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Staff Sound-Off: Live Music

We asked the staff at The Group Travel Leader the question: “What is one of your most memorable live music experiences?” Find out what unforgettable tunes these seasoned travelers recalled below!


Since my husband and I graduated college within a few months of each other we decided to celebrate with a trip to New Orleans. We spent each afternoon walking around the French Quarter and watching the street performers. Our favorite was a band called the Smoking Time Jazz Club who performed below the balcony of our hotel room on Royal Street. It was one of the most amazing experiences listening to prohibition-era jazz in the heart of New Orleans while watching people swinging and doing the Charleston up and down the street. We loved the band so much that we bought their CDs and still listen to them while remembering our amazing trip to the Crescent City.

— Ashley Ricks, circulation manager


When my sister and I were in high school we loaded up my parents Buick Park Avenue and drove to Indy to see Tom Petty. He was and is the best.

— Stacey Bowman, director of advertising sales


I still have a clear memory of the golden voices that filled the vast Notre Dame Cathedral on trip to Paris 10 years ago. I had always wanted to see the famous church after reading “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and the building’s ornate interior and exterior did not disappoint. With my eyes gazing upon the famous rose window of the church while my ears listened to the harmonious choir echoing all around me, I felt sure the heavens would open up directly above me any minute.

— Eliza Myers, online editor


In 2009, I flew to Chicago with my friend, David Lovelace, to see Leonard Cohen at the Chicago Theatre. Attending a Leonard Cohen concert had been on our bucket list for years, and we finally got it done. The setting was intimate and Cohen was backed by superb musicians and vocalists. David became ill a few weeks after the trip and never recovered. He died six months later. I will always cherish this music experience above any other for that reason.

— Mac Lacy, publisher


One of my most memorable live music experiences was seeing “Les Miserables” in London at the Palace Theatre. I was in college and we had fourth-row aisle seats. The theater was inspirational with all its architectural details, and “Les Miserables” was beyond moving from my seat at the center of it all. The only drawback was that I had just flown in that morning and had a severe case of jet lag. I missed over half of the world-famous musical struggling to stay awake. Needless to say, I had to see it again in D.C. years later to make up for it.

— Donia Simmons, creative director


My most memorable music experience was seeing U2 on the Joshua Tree tour at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York, when I was in high school. I’ve seen them several times since, and to this day they are one of the few bands I’d pay good money to go see again.

— Kelly Tyner, director of sales and marketing