Favorite Concert That You Attended

Discussion in 'A Small Circle of Friends: The Music Forum' started by Carpe diem, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    The Carpenters thread is currently alive with members naming all the "acts" they have seen in person. Therefore I pose this question, It could be fun, who knows?!

    What is the favorite concert that you have attended? The one you'll remember fondly for the rest of your life?

    Be specific...

    Ticket prices

    Tell us why it is so special to you. Don't hold back (but keep it clean)!

    For Me: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band 1981, Los Angeles Sports Arena

    I never saw anyone in show biz work so hard before. He played for about 2 hours and then did at least a 45 minute encore. My future wife invited me to go and already had tickets. So the price was right :)! We were up in the rafters and constantly borrowing the binoculars from the people sitting next to us. He was working the whole stage and gesturing up to everybody. He got everyone involved. Memorable for me. The music was awesome!
  2. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Lego Master Model Builder Moderator

    For me there are three:

    1978 Herb and Hugh at the Roxy in Los Angeles. I believe I paid $8 each for two tickets. My date and I were 17, so we had hand stamps to prevent us from ordering alcohol (drinking age was 18 in California at the time). We got the table right in front of the stage. I could've reached out and touched Mosa Jonas Gwangwa. My date was to my left and A&M staff photographer Bonnie Schiffman was to my right. What a great night. Not so much for the date -- we never went out again and she never returned my calls.

    1982 Oingo Boingo at Rogue's Gallery in Virginia Beach. I was stationed in Norfolk at the time. I think the tickets were 6 or 7 dollars. A whole bunch of us LA guys who were stationed there (and hated it) went to the show. It was great seeing them in such a small venue (less than a 200 in the audience in a club very much like the Roxy), because in LA you had to see them in huge venues like the Universal Ampitheatre and Irvine Center.

    1982 Wall of Voodoo at a venue I can't recall, also in Virginia Beach. Tickets were $6 IIRC. I arrived super early and walked the beach and actually ran into the band also walking the beach. Marc Moreland recognized me because I had talked to him a couple nights earlier at a club called The Wave where the Bangles were performing -- yeah, it was a great live music week for this Los Angeles boy! Anyway, they let me hang with them a while, introduced me to their wives who were also traveling with them, and take some pictures (I was a Navy Photographer and had my camera with me)...

    --Mr Bill
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  3. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    ^^Mexican Radio...One of my favorite songs from the "New Wave" era.
  4. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I was going to say I haven't seen many acts live but then I was just counting them up. Let's see... Tim Finn of Split Enz / Crowded House, Yothu Yindi, (Australian Aboriginal band), Peter Gabriel, Grace Jones, Simply Red, Ian Moss of Cold Chisel, Lauri Anderson, Al Green, Toni Childs, Men At Work, M People, Deni Hines, Archie Roach, Jimmy Little, Clannad X 3 times, John Farnham, Jon Stevens, America, Anne Murray X 3 times and a package 70s show with John Paul Young, Ted Mulry Gang, KC and the Sunshine Band, Sister Sledge and Vicki-Sue Robinson. (JPY and TMG stole the 70s package show and KC was OK. The other two acts were poor). Apart from the two acts from the 70s package show, all the acts have been very good. Tim Finn did get progressively drunk throughout his show and performed a few songs in the second half lying on his back on the stage without moving, (no joke), but he still managed to be quite good. It's hard to pick the best acts in concert, but maybe my favourites would be Yothu Yindi, (culture a hundred thousand years old met the present day - high energy), Grace Jones, (wonderfully atmospheric, great songs, excellent performance - a real character), Lauri Anderson, (very different and as funny as a fit), Toni Childs, (brilliant voice), Anne Murray, (she has a great voice live, a strong sense of humour and is the ultimate professional), Men at Work, (high energy and exciting at the time), and Clannad, (lead singer, Maire Brennan, has a beautiful, ethereal voice and she and her brothers play about a million instruments).

