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Your first live concert? Your favorite?


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My first was KISS.  December 1976 at the Capital Center, outside DC.  I was 14, in the 8th grade at the time.

 

Our dad dropped us off and picked us up after.  Me, my two brothers, my cousin.  (Why do we take so long realizing how cool our dads are)?

 

My older brother was a huge fan.  I liked them well enough, but they weren’t really my thing.  But for a rock concert in the 70s, it was downright epochal. 

 

My main memory from the show – other than the musty fog of weed so thick it veiled everything in the huge arena and the pyrotechnics, of course – was the opening act:   As they were wrapping up their set I was on my way to the restrooms when Bob Seger started playing “Turn the Page.”  I had NEVER HEARD the song before, not on the radio at that time, or anywhere.  But I *knew* it… somehow – it was a sense a déjà vu, or more accurately, a premonition.  I stopped in my tracks and stood on the riser, captivated – didn’t move to finish my trip to the restroom until it was over.  It wasn’t until the next summer that the song started getting airplay on the radio… massive airplay.  (I realize it’s possible I’d heard the song somewhere; it was first released on his “Back in ’72” album (1973) but didn’t get much, if any, airplay on the radio and I didn’t know Bob Seger from Adam then… it’s *possible.*  But I can say with pretty much 99.99% certainty, I hadn’t heard it before that night).

 

My favorite was Peter Gabriel at Merriweather Post Pavilion summer of 1983.  The “Security” tour (Shock the Monkey).  He was (still is) my favorite artist – with Genesis and through his first four.  (He just got too mellow, too “pop” for me with So and everything after – when, conversely, he became so much more popular with the mainstream).

 

That show was lifechanging.  I was 21 years old.  Sat 4th row, center.  Merriweather was a great venue back then – fantastic sound in the pavilion.  After the first song, “Across the River” quietly settled us all in, like a musical usher, the spotlight revealed him swinging from a monkey bar as “I Have the Touch” jolted us to attention.  Like some old-fashioned mesmerist, he took control of everyone in that pavilion. 

 

But the transcendent moment was “Lay Your Hands on Me,” with its slowly building wall of sound:  starting quietly with Jerry Marotta’s faraway-in-the-jungle drums and the muted marimba, Tony Levin’s deep bass riffs, the keyboard behind it all.  And then, the semi-gated drums – and everything else – building, building.  That deep rolling bass, like a bullfrog calling.  The whole thing otherworldly.  A quick drum solo and back to the “parade” drums – everything building to its crescendo.  And as Gabriel sang, “I am willing…  I am ready…  I believe – Lay your hands on me,” he approached the edge of the stage… turned… and dropped himself into our waiting hands.  He’s carried halfway to the top – and as he passes on his way back my hands help move him forward, up to the stage again.  It was as if it had all been well rehearsed and choreographed, we were so in-tune with him, like one giant spellbound organism.  And next up?  “Solsbury Hill.”  The perfect segue for all that overstimulated energy – with its famous, happy acoustic guitar intro... all that energy moving from electrifying to a triumphant exhilaration.

 

Your first and favorite?  (If this has been discussed before, my apologies).

 

Gary

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I've lost track..., may have been all the alcohol back in the day...,  most of my early concerts were of the "Bar Scene" type.

 

But one summer was filled with early experience concerts including Boston, REO Speedwagon, Journey, Van Halen... when "Arena Rock" was not yet called "Arena Rock."  Saw Journey in the round, as well as Boston, both at the domed "Assembly Hall" on the campus of University of Illinois - now called "State Farm Center"

 

Most memorable was getting lucky and seeing Muddy Waters at his namesake bar called "Muddy Watters," on Lacledes Landing in St Louis on the waterfront bar scene, one night..., just happened to be there at the same time he did an all-night unannounced appearance.  there was a house band called Dichotomy there, that filled in the nights when a star was not on stage - very exceptional - back in the late 70's and 80's.  I haven't been down to the landing in decades..., internet can't find that bar anymore..., only some old nostalgia on Reddit and FB lamenting similar experiences I had there.  

