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TBTS Discussion Question: What was Your First Concert?

January 24, 2011

We have an ongoing quest here at The Brown Tweed Society to engage with you, our brilliant and loyal (not to mention smartly dressed) readers, regarding various pop culture artifacts and phenomena, from feminist perspectives (or the lack thereof) in Mad Men, to the relative merits of snuggies for dogs (or the lack thereof), to how many children your average Kardashian consumes per year (seriously–they eat children).

In the midst of all those burning issues (if it persists, be sure to ask your doctor about Qeultrexufab), we do a lot of writing about music, covering anything from the newest hotness on the Alabama rap scene to obscure psych-rock gems just waiting to be unearthed. We listen to a lot of music, and we bet you do, too.

So, with this mission in mind and the topic of music at hand, I’d like to build on Paul the Geek’s discussion format (check out his post on once-loved artists and albums he’s left behind–or refuses to)  and ask you:

Vanilla Ice

Don't even try to lie and tell us it was Philip Glass or some shit.

What was your first concert?

While you’re reflecting, consider details such as your age at the time, whether you went as part of a group (with family, friends, etc.), how this first experience shaped your later concert experiences, if your tastes in music have changed since, and so on.

Leave your story in the comments below (where I’ll also be sharing mine) or post ’em to our Facebook page. We’ll announce a winner next week. Bonus points will be given for hilarious/scary/harrowing/drug-addled/unfortunate tales. *Extra* bonus points will be awarded for anecdotes that combine all of those.

The winner’s spoils? Let’s just say the LPs from the Attic offices are abuzz with excitement as they work on the final touches/legal details. At least I think it’s the excitement. I’ll be making rounds later in the day to check coffee mugs, ash trays, and the supply room.

Thanks for playing!

More from Jay St. Orts

LPs from the Attic: The Feelies —Crazy Rhythms

Estranged Brew: Beer-making for the Obnoxious, Pedantic Prick

A Diet That Works: How To Lose 15 lbs. Without Doing a Damn Thing



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16 Comments
  1. JRock permalink
    January 24, 2011 4:58 pm

    def leppard hysteria tour.. awesomesauce

  2. PMcD permalink
    January 24, 2011 5:10 pm

    My first concert was Motley Crue on their Dr. Feelgood tour. I was a little late to the concert-going scene (thanks primarily to rather religious parents and their distaste for the “Devil’s music”). However, by my sophomore year in high school I had escaped the shackles of my oppressors and was ready for my first show. I honestly can’t remember which year it was, either fall of 1989 or spring of 1990.

    A large group of us were going and camped out for tickets (remember those days before the internet?). We setup camp at Kittyhawk Records, a local independent record shop with Ticketmaster ticket sales (remember indie record shops?). It actually snowed and was quite cold. We took shifts driving over to the mini-mart to get coffee/Mt. Dew and warm up inside the store. Finally the morning came and we landed our tickets.

    I will never forget the show, at least the beginning. Totally dark stage. “Motorcycle” sounds of the intro to Kickstart My Heart. Thundering cheers and applause from the crowd. Then, just as the song really gets going, pyrotechnics galore , full stage and house lights and Vince, Mick, and Nikki come FLYING out from below the stage (while playing, mind you) through some springboard launching mechanism. I swear they flew ten feet above the stage before landing, never missing a beat.

    That, my friends, is rock-n-roll.

    I don’t remember a lot of other details, but I don’t think I’ve ever been to another show that had the energy and intensity of that one.

    So raise a fist and shout. Shout At The Devil!

  3. T. D. permalink
    January 24, 2011 6:15 pm

    John Mellencamp – The Lonesome Jubilee tour (1987-88). I was 10 years old and went with my dad. I remember the whole thing very vividly. What struck me was actually seeing people play live, right in front of me, the songs I’d heard so many times on the radio. I remember how much I loved hearing the live drums, the lights shining off of the drum kit and the guitars, feeling the bass throughout my body. I must’ve grinned for a week. Cherry Bomb, Jack & Diane, all the Mellencamp songs that (at least I) still consider great rock & roll today.

    One of my good friends has a son who is about 18 months and is regularly around music being made (probably as are the kids of most folks who visit this site) – just Friday the kid was chilling as there were two guitars and a mando jamming in the boy’s living room. That’s the way to be truly inspired by the magic of making music. However, even though I had to wait until I was 10, I was still young enough that the experience was awe-inspiring and was responsible for engendering a deep love of live music that is still very much a part of my life nearly 25 years later. I largely credit that experience for paving the way towards what would become a career in the music business.

  4. Ryan G permalink
    January 24, 2011 6:36 pm

    KISS – Rupp Arena 1979 age 4. My parents rule.

  5. January 24, 2011 7:28 pm

    I saw Squeeze at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia in the autumn of 1987, I think. The opener was a still-mostly-unknown 10,000 Maniacs. ‘In My Tribe,’ had either just been released that summer or was still yet to come out (suffice it to say I had no idea who they were, and no idea how they got the opener’s slot but the name was intriguing – I’m sure they got that a lot in the early years). My memory is of Natalie Merchant actually sitting down on the stage and singing with her legs dangling into the orchestra pit, staring up at the Fox’s beautiful painted ceilings. Also, I jumped up and down for the entirety of “Pulling Mussels (From the Shell),” much to the consternation of those around me. I remain unrepentant to this day.