    So many artists I would have liked to see - Nina Simone, Japan, David Sylvian, Roxy Music, Kate Bush, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Colin Blunstone, The Zombies, The Small Faces, etc etc, but some of these have never come to my part of the world or I've missed them.

    My Dad was going to take me to Carpenters in 1977, ('those buggers', he called them - obviously not a fan), but then they cancelled their tour of Australia.
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  5. Michael Hagerty

    Michael Hagerty Active Member

    Hoo boy. Let's see what I can reconstruct (ticket prices? Who knows?):

    Chicago (Reno, early 70s)---first concert.
    The Doobie Brothers (The Fabulous Forum, Inglewood, 1975)
    ELO (before Jeff fired the cello players) with Little Feat (Anaheim, 1976)
    Queen (Winterland, San Francisco, 1976)
    Jennifer Warnes (Old Waldorf, San Francisco, 1977)
    War (Concord Pavillion, San Francisco, 1977)

    From 1977-84, I lived in Reno and was comped to more dinner shows in Reno and Tahoe than I can count. What I can remember, in no attempt at chronology:

    Jack Jones (Harrah's Reno)
    Burt Bacharach (Harrah's Reno)
    Sammy Davis, Jr. (Harrah's Reno and the Nevada State Prison)
    Steve Martin (three times-Harrah's Tahoe)
    Bill Cosby (seven times-Harrah's Tahoe)
    Don Rickles with Charo (Harrah's Tahoe)
    Willie Nelson (twice-Harrah's Tahoe and once at UNR Stadium)
    Frank Sinatra (Sahara Tahoe)
    The Pointer Sisters (Sahara Tahoe)
    Boz Scaggs (Sahara Tahoe)
    Pablo Cruise (Sahara Tahoe)

    From 1984-86, I was in Las Vegas, but only remember one show vividly:

    Frank Sinatra (The Golden Nugget---my 29th birthday)

    After that:

    The Association and The Turtles (Blockbuster Amphitheater, Goodyear AZ 1989)
    Paul McCartney (ASU Stadium, Tempe 1990)

    ...a long gap involving fatherhood, economics and the like...

    Stevie Nicks and the Pretenders (Reno, 2017)
    James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt (AT&T Park, San Francisco, 2017)
    Hall & Oates and Train (Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, 2018)
    James Taylor (Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, 2018)
    Steve Martin and Martin Short (Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, 2018)
    Jim Gaffigan (Thunder Valley Amphitheater, Sacramento, 2018)

    Favorite? James Taylor, both times.

    Runners-up: Doobie Brothers, ELO, Stevie Nicks-Pretenders, Steve Martin-Martin Short, , Don Rickles and Charo, Boz Scaggs, Pointer Sisters (all pretty much a tie)

    Most memorable:

    Sammy Davis, both shows, but especially the prison one. By way of explanation of what I was doing at (actually, in) the Nevada State Prison, at the time, I was host of a live news/entertainment hybrid TV show on the CBS affiliate in Reno, Live at 5. This was before Entertainment Tonight, and aired when a lot of the Reno and Tahoe entertainers were relaxing or having dinner in their hotel rooms. They'd watch us. One day, the phone rings and it's Sammy Davis, Jr. I didn't believe him and hung up. Thank God he called back. Once he convinced me it was him and accepted my apology, he told me that he was going to do a show for the inmates in the prison gym the next afternoon and asked if we'd like to cover it. I said yes. Sammy did every bit as excellent a show for those prisoners as he did for the paying customers at Harrah's.

    Also...McCartney, both Sinatra shows and Jennifer Warnes (with whom I went to dinner after, thanks to the Arista promotion guy, and had painfully little to say---Jennifer, if you read this board, my apologies. I was 22 and didn't know much, you were 31 and had been on my TV and radio since the Smothers Brothers Show when I was 12, so I was kinda in awe).


