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What was your first concert?
October 1, 2007 9:37 PM   Subscribe

Mine was The Fixx opening for A Flock Of Seagulls in '82 when I was 12 and it was the first time I smoked dope... I know this is the worst kind of query-Metafilter post but I can't resist. It is a fun article and I bet you have a better story.
posted by St Urbain's Horseman (215 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Mine was New Kids on The Block, 13th birthday, and my Mom drove me and a girlfriend from OKC to Tulsa for the show. She splurged on the expensive tickets at the height of their career after confessing that she's never gotten to see her pre-teen crush, David Cassidy, and didn't want me to miss my own opportunity.

Pretty lame, huh? I was soooooo into it though.

I made up for it the next summer at my second concert, Lollapolooza in Dallas, where I met Mike Watt and gave him a zine I'd written.
posted by Brittanie at 9:51 PM on October 1, 2007 [3 favorites]


I went to see Sky in, I dunno, 1978 or something. My sister took me. Afterwards we drank wine and I got drunk for the first time. All I remember is sitting in a chair and not being able to move.

After Sky, goddamit!!
posted by unSane at 9:57 PM on October 1, 2007


Concert: Accept. Venue: Hovet, Stockholm. Age: 10. My mother accompanied me and Accept rocked and ruled. They were my favourite band back then and I was in ecstacy when they did "Princess of the Dawn" as it was the best song I've heard at that tender age.

All in all a very memorable night, but not a very exciting story. The only thing I did not get was why all adults behaved in such weird ways. They shouted and they couldn't walk straight and some even slept in their seats after the concert. Very strange behaviour, indeed.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 10:01 PM on October 1, 2007


I was 12. I told my mom I was staying at my friend Heidi's house and instead went to see The Clash play on the Combat Rock tour. Still have the stub to prove it.

Beat that.
posted by cali at 10:08 PM on October 1, 2007


Audio Adrenaline opened for Jars of Clay. I was 14.

I feel so ashamed.
posted by idiotfactory at 10:10 PM on October 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Prince, 1985, Purple Rain tour. I was ten, my parents took me because I wouldn't stop crying about them not taking me to see the Jacksons.

I'm not sure how they figured that Prince was more age appropriate. But anyway, the show blew my prepubescent mind.
posted by empath at 10:11 PM on October 1, 2007


Santana at the Greek Theater in Berkeley in 78/79(?). Al Di Meola opened. It was fun, I barely remember it. I saw them again, later the same year at the Waldorf, a much better show.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:17 PM on October 1, 2007


I was taken to see Bon Jovi at the War Memorial in Johnstown, PA when I was 3 or 4. It's too late to call my dad so I'm not sure exactly, I don't recall... but the first I remember was the Ska Against Racism tour when I was 13, in Denver. I crowd surfed and felt like a hero. Thanks Asian Man Records
posted by MNDZ at 10:18 PM on October 1, 2007


REM and Radiohead in 1994 at Hershey Park, I was 13. I thought REM was good but I was annoyed they did nearly every song off Monster except King of Comedy.

I thought Radiohead kind of sucked...
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:18 PM on October 1, 2007


I feel so ashamed.

Not half as ashamed as I feel.

Howard Jones, with Frozen Ghost opening. Madison Square Garden. Some time in the 80's. Some awful, awful time. Kill me now. Or mock me. Either way works, really.
posted by dersins at 10:19 PM on October 1, 2007


...Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Mustard Plug, Rave (Milwaukee), 2001.
posted by nasreddin at 10:19 PM on October 1, 2007


I went to the Polyphonic Spree Christmas show when I was 14. It was fucking awesome.
posted by MadamM at 10:19 PM on October 1, 2007


My parents took me to see Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show when I was 3, because they couldn't get a sitter and figured they could get me in for free. (They did, I have NO idea how.) I spent most of the concert sitting on my dad's shoulders. I remember bits.

They also took me to see the late Harry Chapin when I was 9. I actually remember that one. Afterwards, he was coming out of a restroom and pretty much trampled me on his way back to the autograph table (signing stuff for which a lot of the money went to aid world hunger, in '77). He was very apologetic. My folks were amazed and fairly starstruck. I was just confused and my foot hurt.

First concert without parents, I'm so ashamed to admit, was Rick Springfield when I was 14 with a couple of older friends. Things improved after that, for certain.
posted by lilywing13 at 10:22 PM on October 1, 2007


The Orb at First Avenue in 1997. I was 19. I guess that makes me a bit of a late bloomer.
posted by omarr at 10:24 PM on October 1, 2007


My whole family saw some bastardized incarnation of the Monkees when I was 11 or so. I couldn't believe how loud they were. My mom insists that, upon leaving the concert I declared, "I don't care how old they are! That was awesome!" This does little for my street cred.
posted by PhatLobley at 10:31 PM on October 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


David Byrne, Feelings tour, 97 or 98, with my mom. I must have been 10, and I'd already inherited from her him and Talking Heads as my favorite artists (now superceded, but still in the top 10). I've seen him once or twice since.
posted by abcde at 10:31 PM on October 1, 2007


(Tanglewood)
posted by abcde at 10:35 PM on October 1, 2007


Jesus & Mary Chain. nothing particularly eventful happened, but i remember my ears ringing for about three days afterwards.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:38 PM on October 1, 2007


First parent-less concert was Warped Tour 1999, 16 years old. Eminem used me as a step-stool to jump onstage during Ice T's performance, and I got kicked in the face by a crowd surfer for the first time. What a day.
posted by gatorae at 10:38 PM on October 1, 2007


My first concert was Huey Lewis and the news, around '85 or so, at the County Fair. I was probably 12 or 13.

My second concert was Huey Lewis and the News at the county fair one year later. You might think I'd learn the first time.
posted by lekvar at 10:39 PM on October 1, 2007


Nine Inch Nails with openers Marilyn Manson and The Jim Rose Circus, the night before Thanksgiving, 1994, at the Winston-Salem LJV War Memorial Coliseum. It blew my math-loving 15-year-old mind.

I sat in the upper balcony and had to resort to using binoculars to see the opening acts. While looking through them, I saw something I could not have possibly seen, because I am sure Mr. Manson would have been immediately arrested if he had really done that in front of a crowd in North Carolina. But to this day I'm pretty sure he was jacking off on stage.

Oh, and he had a little boy in a cage.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:39 PM on October 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


seriously, JAMC's amps went to twelve!
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:40 PM on October 1, 2007


Mutter mutter chatfilter bullshit post goddamnit the whole point is the links grumble Candlebox opened for Living Colour terrible fucking FPP
posted by klangklangston at 10:41 PM on October 1, 2007 [8 favorites]


idiotfactory, I have you beat in the shame department. My first was Steve Green. But in my defense, I was nine, and it wasn't my choice.
posted by katillathehun at 10:41 PM on October 1, 2007


Simon and Garfunkel, 1969, Moby Gym,I was 15 sneaked in, my seat was so high I could see Paul's bald spot.
posted by hortense at 10:41 PM on October 1, 2007


my seat was so high I could see Paul's bald spot.

Hey, Simon's a pretty short guy. People in the front row can see his bald spot...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:43 PM on October 1, 2007


Journey. The Outfield opened. I was probably 16 or 17.

God, it feels so good to get that out in the open. Huh? What do you mean that's only the first step?

(I should have been gone.)
posted by maxwelton at 10:44 PM on October 1, 2007


Guns N Roses at the Whiskey, 1987.
posted by jonson at 10:46 PM on October 1, 2007


Huey Lewis and the News in 83. I liked it.
posted by bpm140 at 10:46 PM on October 1, 2007


Jesus, jonson, that's a good one. Mine was Dead Milkmen with (I think) Possum Dixon opening, in '92 just after my 16th birthday.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:50 PM on October 1, 2007


Bob Dylan, 1974, Birmingham Alabama. I was 17. His backing band on that tour? The Band. No shame.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:52 PM on October 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


Oh, and infinite window, I saw that tour and thought the then-unknown Manson was pretty cool. I had closer seats -- Manson wore a rubber dick through the show I saw, so that's probably what you saw.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:52 PM on October 1, 2007


That's ok, idiotfactory, Petra was mine, and unlike katillathehun, I don't have age as an excuse. I was in 8th grade.

And in high school... umm... Carmen?

But, that's ok, cuz then it was Circle of Dust, which sorta kinda makes up for it. And Cornerstone fest which had all the other hipper xian groups.

Thereafter, (when I turned to the darkside) it was pretty much Autechre and their ilk :)
posted by symbioid at 10:54 PM on October 1, 2007


Quiet Riot with Kick Axe and one other band. It must have been 1984. The next concert I saw was Van Halen for the 5150 tour in 1985. I got a stupid t-shirt that said 'Van Halen Kicks Ass' on the back. Dumb dumb dumb. We met Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony in the lobby of the Four Seasons in Vancouver after the show. Alex Van Halen autographed a shirt I bought my sister as a souvenir. She never wore the stupid thing.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:54 PM on October 1, 2007


Bee Gees, 1979, Spirits Having Flown tour. The show began with an explosion kicking off the tune "Tragedy". I was floored. I was 9 years old.

