On The Goe: So long, bro
My brother and best friend is moving to Tennessee.
Flying the GJ coop, he’s chasing a prize bird with a pretty smile to the western edge of the Cherokee National Forest, specifically to a place called Johnson City.
I will miss my brother madly, and not just because of that lovey dovey family crap. Mike is/was my best concert going buddy.
Over the years, we’ve gone to some incredible shows. From the sweet melodies of the Fleet Foxes to the funky keys of Stevie Wonder, we’ve trekked to outdoor festivals and rock clubs all over the West looking for that next great experience.
Regardless of the distance from here to Johnson City, 1,657 miles to be exact, the best heartache cure is our concert bond. I’ll never forget our adventures.
We survived driving rain and chilly temps for electro indie rockers MGMT and the pleasantly surprising Tame Impala in early June 2010 at Red Rocks. Remember those hipster kid hitchhikers we picked up and how they tried to pay us in rain soaked magic mushrooms for a ride back to their Capital Hill hangout?
If it wasn’t for Mike, I don’t know when I’d have discovered my current favorite band, Arctic Monkeys. Mike’s laziness and penchant for not putting away CDs ultimately led us to the Ogden Theater for a pair of shows.
We caught Arctic Monkeys in 2009 with support from the Airborne Toxic Event and in 2011 with the Vaccines. Grandma still talks about the first time we went to see Arctic Monkeys like she still can’t believe that is a real thing.
We survived scorching heartburn from a couple of Torchy’s Baja Shrimp tacos, sweltering Central Texas heat, massive crowds and numerous cigarette burns for Arcade Fire’s Austin City Limits festival closing set in 2011. That weekend we OD’d on live music: Kanye West, Skrillex, Cut Copy, Big Boi ...
U2’s 360 Tour was on another level. The scale and production was so otherworldly, we felt like little incomprehensible specs of life, so moved and awestruck by flashes of light and reverb, we basically said “screw it,” and drank beers the entire show. That was a truly beautiful day.
Our crown jewel? Paul McCartney. July 15, 2010. Our seats were on the roof, but so what. We were in the building.
You don’t forget the first time you see Macca, especially when singing “Let It Be” arm-in-arm with family.
Music connects people in truly special ways. The power to bond people and imprint unshakable memories cannot be understated.
Think about your first show. How did it feel when the band played your favorite song? What was it like being in an audience of strangers all feeling the same thing? What moments do you and your friends still reminisce about to this day?
For Mike and me, it was the hunting-knife incident at Dave Matthews Band’s sold out July 21, 2003, Pepsi Center show. It was our first big concert.
We sat behind Carter Beauford’s wall of drums and we soaked in every note. Even with an apparent assassination attempt on DMB, the night was perfect.
But a 27-hour commute has put the clamps on any further Goe brothers adventures, at least temporarily.
Our distant pioneer relative Daniel Boone blazed trails around Washington County, Tenn. Maybe I’ll visit so we can explore the forest looking for traces of the great frontiersman.
Or better yet, I’ve always wanted to see Nashville. Maybe we can catch a show.