Print Story Concert Stories
By toxicfur (Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 02:04:38 PM EST) (all tags)
(First, see poll. Then, read story).

It was one of those games I always knew I'd win. It inevitably came up in those late-night college apartment drinking sessions that were a little too spontaneous and low-key to actually call "parties." The CD player would be cycling through the same five albums -- Tori (Little Earthquakes), the Indigo Girls (self-titled), Melissa Etheridge (Yes I Am), Nirvana (Nevermind), and Janis Joplin (Greatest Hits) -- for the hundredth time.

Someone would start talking about concerts they'd been to, or concerts they want to attend, the missed opportunity. The last time someone saw a Dead concert. The time someone tried to sneak in to see the Lemonheads and ended up getting a free meal from the Hare Krishnas. What it was like seeing Hootie & the Blowfish before they were famous.

Then -- it was just the way these things went -- someone would ask the question:

What was your first concert?

"Oh man," someone would say.


People laughed a little nervously, remembering and wondering if they should confess an early crush on George Michael or Debbie Gibson. I bided my time.

"Dude," said a woman I vaguely knew from one of my psych classes. "My first concert? I was like 8 years old and my mom took me to see Journey." We all groaned at her misfortune. This was before Journey was cool again.

"Ouch," said Jenny, who worked in the campus center. "I actually saw New Kids on the Block. I begged my mom for those tickets. I thought I was going to collapse and die when they came onto the stage."

"Boyz II Men. Seriously. I was a junior in high school," someone else chimes in.

"Christ," said Josh, pushing his awkwardly too-long hair out of his eyes. "I don't even remember. My parents took me to all these folk festival shows when I was too young to remember. I guess my first real concert, one I actually wanted to go to was REM. I saw them in Athens, when I was in high school." There was always somebody substantially cooler than the rest of the group, and if I wasn't careful, I'd lose my chance to tell my story, and one thing I'd figured out was that the concerts weren't important because of the music or the alternative-rocker credentials they bestowed. Concerts were all about the stories.

"My first concert?" I'd say, and I'd stretch now and remind people that I was a serious grunge lesbian -- flannel shirt unbuttoned over a men's Hane's undershirt, baggy Levi's I'd found at the Goodwill, barely held up by my narrow hips. I ran my fingers through my fine, straight shoulder-length hair and tucked the stray strands behind my ears. And I grinned slowly. "My first concert? Amy Grant, in 9th grade. With a bunch of these bitchy chorus girls from the crazy Christian school where I went then. Some of their parents were pissed because she'd recently gone all 'mainstream' or whatever. Not just singing about how much she loves Jesus or some shit."

"How the fuck did you end up there?" asked my flamboyantly gay friend Chris.

"You know," I said. "The principal of the school asked me if I wanted to go, said she bought me a ticket. My grandmother brought me a change of clothes, since I dressed like this--" I vaguely waved my hand at myself -- "and off I went to the big city of Raleigh. Girls cried, man. It was quite a scene."

It was, of course, more complicated than all of that, but by this point "Closer to Fine" was playing on the CD player, and we all sang loudly and off-key. We screamed in unison, "I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind, Got my paper and I was free!"

After my high school concert experience, it was a long time before I went to another concert. Sure, I saw live music from time to time. I was the designated driver for practically my entire dorm my freshman year in college, and we'd check out whatever band was playing at the Mad Monk, one of the few under-21 places in Wilmington that had live music, mostly local bands, and occasionally regional bands (like Hootie and the Blowfish, actually). But when I was a junior, in 1994, I drove halfway across the state to see the Indigo Girls.

While I'd certainly heard of the Indigo Girls (and knew the song "Closer to Fine"), I didn't really know much about them, until I lived in an on-campus apartment with Kristy and Jill. Kristy was this beautiful Italian woman with olive skin and thick dark hair that she let me brush for her when she was feeling stressed. It was, for me, an erotic experience, and I think she knew that. But, of course, she had a long-distance boyfriend and a judgmental Catholic God, so I kept my hands above her neck. Kristy, though, loved the Indigo Girls, and she loaned me Rites of Passage, which I played over and over and over until I bought my own copy. I still know every word to every song on that album.

