On August 23, 1986, Elton John was about to round second base on his way to turning 40, about to release one of his lesser albums: Leather Jackets, which my dad had on cassette and yet I still couldn’t hum a song from it. Elton himself, per Wikipedia, said of this phase, “I was not a well budgie, I was married and it was just one bag of coke after another.” Even with a clunker on deck, though, he was showing up to concerts dressed like a goddamn punk unicorn, because he’s a professional. I saw Elton in concert in Austin around the turn of the century, but by then he’d toned it down somewhat and — as is not uncommon when singers get older — seemed to be relying on a companion singer to bolster his voice on the high notes. It was no less fun, but it did make me wish to have seen Elton in his heyday. I’d also love to go back in time and see Freddie Mercury in action, and if the world ever comes back to us in full, Pink is on my bucket list. Which iconic act of the past is the one you’d relive life to see in person? And who, today, is the one you’d want to be your return to in-person concerts?

[Photo: Getty]