My second concert was in 1982 - the Who, Steven Van Zandt opening.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:55 PM on October 1, 2007


Soul Asylum/Screaming Trees/Spin Doctors (seriously), Walnut Creek Amphitheater, Raleigh NC when I was 13 in 93.

I started going to punk shows in Winston-Salem when I was 15 (which makes me wonder if I know infinitewindow somehow..)
posted by lovetragedy at 10:55 PM on October 1, 2007


I'm assuming this is precluding local bands? Cuz we had a sweet local scene for such a little shitty region (Door County/Green Bay/Fox Valley), and I saw some great shows at local bars (when they let us young'ns in the door way back when).

My friend has a page about vesicular basalt, one of the bands.

OK, so this is WAY more than my "first". But oh well...
posted by symbioid at 10:59 PM on October 1, 2007


Cake at the 9:30 club in D.C., circa 1998 (opener: The Old 97's). I was a real late bloomer concert-wise, which I guess is why I compensated by working/attending nearly every concert in a 100 mile radius in college.

(I highly recommend Cake live, by the way, even if you're not huge on the band)
posted by Riki tiki at 11:00 PM on October 1, 2007


My first stadium show was at the Vancouver Colliseum in 1983, when I was 18 (I grew up in the boonies and had just started university at UBC), much as I loved the rock and the roll. The mindbendingly bizarre triple bill of Stevie Ray Vaughn, Men at Work, and AC/DC, all of whom I enjoyed immensely in completely different ways.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:02 PM on October 1, 2007


I'm perversely proud that my first concert experience was seeing Weird Al Yankovic play at Valleyfair, a Six Flags-esque amusement park outside Minneapolis in 1984. Weird Al's classic In 3D album (see, we called them "albums" back then, kids) had just dropped, and "Eat It" was dominating the sixth-grade airwaves.

My main lingering memory is of him introducing the backing band members, and each of them doing a little solo. The bass player fucked his up and had to start over. We still all squealed like they were Rush.

Hmm... I hadn't ever thought about why that was my strongest first-concert memory before, but I ended up playing bass myself... maybe subconsciously I've been wishing I could step into that guy's shoes and get it right. Maybe get some Al Yankovic-groupie castoffs. Well, he's still going strong, so... Weird Al, if you're reading the blue, call me!
posted by rodeoclown at 11:02 PM on October 1, 2007 [3 favorites]


July 6th, 1984, opening night of The Victory Tour in Kansas City. You had to send in a postal order for 4 tickets with an original copy of a form from the newspaper. I was 10. I remember that it was very loud, started out with an "In a world" day-glo fantasy intro worthy of Spinal Tap, and that they had to dig out 6" from the stadium's access tunnel to get the production's trucks in.

I firmly believe that "Momma say momma sa ma ma oo sa" is a cultural touchstone for my generation.

Hooray for chatty-ass posts!
posted by ulotrichous at 11:07 PM on October 1, 2007


The Presidents of the United States of America, probably 1996. Sonic Youth opened. The venue was an outdoor stage at the time; it rained and we went under the bleachers to watch the rest of the show.
posted by Artnchicken at 11:08 PM on October 1, 2007


The Pointer Sisters, around 1985, in Milwaukee.
posted by desjardins at 11:16 PM on October 1, 2007


First big 'concert' concert without parents for me was Metallica in 1990, though I saw several smaller punk shows before that. My parents took me to quite a few concerts as a kid, though. Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Peter Paul & Mary. All the great rough 'n tumble outlaw country singers.

Mine was Dead Milkmen with (I think) Possum Dixon opening, in '92

That tour happened in 1994.
posted by item at 11:18 PM on October 1, 2007


Mine's shameful, though jonmc probably wouldn't think so.

26/09/1970, St Georges Hall, Liverpool. Deep Purple. Complete with authentic half hour drum solo. I was just six days into being 15.

I stole some of my mother's black bombers, but I'd never taken speed before so had no idea what to expect. I thought they didn't work, until I got home and got to bed, whereupon I lay awake all night, grinding my teeth. When my mum came to wake me up for school the following morning, I told her that I hadn't been able to sleep and had been grinding my teeth all night. She immediately knew what I'd been up to, and I was grounded for weeks afterwards. The bomber bottle was always surreptitiously concealed from that point on.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:21 PM on October 1, 2007


my first concert was experienced from the other end of things: I was 17, had just finished first year at UBC, and was helping run Arts County Fair. I managed a stage, and had an absolute blast; five and a half years later I'm still working in the concert production industry and thinking about making a career of it.
posted by heeeraldo at 11:23 PM on October 1, 2007


Lovetragedy, I must have my years confused, because I saw that tour too when they came to OKC, and I was 13 in 1993, and that show was definitely *after* my NKOTB phase. So maybe NKOTB was 1992, then Lollapalooza was 1993? Shit, that article was right about remembering the details.

Not long after that I started going to see bands like The Flaming Lips and the Chainsaw Kittens in broken-down warehouses in the unsavory neighborhoods of Oklahoma City with boys twice my age.
posted by Brittanie at 11:26 PM on October 1, 2007


Mine was Dead Milkmen with (I think) Possum Dixon opening, in '92

That tour happened in 1994.


Yeah, I saw them a few times, so i have no idea who opened for them for my first concert.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:29 PM on October 1, 2007


I saw them in '92 with Shadowy Men On a Shadowy Planet and Ween. Maybe it was that tour?
posted by item at 11:32 PM on October 1, 2007


the cult, opening for billy idol, mid 80's i reckon. maybe 87? Love Removal Machine was on the radio alot. Worcester Centrum.

The first with any druggy grooviness: PiL and New Order at Great Woods in '89. I was there to see Johnny Rotten, but New Order stole the show.

but i found out small venues are better.
posted by vrakatar at 11:35 PM on October 1, 2007


INXS and Steele Pulse
Omaha Civic Auditorium
June 88.
I was 13.

(I refuse to count The Monkees at the State Fair 2 years previous as my first)
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:38 PM on October 1, 2007


(I refuse to count The Monkees at the State Fair 2 years previous as my first)

Argh! The State Fair! I'd forgotten that! Now, if I have to count that, I have to switch my first from Dylan and the Band to Bobbie Gentry, who was singing her hugely famous "Ode to Billy Joe" for all us good folk at the Alabama State Fair, 1967 (or 68, not sure which). Guess I'll stick with Dylan, though, as the Bobbie performance was just one or 2 tunes, not a proper concert...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:47 PM on October 1, 2007


"Mutter mutter chatfilter bullshit post goddamnit the whole point is the links grumble Candlebox opened for Living Colour terrible fucking FPP"

Bitch, bitch, bitch....
posted by rougy at 11:50 PM on October 1, 2007


Bitch, bitch, bitch....

Hey rougy, the guy was already poking fun at his own bitching. You're simply being redundant!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:52 PM on October 1, 2007


It's an honest criticism.
posted by St Urbain's Horseman at 11:56 PM on October 1, 2007


With Parents, from what I can remember, Louis Prima, Roy Clark, Ray Charles. Ray stood out the most in my memory. It was a smoky venue, about 100 degrees on a military base in Arizona.

First Parentless show was supposed to be Zeppelin's In Through the Out Door tour, but...

So it was Queensryche opening for Kiss several years later.

If the trend keeps going, my last show may very well be a wheelchaired Weird Al opening for a reunited Milli Vanilli.

I can't wait.
posted by Sir BoBoMonkey Pooflinger Esquire III at 11:59 PM on October 1, 2007


Hmmm... with my parents, I guess it was probably Bill Monroe at the Great American Music Hall when I was nine. I got to shake his hand because my dad did a short interview with him. I snuck out to a great many local punk rock shows when I was older; I guess the first real concert I went to on my own that was not in a garage or basement was at the Warfield- Siouxsie and the Banshees with the Gun Club. I was fifteen.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:01 AM on October 2, 2007


You people all effing rawk.

My biggest shameful, most absolute fun concerts where Def Leppard, just pre- and post- the drummer losing his arm.

My loudest was Metallica in about '93-94. (That was a year of much liquor and pot, and my two best friends got into the Snake Pit, so we sat where we could see them... right in front of some huge speakers. Much to our aural damage.) I couldn't hear correctly for days after. It was well before any copyright nonsense.
posted by lilywing13 at 12:02 AM on October 2, 2007


Purist FPP divas who have to slime the place with their negativity always ruffle my feathers.

My first real concert was at CU in Boulder, Thompson Twins opening for R.E.M.

Good weed, the love of my life, youth. I happened upon a group of old frat brothers with the prettiest girl in the world holding my arm.