My friend Rob ran into me on campus one day and told me that the Indigo Girls were going to be in Winston Salem, and that I should get tickets. I, of course, did not have a car, but I started asking around. Road trip! I told my friends. Come on, let's do it! Finally, I convinced Amanda, her very young and nervous friend Angie, and Kristy that we should drive the 4 hours to Winston Salem in time for the concert and then the 4 hours back. Amanda was a few years older than the rest of us, and she had a car. We could take turns driving. It would be fucking awesome!

I told Rob the plan, and we said we'd try to meet up at the concert, but if not, then hey! We're going to have a blast! We left in the afternoon, tickets in hand (remember when you had to phone TicketMaster? Or go to one of their outlets?). Kristy and I had spent some time converting all of her Indigo Girls CDs to tape so we could listen to them in the car on the way. I dressed carefully, in (can you guess?) flannel, undershirt, baggy jeans, Timberland boots, and hoped I didn't look too straight with my shoulder-length hair and my disappointingly feminine features. I clipped my nails short, just in case anyone had any doubts.

I remember almost nothing of the concert except for the amazing feeling of being in a space with hundreds of other people -- mostly women, many of them obviously gay -- and the energy in the room. I felt connected to all of them, and I -- with everyone else there -- sang all the words to all the songs I knew, mostly the ones off of Rites of Passage and Swamp Ophelia. I cried during "Ghost," which made me think of my own unrequited love, and I screamed during "Closer to Fine."

And then the concert was over and we spilled out of the auditorium, I clutching a salmon-colored Swamp Ophelia t-shirt (I wonder what happened to that shirt? It probably dissolved into a million pieces sometime in the late 90s). We went to the first 24-hour Waffle House we could find for coffee and cheap, filling food. We waited for a table among men with graying beards and work pants and hard hands. I made a nervous crack about Kristy being the only straight woman in our group, and was immediately chastised by Amanda, who told me that I was going to get us all raped and murdered. I blushed and shut up, and was annoyed at having to pretend to be straight yet again.

Finally, back in the car, and back to I-40 for the trip home. By our calculations, we would be home by about 4 in the morning, a little earlier if we drove fast. Amanda drove the first part, then I took a shift, then Angie, who drove like a terrified naked mole rat. The speed limit was 65, but she barely got the car up to 55 before she started to shake. She gripped the steering wheel tightly and hunched over it slightly. I looked at Amanda, who rolled her eyes. I tried not to think about how closely I was sitting next to Kristy, who was asleep in the back seat beside me. We were in the middle of Duplin County, about 75 minutes from Wilmington, miles from the nearest anything. And the car coughed, twice.

And the car died as Angie cried out and steered it into the breakdown lane. "What's wrong with the car?" she moaned and tried to crank it.

Everyone looked at me. I sighed and looked at the dashboard. "Out of gas," I said. "You didn't notice?" I tried not to blame Angie too much, with her peaches and cream complexion and her straight red hair. I tried to stay calm and not ruin Amanda's chances with her. "You didn't notice that the gas gauge was reading almost empty? Like, oh, 50 miles back?"

"This is not my car!" she said. "I didn't know where to look! How was I supposed to know I needed to check the gas?"

Amanda sighed, and said that since it was her car, it was her fault. "Do you know where we are?" she asked me. I'd grown up in the area.

"Yeah, more or less, I think," I said. "It's a ways to the next exit, I'm sure. The next one is probably Warsaw, and that would have a gas station. It's a long walk, though."

"You stay here with Angie," she told me. "Kristy, do you mind walking with me to find some help?" Amanda's voice was calm, but I knew she was angry. Neither she nor Angie were going to get laid that early morning.

