First Concert

April 3, 2014

morrissey cityscape

By Gabrielle. Image spotted on Eric Alber’s post about Morrissey’s Autobiography.

What a funny day it’s been. We had a random power outage for most of the work day, leaving me with nothing to do but dishes. Hah! So here I am, minutes from the end of my work day, and happily sitting down to write a post. Because there’s a question I’ve been curious to ask you all day long!

This morning, I saw a photo of Morrissey in somebody’s Instagram stream. And when I saw it, it sparked memories of my first concert: Morrissey performing in Las Vegas. I was 16 years old.

I guess when I say concert, I should clarify that I mean first rock concert, the first concert I bought tickets for myself. I’d certainly been to other musical events prior to that concert, but this was different, felt much more independent, and was the first of dozens and dozens of concerts I’ve attended through the rest of high school, college, and throughout my whole adult life — Nirvana and They Might Be Giants and Jane’s Addiction and Brandie Carlisle and Justin Timberlake and The Cure and The Killers and Sufjan Stevens and Sting and James and on and on.

For that first concert, I went with my friend Robyn. Las Vegas was about 2 hours away by car, and we drove there in Robyn’s car with my older brother Josh and two other boys from school — Kerry and AJ. The concert was on the UNLV campus and the auditorium was maybe 75% full. I was blown away. I hadn’t really known what to expect, but I loved it. Once the concert was in full swing, everybody left their seats and moved as close to the front as they could. At one point, an audience member jumped on stage, past security, and hugged Morrissey while he sang! From that moment on it was a steady stream of people hugging Morrissey — some with tears running down their faces as they came face to face with one of their idols. My brother and Kerry and AJ all hugged him, but Robyn and I were too chicken to jump on stage.

My older brother had introduced me to the music of Morrissey and The Smiths when I was in 6th grade, so I’d been listening to their music for many years, and this concert felt like such a prize. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was!

After the concert was over, it was late, but we were all awake as can be and drove back to St. George that same night.

Thinking about that concert made me wonder: What was your first concert? Was it rock, pop, singer/songwriter? And have you been to many concerts, or few, or none at all? How old were you when you went? Was it what you expected? I’d love to hear!

P.S. — When I was at dinner in Washington D.C. — the trip where I lobbied Congress — we talked about this same thing and it was so fun to see if that first concert reflected the current personality of the person who attended.

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{ 127 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lori H April 3, 2014 at 6:26 pm

I was in high school and it was either Hall and Oates (hehe) or Boston.

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2 Design Mom April 3, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Classic! I think Boston was Ben Blair’s first concert, too.

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3 Mary April 3, 2014 at 6:28 pm

What a great story! Morrissey is an excellent first concert. I was (and still am) a huge fan of him and The Smiths, but I never got to see him live.

My first real concert is more funny than anything. It was in the 8th grade (so…1987/88?). I went with some friends to see Cinderella and Whitesnake. Gah! We were in the throws of hair metal bands in the mid-80s, and I’ll admit I was in it too. I wasn’t really a big fan of theirs, but I thought it sounded fun and interesting…and it most definitely was!

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4 Design Mom April 3, 2014 at 7:36 pm

It’s not too late, Morrissey is gray haired, but still handsome and still touring. : )

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5 Amy3 April 3, 2014 at 6:46 pm

My first concert was in 8th grade. A friend and I went to Adam Ant (the Romantics opened). This would have been in ’83 or ’84. My favorite concert, though, had to be seeing the GoGos when I was in high school with my 3 best girl friends. It was an outdoor concert and we had such a blast!

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6 Design Mom April 3, 2014 at 7:36 pm

Oh. To see the GoGos would be so dreamy!

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7 Katie April 4, 2014 at 5:30 am

Adam Ant (with Romantics opening) was my first concert too! It was an hour away and my friend and I conned my brother (and obviously our mothers!) into driving us. Such an amazing memory :)

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8 Karen April 15, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Love hearing that other’s first concert was Adam Ant! He was mine too…but perhaps a year earlier. Scandal was his opener. Got the chance to see him again at a local college (Brandeis) a year later. INXS opened, and my thirteen year heart could barely stand it. Michael Hutchence, three rows away…swoon.

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9 Linda K April 3, 2014 at 6:46 pm

Fun post! My first rock concert was Adam Ant. My worst decision about a concert was when Boy George and David Bowie were playing on the same night…and I chose Boy George. D’oh.