 

Edit:  Found evidence..., and a google map search shows the property as available..., last sign on window says it was a restuarant..., but now for lease.  Great area down by the waterfront, by the stadium and arch..., lots of night life - as I recall.  724 North 1st St, St. Louis, MO

s-l300.jpg

 

Found the real estate listing..., still call it "Muddy Waters"..., my feeble memory wants to think that's what it looked like in the late 70's and early 80s..., but that's probably just my mind playing tricks on me.

https://kingrealtyadvisors.com/property/724-north-1st-street-st-louis-mo-63102/ 

 

I've lost track of all the bands in their early years I saw at St. Louis' "Mississippi Nights," a bar now closed, with lots of live music that launched a lot of careers.  Again booze-induced-memory-loss from those days in my late teens and early twenties...

Edited by AndrewJohn
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3 hours ago, AndrewJohn said:

I've lost track..., may have been all the alcohol back in the day...,  most of my early concerts were of the "Bar Scene" type.

 

But one summer was filled with early experience concerts including Boston, REO Speedwagon, Journey, Van Halen... when "Arena Rock" was not yet called "Arena Rock."  Saw Journey in the round, as well as Boston, both at the domed "Assembly Hall" on the campus of University of Illinois - now called "State Farm Center"

 

Most memorable was getting lucky and seeing Muddy Waters at his namesake bar called "Muddy Watters," on Lacledes Landing in St Louis on the waterfront bar scene, one night..., just happened to be there at the same time he did an all-night unannounced appearance.  there was a house band called Dichotomy there, that filled in the nights when a star was not on stage - very exceptional - back in the late 70's and 80's.  I haven't been down to the landing in decades..., internet can't find that bar anymore..., only some old nostalgia on Reddit and FB lamenting similar experiences I had there.  

 

Edit:  Found evidence..., and a google map search shows the property as available..., last sign on window says it was a restuarant..., but now for lease.  Great area down by the waterfront, by the stadium and arch..., lots of night life - as I recall.  724 North 1st St, St. Louis, MO

s-l300.jpg

 

Found the real estate listing..., still call it "Muddy Waters"..., my feeble memory wants to think that's what it looked like in the late 70's and early 80s..., but that's probably just my mind playing tricks on me.

https://kingrealtyadvisors.com/property/724-north-1st-street-st-louis-mo-63102/ 

 

I've lost track of all the bands in their early years I saw at St. Louis' "Mississippi Nights," a bar now closed, with lots of live music that launched a lot of careers.  Again booze-induced-memory-loss from those days in my late teens and early twenties...

I would think some enterprising person would snatch up that opportunity. Put in some up-scale bar food and local bands.

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As much as I love music … and I mean just about any kind of music, concerts have never really been my thing.  I have been to roughly 20 or 30 but mainly my appearances have been for the social side of things with a backdrop of tunes.  Some of the concerts not necessarily even witnessing the band/s showmanship.

 

I believe my first was Steve Miller at Pine Knob music theater in a northern suburb of Detroit … roughly 1989.  It is an outdoor venue where the first 35 rows are covered with an overhead structure and has assigned seating.  Behind that is a grass hill where it becomes first come first serve … a sea of blankets and a drunken stupor!  Really, a good time … especially with the right band performing.  A place where tailgating is a must and then it carries over into the venue.  I don’t remember much of this concert other then I have seen him multiple times in this same venue and is always an entertaining show.

 

My favorite, The Grateful Dead in Sam Boyd Stadium Las Vegas … 1992.  I was in the military at the time, so my level of partying did not compare to the level of drugs going on at or around this venue.  Tequila can only take you so far …

 

The opener was Sting … he didn’t last but maybe 30 minutes, just seemed to be an odd pairing at the time and NOBODY was interested.  Vegas was over run by dead heads and literally took the city over for three days.  The strip was littered with hippies EVERYWHERE.  It is a site I will never forget.

 

The band truly seemed to feed on one another and enjoy every aspect of playing with each other and for everyone else for that fact.  The music went on forever and each song and set continuously lead into each other.  The band never stopped and were incredibly captivating the entire show.  The floor of the stadium couldn’t be any more fun … full of people watching, beautiful women dressed in skimpy hippie attire dancing awkwardly, yet sexy in the same fashion.