A fucking good night.
posted by rougy at 12:04 AM on October 2, 2007


The Go! Team here in Brighton last year. But I'm 34.
posted by athenian at 12:09 AM on October 2, 2007


1976, Pine Knob, Michigan. Heart opened for the Doobie Brothers. Went with a friend, and Heart was his main motivation. Only rock concert I've ever seen. Always been either too poor or unaware when anything was happening, and later, I didn't care enough about rock.
posted by Goofyy at 12:10 AM on October 2, 2007


I happened upon a group of old frat brothers with the prettiest girl in the world holding my arm.

i never knew she'd been to america! what year was this, again?
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:15 AM on October 2, 2007


My first big show was The Who, I was 16 and got suckered into being the driver so my pals could drink.

So I went and I remained sober as I watched them get into a fist fight with some old-timers in the row behind us because we wouldn't sit down during the show. WE WOULD NOT SIT DOWN DURING THE ROCK CONCERT. Oh, the humanity!

That seemed to set the tone for a number of concerts I went to over the rest of high school and college. Lots of fights at shows where you really wouldn't expect it, in a town where music concert = automatic contact high.
posted by Salmonberry at 12:19 AM on October 2, 2007


Violent Femmes, Cincinnati, 1992 or 93.
posted by salvia at 12:40 AM on October 2, 2007


1964: Eaton Auditorium in T.O. Opening act was Levon and the Hawks (later known as the Band) who then backed up their old boss Rompin' Ronnie Hawkins and Freddie Boom Boom" Cannon before ceding the stage to Gerry and the Pacemakers.

I don't rember what Gerry Marsden sang but I sure remember Hawkins and the Hawks doing "Hey, Bo Diddly".

Anybody got one older than that?
posted by timeistight at 12:41 AM on October 2, 2007


Whoa, the Hawks! That's impressive.

And now I see why your username is appropriate! ;-)

Hey, don't take offense, though: I'm no spring chicken meself...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:50 AM on October 2, 2007


My first concert without parental supervision was Loverboy, early 80s. Circa "Everybody's Workin' For The Weekend"... I was 14 and so was my friend, Shelly, and we were dropped off at the arena by my mother. We thought we were the shit... lol... Ahh youth!
posted by amyms at 12:51 AM on October 2, 2007


The Aquabats!, at some hole in the wall venue back in Orange County, sometime in the spring of 2000. My best friend's little sister wanted to go but couldn't drive yet, so we were deputized by their mom to keep an eye on her. The entire audience consisted of the three of us, a bunch of Aquacadets in costume who rocked the place with all sorts of crazy moves during every song, and a few moms and dads who were determined, but unsuccessful, in attempting to not tap their feet. My high school mind was blown away by their superhero persona, the absence of totally violent moshpit action I assumed happened at every concert, their utter lack of any stylings toward coolness, and their awesome pseudonyms, like "The MC Bat Commander." My inner nerd was satiated, and even better, no bruises from raucous drunken fans!

And yes, they're still around, and yes, they have a MySpace page.
posted by mdonley at 12:54 AM on October 2, 2007


but New Order stole the show.
That's a first for NO.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:59 AM on October 2, 2007


"A Hallowed Night with GWAR", Hammerjacks in Baltimore (before they tore it down)... 1993, I think. I was 18.
posted by krash2fast at 12:59 AM on October 2, 2007


Talking Heads: Stop making Sense, in Hampton Rhodes, maybe '84?
Went with Vicky, who drove. Arena concerts suck. A year or two later we saw UB-40 in Norfolk in some bar and that was something. To a seventeen year old.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:04 AM on October 2, 2007


I went to see Duran Duran for one reason only: to meet girls. It worked perfectly, the arena was full of horny teenaged girls and I spent the whole concert in the car park, making out with some girl whose name escapes me now. I can't remember how old I was, but I think I was about 13 (I couldn't drive yet). After that, it was metal, metal, metal. Ozzy, Dio, Van Halen, etc.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:18 AM on October 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


seriously, JAMC's amps went to twelve!

Were they any good when you saw them? I only caught them in the late 90s, and they kinda sucked by then. Plus they had Suicide open for them, who really sucked, so all in all it was a big disappointment.

My first was Icehouse, supported by Boom Crash Opera. I was only 13 or 14, that's my only excuse. (Second was U2 with BB King; could have been worse).
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:28 AM on October 2, 2007


Icehouse had a couple of good songs at least, if memory serves.

The first concert I tried to see was U2 and Red Ryder at the Rainbow Ballroom in Denver, but I got stoned before riding my motorcycle there, and got lost....
posted by rougy at 1:33 AM on October 2, 2007


Monsters Of Rock at Donington in 1988. Two people died during the Guns N Roses set. I was due home at 1am, but because of the huge crowd, we didn't leave the site until about 4am. There were no phones, so my parents were going quietly nuts that I was one of the dead people.
posted by TheDonF at 2:06 AM on October 2, 2007


I'd just been out and bought Master of Puppets with my pocket money when a friend told me Metallica were touring and coming to Bradford. I had to beg, on my knees, for another 8 quid (it was 1986) so I could ran back into town and get a ticket. As things turned out, one of Cliff Burton's last gigs.
posted by vbfg at 2:16 AM on October 2, 2007


I'd just been out and bought Master of Puppets with my pocket money

Master of Sock Puppets pocket money?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:40 AM on October 2, 2007


Saw Van Halen and 10CC. Guess who was headlining? Hint: it wasn't Van Halen, since nobody knew who they were. What year was it? I dunno (I'm getting senile!), but late 70s or very early 80s would be my guess.
posted by jamstigator at 3:18 AM on October 2, 2007


Squeeze in 86. Jools Holland had just been sacked from The Tube for swearing on live television. When he did the intro the band thing, he swore, a lot.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:31 AM on October 2, 2007


AC/DC, Flick of the Switch tour @ The Capital Center in DC, and yeah, I wore my shirt to school the next day. I didn't know any better.
posted by hellbient at 3:32 AM on October 2, 2007


Simon and Garfunkel in '83. I was 12. Someone was sick on my aunt.
posted by Sparx at 3:37 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


iron butterfly, late 1968, inna gadda da vida tour.
posted by quonsar at 3:49 AM on October 2, 2007


The first "real" concert I ever attended? The Sisters of Mercy, February 2006 at La Zona Rosa in Austin, TX.

I'm 32. Discovered the Sisters when I was 18, and when I found out they were playing in Austin last year both the wife and I had one reaction: "MUST GO." It was SO SO AWESOME and well worth it.

AFTER we got there, I found out that cameras were permitted, so I did the best I could with my cameraphone.
posted by mrbill at 3:54 AM on October 2, 2007


iron butterfly, late 1968, inna gadda da vida tour.

hrm, actually i think it was fall of 1969.
posted by quonsar at 3:55 AM on October 2, 2007


I saw Iron Butterfly, pre "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" in 1968, in KCMO, or St. Louis, although, honestly, I can't remember which end of I-40 they played. I made 'em play Memphis in 1970, as a member of the MSU Program Committee. They hated the Program Committee, and threaten to kill all our children.

I have, I'm happy to say, 4 healthy grandchildren.
posted by paulsc at 3:59 AM on October 2, 2007


Dire Straits, at the Palace in Auburn Hills. With my dad.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:14 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Weird Al, 1992, 7th grade.
posted by sneakin at 4:18 AM on October 2, 2007


Black Sabbath with Ted Nugent opening. 1976. Ozzy was hopping up and down a lot.
posted by davebush at 4:21 AM on October 2, 2007


Patti Smith, College of Marin, 1976.

Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine.

(Also, get off my lawn!)
posted by trip and a half at 4:25 AM on October 2, 2007


Skid Row opening for Aerosmith, December 1989, Richmond Coliseum.
posted by emelenjr at 4:30 AM on October 2, 2007


Metallica! YEAH! AWESOME!
In 1998.
On the ReLoad Tour.
This would be acceptable if I was like 12, but turns out, I was sixteen.

posted by Kwine at 4:31 AM on October 2, 2007


Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. Indianapolis Convention Center. Sometime before 1975.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:37 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Fra Lippo Lippi.
*sobs*
posted by brownpau at 4:38 AM on October 2, 2007


My 1979 (I was 12): Bee Gees, Madison Sq Garden (dad had free tickets); The Knack, Carnegie Hall (I got in line at dawn for tickets); Plasmatics, Palladium (going to concerts began to make sense).
posted by progosk at 4:56 AM on October 2, 2007


Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (still a favorite of mine) in 1982, with Nick Lowe opening. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played the song "Shout", which I thought of as that Otis Day and the Nights song from Animal House. Nick Lowe did not play "Cruel to be Kind", which was the only song of his that I'd ever heard.
posted by Cookiebastard at 5:10 AM on October 2, 2007


Bryan Adams in 1985 at the Boston Garden (with my parents). I was 12 and amazed at how loud the music was. I loved it and my poor parents had to take me to Til Tuesday at Concerts on the Common the following spring. That was the last show they took me too. I remember crying because they wouldn't go to the U2 Unforgettable Fire tour--they had had enough, I think.
posted by jdl at 5:12 AM on October 2, 2007


Patti Smith, College of Marin, 1976.