And they took off down the road. I tried to make small talk with Angie, who just kept apologizing and making excuses. Then she started asking me if Kristy and Amanda were going to be okay. There might be axe murderers. They might come for us here in the car. What were we going to do?

"Just keep the doors locked," I said. "We're going to be fine." I got out of the car and squatted behind the bumper to pee, and then had to knock on the window to get her to let me back in.

We both settled back and didn't talk after that. I drifted off to sleep. It was cold, and I wrapped my coat around me as tightly as I could and wondered if Kristy and Amanda would come back that night, or if we'd have to wait until traffic picked up in the morning.

When the knock on the window came, I nearly jumped out of my skin. Kristy was there, waving at me. We'd been rescued! As they'd walked down the road, a young man, a Marine, in a Ford Ranger stopped and picked them up. He took the the 5 miles or so to the nearest gas station, then brought them back with the full container of gasoline. He called us "ma'am," and asked if we weren't too cold, and said he was on his way back to Jacksonville, and he sure was glad he'd seen us, because who knows when someone else might come by this time a night. He poured poured the gas into Amanda's tank, and she cranked the car. He wiped his hands on the front of his tight jeans that always make me think of rodeo riders. He followed us to the gas station, waited until we were filling up, and drove off with a wave.

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Concert Stories | 43 comments (43 topical, 0 hidden)
my first and only concert by dev trash (4.00 / 1) #1 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 03:09:44 PM EST
Was the Clarks at California University of Pennsylvania.  Penny on the Floor was the only song I remember.

Other than that I've never actually been to a real concert.


Why? by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #3 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 03:12:44 PM EST
Not a good experience? Not that into music? Just curious, because seeing music live is tremendously pleasurable, especially when there's a real connection with the crowd.
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
I don't know if I've been to a 'real concert'. by ni (4.00 / 1) #12 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 04:04:34 PM EST
I have been to hundreds -- perhaps over a thousand -- tiny punk shows, and, with 20,000 other people, saw The Tragically Hip on Citadel Hill in Halifax, and have been to a few multiday music festival things. Does classical music count? I've been to classical music performances that I think were nearly certainly 'concerts'.

"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM
[ Parent ]
Um. Those sound like concerts to me. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #13 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 04:08:47 PM EST
More or less the way I'm defining it, at least. I'm talking about a performance of music where people are there primarily to see the band rather than to primarily drink/dance/whatever while live music plays.
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
I see. Very good. /nt by ni (2.00 / 0) #14 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 04:09:54 PM EST

"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM
[ Parent ]
oh I love music by dev trash (4.00 / 1) #20 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 05:25:42 PM EST
I'm just shy.  Hate doing things alone.  Not too fond of crowds.  The usual.

[ Parent ]
WIPO by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #2 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 03:11:38 PM EST
first concert: my mom took me to see peter, paul, and mary, in a nice little space next to the harbor in san diego. i liked it, but ... when you're 16 or so going to see a bunch of wealthy people who are the establishment listen to anti-establishment protest songs from their youth is kinda wierd: it makes them all appear to be hypocrites. or abject failures. or worse.

best concert story: i don't really have any which match yours. when daft punk was last touring, though, they played in two venues in california: the greek theatre (a small ampitheatre in berkeley) and a venue formerly known as the inglewood forum (in LA, a large indoor venue). the greek was gonna sell out, so i got tickets for jared and me to go to the show in LA.

so we drove down to LA, had dinner with his ex, went to the concert, went to sleep at his grandparents' and have breakfast with them, and then drove back.

the show was worth it.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

I think it's cool you got to see PP&M, by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #6 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 03:21:43 PM EST
even though I agree with you, wrt rich people and protest songs. Their music was a big part of the tapestry of my childhood, though, and the nostalgia would've made it worthwhile. Likely not when I was 16, to be honest, but a few years before or after, and I would've probably dug it.
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
also. by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #4 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 03:15:23 PM EST
i saw hootie and the blowfish in concert.

they were opening for toad the wet sprocket - the tour had been planned before hootie got big, but they'd blown up while the tour was happening, and by the time they got to san jose they were a biger name than toad the wet sprocket was.