    Jack Jones (drunk and tasteless---does a rap about gambling in the casino over the intro to "What I Did For Love" and begins the song with "Kiss your ass goodbye...").

    Burt Bacharach (drunk but tasteful).

    Queen. Freddie sang an octave low all night. I could do "Bohemian Rhapsody" in that octave.

    Steve Martin (the second and third times in the 70s...spread out over two years, the exact same act...which, God bless him, he now admits was why he quit standup...because there was nowhere to grow the thing people were paying to see).

    Willie Nelson (the second time). Three years after the concert at Harrah's Tahoe with all those brilliant ad-libs...I find out it's all a script and nobody's freshened it.

    Pablo Cruise. Not the band's fault so much as the fans, who went "WHOO!" every time a light changed color. The band was fine. Not exceptional, just solid. Which became more and more apparent through the misplaced enthusiasm of the stoners in the room.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
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  6. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    I've seen a few over the years, but lately haven't gone to any of them due to ticket prices. Why pay $300 for a pair of Depeche Mode or Rush tickets when I can get a much better "seat" at home with a $30 BluRay?

    One of my all-time favorites has to be Peter Gabriel, during the small venue tour for his album Up. Nine rows from stage, aisle seat, couldn't beat it. The theatrics, costume changes and of course the music were all top notch.

    Doobie Brothers I bought on a lark--I think I paid $5 for five lawn vouchers then, at the venue, upgraded to pavilion seating for only $7 each. (Remaining pavilion seats were sold first come-first served to lawn voucher holders.) Turned out to be a great show musically, and the sound was excellent.

    The Cramps were memorable...just for being The Cramps. :laugh: The opening act was also memorably bad--even someone at a used record store the following week commented to me how bad the opening was. :laugh:

    KC & The Sunshine Band was interesting, as it was sort of my first "rock" concert, and we got in due to my cousin working with them at the time (engineer). This was about the time KC had his last #1 single, "Please Don't Go."

    Seeing Herb & The TJB was memorable the first time (during the You Smile tour) mainly because it was the first time I'd seen him live.

    The Brian Setzer Orchestra has always put on a good show--I've seen his gig four times, the last two being the Xmas show, and it never disappoints. For the Xmas shows, I recommend those to anyone even if they are not a fan of rockabilly--the big band is tight, and the show has a really nice flow to it. And it puts one in the holiday mood if they are down in the dumps. :wink:

    Tito Puente at the jazz festival downtown, early 90s. It rained hard beforehand. We grabbed chairs to use for protection, and ended up with seats just a couple of rows from the stage. Excellent showman, great music.

    Regrets? Seeing BR5-49 only as an opening act (for Brian Setzer). That was the first time I heard them, and the demo cassette they gave out for free after the show got me interested in them. They were a killer touring band, and knew at least 600 cover tunes along with their own original compositions. I'd have seen them more, but years went by, personnel changed, and they disbanded.

    There are more I'm forgetting.
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  7. Michael Hagerty

    Michael Hagerty Active Member

    I left one out of my "disappointments": Hall & Oates. Horrendous sound mixing---a fatal error in a group known for immaculate production. It was a mess. On top of that, Darryl's mugging and whole "dig me" attitude got old fast. If he were a little less goofy and a little less ego-driven, he'd have been David Lee Roth.

    Yes, it was that bad. No, I'm not exaggerating.
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  8. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    I've attended a number of concerts over the years and several stand out from the rest.

    Renaissance at the Tower Theater - I had been working at a radio station that had quickly migrated from Top 40 stuff to progressive rock. Listening to the station, I was drawn toward an English prog rock band called Renaissance. They blended rock sounds with classical aesthetics making for a rather unique sound that I was really drawn to. The sublime vocals of Annie Haslam atop it all just sealed the deal, and when they appeared in my hometown of Upper Darby, it was a natural to go see the show. The sounds, the laser light show, just overwhelmed me in an experience I'll never forget.

