concert tickets in a pre-internet world, the best place was the Dominick's grocery store (specifically in Mount Prospect, Illinois). Nobody ran a Ticketmaster location as good as that crew. It was the best because they would give everyone wanting to buy a raffle ticket a half hour before anything went on sale (the drawing 15 minutes prior to decide who goes first: nobody had to camp out for hours).
- •It was held at the United Center (the arena where Bulls play) in Chicago.One more thing about that Dominick's in 1997: they would ask how many tickets each wanted and would - as soon as tickets were available to buy - hit buy as soon as they can (with every purchase rung as a cash transaction with no change). In 1997, credit cards didn't approve as quick as they did now. If someone at the head of the line was paying with a credit card, it would make the next person's tickets significantly worse due to the delay. All tickets bought at once and we would pay later.
- •Q101 was Chicago's "new rock alternative" radio station."Twisted Christmas" was one of the radio station's two big annual fest type shows. This one in the winter and "Jamboree" in the summer. The first 50 rows on the floor of the United Center were all reserved for radio promotional contests. But yours truly won the beloved Dominick's raffle and was in row 51. The stage is where the NBA basket would be on 41 other days of the year, and I got seats on mid court. Right where the Bulls logo would be.
- •The Cure was the headlining act.I bought the maximum 4 tickets. Going to the concert with me was my friend David, his younger sister Amy, and Amy's best friend Julie. Amy and Julie were huge fans of The Cure. The night of the show they both dressed as mini Robert Smiths. I'm not a huge fan of The Cure, but I like their big hits. Their set was not for people like me. They played their most obscure tracks, each with what seemed like a 7 minute intro. I was checked out of it long before their 3rd encore ended.
- •The reason I wanted to go was to see Iceland's pop princess Björk!Her amazing album Homogenic came out earlier that year. It remains one of my favorites of hers.
- •Other bands scheduled to play were Sugar Ray, Everclear, 311, Duran Duran, and Sarah McLachlan.I've never seen a more miscellaneous lineup since.
- •Björk cancelled a few weeks before the show, citing a kidney aliment that would prevent her from traveling, let alone performing.I was heartbroken. Björk didn't tour America again until 2000, but her nearest stop was in Chicago and at that time I was away at college in Milwaukee. Thankfully, I was finally able to see Björk a few years ago at the Pitchfork Music Festival. Sadly, thunderstorms cut her set short - but 50 minutes of Björk is better than zero.
- •The reason I wanted to go was to see Iceland's pop princess Björk!And now I'm going to this mega radio station show with bands I'm luke-warm interested in at best. With amazing tickets. My glorious Dominick's Ticketmaster Raffle win was wasted.
- •They replaced Björk with Chumbawumba.I repeat: they replaced Björk with Chumbawumba.
- •They replaced Björk with Chumbawumba.Because they are sonic equals? Because they are the same genre? Because they are both legendary and visionary creators?
- •They replaced Björk with Chumbawumba.Chumbawba yelled every song lyric into a megaphone into a microphone. They only played for a half hour, but it felt like five times that. It was an aural assault. It sucked.
- •I got knocked down.I did not get up again.