[side note: this happened twice  to toad - once with hootie, and once with the gin blossoms].

i hated them.

my friend who went with me who found them boring jokingly named the stuffed dog he keeps on the dashboard of his car 'hootie'.

he still has that dog.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

I didn't like them when I saw them, either. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #5 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 03:18:49 PM EST
This was before they were big, and I just found them pretty forgettable. Within a year, I was hearing that damn song (you know the one) all over the friggin' place, and I could not for the life of me understand why they'd gotten famous. Amusing (and kind of sad) about Toad the Wet Sprocket, though. I always enjoyed them, though I never really sought them out.
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
time was by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #7 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 03:21:59 PM EST
they were my favorite band. a lot of their lyrics really spoke to me in my early-to-mid twenties, and they were deeply associated with an emotional event which had a shitload of impact.

i don't listen to them much anymore; the lyrics no longer speak to the person I am today, and so they are more of an echo from the past than an affirmation of my soul (the way they were).

it's not the songs. it's me. :P
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
I saw hootie too by yankeehack (4.00 / 1) #17 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 04:40:12 PM EST
on that same tour with Toad the Wet Sprocket in Raleigh, NC in 1996. 

My first concert was the one I met the ex at in 1992.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB

[ Parent ]
Hmmm. First concert.... by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #8 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 03:26:42 PM EST
The Who. "Face Dances" tour. 1981?

I saw almost every major act that toured in the 80's.

Saw U2 when they were touring "War". It was their first 'arena' tour. I often went to the ticket place and bought fro several friends and myself. Bought 10 tickets which were described as "First Row, Behind Stage, Obstructed View". I sold one to friend of mine, and figured I was going to end up eating the other 8 (at $10/each). On the way there the radio announced that it was a 360° stage. 8 front row tickets. IIRC, I got about $50 apiece for them. Covered my concerts all summer.

Saw Joan Jett and The Ramones (separate shows) at a bar called The Bayou in Georgetown. $1.01 concerts underwritten by local radio station DC101.

Saw ZZ Top at a bar in Houston (Powertools? Something like that.) They just showed up, took the stage, and jammed for a couple of hours. Awesome show.

Billy Idol was teh suxxor. Showed up late, drunk, and unable to perform. No refunds.

Last concert was Grateful Dead in, ummm, 95? In Vegas. Hanging out with sober friends. Good show.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

You did what I wanted to do when I was younger. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #10 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 03:31:10 PM EST
I always wanted to live in a place where I could catch up and coming bands, or the occasional arena show. I did some of that when I was in grad school, and I'd go to the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro (I saw Dar Williams there, and Amy Ray with The Butchies, and a number of other bands).
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
to some extent i live that life now by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #11 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 03:34:30 PM EST
except that there just aren't as many bands i want to see.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
My first concert by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #9 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 03:30:03 PM EST
...other than classical music was Bruce Cockburn opening for Warren Zevon.

It was wonderful.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

Hmmm. by Tonatiuh (2.00 / 0) #42 Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 12:27:42 PM EST
The word concert was coined for classical music!

[ Parent ]
Yes, but... by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #43 Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 12:47:36 PM EST
my parents were musicians. It wasn't like I attended by choice.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
First concert? by aethucyn (4.00 / 1) #15 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 04:11:01 PM EST
It's almost impossible for me to know my first concert as I was probably too young to remember it. All through my childhood my parents would take us to various folk concerts, so I know for sure I saw Pete Seeger, and Bill Staines played a concert series in my home town every year. My first concert with just a friend was seeing U2 on the Zoo Station tour with my friend Orion just before the end of, or just after our senior year of high school.