    Paul McCartney in Philadelphia - The venue was named for a bank, but the banks keep changing. At the time it was the First Union Center and locals liked to call it the "F-U Center". Well, it's Philly. Today it's the Wells Fargo Center. But it's where I got to see Sir Paul entertain the crowd with one of his typical over-the-top concerts. The ticket prices were insane, and I was lucky I didn't have to pay for it. Our afternoon DJ was going to the show but her husband had a prior commitment, so she had an extra ticket and invited me to go. Being a good boy, I called Mrs. Harry to see if it was OK. She was disappointed that she couldn't see Paul McCartney, but trusted me enough to allow me to go. Great show.

    Simon & Garfunkel in Philadelphia - At the same venue, the wife and I saw Simon & Garfunkel on their Old Friends tour. This one included The Everly Brothers as part of the show, so it was almost a double dip. Quite memorable.

    Art Garfunkel at Valley Forge Music Fair - This theater in the round was a staple of the Philadelphia suburbs as a concert venue, and I saw several Carpenters shows there along with many others. Art was "on" that night. His voice was crystal clear and on pitch as he went through a show with all of his solo hits mixed in with those that Paul Simon wrote when they were a duo.

    Gordon Lightfoot at Valley Forge Music Fair - Similar to Mr. Garfunkel's show, Gordon Lightfoot had one of his "on" nights. We'd seen him a number of times as my wife is a big fan. Most of his shows sort of disappointed but THIS one was right on. He did everything from his big hits to "Pussywillows, Cattails", one of my favorites, and it made for an unforgettable night.

    I've seen a lot of other shows, including Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66, along with both of those in their more current iterations. And yes, there were four Carpenters concerts along the way, and these stand out in my memory, but I can't say that the actual music in the concert bowled me over. They were certainly adequate, and I treasure having been there, but as I'm not all that big of a fan of live music and prefer it when the artist sounds like the record, but the ones listed in bold just have that something special about them.
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  9. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    Wow, this is tough, but I would have to say my favorite concert was two times I saw Fleetwood Mac. The first time was at a concert called "Dacotah Jam" and it was an all-day thing held in Fargo, ND, on June 27, 1976. Local bands started playing at noonish, followed by Jeff Beck and (former A&M artist) Henry Gross, and Fleetwood Mac took the stage in the late evening. It was the first time I saw them live, and about the third or fourth concert of my life. I went with two friends, Dave and Virginia.

    The show happened right when Fleetwood Mac's "white" album was red-hot, and they had recorded Rumours, but it was about six months away from being released. Thus they played one of the new songs ("You Make Loving Fun") and the rest of the show was tunes from the white album, plus older songs like "Oh Well" and "Station Man." I have very little memory of the concert itself, except I remember being riveted by Stevie Nicks' "Rhiannon" and especially Christine McVie, who I already had a major crush on by that time. (She's still my favorite female singer.)

    It was just as memorable for the experience as it was for the music. The venue had an "official" capacity of around 19,000, and they were originally expecting to sell around 10,000 tickets, but wound up getting overwhelming demand because Fleetwood Mac had pretty much blown up by that point. Of course none of the sophisticated crowd-control measures used today were in place, since rock concerts were still a bit of an anomaly then, especially in the midwest. They wound up selling over 17,000 general-admission tickets, but then over 23,000 actual people showed up, and the non-ticket holders pretty much gate-crashed the place. It was like a mini-Woodstock, with out-of-control attendance. There were too-few toilets, really meager amounts of concession facilities....they just weren't ready for that crowd. There were supposed to be water fountains but I never saw any. The lines for everything were unbelievable. At one point I went to try and get a burger or something, but it was looking like at least an hour wait in line, so I gave up. By the time the headliners came on, we were parched and starved, but not wanting to miss any of the show, we went the whole day without getting any food or a drink of water. I remember getting to a restaurant afterwards and the waitress brought us all glasses of water, and we all just guzzled that water in unison. Then she asked if we wanted anything else to drink and we just said, "More water....lots of water." So she brought us each a pitcher of water. Then we pulled an all-nighter driving home (550 miles) because Dave had to work the next day, and he fell asleep driving and we wound up cruising down the median of the interstate before I woke up and steered us back on the road.