 

The crowd, stadium, and band together … combined for one of the best experiences of a lifetime.

 

If memory serves me correctly, Jerry went on to only play 12 more venues until he passed.

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My First  concert was 1975 I was 12 and had a paper route to do in the early morning but took the city bus with 3 others to see lynyrd skynyrd at the seattle coliseum. Pretty rowdy lots of people passed out from drugs all over big huge garbage bins the cops filled with all the stuff they took at the doors. Loved it lol!

Edited by cuda
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Top left was my first concert. Ozzy and I think UFO opened for them. It was also a month before Randy died in the plane crash. It was my first and my favorite. 

IMG_4368.jpg

Edited by Rob
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19 hours ago, Scrappy said:

The band truly seemed to feed on one another and enjoy every aspect of playing with each other and for everyone else for that fact.  The music went on forever and each song and set continuously lead into each other.  The band never stopped and were incredibly captivating the entire show.  The floor of the stadium couldn’t be any more fun … full of people watching, beautiful women dressed in skimpy hippie attire dancing awkwardly, yet sexy in the same fashion.

 

That is an exceptionally accurate description of a Grateful Dead concert..., 

 

When I lived in Marin, CA for 20 years, these people lived that life, every day, I hired and worked with a lot of them - fun persona to manage.  The Bay Area was a Dead Head haven.  Go out to Mill Valley, Larkspur, or further to Inverness, or any of the far-West Marin Burroughs, and it's like leaving the country.

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Yeah, the Grateful Dead is nearly another subject altogether.  I have a good friend who's been to hundreds of their shows.  I saw them just once - with him back in college at University of Virginia in 82.  But I made the mistake of taking a little "trip" beginning just before the show started.  I don't remember much.  I left early and made my way back to my dorm room.  I do remember staring for hours at my suite mate's Van Halen "Fair Warning" poster...  Needless to say, a missed opportunity.  And my first and last "trip."  /gh 

 

Ps. Rob, some impressive ticket stubs there.  Is the one on the bottom left for "Triumph?"  My buddies and I were into them for a summer - the Just a Game album.  Still remember a road trip to Dewey Beach singing along with "Hold On" and "Lay it on the Line."  

Edited by garyh
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Saw my first show when I was in high school with some upper classmen that I played football with who did the driving from Central WI to Chicago. We saw Steely Dan and I think the Guess Who.  We brought in this big jug of hooch that we passed around between pulls off a big old spleaf. Dont know how we got that jug in but apparently wasn't a problem.  Was the very early SD music. After that show I was hooked on concerts. Dont recall the drive home but what a show. Still try to see as many shows as we can but without the hooch and spleafage.

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First concert was Supertramp, Bryan Adams and the Payola's in BC Place Vancouver in '83. Couldn't believe how close to the record they sounded...and BC place had horrible acoustics! Favourite concert is a tough one... I've been fortunate to see quite a few, (Heart, Queensryche, Van Halen, RUSH, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac,  etc...) but really enjoyed Def Leppard in the round at the Saddledome in Calgary (first made eye contact with my future wife there)!

 

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9 hours ago, garyh said:

Yeah, the Grateful Dead is nearly another subject altogether.  I have a good friend who's been to hundreds of their shows.  I saw them just once - with him back in college at University of Virginia in 82.  But I made the mistake of taking a little "trip" beginning just before the show started.  I don't remember much.  I left early and made my way back to my dorm room.  I do remember staring for hours at my suite mate's Van Halen "Fair Warning" poster...  Needless to say, a missed opportunity.  And my first and last "trip."  /gh 

 

Ps. Rob, some impressive ticket stubs there.  Is the one on the bottom left for "Triumph?"  My buddies and I were into them for a summer - the Just a Game album.  Still remember a road trip to Dewey Beach singing along with "Hold On" and "Lay it on the Line."  

Lay it on the line is a bad ass song. I have one of their live CD's and it is a really good one.  Another time I seen Triumph and Loverboy together I think in Kalamazoo MI.  Talking about a laser show, WOW. 

Edited by Rob
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