My two favorite concert stories:

Shortly after we got married, my wife and I visited her dad on Long Island. One night, he decided to impart fatherly wisdom upon us which as a rule meant that we needed to go to a bar. The bar that we went was a particularly poor choice as there was a live band playing. I recall getting a free shot of Aftershock cinnamon schnapps from a shot girl. The band was playing "I'm Just a Girl" and I thought it odd that somebody was covering that song already as it had only come out a few months prior. We stayed for a couple of other songs, and then were off again. A few weeks later, on the radio we heard the song "Don't Speak."  "Hey, isn't this the same song that band had played at that bar?" "Oh, I guess it wasn't a cover band, I guess we saw No Doubt."

In 2004, I saw David Byrne perform at the House of Blues in Vegas. Particularly at that time, I was seeing a lot of concerts alone. I had few friends in the area, and most of them had either 0 overlap in musical tastes with my own, or were impossible to plan with. But HoB was a good place to see shows, good sized venue, and the main floor was SRO. Except, I arrived at this show to discover that the main floor had fold-up chairs, and were by ticket only, and were filled with people who really did need the chairs if they were going to survive a night out. Still, there was a decent sized aisle on the main floor, so I placed myself there. I've been a fan of the Talking Heads since high school, but have also followed David Byrne through his solo career, and prefer some of the solo to his earlier works. Still, the band opened with I Zimbra, and I don't care if you're dead, if you're in the presence of a live band playing that song, you move. Well, I moved, and there was a couple to my right that was immediately getting down to it. We did not stop moving the entire show. As things continued, others found our little segment of movement, so soon I was dancing with a crowd of about 10 strangers, mostly just dancing in a group, but as the music required, tango-ing with specific women, and the like. Meanwhile, the rest of the crowd would stand for "Burning Down the House" then sit again. Stand for "Psycho Killer" then sit again. Me and the others, however, were more excited by Byrne's new song "Lazy" or stomping along to "What a Day that Was".

When the show finally ended, and there was clearly to be no encores, we all embraced each other. The newest joiners making their leaves first. Finally, it was down to me and the woman from the first couple, we'd just finished hugging everybody, and we turned to each other, and I don't know what crossed in our minds simultaneously but instead of a hug, we performed a formal Japanese bow to each other, utterly stoic. Then we laughed, and hugged. We separated before the house lights fully came on.

Really awesome stories. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #16 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 04:18:16 PM EST
I knew you would have good ones. Thanks for posting them here.
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
First ... by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #18 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 04:51:06 PM EST
I'm pretty sure I've sat in a dorm room with those same CDs in the player, except maybe with Led Zeppelin or The Who or Billy Joel in place of Janis.

(Which reminds me of the time that my freshman year roommate had some friends over, and I had a mix tape on that had Talking Heads' "Burning Down the House" on it. One of them said, "I love this song, but I'll never own it. I just want to hear it like this, by chance." That was the coolest thing that guy ever said.)

My first concert: Violent Femmes in my college gymnasium. It had been arranged by the student government, and had been controversial because no one really liked the Femmes. They were definitely not cool anymore, if they ever had been. One guy actually knocked on my door, campaigning for student office, and asked how I felt about the upcoming Femmes concert. "I have three of their CDs right over there," I replied. The gym was not nearly full (and most of the people there only wanted to hear "Blister in the Sun," without knowing what it was called), but I had a good time anyway. I still remember Gordon Gano's cackle and the bass solo during "Never Tell."

(I had missed the Spin Doctors who played early in my Freshman year, in a booked-them-before-they-were-cool coup, because I was not yet cool enough to know that I wanted to see them. In the overall scheme of things, though, I think Violent Femmes > Spin Doctors.)

Senior year of college, one of the weird traditions at my school was a "step sing." There is one very long and wide staircase down into a quadrangle where all the seniors get together during commencement week to sing various songs of their generation. "Closer to Fine" was one of ours, of course, at the end of our four years.

I've seen the Indigo Girls with D a couple times, or more like one and a half. The "half" is chronicled here, but it's not as good a story as yours. (Finding that diary took way too much effort, but I brushed past several amusing vignettes from my former copyediting life in the process, so that was cool.)

