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You may think this funny, but my first real concert was a Grateful Dead concert.  I was seventeen or eighteen at the time.  I had seen bands perform at parks or other small events, but this was my first concert.  The thing I remember most to this day were the huge balloons that the audience and band members would smack back and forth the entire evening.  I was not that familiar with their music but I had heard references (“It’s not for lack of bread, like the Grateful Dead; dying”, from the musical play Hair, which I also saw!) but had not really heard much of their music before.

The second thing that I noticed was how communal the audience was.  It is unlike other concerts.  Everyone was friendly and happy to be there.  It was a different group of people.  They enjoyed the music, enjoyed the event and everyone got along.  I wish more of the concerts I have seen had audiences that resembled The Grateful Dead fans.

What was your first concert? What do you remember about it?

Comments
  1. k1nd3r5t3w says:

    MC Hammer! I remember being with my best friend and having to lie to my parents about where I was going.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Jackson Five. I was maybe 8 or 9 years old. Scariest thing I’d done up to that point, lol. I couldn’t understand why the grown woman in front of me was taking of her shirt (yeah, I’m guessing she was trying to get the then, 16 0r 17 year old MJ’s attention) or why the younger looking woman fainted and had to be carried out, or why there were just SO MANY FREAKIN’ PEOPLE in one place. I didn’t go to another concert until I was in my 20’s. lol

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ha! Yeah, I saw the Dead too. Honestly, I’m not the biggest fan but it’s definitely an experience to go to one of their concerts. My first concert was Billy Joel. It’s funny because I became such a metalhead shortly afterwards, that I was alway embarrassed to admit it. Not anymore though. Billy Joel is awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. David Kennedy says:

    I remember that concert, they were traveling with the Merry Pranksters; not another band but a group led by Ken Kesey the writer [of “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” and they were responsible for the balloons. They were just travelling with the band, as many did.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My first concert was Garth Brooks. It was the year Friends in Low Places came out and I was thrilled because he did it live on stage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      See. There are differences in the experience. I was not that familiar with the songs in my first concert. But it sounds like it would be really cool to have a great band perform a new song you are hearing and singing all the time! I appreciate your comments. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Eclipsed says:

    Strangely, my first proper concert was Metallica… I saved for months in a row to watch them. I cried through some of the songs because I felt so grateful that I was able to catch them live. It was such an amazing experience and it’s something I can never forget.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. tripleclicka says:

    Neil Young, sometime in the late eighties at Great Woods. He was dressed in purple and glowed with the lights. I was sitting on my boyfriend’s shoulders! It was great, I love his music…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Murray Foote says:

    I think it was Led Zeppelin, in an open air stadium in Auckland in 1970, just after Led Zeppelin 3 came out. They had flown in one and a half tons of equipment. I was at the front in the middle and was a total prisoner of the sound but fortunately it had no unintended distortions. Some friends had a flat about half a mile away and their front verandah was a great place for the concert.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nicole says:

    My first concert was technically The Backstreet Boys. I was 10 years old. Boy bands were popular. What can I say? I had yet to discover the good or real music. So while that may have been my first concert, my first real concert was when I was 14 or 15. I saw Switchfoot for the first time on their Nothing is Sound tour. They played at this little dive bar near my house. I was standing right up against the stage, the barricade bar separating me from the band. I remember the energy, from the band and the crowd and how each seemed to feed off each other. I still remember being completely blow away by their performance…and connection with the crowd. There may have been a barricade bar up, but that didn’t stop Jon, their lead singer, from joining the crowd. Yes, that’s right…he stood on in and jumped over it, joining the sea of people. He raised himself from the stage to the bar and stood right in front of me. And when he did, he stepped on my hand. And my hand was stuck, being crushed under his weight. The strange part is that after a few seconds I didn’t care much. And I laugh about it now. So ten Switchfoot concerts later, many stories and many miles traveled to see them and little has changed. I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that they are the best live performance that I’ve ever seen take the stage (although many have come close to matching them). And even though I now know them, I haven’t told Jon about the first time I saw them and the whole stepping on my hand thing. I’m sure he would laugh, but I think I’ll just keep that story to myself for the moment. Thank you so much for posing this question! It made me think about all those great memories from past shows. And there are a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Wow! That topic hit a good nerve! Backstreet Boys too. A really great story. Some of my favorite shows or performances have been in small ‘dive’ clubs. My bands have played in many small clubs and we usually hypnotized the crowd. Thank you, as always, for great comments, and this was a wonderful story.
      and by the way, I am not sure you kept the story to yourself LOL!