So far, this is the only one I actually envy. I saw Patti, two or three years later. But Radio Ethiopia was her current album and she'd started to suck by then.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:14 AM on October 2, 2007


I was at the same show! At the Palais du Congres in Hull if memory serves, it was the same night as Men At Work playing at the Civic Centre....tough decision!

First one: Rush, with Max Webster October 10 1976
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 5:14 AM on October 2, 2007


The Police Picnic in 1982 at Exhibition Stadium (Toronto) with The Spoons, A Flock of Seagulls, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, The English Beat, Talking Heads and (obviously) The Police. I went the next year too, and saw Blue Peter, King Sunny Ade, The Fixx, Peter Tosh, and James Brown (and the Police).

And U2 at Massey Hall in 1983 might not have been my first, but I was squished right up against the stage and Bono held my hand.

Now get off my lawn.
posted by biscotti at 5:15 AM on October 2, 2007


I used to pass the Camden Palais on my way to school in the mid 70s and there were always signs for some new band called the Sex Pistols. And goddamnit, I never went.
Bamboo under my nails won't drag out of me what I went to instead.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:19 AM on October 2, 2007


That's MY lawn biscotti!
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:20 AM on October 2, 2007


The Animals, Beacon Theater in New York, 1983 -- I was 15...
posted by AJaffe at 5:25 AM on October 2, 2007


Smashing Pumpkins w/ Garbage, 1995, Palace of Auburn Hills, MI. A dozen of us 13 year olds went with 2 parent chaperones (rode there in two minivans!) and sat in the second balcony - super duper cool and alternative.
posted by twoporedomain at 5:55 AM on October 2, 2007


Ramones and B-52's, late summer 1982 (1981?). Cape Cod Coliseum. When they were all still alive, even Ricky Wilson. Changed my life.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:01 AM on October 2, 2007


Steppenwolf 1967-68 read the book first. This was the band that originated the the term heavy metal Best was front row in some old theater with orange barrel, smoking Afghan Surf board while watching THE KINKS! My parents had taken me to classic music for year preceding Steppenwolf.
posted by Rancid Badger at 6:05 AM on October 2, 2007


vrakatar: "The first with any druggy grooviness: PiL and New Order at Great Woods in '89. I was there to see Johnny Rotten, but New Order stole the show."

That's not how I remember that one. But I probably wasn't high. I'll bet I was drunk, tho.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:06 AM on October 2, 2007


Great post and really fun to see who saw what.
posted by Rancid Badger at 6:10 AM on October 2, 2007


When I was 14, I snuck out with a friend of mine and bought scalped tickets to see the Smashing Pumpkins.

A few months earlier, my brother and I bought tickets to a Chicago Fire (soccer) game that had a free Wilco concert attached as an incentive. I don't know if that counts, because technically-we payed for the soccer game, and I went with a family member. They were good, but it was a weird crowd.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:18 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Noosa Aussie Hop in 1983, with The Church, Midnight Oil, Skyhooks (a reunion tour!), Hunters & Collectors and others that I can't possibly remember and, with my crapophonic googling skills, can't research. I was 16 and very very straight (not that I wanted to be, and straight as in no-drugs straight) with very very straight friends plus my RAAFy boyfriend who took my virginity (I can't remember whether it was before or after that day/night). He smoked some pot that was being passed around but I was too skeered. The thing I most remember about it was discovering the great freedom of being able to fart really, really loudly without anybody noticing. Weird, huh? (PS I was in awe of the bands, too).
posted by h00py at 6:18 AM on October 2, 2007


My shame is epic. I was only ten and it was a birthday party, but still... my first concert was, um, Bobby Sherman.

*dies of mortification*
posted by idest at 6:30 AM on October 2, 2007


With parents, Rich Little and the Lennon Sisters (Ionia Free Fair in the late 60's). Without parents, Styx with openers Ram Jam, 1977 or so. My favorite was probably Blondie with Rockpile opening. The loudest was Foghat with the Climax Blues Band.
posted by rfs at 6:36 AM on October 2, 2007


My brother and I saw The Kinks in 1982 at the Capital Centre outside Washington DC. A then-unknown Bryan Adams opened. Our dad drove us and stayed at the concert (I think it was snowing and he didn't want to get stuck on the road). He got nosebleed seats and the pot smoke made him fall asleep.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:37 AM on October 2, 2007


er, Rush, 1976; as habit had it those days - OK officially abandoning my run for Dave '08. As habit had it those days I was looking for acid, as luck had it those days the harder you tried to find it the less likely you were to. I tried for weeks but I couldn't. My friend Mike, who was 14, was given the keys to the car by his mom so we didn't have to take the bus. As we were nearing the Seattle Center a guy in a Porche pulled up beside us at a red light and saw Mike puffing and motioned to him. Mike hucked the pipe to the guy who took a big hit and tossed the pipe back.
I was wandering around after having found a seat and at the far end of one of the tunnelways I saw Kurt (my connection), I hollered, he skidded to a stop and had finally found some acid. I dropped, it was effective about an hour and a half later (after the first band). Rush came on. Midway through their set the music stopped and the lights came up. An approximately 14 foot tall lizard type man came out on stage and informed everyone that the concert was going to be halted unless the people in front stopped pushing so hard as they were collapsing the barrier between the band and the stage. I stood up, 14,000 people went dead silent, I, as loudly as I could, yelled "FUCK YOUUUU". Lizard man, his body stationary, turned his head and looked at me.
I sat.
Working Man rocked.
Dave in '12
posted by vapidave at 6:42 AM on October 2, 2007 [5 favorites]


I went to the Grand Ole Opry several times but I have no idea who was playing. My first concert was Til Tuesday. Actually it was a Hall and Oats concert and Til Tuesday was the opening band. A friends sister won tickets from some radio station. My first road trip concert was Flesh for Lulu at the The (Cabaret) Metro.
posted by Sailormom at 6:47 AM on October 2, 2007


Today is the 15th anniversary of my first ever rock show. They Might Be Giants at Mississippi Nights in St. Louis. It was their Apollo 18 tour. I was 15. Great show. The one and only time my sister and I went to a concert together.
posted by AgentRocket at 6:50 AM on October 2, 2007


Pearl Jam at Soldier Field, Chicago. 1995, Vitalogy tour. As they were battling Ticketmaster's monopoly, the ticket stub was oversized, orangish-brown with a blue, tattoo-like design on it. It was beautiful. I have no idea where it is now, which is a shame.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 6:51 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Allman Brothers in Boston, in, I think, 1978 or 79. I was about 14 and it blew my young mind. My father was adamantly opposed to rock music in general and concerts specifically and fortunately he never found out about it. We were so cool; we had sheets with Disco Sucks spray painted on them hanging off the balcony.
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:59 AM on October 2, 2007


The Dead Milkmen, 1989. I was 14.... If I remember right it was the "Beelzebubba" tour. I bought a shirt and wore it proudly for a few years...
posted by 40 Watt at 7:01 AM on October 2, 2007


Shame: first was Three Dog Night at the Bismarck (ND) Civic Center in either '73 or '74. Nine of us in one station wagon drove 200 miles and stayed overnight to see it. Everyone has to start somewhere I guess.

Best: Zeppelin, tenth row with Page right in front of us and the show went 3 1/2 hours.
posted by Ber at 7:02 AM on October 2, 2007


The James Gang in 1969, 3 months before their first album came out.
This was at a club in Cincinnatti called The Black Dome. At one point someone said, "Cool it man, there's the narcs." I turned to look and there were two guys that looked like Jake and Elwood Blues.
posted by Slacktastic at 7:04 AM on October 2, 2007


Well, aside from the prince show, the first concert I saw on my own was the Smashing Pumpkins at the 9:30 Club on the Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness tour, which is still the most amazing show I've ever seen (and I've seen a bunch).
posted by empath at 7:19 AM on October 2, 2007


First with a parent: Rick Springfield, with opening act Corey Hart. That was fifth grade, so 1983 or 1984. First without a parent: Husker Du, 1987, on the Warehouse tour. Both in Kansas City.
posted by candyland at 7:26 AM on October 2, 2007


(Nothing will ever top Paul van Dyk in 1999 at Buzz before it shut down, though... Wall to wall people on ecstasy, trance music at its absolute creative peak, Buzz when it was THE place to go in DC and Liquid Nitrogen blasts filling the dance floor with cool white mist....)
posted by empath at 7:27 AM on October 2, 2007


The Who, 1982, at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. It was one of the last general admission (festival seating) concerts ever. When I got there I was about 50 yards from the stage. When the opening act * came on, the crowd rushed forward and I was about 30 yards away. By the time the Who took the stage I was sandwiched in around the 20 yard line.
* The opening act was supposed to be The Clash, (which was to be an awesome bonus) and their fans were out in force. They pulled out at the last minute, however, and Joe Jackson was kind enough to fill in. This did not go over well, and Joe and his band were forced off the stage after about 3 or 4 songs when people started throwing heavier items at them. (Joe's last words to us were "That was fucking stupid, you cunt", after someone hit his keyboard player with what I think was an orange). When I got home that night, I switched on the TV and who were the musical guests on Saturday Night Live? That's right...The Clash.
posted by rocket88 at 7:31 AM on October 2, 2007


MadamM, it's funny that your first show was The Polyphonic Spree, because my first show was Tripping Daisy at some wee festival in Lubbock, Texas. Before the show the guys from the band were selling snacks from a booth shaped like a giant apple. When my friends and I walked away we totally freaked out. I just bought a Coke from the lead singer of Tripping Daisy!!
posted by sugarfish at 7:35 AM on October 2, 2007


Lovetragedy, I must have my years confused, because I saw that tour too when they came to OKC, and I was 13 in 1993, and that show was definitely *after* my NKOTB phase. So maybe NKOTB was 1992, then Lollapalooza was 1993? Shit, that article was right about remembering the details.