My favorite concert-related story is probably from the summer before my senior year of high school, when a bunch of us went to see Nelson Mandela at the Hatch Shell (the same venue where they do the Fourth-of-July concert and fireworks). Before Mandela spoke, there were performances by the likes of Jackson Browne and Johnny Clegg & Savuka. Just like for Independence Day, real estate at the Esplanade was at a premium, and people camped out early in the day to get the best spots, setting up with lawn chairs, coolers, and the works.

We got there while things were already underway, and the place was fairly crowded, but we managed to squeeze in somewhere (we hadn't planned ahead with any equipment, so we were just standing wherever we could find room). Everything was pretty low key, even during the scattered performances throughout the afternoon. We were just hanging out, talking, enjoying the music. When Mandela took the stage, people stood, or those who were already standing, scooted to slightly more central locations for a better view. This angered the campers.

"Sit down!" they shouted repeatedly, as the speech rang out through the PA.

Endless bickering ensued as people loudly announced how early they'd arrived in order to get good seats. They had no patience for interlopers standing in their way.

I don't remember much of the speech. I mainly remember the chorus of people shouting "Sit down!"

"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician

I feel that way about the Talking Heads, too. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #19 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 05:07:54 PM EST
And I would have loved to see the Violent Femmes. I am utterly unsurprised that we would've had almost exactly the same music playing when we were in college.
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
My folks dragged me to see Neil Diamond by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #21 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 05:37:09 PM EST
but my first self-directed concert experience was DEVO. I've worked security at some concerts since then, but I don't have tales I should repeat here.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Concerts. by ana (4.00 / 1) #22 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 05:41:36 PM EST
Hm. Never really been into contemporary music all that much, but of course there are exceptions.

I've been to lots of classical music concerts, beginning when I was a child, because my mother played flute in the city philharmonic. Amusing story: she noticed after she'd been doing it for years that [a] she always served ham for dinner on concert nights, because it was quick and easy; [b] she was always thirsty on stage; and [c] there's a causal relationship between these two phenomena.

I saw Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie on stage at the Madison Civic Center in the early '80s. That was pretty cool. "We need more basses!" calls Seeger, trying to get an auditorium full of people to sing his song. The version of Alice's Restaurant that Arlo Guthrie sang that night featured an action that involved standing in line at the post office to buy "slow stamps", to make it difficult to impossible for them to register young men for the draft (a then-new policy).

First concert would probably be the time a bunch of kids from the church youth group I attended (and which is fictionalized in my 1996 nano to some extent) went to Denver to see Bob Parish, a folk-rock Christian performer, the likes of which I'd never seen before. Seems like about the same time I went to some kind of a concert at the university field house with my older sister, whose only advice was don't drink, smoke, or otherwise ingest anything given to you by a stranger. I don't even remember who was performing.

So no obvious stories, except the (to some, wondrous) accomplishment of reaching my 50s without understanding much about pop concert etiquette. Not my liturgy, not my rite (I guess).

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

I would've loved the Guthrie/Seeger concert. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #23 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 05:50:56 PM EST
And, as far as I'm concerned, you can make your own rite/liturgy for pop music. It's a do-you-own thing kind of an experience, anyway. :)
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #32 Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:00:46 AM EST
I think I saw them on that tour. I know it was the first time in years Arlo had done Alice's Restaurant.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
My first concert by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #24 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 07:36:31 PM EST
was when I was a sophomore in high school. My friend Jon was a year older than me so he already had his driver's license. So he and his girlfriend and me and my girlfriend (yes), drove to Cleveland, Ohio, to (the old) Indians and Browns Stadium to see The World Series of Rock, sponsored by Double Yoo. Emmm. Emmm. Esss. Cleveland. The Home of the Buzzard.