      Like

      • Nicole says:

        Ha! Well, I kind of meant I didn’t tell Jon that story. I don’t want to embarrass him or anything, but I understand where you’re coming from. That’s awesome that your bands have played in small clubs! Sometimes those are my favorite places to see bands because the shows feel more intimate. Maybe it’s because everyone is crammed together like a bunch of sardines. No matter where you are in the crowd you can see the stage. (But I always love being right in the front for more reasons other then the fact that I’m short.) Sorry for the lengthy comments and if it seems like I’ve rambled on, but, as you can see, I can easily talk about music. As always, thanks so much for a great post! I’m glad I had a chance to read your story and share mine (and maybe sometime I’ll tell you about the time I walked into the back alley of the same venue to meet the same band. Ha!). Hope you have a good weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

      • midimike says:

        Just kidding! Ha! From a member in the audience, it is easier to see the performers. Watching them you can get the concept that while it is fun, it is very difficult and often takes a lot of concentration. From the band members point of view, you can see how the audience reacts. Often larger venues have stage and other lighting that can make the audience difficult to see. Sometimes you feel like you are playing for no one. WE ALL hated that. Please feel free to post and participate as much and as often as you want! And you can tell me about the back alley approach!

        Like

      • Nicole says:

        Ha-ha “the back alley approach”…well, if you insist! I was 17 and I had pretty much grown up going to concerts at this venue. So I knew its layout as well as my own house. I knew the buses always parked in the back and security was pretty relaxed back then. I’ve always been a curious person, but in those days I was always afraid of something. Now I know the worse that can happen is someone saying “no.” For some reason, on this day, I stepped out of line (always going early to secure a spot in front of the stage) and walked down the back alley to the buses. It was the longest, scariest walk ever. The alley was full of graffiti back then that added to its creepiness. There were two buses and I just picked one, standing in front of it like I belonged and sipping on my hot chocolate (winter was just ending). On the inside I was freaking out a bit because I knew I wasn’t suppose to be back there. Technically. It was an unwritten rule. In the end it turned out I not only exercised a great amount of patients, but also picked the right bus. I actually blogged about this and my journey with the band. I’ll leave the link here in case you want to check it out (nicolesnarratives.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/what-a-journey-it-has-been-and-i-will-listen-until-the-very-end/). Of course some things have changed…like the fact my show count is 10 instead of 6 and the fact that we’ve had more meetings then are listed (at least 4 or 5 more). Some people who listen to their music are…obsessed…but I just seem then for what they are – a good group of guys who write meaningful music. Thank you so much for taking the time to tell your stories and listen to mine, as well as others!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Never been to a concert because where I live, no concerts take place. Actually been to a concert during college. But it wasn’t that great. Would love to experience the feel of a ‘real concert’!

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Understood to the degree I can. The feeling as part of a large happy crowd gathered to see a favorite artist is difficult to describe. Nothing can match the sound (I know, I have tried!!!) but there is so much more as a total package …..and you can participate! The world changes slowly. I am sure it is difficult to wait for many things to change. Thank you for your thoughts. I really appreciate your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. My first concert was the Jackson Five. They brought out their “little brother” at the end and he sang a song. The parents were in the audience. This was in Wellington, New Zealand. The booking office newspaper advert had printed the wrong phone number and I spent three days answering my phone and giving the right number. In the end, they gave me a free ticket for my troubles!

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Now, that would be very cool. Even today they still have an impact in musical culture. The phone number mix up is a great story! I am still laughing. Thank you for the first and a wonderful read.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Andrea R Huelsenbeck says:

    I think my first concert was Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. It was the late 60’s, and my friends’ father was a professor at Monmouth College. The Seasons had a gig there right around Deedee’s birthday, so he sprang for multiple tickets. The next year he did the same thing with The Fifth Dimension.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Wow, now that is one I did not expect! That was a great opportunity for you. Followed by the Fifth Dimension and you had a great live musical start. Thank you for sharing your first!

      Like

  13. septembersrose says:

    First proper concert that I paid to go see and had to drive and wait for hours at the front of the gate was Ed Sheeran. That shows my age (25) but no one can deny his artistry. Who else can get away with just standing alone with a beat up guitar? No one. And you know why? Because there’s nothing that guy can’t do. He’s a bundle of creative genus and when he gets to looping, he explodes into a masterpiece.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      That is excellent. I do admire him and the variety of songs he writes. Great voice so this is a good first concert to see! Great to have your first concert known here LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

      • septembersrose says:

        Well, I’ve seen several growing up that I don’t think count because they were gospel singings my parents had to drag me to. This was my first time wanting to be there and being a HUGE fan, singing every word.

        Liked by 1 person

      • midimike says:

        I think that is the neatest thing a band can experience; watching the entire audience singing along with their original tunes! I agree, the dragging to a musical event of any kind does not really qualify LOL! Thanks again!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Fix-n-Mix says:

    I’m having a senior moment and cant remember. A bunch of friends and I went together, we were slightly intoxicated, well, maybe a bit more than slightly. The artist had log hair and a beard though, not that helps solve his identity, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Fix-n-Mix says:

    Hahaha, LONG HAIR!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Aww, yeah! The Dead, man! Mine was John McLaughlin at the Festival Hall in London. Hoddamn, that guy could play… Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. annamadeit says:

    Don’t remember exactly, but U2 was one of the first. I saw Unforgettable Fire at Scandinavium in Gothenburg back in the early 80’s some time. I was there with my Scottish boyfriend and a bunch of Irish guys. One of them had an Irish flag. I jumped the fence, skirted the guards, ran up to the stage with the flag, and gave it to Bono, who happily waved it around for a long time afterwards. I’m surprised I didn’t get kicked out when the guards caught up with me…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. cote8050 says:

    I saw the Beach Boys and the Kinks, an odd combination now that I think about it!! I don’t remember much about it except that I was wicked impressed, I think I must have been 17, seems like another lifetime ago!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Mark Hahn says:

    Alice Cooper (Billion Dollar Babies guillotine tour!) I was in 8th grade. My life was never the same. Went to every concert that came to Detroit for years afterward (and everyone came to Detroit – Rock City!). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Casual Procrastinator says:

    Pearl Jam. And it was fantastic. The crowd was so pumped up and honed in on the music.

