Although I haven’t been to a lot of rock concerts over the years, the ones I have gone to were pretty memorable and special.

At the same time, some of the concerts I went to were during some important periods of my life (like some of the concerts I went to when I was at SIU or the ones I went to in Chicago with my best friend Chris Vasquez) and sort of underscored those life-defining moments.

I have to confess, a week before the Ultravox concert at SIU I didn’t know much about the band and their music. My suite mate at Freeman Hall, Miles, who turned me on to a lot of New Wave music (The Buggles, Madness) told me a little about the band but that was all I had to go on.

And I might not have gone to concert had it not been for the weekend before when I went back home and saw The Jerks at Friday’s for the first time as well as running into Chris, which was the first time we had seen each other since high school, four-and-a-half years earlier. It was that weekend when my musical transformation was made complete.

Ultravox. The name sounded so New Wave.

There were plenty of tickets available for the concert and although I wasn’t on the main floor, I had a good seat in the balcony. Of course, at Shryock Auditorium, the acoustics were unbelievable which made going to a concert there all the more memorable. I bought a copy of Vienna at Plaza Records and slapped it on my turntable. “Sleepwalk” and “Passing Strangers” were two of the songs that quickly grabbed my attention.