Musical memory: who was your first concert?

There’s something about being in the presence of live music that provides such a gift. As audience members, we allow ourselves to get lost within the melody, riding the waves of each instrument, feeling the energy as it seeps into our blood. With every drum beat, guitar riff, base line and lyric – we soak it all in. What’s theirs is suddenly ours, wrapping around our hearts, moving our bodies to the beat of extraordinary creation. Live music is so raw and real, never duplicated in the exact way you experience it, which is what makes living in the moment, and sharing performances of your favorite musicians priceless.

It doesn’t matter if the venue is small (my favorite), or the size of a football field, the energy among audience members is palpable – even before anyone steps foot on stage. And when they do – when the space is illuminated and that very first sound fills the air, we all feel it – the collective first musical kiss. Our knees get weak and butterflies turn to thunderous applause and cheers.

On the heels of a Billy Idol reference regarding last week’s post (with those crazy 80s photos), I thought this would be a fun question to answer.

Who was the first person (band) you saw in concert?

I’ll go first.

The first (supervised, with my mom) performance I saw was Stevie Wonder, at age 13 in 1982. He rocked that piano out like no one’s business; so much so, at one point, he actually fell off his piano chair. He quickly recovered, and finished the show with the most insane rendition of “Boogie On Reggae Woman” I ever heard. To this day, I can’t keep still when hearing that tune.

My first (unsupervised) concert was a triple threat of musical goodness: Cheap Trick, who opened for The Police, who opened for Aerosmith. Consequently, I enjoyed my first joint, and watered down concert beer in a plastic cup on the same night. Fond, fond, memories of standing up, hands in the air belting out “…put on the red liiiiiight!….Roooooxanne!…”

Now it’s your turn.

Please share a concert (your first?) with us in the comments below.


“Music is what feelings sound like”

14 thoughts on “Musical memory: who was your first concert?

  1. Sheena Easton at the Colorado State Fair! My mom made my sister take me as I was still in junior high school. I wore my Sheena tshirt, had my fan club card in my wallet and thought every song she sang was because I requested it by yelling it through the fence during her sound check. Needless to say, I'm still crushing on her to this day!


  2. Spring, 1975, Anaheim (now Angel) Stadium. Amazing line-up: The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Joe Walsh and Toots and the Maytals. WOW. Wow. wow.


  3. I'm jealous of your first unsupervised concert. What a line-up! Gosh those were the days…My first big live show was April Wine. Johnny Winter opened. It was a the Montreal Forum. The original one. I was 15. It was a thrilling bus ride to town. We bought a baggie of 3 joints pre-rolled for $10 and drank home made moonshine in a huge jug that made its way around the crowd. Nothing will ever match that feeling of freedom…Thanks or asking!


  4. Prince & The Revolution at the L.A. Forum in February 1984. I had son the tickets from a local radio station and since I was still a little girl, my mom forced my brother to take me. (He tried to buy the tickets to take his girlfriend instead, but got yelled at by my mom, heehee: "They're her tickets so you're going to take her!")There was talk in the media about the show being "inappropriate" because Prince took a "bath" onstage. He just sat in a bathtub with his pants on! It was G-Rated compared to today!Sheila E. was the opening act. Liz Taylor was in the front row. Madonna, who became a huge star shortly afterwards, was nearby. I still have the ticket stubs. Looking back, I feel like I witnessed a key moment in music history.


  5. The Who – at the University of Kent in 1971. And I saw them for free – my brother how to get in through the men's toilet!


  6. I went to so many it's hard to remember which was first. I'd have to dig out my old high school memories book to be sure, yes I'm a geek and still have it.Anywho…..I think the first concert I went to was Heart. It would have been around '85 or '86. I've seen them about 4 times now, and may see them again this year.


  7. Did you change your posting, it looks different? Or am I going crazy?Ok, my first concert was Billy Idol, who I was OBSESSED with. I remember squishing myself in my friends black jeans and CRIMPING my hair so I could look hot. I somehow finagled my way on some strange guys shoulders in the pit so I could get a better view. Those were they days!(how about having a joint with INXS before the concert? Or talking my way backstage to Guns 'n Roses? Or talking my way backstage to Depeche Mode – I knew how to rock the high school concert era. Thanks for reminding me about my talents)


  8. First concert (with my parents) was Jefferson Airplane. Which makes me officially old.First solo was Def Leppard! Me and Lisa B., a couple of rockers!


  9. My mum and dad took me and my sis to see the beach boys! I was about 8. I remover it vividly. I wore a pink tee shirt that said 'California' and stood on the chair for a better view. After a while I asked my dad "when will they play something I know?"… Haha that was just the support act! The beach boys were awesome, but unfortunately we had to leave early as it was a school night! First unsupervised gig .. Siundgarden at the Brixton Accady, still remember how I felt singing along to 'black hole sun', Oh so many memories! You're so right about live music!!


  10. OK so you all saw very rockin’ first concerts, so I’ll be the group dork (and lose all my non-existent street cred.) 1978…Riverfront Coluseum in Cincinnati…Barry Manilow on his Copacabana tour. I didn’t discover good music until I got to college.


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