The next time you’re at a party, try this fun ice-breaker: ask people what their first concert was. It’s always a delightful conversation topic, and typically the more cringeworthy and one-hit-wonder acts are more fun to discuss than the “cool” bands (if your first show was U2, that’s cool, but Vanilla Ice is almost more special.) I put the question out on Facebook: what was your first concert? Feel free to add your own in the comments.
Me: Indigo Girls at the Arie Crown Theater.
Justin: Public Enemy & Anthrax at Aragon!
Joel: Starship and The Outfield, somewhere in Virginia (but not Wolf Trap…). It was 1986 and I was on a teen tour, so maybe that can be my excuse (heh).
Kate Z.: Janet Jackson
Nora: Peter Gabriel at Rosemont Horizon.
Jane: 1988: INXS
Marly: Menudo. I wish I were kidding. They were playing in el Poliedro, in Caracas.
Cheryl: John Denver. ACC Arena. 1974 or 5. Also not my idea — but when your mom drags you to a concert, you kind of have to go
Rebekah: Liz Phair at the Vic. Fall 1995.
Daniel R.The Monkees at the Rosemont Horizon. Their reunion tour. 1986. I went with my church’s teen club. I quit the club after that night.
Andy: Fishbone at Mississippi Nights. It was the nutmeg nineties.
Jonathan: Meatloaf: Rockland Community College, summer of 1978.
Elizabeth J.: Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine at Poplar Creek. I think I was nine. AWW YEAH.
Leonard: The first concert I ever went to was a Beach Boys outdoor show. My best friend’s dad took us and someone threw a can of beer at my head. This would have been sometime in the late ’70s. The first concert I ever went to of my own choosing was, embarrassingly, Quarterflash. Arizona State Fair, 1982.
Elizabeth M: R.E.M. (opener Throwing Muses), Market Square Arena, Indianapolis. Also the first time I smelled pot (thought it was the smell of tour t-shirts, and said so very loudly until poked by companions). Brought a bag of Dum Dum lollipops to share with everyone. Probably a connection between those last two things.
Tera: Supertramp when I was 6 (1985) at Maple Leaf Gardens.
Jeff: Soul Asylum at the Aragon.
Daniel H: My folks took me to see Neil Sedaka, but I was too young to remember it. I saw Phil Collins on a date in ‘93, though should that count if you’re just trying to impress an attractive Phil Collins fan? The first show that I went to with friends because we loved the music was Q101’s first Twisted Christmas in ‘94. The line-up was: Bad Religion, Dinosaur Jr, Weezer, Veruca Salt, Killing Joke and Hole. Great show too.
Mark: Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch. Six Flags Great America. (Quickly followed by INXS at The Aragon, which methinks redeem me).
Maggie: With my mom- Prince Purple Rain Tour at the Rosemont Horizon.
Katy M.: Amy Grant at Poplar Creek. Aw yeah.
Amy R: 1998, age 14: Goo Goo Dolls at the amphitheater in Tinley Park. My mom dropped off me and 2 of my friends, went to dinner with a friend and then picked us up. Freedom!
Juli:e Counting Crows. 1994. The Riv. Everyone was pissed because they refused to play Mr. Jones, the only Crows song anyone knew at the time. Frente opened for them. My friend Erin and I wore accidentally matching jeans, Doc Martins, and flannel shirts. Her uncle picked us up in his squad car after the show.
Marty: I think it was Johnny Mathis at Chicago’s Shubert Theater. Bo-o-oring!
Maureen: 1985, I was 7, Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh (I think): Whitney Houston. My dad took me. The next concert I made him take me to was Poison. My dad was the biggest sport ever.
Kevin: Beach Boys with The Steve Miller Band
Sarah L.: indigo girls! no idea whether it was Arie crown or Rosemont.
Kate I.: The Chameleons UK at the Cabaret Metro.
Jil: Rancid at 327 in Nashville.
Susan: Ooh, Violent Femmes in Chapel Hill.. 93, I think.
Anne: Simon and Garfufnkel Reunion concert, general admission seating The people on the stadium ground behind us (from the era of Simon and Garfunkel first time around) asked us to stop dancing so that they could remain sitting on the ground and still see.
Samuel: I honestly think mine was New Kids On the Block…
Sarah R.: New Kids on the Block. My best friend had the crush, not me. We went with her mom’s lesbian lover.
Ann: Either Eric Clapton or Peter Gabriel - can’t remember which came first!
Chad: Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band - The Against the Wind Tour. I was 15. Great show too.
Lisa: Technically it was Robert Hazard, but no one knows who he is and it was at a community college down the street from me and I was 13 and didn’t want to go but was dragged by my brother. For reals: Bon Jovi at the Phily Spectrum. Cinderella was the opening act.
Tracy: Lollapalooza ‘93
Carrie: Dan Fogelberg, circa 1989- because I was BFs with his niece and we had a limo and backstage passes. Poplar Creek, I think.
Josh: Aimee Mann at UT Austin in 2006 or so. Teitur opened.
Katy H.: Marilyn Manson, Hole, and Nine Inch Nails, 1994 (14) at the UIC Pavillion.