It's hard to imagine today what it was like being a concert fan in the 1990s. Although the internet was up and running during the second half of the decade, music discovery was much more difficult than it is today. You had own the physical to listen. Maybe you still owe Columbia House for that mail-order CD club? Venues answered their phones. People went to record shops. MTV mattered. If you didn't live near a city or venue, you had better have had a good local radio station to listen to, or, cool friends to introduce you to new bands.
Even if you were paying attention, you were likely not hearing it all. We all get stuck into narrow views of the music scene, and sometimes it takes time and perspective to reveal what was going on around the country at a particular time. And of course, tastes change. Pop music becomes dated quickly, good music holds its value.
This playlist represents a sampling of the live music experience of the time, both with the benefit of hindsight and from my own experience. For me, this was the decade that I became an adult, my friends became free to see live music at will, we had few responsibilities to slow us down, and the energy of youth to make it all happen. The good old music days.
If you were there, I hope this look back brings you as many fond memories as it did for me putting it together.