Wait, NKOTB at Skelly Stadium? That was 1991, IIRC. I only remember it because it made the national news with all the heat exhaustion victims.

It was about the time I realized that Tulsa only makes the national news when something really bad happens -- flood, tornado, teeny bopper concert....
posted by dw at 7:36 AM on October 2, 2007


I honestly can't remember which came first, but my first parents-free concert was either Fugazi (with Faraquet) in Orlando, or Slayer (with Meshuggah) in Jacksonville. Either way, I'm totally awesome.
posted by saladin at 7:38 AM on October 2, 2007


Feelies/Chickasaw Mudd Puppies, Boulder, 1991.

I never went to concerts in high school, and my parents wouldn't let me drive by myself to OKC to see REM in '89. They barely let me drive to south Tulsa.
posted by dw at 7:40 AM on October 2, 2007


George Jones and Tammy Wynette. I was thirteen, and my stepmom took me, even though I wasn't into country music and didn't know who these singers were. It was a great show.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:56 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Violent Femmes in I think 1985 at the ANU Refectory in Canberra. I was 8 - my sister was babysitting and took me along. It was very loud, and I drank lemon lime and bitters and snuck sips of the alcoholic drinks when the big kids were dancing. People were definitely smoking pot, but it was kept away from me.

I've seen the Violent Femmes twice since then - with Nirvana at Festival Hall in Brisbane in 1992 and at the Falls Festival in 1999, and they sucked arse both times, even having beer bottles thrown at them at the Falls.

Second concert was John Farnham with my mum when I was 11 - Age of Reason tour.

My third was Rock in Rio 2 which was fucken awesome, with my dad.

I've been to a shitload of excellent gigs, for which I am very grateful.
posted by goo at 8:02 AM on October 2, 2007


I saw Johnny Cash and his wife perform in Hamilton for free in 1983 because Canada Trust had just renamed their ATM's Johnny Cash Machines. I went with my family and it was awesome.
posted by saucysault at 8:06 AM on October 2, 2007


Rory Gallagher, Robin Trower, and Jethro Tull at Shea Stadium the summer I graduated from high school. The stage was right around the pitcher's mound. A great show. And great seats just left and about fifteen rows behind home plate. Very nice.
posted by the sobsister at 8:09 AM on October 2, 2007


Wow, a couple of folks have said Weird Al already. Mine, too. 1993, I was 13. In Alaska. He was, hands down, the biggest "rock star" EVER to come to my town. I got to the venue (our podunk convention hall) hours before the show and hung out with five other nerds, eating pop-tarts and mountain dew and listening to Dr. Demento tapes on a crappy boombox.

The show was awesome and, in retrospect, gave me a pretty good foundation for later concert experiences. By taking all of the rock performance cliches (wanky solos, smashing guitars, ridiculous costumes) and making light of them, it kind of set my bullshit meter on high for bands to come.

And you could tell that Weird Al was blown away by the response that he received at that show. Between every song, as the crowd roared, you could see him thinking "Jesus, I'm really big in Alaska. How did that happen?" During his third encore, he came down into the crowd and I gave him a high five.
posted by otolith at 8:10 AM on October 2, 2007


The Jam - In The City Tour, Leisureland, Galway. Must've been about 1976. I was 12 and they weren't much older. There were about only 150 people in the audience, so they never came back to Galway again, which is a shame.
posted by Sk4n at 8:14 AM on October 2, 2007


Was sitting on this almost elementary school like stage in Baltimore for a Dead Milkmen concert when I just started high school, I think. Was attending dozens of pre-grunge shows like the Descendants and Government Issue back then.

But sadly, the first show was Loverboy with opener Quiet Riot at Merriweather Post sometime in 1986. Some guy kept placing his muddy shoes on my back as we left the venue. My first of many experiences with drunks at concerts.
posted by coachfortner at 8:19 AM on October 2, 2007


I envy so many of you!

For me, R.E.M. on the Life's Rich Pagent Tour in Jacksonville FL. Flawless concert to my young mind.

Visited Einstein a Go-Go's after and the band showed up, walked across the dance floor past me, and chilled in the back room. Changed my life!
posted by Dantien at 8:20 AM on October 2, 2007


First show sans parental involvement (including the ride there and back) had to be Ozzfest in Raleigh, NC (1997). Mixed blessing of a show. That tour introduced Limp Bizkit,(sorry for the memories folks) to the world, however it also introduced me to Tool and I've been a fan ever since.

Now, teh funny. My first concert ever was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles touring theatrical performance. I was young, so all I really remember are the cool pair of numchucks I got and the warm up act, which consisted of April (the reporter) coming on stage and bisecting the crowd by pizza preference. "OK guys, when I ask you what your favourite pizza is, this side yell PEPERONI as loud as you can! Then, than this side yell CHEESE, ok?" I got to yell cheese.

If that doesn't count, then my real first concert had to be New Kids on the Block in like 1992 or something. I don't remember much except I have vague recollections of girls being carried off in stretchers to something on the lines of "oh oh ah oh wow"

In my defense, I didn't know who NKotB were. I just went because it was my first date. I was 9. She was 12. Hell yes.
posted by willie11 at 8:21 AM on October 2, 2007


Leif Garrett. I was 5. His pants were very tight.

Sans parents, I think my first show was Meat Puppets with, I think, Pianosaurus.
posted by bayliss at 8:23 AM on October 2, 2007


Cheap Trick, some dive in New Orleans, 1978?, just after Dream Police was released. I was in 9th grade, so 15 or so, and me and 2 or 3 girlfriends convinced our parents to let us go to a bar in the city by ourselves. My mom drove us there and we told her to "pick us up after the show" but didn't have any idea when the show would end. Of course, it ended way before mom got there to get us, and in the age before cell phones, that meant we standing on the street in New Orleans in the warehouse/dock district. We were scared of our own shadows (probably with good cause). But I enjoyed the show and bought myself a white camisole with Cheap Trick on it in that cool duplicate typewriter font they used to use for their logo. I wore it to bed a few times, but it was really too small and too cheaply made - even the lace edging was cheap and scratchy.
Is this all too much information? But, I'm not ashamed - Cheap trick was cool in 1978.
posted by crepeMyrtle at 8:24 AM on October 2, 2007


Rush, UFO, and Cheap Trick at the Baltimore Civic Center when I was 16. As I recall, the ticket was $6.50 for that bill.

Was there for this and this too.
posted by QuestionableSwami at 8:33 AM on October 2, 2007


I don't even remember my first concert (lots of local bands in HS and college), but one of the best shows I ever saw was The Cure in 2000 at Irvine Meadows.

The show was 3 full hours (with a couple short breaks), and the entire time they played a total of TWO "hit" singles. Definitely one for the fans, and it was excellent.
posted by chimaera at 8:34 AM on October 2, 2007


First concert at all - The Monkees, 1987. Eighth grade. I went with my best friend and a friend of her mother's who was totally into them as well. I was disappointed that Mike (my favorite) wasn't there.

First concert with no supervision - B-52's and Violent Femmes, 1992. Sophomore in college. A bunch of us road-tripped to the show. (I liked the groups, but went more for the experience than anything else.)
posted by Lucinda at 8:41 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


First: INXS/P.I.L at Radio City Music Hall, NY (19.3.88) 15 years old. Best: Kraftwerk at the Warfield, SF (30.4.04)
posted by pantufla at 8:50 AM on October 2, 2007


When I was 5, my parents took me to see Pete Seeger in Princeton. We had to leave when there was a bomb threat.
posted by maurice at 8:52 AM on October 2, 2007


My first concert was in 1971 when I was 13. Yes, The Eagles, and Jo-Jo Gunn. It was the Starship Trooper tour with Rick Wakeman on keyboards. And The Eagles had just released their first album. I can't remember anything about Jo-Jo Gunn except their name. We drove 90 minutes to the Spectrum in Philly from my home in Delaware.