It was one of those all-day festival type things. Headlining was my most favoritest badn, Emerson, Lake and Palmer. It was the "Welcome Back My Friends" tour. Also on the bill was James Gang (post Joe Walsh) and Climax Blues Band. I'm pretty sure there was at least one other act. Most awesome show ever, even to this day. Although a few years later, I saw Pink Floyd during the "Animals" tour in the same venue which was an equally awesome show, but ELP, being my first takes top billing. For sheer theatre, those two are hard to beat.

Favorite concert moment? I'm not sure I have one. At least not one single one.

Probably my biggest concert moment is actually a regret. I had a chance to see Genesis during their "Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" tour, but decided to be a good boy and study for my exam the next day. What was I thinking?!?!

Memorable moments:

Seeing Iggy Pop at the Agora in Columbus, Ohio on his comeback tour with David Bowie playing keyboards. Opening act: Blondie.

Several years later, meeting Emerson, Lake & Palmer back stage at Cleveland Arena (where the Cavaliers play). (I still have their autographs somewhere.)

Seeing Steve Morse with Dixie Dregs at Brassie's Nightclub in Cocoa Beach. One of the tightest bands evar. Awesome.

Seeing the Laurie Anderson "Home of the Brave" tour. I honestly cannot remember where I saw it first. It had to be up here somewhere because it was an old boyfriend who introduced me to her stuff. It must have been at the Orpheum. I saw it again later in Lenox, but it was a stripped down show. The Orpheum was the full thing. They made a VHS of that tour and I have it! I need to get it transferred to DVD, it was never re-released. (That's the one that has William Burroughs on stage with a martini and dances around a bit. But then, I love weird stuff.

Working on Pat Metheny's website, then getting backstage passes to one of his shows at the Orpheum.

In 1989 (I think?) at the 3d Gay and Lesbian Assn of Choruses in Seattle, hearing Muse Cincinnati Women's Choir sing a Romanian folk song and a commissioned piece called (I think) "Tambourine". Quite possibly the most angelic sounds I've ever heard. (They're still good.) I have it on tape and would love to transfer it to MP3, but don't have a working tape player. It still gives me chills.

Singing in Alice Tully hall at Lincoln Center. That was pretty cool. (Is it okay to list a concert I was a performer in?)

Seeing Betty at Club Cafe. That was really fun.

That's all I can think of right now.

Fuckin' awesome by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #26 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 08:38:44 PM EST
I have to say that I'm envious, and also really pleased that you've had these experiences. And yes! Of course count the one you performed in! Thanks for the stories.
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
First Concert? by atreides (4.00 / 1) #25 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 08:31:52 PM EST
The Beastie Boys touring for Licensed to Ill at the City Coliseum in 1986.

He sails from world to world in a flying tomb, serving gods who eat hope.

A long, long time ago by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #27 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 08:50:30 PM EST
If I don't count hearing the high school band in summer, or the band concerts I played it, it's either the B-52's on Halloween (I dressed like the lobotomy patient on the Scorpions Album, fork sunglasses and all) or Ozzy on the Diary of the Madman tour.

Cream by johnny (2.00 / 0) #28 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 09:58:03 PM EST
First big concert that I remember was Cream in Madison Square Garden NYC 1969.  Opening acts included Peter Frampton's band, whatever it was called, and some other dudes who played "Season of the Witch."

I think I would rather have knitting needles rammed up my nose than go to an Indigo Girls concert. Mileages obviously vary.

I ran out of gas and had to hitchhike on a sweltering summer day just after I had signed papers purchasing the house in Gardner, Massachusetts, that would be my home for the next nine years. I had my sickly one-year old son in my arms.

It's one of the most unpleasant memories I have. Apologies for inflicting it on y'all.

He survived. He's 26 now.  I myself am a wreck, but that is not news to any of y'all who know me.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

Indigo Girls. by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #29 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 10:05:16 PM EST
That's because you're not a 20 year old (or even a 35-year-old) lesbian. It does matter, for many people.

I was actually kind of bummed that I was picked to stay behind when my friends hitched to get gas. Thank god there were no kids involved -- it was just a great adventure in the depths of rural North Carolina.
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
You say I'm not a 35 year old lesbian by johnny (2.00 / 0) #39 Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 07:55:28 AM EST
But are you sure about that?

