Most people can recall the first concert they attended. For musicians and music lovers, it can be a milestone event in their life. Below, 15 musicians discuss their first concert.
Do you remember your first concert? We’d love to hear about it in the comment section below.
11. Jessica Clavin – Bleached
Jessica Clavin says she and her sister saw a lot of shows, but seeing True Sounds of Liberty (T.S.O.L.) for the first time, “was so awesome.” She says the first time was in 2000 and thinks it was at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, Calif.
“People were going crazy and almost everyone in the room were singing along with so much energy. I totally remember saving lunch money for these shows or running around my house last-minute gathering some change.”
12. Jennifer Clavin – Bleached
When Jennifer Clavin was in elementary school, her father took her to her first concert: “My dad had a work friend, and she had a punk band called Down Girl. My dad took my sister and I to this super shady part of downtown Los Angeles …I was terrified, especially of all the people wearing spiked leather jewelry. For some reason Jessie wasn’t scared at all and she was probably only seven.” Clavin recalls holding on to her father tightly while watching the concert. “I watched this girl’s band perform. She was wearing a leopard bra through a thin white shirt and I remember thinking she seemed so bad, but cool and dangerous. I had never really heard music like that before. It was just a really intense experience.”
13. Luke Lalonde – Born Ruffians
Lalonde’s first concert was The Vines in Toronto at the Kool Haus on Nov. 26, 2002. He says, “We had just started playing together as a band in high school and we drove from Midland (Ontario) to the big city to see them play. Highly Evolved was on heavy rotation for me at the time.” He continues, “I remember the lead singer being a total spaz and his band mates appeared to hate his guts. I think it came out shortly after that he was a bit off his rocker and extremely difficult to deal with, chalked up to Asperger’s syndrome. That was around the time of their legendary terrible performance on Letterman.
“I specifically remember the anticipation of waiting for them to come onto the stage and the awe I had for the spectacle of a live rock show. The smell of the smoke machines, the lights, the roadies setting up the band’s stuff. I remember thinking how I wanted to be the one backstage waiting to come out and play.”
14. Paul Janeway – St. Paul and the Broken Bones
“I am a late bloomer when it comes to going to shows that didn’t involve church music but the one of the first concerts I remember just blowing my mind was when I saw Prince. It was in 2008 out in California at Coachella. I was working for a mechanic shop as a gopher at the time and saved some money so I go to a music festival that year. I had to see Prince. I waited all day in 100 degree weather just to be front row for that show. It changed my life. It is still one of the greatest things I have ever seen.” When asked if there was a particularly memorable moment, he says, “I was moved to tears during ‘Purple Rain.’”
15. Linwood Regensburg – Those Darlins
Regensburg’s first show was The Lemonheads at Flood Zone in Richmond, Va. in 1996. Regensburg claims that the opener, a then-unknown Matchbox 20, was not well-received by the audience. According to Regensburg, their performance “kept going on and on and on. They may have set some sort of record. It was dangerous though, everyone in that room was toeing the line of mortality, getting closer and closer to the end, paralyzed by the Flood Zones’ strict no reentry policy. Nowhere to run. And the worst part of it all was this gut feeling that if you made it out alive, this music would soon be on every radio station…”
Regarding The Lemonhead’s performance, Regensburg says one of the memorable events was in place of a proper encore, Evan Dando, “comes back on stage with a Minimoog, plugs into to his amp and blasts noise for about 15 minutes. It was pretty incredible actually. I’d never heard one of those things in person before. I’d never heard anything that loud before.”
Regensburg adds, “years later, we’re in Melbourne doing a morning show on Triple R and Evan Dando is scheduled to perform after us. I’m starting to get a little geeky with the thought of being able to tell him ‘hey, you were first rock concert I ever saw.’ Well he never showed up. AWOL. A couple days later I randomly met a woman at a bar who turned out to be his handler. She was an old friend looking after him on his Aussie tour. But basically he refused do anything or leave her house for two weeks, then he vanished and she hadn’t seen him for days.”