    Like

  21. RPHowse says:

    It’s hard fpr me to remember. It may have been the Stampeders at the Lion’s Trade fair, or possibly the Irish Rovers or the Carlton Shpwband at the Arts and Culture Centre in St. Johm’s NL

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Bibishan says:

    Not a big fan myself of their music but I assume it must have been amazing to be in that moment, the band themselves and all the deadheads, the atmosphere… super cool. To answer your question, I don’t remember my first concert. I assume it was a local underground concert but not sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      It seems those that were fans of the band that ultimately played at their first concert the event was much more memorable. Many of us were not very familiar with the bands and don’t have many details, but that was a great observation. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. thomas robinson says:

    Interesting that you learned about the Grateful Dead as a reference from the hip 60s musical HAIR. Everybody I know remembers the Dead, but not the musical Hair.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      I learned about them from my brother David, who asked if I wanted to got to a Dead concert. I said I had not heard of them and he quoted that line from the song “Hair” that was playing everywhere at the time. I later saw the play when it came to town, but I am not sure how much of anything I remember that long ago!

      Like

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    Liked by 1 person

  25. Patrice says:

    Michael Jackson. Impressed.
    The 2nd was the Rolling Stones. Everyone was smokin’ pot and standing on the seats.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. tracihalpin says:

    My first concert was billy idol in 1984, rebel yell tour. I was 14. It was amazing. Even though I was sitting in the last section on top, I couldn’t believe I was going to see billy idol on live on stage. I screamed, sang, and jumped up and down, which I still do. I wore my concert shirt to school the next day and I was like Yea that’s right I saw billy idol! I always buy a shirt. I like to express myself and music I love by wearing my shirts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tracihalpin says:

      I remember standing on top of folding chairs at shows! Once I fell through the chair. I also remember waiting in line over night for tower records and Sam goods to open to buy tickets. One time I was first in line and when the store opened the computers were down! It was for Unforgettable Fire tour. And dialing ticket master over and over on a rotary phone! Hahaha!

      Liked by 1 person

      • midimike says:

        You really are dedicated! I am impressed. Good to hear there are people really enjoying and supporting live bands. And you heard some great music too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • tracihalpin says:

        Thanks and I will keep going. There’s nothing like live music and that energy in the venue. After u2 at msg, we were leaving singing the uh oh oh from pride in unison, just like singing how long to see this song in the 80s…it’s electric.

        Liked by 1 person

      • midimike says:

        I am really glad to hear that! I agree with the live performance and the energy a crowd can bring to the show. You Rock! And that helps the performers a ton.

        Like

      • tracihalpin says:

        Yea!!!! I do rock 🎸 At melissa etheridge show she told the ushers to tell us to come down to the stage bc she feeds off our energy. It was amazing. I was literally in front of her. I could have touched her guitar, especially when she came down on her knee. I got great pics. I stood for over 2 hours jumping and screaming and yes my knees hurt the next day!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • midimike says:

        Now that is impressive. And brilliant! What a great way to get your exercise!

        Liked by 1 person

      • tracihalpin says:

        Yea I think I drop about 5 pounds at each show. I am drenched and so thirsty afterwards.

        Like

      • midimike says:

        I’ll bet! Seems like a great idea for a TV series or a new diet book!

        Liked by 1 person

  27. tracihalpin says:

    I did get to go to the show, my friend gor tickets, Nassau collesium.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. tracihalpin says:

    Please excuse my typing errors. I’m still asleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. somadislife says:

    Enjoyed reading about your experience 🙂 My first ‘big’ (read: international) concert was Finland band Peots of the Fall who, somehow, have quite a following in India. I suppose it wasn’t as grand as in other countries because we have obvious difficulties in organizing big scale events in our nation. But I guess it was as exciting for me! And last year I got to see Mutemath, so yay! I’m inspired to write a whole post on this myself now 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Very cool! I am always surprised by the popularity of international bands….. Sometimes bands have a hard time getting air play and recognition on their own country until they become famous overseas!! Doesn’t make much sense, but it happens fairly often. Big scale events are now so over the top I actually prefer smaller (but enthusiastic) crowds. I will have to look into Mutemath. I Ann not familiar with that name…. But I am bad with names to begin with. So glad to hear you are inspired to write a post! Can’t wait. Thank you so much for a great comment.

      Like

  30. rubiredsaid says:

    My first concert was at Brockwell Park. London, and I saw the then “Desmond Dekkar and the Aces!
    It rained really heavily that day but no one was fazed, people were dancing, a lot of animated people!
    Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

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