Hits and missing

So in these summer days of concert announcements and fantasizing about the ones I could get to, while browsing YouTube today, I got nostalgic about my Polyphonic Spree experience a few summers ago and stumbled on this one.

This video so closely resembles the look and feel of that night, and the band's take on this Nirvana classic shines. In the words of my good friend and fellow music aficionado, Laura: two words -- awe. some.

Here's another good one. I love the tag line: "Have you ever had a loss for words when describing the experience of a live Polyphonic Spree show? Watch as the Polyphonic's very own Tim DeLaughter tries to explain it to Abbey the Basset/Beagle!"

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These days videos and recordings, it seems, are as close as I can get to my favorite performers.

Let’s face it. Living in The ‘Ville does not offer the kinds of concert and entertainment venues we enjoyed in the Chicago market. Not even close.

I had a hard time last fall. And now it’s happened again.

This week The Weepies -- at the top of the list of bands Kates and I want to see -- announced their second tour in a year’s span. And for the second time in that span, not a single date within a three-hour’s drive; in fact the closest possibility in this latest batch of dates is -- of all places -- Chicago. A seven-hour drive. … If it fell on a weekend, we’d give it some serious thought and tie it with a family visit. But the date falls on Tuesday night at the start of the school year. Had we not moved, we easily would have seen them last fall and could have perhaps caught the upcoming show in Chicago.

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It’s the near misses that make my heart ache almost to the point of tears. I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating: Over the years, I’ve become convinced there is nothing like the euphoria and joy of seeing, hearing and experiencing a favorite band perform live. When all the stars align -- good music, good venue, good crowd -- the experience is better than … well, I’ll stop there.

At least I have Summerfest to look forward to in a couple weeks (cue angel chorus). Although, there are some misses involved in that regard, too. … We’ll be traveling to the home land at the end of the month for our summer vacation. There was some lively debate in our house as we sorted out the plans, and there were several changes, but our plans are about 99 percent set now, and I am pleased.

This is one of those years that, when I browse the schedule, there’s a performer nearly every night that I’d venture to see.

On opening night, June 29, I’d go to see Meat Loaf. ... Kates can't stand him. I say his "Bat Out of Hell" albums are classic.

On June 30, Owl City is playing, and I’d go see him -- if only for the chance to hear “Fireflies” live. I explained that to Kates and then started recalling the rest of his catalogue and realized there’s more to entice me to an Owl City show. … In our original summer vacation itinerary, the Owl City show was a real possibility. Then our plans changed.

July 2 is the heart-breaker. Just weeks ago, Summerfest announced Jason Mraz would play the Marcus Amphitheater with -- ugh -- Guster. Arguably, my favorite in-its-prime rock band. Who I’ve seen three times already. But they’re so entertaining I’d see them again and again. … Same goes for Jason Mraz, who I saw in 2008.

July 3. The Jayhawks. Like Owl City, their show was a part of our original vacation plans, but later got nixed. Gotta make sacrifices.

July 6. OAR is playing; I’ve seen them three times and would welcome another. Peter Frampton and Danny Gokey are playing, too, who would keep my interest, at least for a couple songs.

July 8. This one has a strong possibility of becoming a reality. Goo Goo Dolls. Parachute. Michelle Branch.

July 9. America. One of my favorite classic rock bands, I’ve been wanting to see these guys for years. This one has a strong possibility of becoming reality, too. If it doesn’t it will be a heartbreaker. ... Dashboard Confessional -- who I've seen and would gladly see again -- and the Get Up Kids -- with whom I attended high school -- would also be great shows.

July 10. Todd Rundgren would be fun, but it’s probably not going to happen. Meanwhile, Sara Bareilles, who I’d love to see, is playing at the Marcus. And that’s definitely not going to happen.

The countdown is on.

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