    I guess it was as much of a "rite of passage" for me as it was a concert, but man what a good time we had. I think the ticket price was around $8 - certainly less than 10.

    The other time was during the Mac's 1997 reunion tour -- the one that resulted from the album "The Dance." Again it was in Fargo, and again I went with two friends -- Steve and Ginger (I was perpetually single during this period). By this time of course, the whole concert thing had been dialed in and we enjoyed a terrific show. This time, of course they had a lot more material to work from, and the sound was much better, and we had plenty of "facilities" to make us comfortable (not to mention reserved seats). So this time, the music was the memorable part. They played all the hits, and sounded awesome due to having a few extra musicians and a couple of backup singers onstage.

    The coolest part for me this time was when Christine started to perform "Songbird" -- she said, "We've heard that a lot of you came a long way to see us tonight, so this song is dedicated to you." Since we had driven so far, it made it seem like she was singing that song just for us. And I was also really happy to hear her sing "Oh Daddy," one of my favorites and one I never expected to hear in concert.

    I don't have the exact date or remember the price, but the setlist (I found it online) was:

    1. The Chain
    2. Dreams
    3. Everywhere
    4. Gold Dust Woman
    5. I'm So Afraid
    6. Temporary One
    7. Bleed to Love Her
    8. Gypsy
    9. Big Love
    10. Go Insane
    11. Landslide
    12. Say You Love Me
    13. Sweet Girl
    14. You Make Loving Fun
    15. My Little Demon
    16. Stand Bac
    17. Oh Daddy
    18. Not That Funny
    19. Rhiannon
    20. Second Hand News
    21. Silver Springs
    22. Tusk
    23. Go Your Own Way

    24. Don't Stop
    25. Songbird
    26. Farmer's Daughter
      (The Beach Boys cover)
    I remember us being REALLY surprised to hear "The Farmer's Daughter" because that was an obscure cover that they'd tacked onto their Fleetwood Mac Live album and hadn't played very often in concert, so it was a treat to hear that.

    I saw the Mac one other time, in Billings, during the "Rumours" tour - also a great show. But the two times in Fargo were pretty unforgettable.
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  10. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    I forgot to mention Steely Dan in 2000. That was right after Two Against Nature was released, and the "immortal" Roger Nichols was the engineer on that tour, so the sound was excellent. 2003's show as almost as good. 2006, though, was a sonic disappointment--the bass was muddy and ill-defined. Disappointing enough that I've never been to one since then. Despite that, they still put on a good gig, and having Michael McDonald both play as the opener and play on some of the Steely Dan tracks he'd taken part in. One of the highlights of 2000 and 2003 was meeting Pete Fogel (who penned the "Metal Leg" Steely Dan newsletter), who with "Hoops McKay" was making the rounds of a couple of the gigs in the area. Tailgating with other SD fans (especially in 2003) was a blast also, as were the "Danfest" gatherings prior to the gigs.

    I really did want to see the Dukes Of September--I'm hoping they tour again. I've seen the video and it's a nice presentation with Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  11. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    One of my biggest concert "letdowns" was the Doobie Brothers. I'd seen them twice in Missoula - once just before McDonald joined, and then again just after he joined. Then I had the chance to see them again about 6 or 7 years ago, in Billings. The show was in a dumpy gymnasium-type venue that usually these days plays host to horrible rap shows. The band was cooking, but the sound was awful and the crowd just wasn't into it. I'd like to see them again in a real good venue.
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  12. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Great detail Michael, just what I was looking for when I set up this thread...too bad so many performers do their fans a disservice when they are too drunk to perform well (or at all), but I guess it happens a lot.
  13. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    If their sound is on point, they do have an excellent show. This was still back when they had dual drummers. I went with someone who had only barely known the Doobs, but they actually ended up knowing quite a few of the songs. They have such a friendly sound that even those who aren't fans are drawn into it.