Parents didn't go to concerts with kids in those days. How could you smoke your dope if they were there? There were also no police in the crowd and no one searched you at the doors.

I loved that people passed their joints down the aisle. I thought the man who sat near us looked like John Lennon and that life was great. I wouldn't listen to Starship Trooper for several days to keep the concert performance in my head for as long as possible.

Sigh
posted by Red58 at 8:53 AM on October 2, 2007


Asia! I was 11 -- 1982, Pine Knob Music Theater, Clarkston, Michigan. Awesome drum solo!
posted by pardonyou? at 9:02 AM on October 2, 2007


Queen, in the fall of 1977, at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, ME. I was 17. It was the News of the World tour, but the album had not been released yet. The band opened with "We Will Rock You," a song no one in the audience had heard before, but it still, well, rocked. I did become bored in the middle when they did a bunch of other new songs that no one had heard yet, and I was bummed at the use of tapes in "Bohemian Rhapsody" (I mean, why bother doing it live?). I was very impressed before the show by the frisbees and beach balls going through the audience, and by the overwhelming smell of pot.
posted by Man-Thing at 9:03 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


First show: Dinosaur Jr. and a soon-to-be-famous band called Nirvana, Sacramento, June 1991. Dino were way past their prime and I left after three songs, but Nirvana were awesome - I loved Bleach but the soon-to-be-released Nevermind material sounded fantastic live.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:06 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


First: John Denver, 1977, the Kansas Coliseum in Wichita. I was 7, my mom took me, and I thought it was the Best Thing Ever.

First without parents: Styx, the Mr. Roboto tour, so that would have been 1983 or so. Also at the Kansas Coliseum. It was all Styx-theatrical, so there was no opening act. I caught Tommy Shaw's guitar pick when he threw it out to the crowd. I had to pull some hair for that one.

Both embarrassing, altho at the time (for both) I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.
posted by mtevis at 9:10 AM on October 2, 2007


God help me, it was Gowan.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 9:22 AM on October 2, 2007


I'm so young, I'm so god...damn...young.
posted by nasreddin at 9:31 AM on October 2, 2007


"New Wave Day" at the 1983 US Festival :

Divinyls
INXS
Wall of Voodo
Oingo Boingo
English Beat
Flock of Seagulls
Stray Cats
Men at Work
The Clash

I was 16 and got to drive there. I felt badass. But then frightened by the crowd assembled for the following day's "Heavy Metal Day."
posted by donovan at 9:33 AM on October 2, 2007


Zoo TV (U2's Achtung Baby tour), Philadelphia, 1991? One of my friends was in the mall inquiring about when tickets went on sale, since it was sure to sell out.

Somehow, my friend ended up talking with a mall security guard who told him that the mall wanted to keep people from camping out. Apparently, none of the security staff were being paid overtime to do this, so the guard asked my friend if he'd hang around all night and let people know their policy in exchange for being first in line.

Long story short, we spent all night in the mall parking lot, got in line first and all managed to get into the show. Only about 20 people in line managed to get tickets out of about 150-200 who showed.

The concert itself was visually stunning, with the cars hanging from the ceiling used as lighting props and the subliminal-speed video montage. Musically, though, it pretty much sucked. Bono was losing his voice, and the arena noise factor really detracted from my ability to enjoy anything at all. I was glad when it was over!
posted by rouftop at 9:54 AM on October 2, 2007


Woodstock
posted by ahimsakid at 9:58 AM on October 2, 2007


Mine was General Public in probably 1985 in the Berkeley Community Theatre. I was 13. I had to wait till then but at least I didn' t have to go with my parents. I thought I was so cool. I wore a black cape I made, and my new black creeper shoes and black liquid eyeliner and black tights (there's a theme here) and the whole nine goth yards. I have a picture me all dressed up for it and I look like the biggest idiot evah. Met my first hook up there too. He looked like Robert Smith of The Cure. I was in looove.

My next was U2's Joshua Tree and then Siouxsie and then The Cure (about a zillion times.)

My husband's was Duran Duran "7 and the ragged tiger." I'm so jealous.

I am uber jealous of the one who saw Prince's Purple Rain and Biscotti's "police picnic." Wow. I'm am pea green here.
posted by aacheson at 9:59 AM on October 2, 2007


The Jam - In The City Tour, Leisureland, Galway. Must've been about 1976. I was 12 and they weren't much older. There were about only 150 people in the audience, so they never came back to Galway again, which is a shame.

*jealous*
posted by oneirodynia at 10:01 AM on October 2, 2007


Alice Cooper in the "warehouse" in New Orleans when I was about 12, so 1978 maybe. May have been Welcome to My Nightmare. The best show EVAR.

Followed that up with Kansas in the Superdome for the Mardi Gras in the Dome Concert with Delbert McClendon, Molly Hatchett and someone else I can't seem to recall.

For some reason, my dad kept handing me a crusty wineskin full of San Gria, I do remember that this was the first time (of numerous) times I threw-up at a concert

BTW, I've taken my daughter to a few and on Oct 14, we have tickets to see KORN, Five Finger Death Punch, HellYeah and Droid I think. She and I can't wait.
posted by winks007 at 10:03 AM on October 2, 2007


Beck at Lupo's in Providence. I think it was '96 or early '97. Probably '96. I was 16. Or 17. It was also the very same night that I first caught the scent of marijuana and the first time I got punched in the face by a random stranger.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:11 AM on October 2, 2007


Jimi Hendrix, sometime in 1967, Spokane Coliseum, Spokane, Washington. Yes, they were nosebleed seats but so what? Also on the bill, Iron Butterfly, Soft Machine and someone else I don't remember now. Purple Haze was, of course, amazing!
posted by Lynsey at 10:13 AM on October 2, 2007


Er, that may have been 1968, come to think of it.
posted by Lynsey at 10:17 AM on October 2, 2007


My first... Christ. I hate admitting this. It's going on record for forever:

Korn. Fort Wayne, Indiana. Some time in 1999.

I was 16, in my metal phase, and my girlfriend wanted to go. They were ridiculously sloppy, but their drummer had fucked up his arm a couple days ago, and the stand-in guy clearly hadn't learned all the songs yet (and it's not like they're hard parts, people!).

That was the only concert I'd ever been to till several years later, when I dragged a bunch of friends to go see Godspeed You Black Emperor in 2002 at the Abbey Pub in Chicago.

Can't we just call that one the first?
posted by sparkletone at 10:26 AM on October 2, 2007


First Concert Ever: Monkees, Weird Al - '84? - Garden State Arts Center
First Metal Concert: Metallica, Danzig, Suicidal Tendencies - '94- Garden State PNC Bank Arts Center
First Punk Concert: Offspring, Rancid - '94 - City Gardens
posted by Brainy at 10:31 AM on October 2, 2007


They Might Be Giants, 1998, Chicago, The Vic, 15 years old. They played with a three-piece horns section. It was fan-fucking-tastic. Spiraling Shape blew my mind. Bought an ugly Severe Tire Damage t-shirt and wore it until it fell apart.
posted by indyz at 10:45 AM on October 2, 2007


First concert: Rolling Stones, 1994, Carter-Finley Stadium
First club show: Superchunk, 1996, Cat's Cradle
First arena show sans parents: Neil Young and Crazy Horse, 1996, Walnut Creek Amphitheater
posted by Rangeboy at 10:50 AM on October 2, 2007


I'm surprised no one else has the same one as me...I saw the J Geils Band in 1982 at Vancouver's PNE Stadium. They seemed like a giant arena act back then, Centerfold was a big hit. I was 12, and people were passing joints all over the place. I remember the street lights looking real funny on the way home.

I've been trying to figure out who opened for years. My best guess right now is that a young Irish band called U2 opened the show.
posted by Richat at 10:51 AM on October 2, 2007


15 years old -- The Power Station in Dallas, TX. Robert Palmer had dropped out of the tour and had been replaced by Michael Des Barres.

I was only there to see John Taylor anyway.

My girlfriend flashed her bra at Mr. Taylor from our seats at the back of the stadium. I'm sure he will never forget it.
posted by Kloryne at 10:58 AM on October 2, 2007


Voltaire in a college ballroom last year about a week before the end of semester. The building people shut down the concert halfway though his set:

Student Center staff: "Hey, you folks have to leave."
Voltaire: "What's going on?"
Studen Center staff: "The building's closed."
Voltaire: "Well, is the parking lot closed?"

He heads outside and hops up on a steam grate, where he plays the last twenty minutes of his set, with a crowd of black-clad people clustered around singing along. The highlight was the religious conference leaving by the same door...
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:02 AM on October 2, 2007


counting crows, i was 12, so this was eight years ago (right after this desert life came out? 1999 ish). Live was playing with them, and I hated Live's little snot singer.

really, i've only been to two other "big" concerts (non-local shows) since then; Weezer, Jimmy Eat World, and Tenacious D in eighth grade (before the first two sucked. Or, at least, in my estimation. Hell, I was 14, cut me some slack) and Wilco the spring of my senior year of high school.

