Your First Concert

I think a great conversation starter in any group is, “What was your first concert?” Very rarely are you going to get someone who says, I’ve never been to a concert.” Everyone has been to a concert and I think we all remember what it was.

Conversationally speaking, it’s not that we judge you on your first concert but we do. Not only does it tell us what music you like but it also gives us a little insight in to who you are. Right? Maybe? For example:

If you’re in to the Grateful Dead then you might be__________

If you like The Scorpians and Metallica you could be_________

If you dig Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen & Steely Dan we can assume that__________

My first concert was Elton John at The Warehouse in New Orleans with my mom, my grandfather and my sister. I was 9 years old. I’m pretty sure Grandpa thought he was at the gates of hell. He was a retired Boeing engineer.

Given that I’ve been to hundreds of shows, it is indeed safe to say that not all concert goers are alike. The one constant is that if you’re going to the show and it wasn’t a case of someone having an extra ticket, you may buy a shirt.

My first show I did as a concert T-shirt seller was Queensryche. Say what? Exactly. I remember thinking at the time that there was no way in hell that anyone was going to buy a Queensryche shirt. That was my naivete. What did they even play?

So there I am before the show, standing in a subway stairwell with another seller just following his lead, trying to sling shirts to people walking off the subway, heading to the show. The shirts were hideous and yet, lo and behold, I sold about 15 shirts. Who knew? Queensryche. Yea, get your shirts here!

Over the subsequent five years, I would attend hundreds of shows and see people from all walks in life. From Dead shows to Metallica shows, from Megadeath to Jane’s Addiction, from Henry Rollins to Billy Ray Cyrus. From Pearl Jam to Hootie and the Blowfish.

The one thing that was always constant? The love that those fans have for their artists and their bands. The other constant? Regardless of how ugly the shirt was, they would buy it if they had the scratch.

I’ll never know if Grandpa liked Elton John or not, he didn’t say he didn’t like him, but he didn’t buy a shirt either. :) Next up, going from concert to concert and life on the road.