    I did get a chance to see David Sanborn. Sadly, the sound suffered at both. At Hill Auditorium (Ann Arbor, MI), they mixed his sound so bright that it was piercing. More of the same when he played at Chene Park (Detroit), but that venue had a really horrible reverb that (in an empty venue) lasted about eight seconds. (I heard another band do a sound check there, and the engineer Geoff and I were counting off the seconds of the reverb when the band stopped playing.) With Sanborn, it was hard to tell what song they were playing until about a minute or two into it. Thankfully I got to hear a bit of Sanborn's band at another local jazz festival from backstage, and it sounded pretty good.

    I luckily never encountered a drunk artist. When I saw KC & The Sunshine Band, though, we passed the opportunity to meet him backstage since he was a bit angry that day. Seems the local promoter didn't promote the gig at all, and the audience was only about 1/3 full. Or in other words, they lost a lot of money on that gig. But I give KC credit--he decided to play past curfew (costing him $1,000 per minute) as a "gift" to the loyal fans that showed up and stuck through the entire concert for him. And he never let his problems show up onstage either. It was a high spirited, high octane show, to say the least. The opening acts were Jimmy "Bo" Horne (who had a minor hit with "Spank" on the TK Records label), and Stephanie Mills. I'm guessing 1980 for that one.

    I wish I could remember the prices of some of these concerts. The only one I really remember now was Peter Gabriel's costing only about $62 per seat, back in June 2003.

    I've also seen Earth Wind & Fire, during their tour for the Touch The World album. Luckily Maurice White was in fine form (prior to the onset of Parkinson's), and it was a show to remember. That was I think in 1988. They didn't have all of the theatrics of their 70s shows, but it was musically solid from end to end.

    Finally, the Vanity 6/The Time/Prince tour (when Prince was touring 1999) was an amazing experience. Vanity 6 was pretty much disposable (but easy on the eyes :wink: ), but The Time (touring the What Time Is It? album) nailed it, better than on record even. (Turns out Prince recorded most of the first three albums by The Time, with Morris Day singing and a couple of others participating.) Prince was no slouch either--if you've seen the videos from the album, they used that same stage setup on tour. This was at Masonic Temple, one of three nights (which would eventually become six nights due to sellout crowds), so it was a good chance to see them all before they moved to arenas.

    I've only been to two arena concerts; one I didn't care for (it was some gawdawful country thing), but the other was for Earth Wind & Fire; luckily on that one, the seats were so close that we lucked out in being able to see everything.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  14. DeeInKY

    DeeInKY Well-Known Member

    Saw Springsteen several times. He always puts on a great show. Last time was a couple years ago here in Lexington. Tickets were $109 per.

    Saw Willie Nelson many years ago at the state fair. Don’t remember which year but the tickets were something like $20. He played until they turned out the lights and threw us out of the fairgrounds. Sat on the edge of the stage and signed autographs too.

    I just got tickets for what I think will be a heck of a show next year - Paul McCartney. This is a bucket list kind of thing. Tickets were $99.50 plus all sorts of fees. For some dumb reason my parents wouldn’t let me and my best friend go to Cincinnati Gardens by ourselves to see the Beatles in 1964. We were 9 and 10 at the time. :D
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  15. DeeInKY

    DeeInKY Well-Known Member

    Well, dummy me! I didn’t list my absolute all time special musical event. Last May I finally got to see Herb at the Taft Theater in Cincinnati. It was the best night of the year for me. I’d been a fan since I was a kid but had never been able to see him perform before. The tickets were $48 and we were in the second row - close enough to make eye contact. Herb and Lani put on a wonderful show. They have a terrific band. Just great!
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