This thread makes me feel young.
posted by dismas at 11:06 AM on October 2, 2007


How about this for a first concert?

Monsters of Rock 1988 tour with Van Halen headlining, Scorpions, Dokken, Metallica, and Kingdom Come.

My stepfather and I both went. He went his way, I went mine and I was amazed I survived the day. I have vivid memories of an almost stadium-wide shoe fight during one of the band setups.

I was 15 or 16.
posted by SentientAI at 11:20 AM on October 2, 2007


Roxette.
posted by slimepuppy at 11:24 AM on October 2, 2007


My first was the Offspring at Roseland Ballroom in 1994. I was 14, my dad took me, and I think we both got a contact high.
posted by SBMike at 11:33 AM on October 2, 2007


Nine years old, Gary Glitter. I still have rhinestone shrapnel embedded throughout my pelvic region.
posted by bunnytricks at 11:34 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Pantufla: I was there at Radio City too. I was 15, bought tickets off a scalper on the street and might've thought I was the biggest badass ever until I realized (too late) that the pair of tickets weren't together.. I sat in the first row of the first balcony. That was my third or fourth concert.

First concert was INXS at Jones Beach in June 1986...I was 13 so I had to go with my dad. At one point I pointed and was all, "dad, look at that". While his attention was diverted I tore off my bra and threw it at the stage.
posted by superkim at 12:27 PM on October 2, 2007


Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Tommy Tutone opened), Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD, June 21, 1980. I was eight. Years later, my dad, a straightlaced career civil servant, recalled the lights going down for the main act and a thousand joints firing up in response. He looked at the cloud filling the rafters and wondered what was the street value of all that exhaled smoke.
posted by breezeway at 12:34 PM on October 2, 2007


The Police, Foxboro MA, 1980 or 81, with an older friend (I was 14) who had a car. Took us three hours to get out of the parking lot thanks to post-concert traffic. Great show.
posted by rtha at 12:38 PM on October 2, 2007


First concert with parents involved- it was 1979, I was 13, at Magic Mountain amusement park in Valencia. CA, with my family, although they didn't watch the show with me. LA band called 20/20, one-hit-if-even-that wonders with a song called 'Yellow Pills" that I'd heard on the radio.

They weren't kidding about their enthusiasm for barbiturates- the bassist wandered up to the front of the stage and fell right off it about 2/3 of the way through the show. Lead singer , slurring, laughing: "Oh, he had too many yellow pills." That's rock and roll baby!

First show without parents at all: probably Cheap Trick at the AZ state fair, no shame in that although I'd like to pretend that it was one of the Stevie Ray Vaughn shows I saw there.

First show that wasn't at the state fair: the Who, with freaking Loverboy and John Cougar opening. Stayed up all night the night before, drinking Yukon Jack and singing and barfing in the motel parking lot, which was typically awesome judgement from 15-year-old me.

John Cougar played 3 songs before someone threw a half-pint bottle like 40 yards from the stadium's upper deck and hit him in the head. So they dragged him off and he came back out with a yellow hard-hat on and sang 'Hurts so Good'. Which I guess was also pretty rock-and-roll (the hat, not the song.) The Who were awesome though.
posted by hap_hazard at 1:05 PM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


hey, hap_hazard,

i was at that who show too! sun devil stadium in like 1983 or 84, right? while i'm fuzzy on the dates, i'll never forget (nor forgive) the fact that friends of mine on the east coast saw the clash open on that tour, while friends of mine on the west coast saw the english beat open on that tour. ah, to be stuck in arid-zona in the eighties . . .

but wanna hear something even more uncanny? the article in the FPP? talks about my first concert, too: that's right, pat benatar, at the old compton terrace, right next to legend city in phoenix, az.

yup, that's right! i was an AOR g-e-e-k in the 80s. thankfully, i discovered the shaggs in college, and i've been much, much better since . . .
posted by deejay jaydee at 1:19 PM on October 2, 2007


They Might Be Giants at Wolf Trap in VA, June 18, 1994. It was the John Henry tour, their first with a horn section. NRBQ opened and they were terrible. I was in eighth grade. I wore a fez. I met up for the first time with a bunch of friends from a dial-up BBS. It was very definitely the highlight of my entire life at the time.

I extend nerdy high-fives to indyz and AgentRocket.
posted by clavicle at 1:19 PM on October 2, 2007


I have no idea who it was. A straightedge friend of mine wanted to go see someone, so I went with him. It was at a club in Providence, RI. The opening act (I think) wore orange jumpsuits and (if I remember correctly) the lead singer had on a mask of some sort. It was wierd. We left.
posted by inigo2 at 1:20 PM on October 2, 2007


oh, and for all you hipsters here who saw dinosaur jr., or iggy pop, or joy division, or television, or p.i.l., or any of the cool bands at your first concert, well, dig this: it was the go-gos who opened for bat penatar back at compton terrace.

so nyah, hipsters; i got your beat, right here!

nyah, nyah, nyah!
posted by deejay jaydee at 1:25 PM on October 2, 2007


1986, I think. I was 13. Worcester Centrum (Massachusetts). Beastie Boys with Murphy's Law and Public Enemy (a triple bill that seems SO much odder in retrospect).

I had a ticket for Ratt and Poison at the Centrum too, but my mom wouldn't let me go. I can't remember why, but I suppose it wasn't for reasons of taste.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:32 PM on October 2, 2007


O.M.D. opening for Depeche Mode. Pretty sure it was '88.
posted by hypersloth at 1:59 PM on October 2, 2007


uh...Who was the greatest band in the world?

What is KISS Alex? - 1979 w/ Cheap Trick, and 'New England' opening.
12 years old with my best friend and older sister driving our stupid asses there. Pontiac Silverdome, MI. We thought we were going to die.
sheesh I can't believe nobody else had that, so I'm a either a total loser or really cool.
posted by greenskpr at 2:18 PM on October 2, 2007


First non-chaperoned concert: Midnight Oil, in Akron, Ohio, 1989 or so, "Blue Sky Mining" tour.

Based on cues taken from televised concert footage, my rube friends and I spray painted "Midnight Oil!" on a sheet to hold up. But during the show, we were too embarrassed to unfurl it.

On the way home, I accidentally rear-ended a truck with my mom's car.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 2:36 PM on October 2, 2007


I am so amazed that no one has yet said the Grateful Dead! My first concert (with parental supervision) was the ever-fabulous George Michael (maybe playing with INXS? don't remember). But my first REAL concert was when I was sixteen, and my boyfriend and I went to a Grateful Dead concert, and had a classic 'dead' experience: we bought bunk acid off some fried old hippies, then spent the next three hours going, "Do you feel anything? I think I feel something!"
posted by msali at 2:40 PM on October 2, 2007


Mine was Jimmy Buffett opening for the Eagles on the their Hotel California tour. The Coral Reefers rocked the house but the Eagles were just going through the motions. Henley's voice was shot and they played every song note-for-note like the records. The only bright spot was when they let Joe Walsh play some of his solo stuff.

This was 1977 in the War Memorial in Rochester, NY. It was open seating, we sat on the "boards" for the hockey rink. I can still feel the groove in my butt.
posted by tommasz at 2:55 PM on October 2, 2007


1989. Erasure at American University. It was February and I was fifteen and freezing my skinny ass off in my cool black fringed skirt. My friend and I were the only ones we knew who would even want to go, so I had no one to share my OMG with.

They played for three-hours-- we were in trouble for getting home late. I remember that Andy Bell sang his heart out and worked the audience like a master and that his spandex bodysuits really freaked out the three straight men who'd been dragged there by their girlfriends. This show obviously set a precedent -- most of the good parts of my teenage/early 20s social life was entirely thanks to gay men.
posted by desuetude at 3:13 PM on October 2, 2007


hey superkim! I think that was a good combo of Pop and arty music, tho I'd be damned if I can remember anything except the INXS sax player on top of a speaker stack : )
posted by pantufla at 3:13 PM on October 2, 2007


Beach Boys. I was about 12 or 13. Mid 1970's on the "Brian is Back" tour. I had a blast. My former babysitter took me and a friend, it was a matinee during the afternoon.

The first concert I went to without any parents or adults, I was 15 or 16. Ted Nugent at Cobo Hill in Detroit. Blackfoot warmed up. We got ripped, enjoyed the concert. My musical tastes did improve, but I still have a soft spot in my heart for ol' Ted, in spite of his politics.
posted by marxchivist at 3:16 PM on October 2, 2007


Ozzfest '99, which was the one where all of Black Sabbath was there, not just Ozzy. Rob Zombie had second billing, and he really did sort of suck.

I'm not much into heavy metal, but it was mostly about being there with my best friend, smoking a dozen joints, being rained on, falling down muddy hills, being frozen, and general mayhem.

Ozzy really won me over. He really does put his heart into it.

Sigh. No concert after that has been able to compare....
posted by ELF Radio at 3:18 PM on October 2, 2007


God help me, it was Gowan.