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)
[ Parent ]
Season of the Witch by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #33 Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:03:27 AM EST
Just heard that this morning on the iPod.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
I think the guy I saw by johnny (2.00 / 0) #40 Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 08:06:14 AM EST
was named Andy Reid or something like that. Google has no useful trace of him, since I'm not willing to spend more than 15 seconds trying to figure out whom I saw playing "Season of the Witch" opening for Cream when I was a high school student.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)
[ Parent ]
John Denver by lm (4.00 / 1) #30 Sun Feb 14, 2010 at 10:20:32 PM EST
I think I was 6.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
First concert? by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #31 Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 09:15:24 AM EST
My parents drug me to some fairgrounds concert for some foggie rawk band way back in the seventies. Only thing I remember is lots of lights after dark.

First concert I remember, and that I wanted to go to, was Stryper with Hurricane opening. Had cheap-seat tickets, and went with my best friend. It was Hurricane's last show on the tour, so they did a big stage-breakdown freak out at the end of their set. From where we were sitting, it looked ridiculous and stupid. You could tell they were cushioning the blow to anything they "threw" to the stage. Stryper was what we were expecting. Loud and obnoxious.

Didn't see many acts until I moved away from my home town to a larger area. And then I still had to travel to see anything worthwhile. Still don't see much more than two or three shows a year.

Never been to a concert by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #34 Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:27:29 PM EST
Probably never will.
  1. First and foremost, I find loud noise physically painful.  i always have and it's only getting worse.  I regularly wear earplugs when I go to movies anymore, otherwise my ears hurt too much.  Pat Benatar was playing at the L.A. Coliseum after the Revlon Run/Walk for Cancer one year.  Even up on the very top row, the sound was physically painful, I had to leave the stadium.
  2. I dislike crowds, particularly crowds of people where I don't know anyone.  I've never really had a group of friends that I hung out with.  I'm probably borderline anti-social.
  3. I do greatly enjoy certain songs.  There are vanishingly few groups or singers that I like even the majority of their works.  I stipulate that my taste in music sucks.
  4. I'm cheap.  I'd rather spend my money on airplanes.  :)

ditto by ana (2.00 / 0) #35 Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:49:18 PM EST
on the pain thing. I remember making the conscious decision not to retreat into that quasi-autistic corner of myself where i rock and wait for it all to stop. I was clutching my furry sheepskin cap to my chest for much of this latest concert, kinda sorta trying to hold my chest together as the shock waves (not really; just nonlinear sound) rolled over me and rifflied my hair (true story).

Folk concerts, for the win.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
How loud is your plane? by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #36 Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 07:22:27 PM EST
On my bike, I usually wear ear plugs, the wind noise above 50 is loud and high pitched, even with a full face helmet.

[ Parent ]
Pretty Loud by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #37 Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 07:42:02 PM EST
I've worn active noise reduction headsets for years now.  When I was younger I wore passive headsets, they cut a lot of the high frequency stuff.  I think that had I tried to learn to fly before headsets were common, I might have given up.  I might go around the patch a couple times with passive headsets now, but I don't go on long flights without ANR.  And I always carry spare batteries.

[ Parent ]
I go to a lot of local columbia college student by garlic (2.00 / 0) #38 Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:50:53 PM EST
shows, and whenever they're rocking out, (vs playing acoustic) I bring my earplugs.

[ Parent ]
WIPO by Tonatiuh (4.00 / 1) #41 Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 12:11:12 PM EST
I don't remember what my first concert was, I have an inkling that it was an open air concert by a symphonic orchestra a summer day in Chapultepec Park in Mexico City, but that may be wishful thinking.

Best concert experience? The Simon Bolivar Orchestra from Venezuela playing in London for the first time 2 or 3 years ago.

They brought the house down with their musicianship and enthusiasm.

Now to read the article ...

Concert Stories | 43 comments (43 topical, 0 hidden)