The Show I'll Never Forget: 50 Writers Relive Their Most Memorable Concertgoing Experience

In The Show I’ll Never Forget, writer Sean Manning has gathered an amazing array of unforgettable concert memories from a veritable A-list of acclaimed novelists, poets, biographers, cultural critics, and songwriters. Their candid, first-person recollections reveal as much about the writers’ lives at the time as they do about the venues where the shows occurred or the artists onstage. Ishmael Reed on Miles Davis Luc Sante on Public Image Ltd. Heidi Julavits on Rush Daniel Handler and Andrew Sean Greer on Metric Diana Ossana on Led Zeppelin Maggie Estep on Einsturzende Neubauten Dani Shapiro on Bruce Springsteen Gary Giddins on Titans of the Tenor! Nick Flynn on Mink DeVille Susan Straight on The Funk Festival Rick Moody on the The Lounge Lizards Jennifer Egan on Patti Smith Harvey Pekar on Joe Maneri Thurston Moore on Glen Branca, Rudolph Grey, and Wharton Tiers Chuck Klosterman on Prince Sigrid Nunez on Woodstock Jerry Stahl on David Bowie Charles R. Cross on Nirvana Marc Nesbitt on The Beastie Boys And many more . . . No matter where your musical taste falls, these often funny, occasionally sad, always thought-provoking essays-all written especially for The Show I’ll Never Forget-are sure to connect with anyone who loves, or has ever loved, live music.

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By Roderick · ★★★☆☆ · July 15, 2014
Quite a variety of "takes" on memorable concerts. Made me think of quite a few myself: Sun Ra @ Hec Ed 1968, Archie Shepp somewhere in Bellevue 197?, Herbie Hancock at the site of the Off-Ramp in 1970, the Doors @ the Arena 1968, Cream @ Eagles 1968, Art Ensemble @ Bumbershoot or @ the Rainbow, S... ...more
By Christopher (Cedar Rapids, IA) · ★★★☆☆ · October 12, 2007
Real hit-or-miss collection of concert recollections. Most enjoyed Klosterman (of course), Thurston Moore, Diana Ossana, Charles Cross, Lynne Tillman, A.C. Newman, and most of all Marc Bojanowski, whose take on a Beck show prompted me to read his excellent "The Dog Fighter." Some essays were crap... ...more
By Reggie (Milwaukee, WI) · ★★☆☆☆ · February 21, 2008
I just realized that I never finished this one. Apparently I had stopped after the first 10 or so stories out of 50. The stories are presented in chronological order beginning with several jazz shows from the 1950s. Being somewhat jazz illiterate probably slowed me down a bit. I am now at a 1978... ...more
By Bill (Madison, WI) · ★★☆☆☆ · February 09, 2008
I loved the concept of this book - 50 writers write about their most memorable concert experience. Unfortunately, a lot of the writers seem like self-absorbed a-holes that I wouldn't ever want to catch a show with. There are some exceptions, especially Diana Osana writing about Led Zeppelin, John... ...more
By carolyn (Portland, OR) · ★★★★☆ · January 06, 2010
As previous reviews have stated this book is a real mixed bag. Some of the stories are so postively dull that I skip them (not my usual deal). There are definitely some real gems in here though such as Chuck Klosterman's story about seeing Prince in Fargo. priceless! I'm bumping up the review as... ...more
By Evan · ★★☆☆☆ · September 05, 2012
This might have been more aptly titled "The Show I Saw and You Didn't": it was divided more or less evenly between people riffing off long-ago concerts to tell larger stories that frequently had little to do with the concert in question and people using the premise as an excuse to brag about thei... ...more
By Erik (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · March 02, 2008
This was a tremendous idea for a book, a collection of 50 writers recounting their most memorable concert-going experience(s). What made the stories especially nice was the fact that many of the writers admitted to not remembering all (or even most of the details) involved in their experience.
By Bruce (The United States) · ★★★★★ · January 10, 2008
What a great anthology. Some really great stories. Especially intriguing was the female writer who was in love with Billy Joel, auditioned for the Dancing in the Dark video and married Ben Lee.

Most of the stories had less to do with the concert than the feelings the author had at that time. ...more
By Tina (Toronto, ON, Canada) · ★★★☆☆ · June 04, 2010
Charming, endearing, fun read. A bunch of writers write about a concert that changed their lives. I enjoyed it, but it didn't leave a huge impression. ...more
By Alaina (Seattle, WA) · ★★★★★ · July 12, 2007
I read almost this entire book in the bookstore and still need to go back to buy it. The account of the White Stripes concert brought me near tears. ...more