Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet," "Endangered Edens," and "Time Is Irreverent."

The concert bucket list

Marty’s photo of the day #2274: During the past year, I have been working hard at checking off artists on my concert bucket list. Three of those acts included Joan Jett, Garbage, and Melissa Etheridge. One thing all three had in common was that they performed outdoors on equal bills with other acts. Despite the equal billing, all three went on first, deferring to seniority.

When Deb and I saw Joan Jett, in Salt Lake City, she opened for Heart. When we saw Garbage in Boise/Nampa, they opened for Blondie. And last night, when we saw Melissa Etheridge in Missoula/Bonner, she opened for Pat Benatar. All six acts put on good shows, but based on the quality of performance, the bills were in the wrong order every single time.

Last night Melissa Etheridge (pictured) was absolutely outstanding, and the setting at the new KettleHouse Amphitheater was unforgettable. While we were watching Melissa Etheridge, osprey were busy catching fish and flying over the stage.

The increasingly common format of two equal acts travelling together has its advantages. However, I’m not a big fan of the format, as the acts end up playing shorter shows (averaging 75 minutes), and political acts tend to stay quiet about their issues. I had expected both Joan Jett and Melissa Etheridge to say something political, but neither did. My best guess for the political omissions is because half the audience in attendance isn’t “theirs,” and they don’t want to risk the boos from those they might upset.

That small complaint aside, last night was so much fun!

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