  6. January 24, 2011 10:24 pm

    My first concert was Aerosmith and I was with my best friend and her very, very un-cool dad. Who insisted on sitting between us so that he could watch us carefully. The concert still rocked and I’m pretty sure the t-shirt is still in my basement. Pierced cow teat and all.

  7. January 24, 2011 10:28 pm

    It was gonna be Alice Cooper “Raise your fist and yell” tour…
    but my dad said no way…

    but then, for some reason I was allowed to go Rap-A-Mania at Louisville Gardens.
    I think it was ’89 or ’90.
    The line up was:
    2 Live Crew, Digital Underground, Big Daddy Kane, EPMD, 3rd Base, and Queen Latifah, MC Lyte

    I wore my Yo MTV Raps shirt… and was the coolest white kid there! :)

  8. Anonymous permalink
    January 25, 2011 8:34 am

    Kenny Rogers, Alabama, and the Oak Ridge Boys. Word.

  9. Chaz permalink
    January 25, 2011 9:06 am

    My first concert was Elvis Costello, the night of my senior prom. Yea, that’s right! I was NOT popular! : ) I spent most of the time barrell rolling down the grass seats at Starplex. Costello put on a great show and we were almost rammed on the highway going 100+ by a car full of Elvis impersonators! All around good time, although it was easily outshown the next week by my second concert: Lollapolooza w/ Green Day, Beastie Boys, P-Funk, Smashing Pumpkins, Cypress Hill, etc. etc. etc.

  10. bwill permalink
    January 25, 2011 9:17 am

    Salt-n-Pepa, Kid ‘n Play, Kwame, and Doug E. Fresh in 1988 Louisville Gardens… followed up a few months later with another show there with Too $hort, De La Soul, Slick Rick, and TV’s L.L. Cool J.

  11. A Fool permalink
    January 25, 2011 9:53 am

    Sadly…MC Hammer w/ you guessed it the one and only Vanilla Ice (~1988 iirc)

  12. Lloyd permalink
    January 25, 2011 9:56 am

    First rock show was Lollapalooza 1993 at the Starwood Amphitheater in Nashville. Just before their first album came out, Rage Against the Machine opened. I remember moshers kicking up clouds of dust in the heat of the noonday sun. I remember choosing Arrested Development on the main stage over Tool on the second stage (ah, the folly of youth). I remember my ears bleeding from J Mascis’ guitar during the Dino Jr set.

    But before then…When I was a kid, I went to a bunch of country shows with my family. Don’t quite remember which one was first, but I’m guessing it was Kenny Rogers with Sawyer Brown opening. I have a vague memory of Kenny totally rocking a gold sequined jacket and devouring an entire Kenny Rogers Roasters chicken during the guitar solo of “You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille.”

    OK, he didn’t do that last thing, but it would have been a lot cooler if he did…

  13. January 25, 2011 10:46 am

    Tesla / Def Leppard @ Rupp on Hysteria tour

    • Paul the Geek permalink*
      January 25, 2011 12:04 pm

      My first concert was Firehouse opening for Tesla at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA circa ’92. My buddy and I, assuming we would get dates, bought 4 tickets. Neither of us got dates, so we ended up taking his cousin and her friend.

      Later, I would see Nine Inch Nails on the Downward Spiral tour at the aforementioned Patriot Center, with a then-unknown Marilyn Manson opening.

      One of the biggest fights I ever got into with my dad was when he wouldn’t let me go see Queensrÿche in Baltimore on the Building Empires tour in ’91. They were my #1 favorite band at the time, without equal, and I was utterly devastated that I couldn’t go.

  14. CM Tomlin permalink*
    January 25, 2011 11:13 am

    Milli Vanilli, the “Girl You Know It’s True” tour, 1989. I’m not proud of it. But I do remember being impressed that Milli Vanilli could simultaneously sing, run back and forth up and down stairs on both sides of the stage and fight ninjas without seeming even slightly out of breath.

    My second concert was the Dead Milkmen a couple of months later, which was far superior. But what is it they say? “You’ll always love your first?” Girl, you know that’s true.

  15. Matt Shorr permalink*
    January 25, 2011 9:13 pm

    Dave Matthews + Rusted Root at a bar in St. Louis in 1994(?). I didn’t know them (no one else at the time really did, either), and honestly I went just because it seemed like it would be fun to take a road trip with about 30 minutes notice. I got bored after 45 minutes and sat outside.

    My first concert I actually wanted to go to was Nine Inch Nails in Toledo. Holy shit, it was ungodly awesome. My next concert was then, again, Nine Inch Nails in Louisville. A few more concerts with skull-destroying sound, and I was convinced that all live music in large venues had gigantic speakers, crowd surfing, and huge, violent moshpits. Then I saw Bob Dylan in Cincinnati, because I felt like I should. There were seats. For people to sit in. And people actually did. I wasn’t sure what was happening. I’m still not sure. I didn’t pay to go to another concert until Phish in a small venue in Amsterdam for like $15. I didn’t and don’t like Phish, but something about Amsterdam made them better.

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