Consider the following scenario - you've always wanted to experience a particular artist live in concert. You’ve been thinking about it for a long time, so long, in fact, that the artist is now past their prime, and they attract audiences primarily due to name recognition. You finally attend the concert, but it’s not the experience you had imagined. To make sure this doesn't happen, I try to see an artist NOW if they are hot. Classical artists include: Gustavo Dudamel, Augustine Hadelich, Gil Shaham, and yes, Andris Nelsons (don’t miss a chance to hear him live!). Popular artists include: Lady Gaga and Justin Collier (you’ve got to check this guy out!). When I was a kid, I got to see Chicago, and even Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons – both phenomenal.
Over the years, there were some artists that I saw late in their career, and regretted it a little. Barbara Streisand was one of those. I had always loved her voice, but hearing her live in her 70s just wasn't what I remembered. I should have gone to see her live sooner – although, to be fair, she rarely performs live. And then there were the artists I just missed out on completely, like Frank Sinatra, pianist Glenn Gould, and the very short career of cellist Jacqueline du Pré. Oh, to have heard any of them live!
I still remember the first time I saw Gustavo Dudamel. It was November 7, 2007, and he was touring the US with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra. He wasn't a household name yet, and it was before the job in LA, but I knew he was worth checking out. The energy in Boston’s Symphony Hall was palpable. There wasn't an empty seat in the house and the performance was electrifying. Luckily, we have many years of his talent still to come, but don't wait too long. What if he leaves LA, and goes to Berlin? Luckily, he’ll be in Boston this year on April 25th, and I’ll be there once again.