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The List: Music memories that last a lifetime

Published: Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST
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(Lucas Pauley/lpauley@saukvalley.com)
The Avett Brothers perform Tuesday at the US Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington.

Have you ever been to a concert that was so good it felt like it changed your life?

I just saw The Avett Brothers on Tuesday in Bloomington, and that's exactly how I felt. The band is nationally known for its extremely intense, yet intimate live performances.

It was a long time coming to see one of my favorite bands for the first time. You see, the show was originally planned for September 2013, but it was postponed to Feb. 13 because of personal obligations from a band member.

Last week rolls around, and the band announces on their Facebook page the show will again be rescheduled – this time only a few days later – because the band can't get out of North Carolina because of unusually bad weather for that area.

I was about to hop on a snowmobile and go get them myself.

Besides the fact that I'm already sick of winter, Monday's snow storm left me uneasy. Now that the band had left North Carolina, would they be able to get into Illinois?

Seriously, guys, my grandpa has a snowmobile.

Thankfully, the band's Facebook page had no surprises for my friends, Sydni and Pat, and me. And the show was amazing.

I don't think I could have handled another postponement.

The band's unbelievable energy and its good-hearted fanbase made it one of the best concerts I have ever been to.

With that in mind, I thought I would share some of my most memorable concert experiences.

U2: Elevation Tour

I was 14, and it was the first major concert I had been to. Some people might dread the thought of going to a concert with their parents and their big sister, but not me. We grew up listening to this band, and I'm thankful to my parents for that to this day.

Fall Out Boy, The Academy Is..., and The Hush Sound

FOB was just about to make the jump from small, understated venues to arenas, as "Sugar We're Going Down" was growing in popularity. It was cool to see them in that moment. I also got to see one of my favorite bands at the time, The Academy Is..., and was introduced to The Hush Sound at this show. I've decided discovering an artist at a concert is one of the great things in life.

Zac Brown Band

I'm a fan of all types of music, including some country. If ZBB wasn't already cemented as my favorite artist of the genre, they were after this show. They were flawless. They had fun, and demanded the same from the audience.

Warped Tour 2002

This was the first festival I had ever been to. Shocked our parents let us make the trip so soon after acquiring our licenses, my friends and I headed out on an adventure to Milwaukee – an adventure we still find ourselves reminiscing about, keys getting locked in car and all. I believe I went to five straight Warped Tours, but none were as special as the first time.

Gentlemen of the Road

This festival possibly made me prouder than I ever have been of my hometown, Dixon. The city managed to get one of the world's biggest bands to come set up a festival in the wonderful Page Park. Somehow, I almost missed out on this show, but thanks to my sister, I was able to attend.

Mumford & Sons electrified the city with their set. However, one of my favorite moments was watching Dawes. Seeing one of my favorite modern bands from the front row was an unforgettable experience.

And, as I mentioned earlier, discovering a band at a show is a great feeling. GOTR was my introduction to the band HAIM. Their set was great, and I have been a fan ever since. In fact, they released one of my favorite albums of 2013, "Days Are Gone."

The experience of seeing live music in any setting is rejuvenating. I hope you have had similar experiences, and I'd love to hear about them.

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