Do You Remember Your First Concert?

I’m the coolest dad on the block. About two weeks ago, I took my 6-year old daughter to see the Jonas Brothers at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland. I’m thrilled that music plays a role in her life (especially since mine revolves around it – and her, of course), so it’s a small price for a loving dad to pay to listen to the thousands of screaming fans and some young musicians that are actually quite talented (I’m sure their Ultimate Ears custom in-ear monitors helped them sound even better!).

I spent most of the show watching my daughter’s face light up. She was in awe of the whole experience – the excitement of the lights going out, the screaming crowd, the anticipation before the first song, holding up her blinking Jonas Brothers glowstick, and of course shopping for her first concert t-shirt after the show.

That night with my daughter got me thinking about my first concert experience and how that memory will be with me for a lifetime. My first concert was Def Leppard on their Hysteria tour in August of 1988 at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. Ever since I was a kid I had wanted to go to live concerts, but my parents weren’t about to escort me to a rock concert. I had to wait until I was old enough to drive myself and get to a show without my parents knowing where I was! I piled into a small car with three of my closest friends and we headed to the show. I remember being amazed at how the show was put together, how well the musicians performed live and how much more alive the music feels compared to a pre-recorded record. I also remember how much it meant to share that experience with my closest friends. I didn’t have enough money to buy an official tour t-shirt, so I bought a cheap knock-off from some guy in the parking lot. Now that’s rock-n-roll!

I hope my daughter will have a great lifelong memory of her first concert and that music will continue to play an important role in her life, as it has in mine.


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  • That was awesome, Tim! You are a great dad, I could just feel the emotion in her as you wrote. For me, Grateful Dead at 21, my brother’s band opened the show. It was SO cool…

  • This really made me smile. I’m currently writing a blog for a journalism class chronicling people’s first concerts. I am glad your daughter’s first concert will be one she looks back on fondly, even if she grows out of the “Jo Bros” phenomenon.

    Music is such an enormous part of my life as well, so I plan on taking my (future) kids to a first concert of their choice.

    Not to age you, but I really enjoyed the description of the Hysteria Tour a month before I was born. 🙂


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