Anastasia Johnson has a deep love of music. This love could probably be attributed to an eclectic, 60s-influenced childhood soundtrack.
“My mom was the arbiter of all fun and music growing up,” she wrote to Amplify, “and I was privy to her blasting The Stones, Bob Marley, all the Laurel Canyon folks, and so many others that definitely instilled a love of all music from a very young age.”
While Anastasia has 20 years of experience in special event operations and catering, her current position as the Director of Booking, Sales and Marketing at the LA Coliseum is a “dream come true” for her.
“Even when I was in catering, the music events were always my favorite,” she wrote. “Whether it was sourcing an artist’s favorite meal or creating unique VIP party menus with a particular show theme, I have enjoyed every minute.”
Now that she has the opportunity to work directly with artists, she hopes to someday book The Rolling Stones or the Eagles. In the meantime, Anastasia was gracious enough to tell us about five shows that shaped her life.
Morrissey at The Wiltern, April 26, 2004
“Full confessional, I have a Morrissey thing… bad. I am a MOZ girl through and through. Since I first heard The Smiths as a 12-year-old, I have been “that fan.” As all true fans know, there was a time when he didn’t play with the Smiths, and in 2004 we were still reveling in hearing old standbys like “A Rush and A Push” and “Hand in Glove” live again. This, coupled with being in the historic halls of The Wiltern, made this a historic concert for me. One of my favorite things about his shows is how he hand-selects the opening acts and curates the playlists between sets. I was introduced to “Elefant” as his opener at this show, and they had me at “Misfit.” Besides who doesn’t love a little Serge Gainsbouroug over an intermission and a fine Wiltern martini?”
Beck at The Wiltern, 2005 & The Rialto, 2006
“My son Julien was 15, and his musical tastes were evolving from an 80s new wave punk throwback into a truly fine indie love. Beck was one of the first artists that we shared a mutual affinity for and it really solidified our mother-son concert future with this show. We saw a couple of his shows around this time, but it was really the show where he would shoot local footage and show it behind the musical performance that knocked our socks off. We saw the same show shortly after in my native Tucson and were delighted to see that he did the same local filming there, which brought a real personalization to each show. In my eyes, Beck is a true performer that brings a sense of musicality and theater to each show.”
The Rolling Stones at Staples Center
“I have seen The Stones a myriad of times, but this show was absolutely my favorite. Full disclosure, I was Director of Catering at Staples at the time so fully immersed in the production and all the VIP experiences. My mother, a true product of the sixties, and lifelong fan opened the wallet for this one big time, and we had some truly exceptional seats… The Stones were exceptional that night, Jagger still on fire, and you could practically touch him as he rolled down that crazy tongue stage. Definitely a once in a lifetime show. #wegotoursatisfaction.”
The Replacements at Midway Stadium Minneapolis, 2014
“[My husband and I] met in Tucson in the 1980s and my adoration of his guitar playing, leather pants and, most importantly, our mutual love of The Replacements, started a lifetime partnership in the pursuit of rock ‘n’ roll. When we heard that The Replacements would be reuniting in his hometown for the first time in 23 years last fall, it was on. It was truly an epic weekend and the show didn’t disappoint from the second they took the stage in gaudy matching thrift store plaid suits from the moment they came out for the last encore in last encore wearing the jerseys of the St. Paul Saints with each of their names stitched on the back (except, of course, Tommy Stinson who just held his mockingly). But then he threw it on and they closed with “Unsatisfied,” and left the entire crowd anything but.”
The Ramones at U of A Ballroom, 1979
“Not only was this one of my favorite shows, it was one of my first. The father of one of my best friends was a professor of film at the UofA and a lover of all things Punk. So not only did I have the distinct pleasure of being introduced to the Rocky Horror Picture Show by him, I got to see The Ramones in a small room at the age of about 10 years old. Clearly the writing was on the wall when my first loves were a toss up between Frankenfurter and Marky Ramone. I was lost in a prepubescent haze of sweaty adolescents, the rapid fire guitar and what seemed to be the loudest sounds I had ever heard. I think that was the moment, that rock ‘n’ roll had my heart forever, and I never looked back.”