He is seven times awesome. Play excellent keys... Great show I am sure.
posted by St Urbain's Horseman at 4:24 PM on October 2, 2007


Alice Cooper, 1972, Pacific Coliseum. I'm afraid to say it wreaked havoc on my 13 year old hormones. First concert under the influence? Mahavinshnu Orchestra, 1974. My musical tastes had improved a bit over the previous two years. Oh, they were blazingly awesome. Billy Cobham on drums.
posted by jokeefe at 4:46 PM on October 2, 2007


If I can discount taking dates to hole in the wall coffee houses to see Baltimore folkies who never quit their day jobs, and I think even Mefites might allow me that... my first real concert was The Beatles at the Baltimore Civic Center in the summer of ‘64.

My brilliant 14 year old cousin Nancy offered herself to the (now defunct) Baltimore News American as a teen girl reporter, and they took the bait. Nancy was latter confirmed by IQ tests to be the smartest person that ever lived in our family.

Anyway, she was only 14 and I was 18, so she got the press tickets and I got to drive. We had great seats but the crazy thing about the concert was that all the girl fans (except for, in general, Nancy) screamed so much that you mostly couldn’t hear the band.
posted by Huplescat at 4:46 PM on October 2, 2007


Parents didn't go to concerts with kids in those days.

I've taken my son to see Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Sigur Ros and Bjork, all in the interests of good parenting.
posted by jokeefe at 4:52 PM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


First show: My dad's heavy metal band (Siege), 1986. I was 2. I remember this! Unbelievably loud, but I was around for band practice, so I was prepared. There is video (somewhere) of me on my mom's shoulders in the audience, as my dad plays the solo to Master of Puppets. They did original material as well, though. SIEGE.

Second show (funnier than the first): Bon Jovi, 1987, just after I was released from the hospital for Spinal Meningitis. 3. I really really liked Bon Jovi at the time, but I think was still feeling pretty bad, since I remember not enjoying this very much. Then again, it could have been my nascent, impeccable taste...

Without parents, I think it must have been OutKast / Incubus / The Roots (odd combo) in NYC in 2000. That was something else. I don't know if OutKast is any good live these days, but holy fuck. Never saw anything like that.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 5:02 PM on October 2, 2007


Mine's shameful, though jonmc probably wouldn't think so.

Actually, I'd like to hear his first concert.

Moderators should speak up as well.
posted by sparkletone at 5:22 PM on October 2, 2007


Ratt, with Kix and someone else opening. My dad took me, and I witnessed the coolest drum solo ever in my eleven years. The Hirsch Memorial Coliseum was on fire.

Shreveport! Are you ready to rock!?!?!?!
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:54 PM on October 2, 2007


Gyllene Tider, March 29, 1984. Nolaskolan, Örnsköldsvik. The Heartland Café tour. I was 14. It was the very first opportunity to see a concert of any kind that I can even remember. Per Gessle stole my pen to write autographs for the 30 or so swooning teenage girls, of which my cousin and I were two. I still have that autograph somewhere...
posted by gemmy at 6:28 PM on October 2, 2007


I was 17. My brother was at UT-Austin and he got tickets for him, my sister, and me to see Linda Rondstadt at the Erwin Center. It was December 15, 1978, which I remember because the radio was full of the news about President Carter extending diplomatic recognition to the Peoples Republic of China and un-recognizing the Republic of China (Taiwan).
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:32 PM on October 2, 2007


I don't even believe my first concert story because it reads like bad fanfic, but here we go:

I'm 14 years old in 1999 and completely, pathetically obsessed with the old-ass LA punk band X - to the point where when I find the website of Billy Zoom (the original and best guitarist, now in his fifties) it seems like a totally normal, non-creepy idea to email him when I find his website. Well, lo and behold, he emails back and we strike up a correspondence. Fast forward 8 months later to April 2000. I'm still 14 and X is playing an all-ages reunion show at the Sunset Strip House of Blues on Good Friday. It's pretty much the show of a lifetime for me, and luckily my dad is Cool and willing to accompany his daughter to see a band he liked in the 80s.

Well I oh-so-casually mention to Billy that I'm heading to this show, just to let him know, and Billy oh-so-nonchalantly adds me to the guest list.

So my first concert ever was to see my favorite band of all time and afterwards I went backstage and met them all, and Billy gave my dad a beer. The batteries in my camera were dead so I have no photographic evidence. But a month later, I went to see John Doe do some solo stuff at a record store in Orange County, and afterwards when I went up to shake his hand he remembered me and my heart basically stopped.

I'm not going to say that was the best night of my life, but it was almost certainly the best night of high school. Billy Zoom, man. Class act to the core.
posted by crinklebat at 6:54 PM on October 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Little River Band in 1979. I was 12 and wouldn't stop bitching about not getting to see Elvis or Kiss a coupla years prior. Mom took me and my little bro. Somebody passed her a doob. She was a fundie and didn't even know what it was. She shrugged, and then passed it on down the row. Reminiscing.
posted by HyperBlue at 7:25 PM on October 2, 2007


First punk concert was GBH at the York Theatre in '85. Gig Poster. GBH doing "Give Me Fire". The opening bands were good, but GBH was amazing, up close and powerful. The following weekend was SNFU ("Time to buy a futon"), NOMEANSNO ("Oh no! Bruno!"), AKOB and a coupla others. It seemed for those few years there were punk gigs all over. They were way better, I thought, than the big stadium gigs I saw, the first of which, I think, was Ozzy, backed with Motley Cruetons. It was that, or Judas Priest, probably back in 82 or 83. Better because the music and musicians were a coupla feet from your face, and everyone was slamming and having a good time. Being able to jump on stage during songs and tell the band "thanks for playing" is a good experience.
As a side note - hey, Canadian punks - check out Punk History Canada for more nostalgia.
posted by Zack_Replica at 7:49 PM on October 2, 2007


crinklebat, my SO and I wound up hanging out a bit chatting with John Doe after we saw him play a terrific solo gig a couple of years ago. We love telling the story of of him sharing his wine with us. What a pro, and man, what a class act.
posted by desuetude at 9:12 PM on October 2, 2007


Heh. I used to go see X every time they came around, back in the eighties. Various members of the band were always drunk/stoned/macking on me or my friends (Exene even came on to my boyfriend one time). I had a great conversation with DJ Bonebrake once (I was probably 17) about him getting to play maracas for Bo Diddley and how cool that was. It sounds like they have probably mellowed out a bit.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:54 PM on October 2, 2007


Blue Oyster Cult - Augusta Civic Center 1977. It was the best laser show I've ever seen, to this day. I guess the FCC or some other regulatory agency cracked down on the use of lasers at concerts because now days the light shows are a lot tamer. Even the 2 Floyd shows I went to couldn't compare. It's all fun until somebody loses an eye I suppose.
posted by reidfleming at 6:56 AM on October 3, 2007


oneirodynia, damn straight they've mellowed out. Both John and DJ had little girls running around backstage, and Exene's son was back there too, with the same odd haircut she had.
posted by crinklebat at 7:18 AM on October 3, 2007


Buddy Guy, Nashville. '92 or '93.

Oh yeah. I have a story about that...
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:17 AM on October 3, 2007


"I guess the FCC or some other regulatory agency cracked down on the use of lasers at concerts because now days the light shows are a lot tamer."

Yeah, also, you're not on acid.
posted by klangklangston at 9:25 AM on October 3, 2007


As a side note - hey, Canadian punks - check out Punk History Canada for more nostalgia.

I cannot even tell you the many layered contradictory reactions I am having after seeing this. "Nostalgia" doesn't even begin to cover it.
posted by jokeefe at 10:32 AM on October 3, 2007


Man this thread makes me feel old. Mine was The Shirelles.
Of course, it was a free concert at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk around '92 or so, so maybe not that old.
posted by Durhey at 1:16 PM on October 3, 2007


Ted Nugent in Nashville, TN, when I was 14 (summer 1978). I remember Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones was playing when the lights went on and The Nug came on.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 1:33 PM on October 3, 2007


14 years old - 1972 Spirit and Iron Butterfly, Aragon Ballroom, open drug sales. I was in HEAVEN!
posted by readery at 4:49 PM on October 3, 2007


Marilyn Manson on the Antichrist Superstar tour, with L7 opening, at the local National Guard Armory in 1996 or 1997. I was 16. It was the greatest show ever. I've seen them four or five times since and they've always sucked, but I insist that it's because they've gone downhill, not because my tastes have matured. (Heh.)

I had tickets to see Tool on the Undertow tour, but I was 12 or 13 and my parents wouldn't let me go. I resent them to this day.
posted by liet at 7:07 PM on October 3, 2007


One word: RushTomSawyerTour.
posted by humannaire at 7:26 PM on October 6, 2007


Spandau Ballet at Massey Hall in '82 or '83. Yikes.
posted by chococat at 9:55 PM on October 15, 2007


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