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10 Design Mom April 3, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Oh man! That’s hilarious. Though I bet Boy George put on a fun show!

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11 Jeanne April 3, 2014 at 6:59 pm

I love this topic! The first concert I went to with friends was INXS. I was 17 and it was a few weeks before I started college. I bought a concert t-shirt and wore it the day I moved to campus – what an excellent ice-breaker! I adore going to concerts, although I see far fewer now than when I was younger.

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12 Design Mom April 3, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Concert t-shirts were the perfect souvenir.

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13 Kate April 3, 2014 at 7:06 pm

My first big concert was Huey Lewis and the News! With my parents! ha. I think I was still in elementary school. I remember there were some people smoking pot near us and I had no clue what it was and kept asking my parents about the “weird smell”.
One of the best and more recent concerts I went to was Massive Attack at the Greek Theater in Berkeley. Such a great venue to hear music!

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14 Design Mom April 3, 2014 at 7:37 pm

Love it. Ben Blair and I saw Huey Lewis and the News at a 4th of July Concert after we were married. Good old Huey.

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15 Kate April 3, 2014 at 10:48 pm

He is a Bay Area local so you never know when you might see good ole’ Huey!

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16 susan April 3, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Slightly embarrassing… my first concert was Lionel Richie. It was pretty thrilling nonetheless.

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17 Design Mom April 3, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Dancing on the ceiling baby!

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18 Jessica brown April 3, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Sarah mclachlan in a small college concert hall in her hometown of Halifax, NS. Probably just a few hundred in the audience. It was wonderful.

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19 Design Mom April 3, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Small concerts feel so special and Sarah McLachlan is such a lovely singer. I saw her perform in Salt Lake City when I was in college — but it was a huge venue, not intimate at all.

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20 Valerie April 3, 2014 at 7:46 pm

I didn’t make it to a rock concert untilI was married! Our college cmaus had Arcade Fire and it was amazing! They were switching instruments anand just had such great energy.

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21 Carrie Willard April 3, 2014 at 7:49 pm

My big sis snuck me off to a Joan Jett show. I was only about 8 or so. She was as cool then as she is now ;)

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22 stephanie April 3, 2014 at 7:51 pm

my first concert was morrissey, too! he played at the salt palace my freshman year at byu on halloween night. it was something that i will never ever forget. no hugs on stage at that concert, though. :(

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23 Lisa April 3, 2014 at 7:56 pm

My first real concert was Sinead O’Connor at the Spectrum in Montreal. She was touring The Lion and the Cobra and had this shy/fierce presence. I was on a high for days after.

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24 Fiona April 3, 2014 at 8:11 pm

I grew up in South Africa during apartheid – when no international acts would come near us – so when I was in my final years of high school and apartheid was abolished there was a flood of stars – the first concert I went to was with my whole family – and it was Paul Simon, the next week, we went to Bryan Adams. When South Africa first became established on the tour circuit – it was huge – we went to everything that came, no matter what it was. I loved it all. sting, U2.

Sometimes I get quite sad thinking that that stage of my life is gone, not much time for rock concerts with two young kids – but I’m sure I will be chaperoning them one day soon.

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25 Tamsin April 3, 2014 at 8:02 pm

My first concert was Bush in 1996/97-ish. I saw them in Oslo when I was 16, and almost died of happiness when the drummer waved at me (it was TOTALLY at me, I swear!) from stage.

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26 NSH April 3, 2014 at 8:20 pm

Oh!! Seeing Morrissey was not my first concert — that would be Death Cab for Cutie my freshman year of high school in the mid-2000s, a magical experience in itself and the first time I realized there were grownups “like me” in the world with my interests and fashion and taste — but I got to see him my senior year of high school and oh my GOODNESS I can still feel the chills I felt when he ran on the stage and launched into “First of the Gang to Die.” I actually started screaming uncontrollably, just like a Beatles fan in the 60s, which was very strange for my shy high school self!

What a happy memory — thank you so much for making me remember it.

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27 Melissa April 3, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Haha:) Thinking about my first concert makes me laugh. I saw Michael Bolton, and Celine Dion opened for him. I think I was 11 years old and my older sister took me. I also saw Morrissey a few years ago with my husband. He was awesome!

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28 Lori April 3, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Great topic, concerts are the best. My first real concert was a short-lived band called Belly my freshman year, and it started an ongoing love affair with live music. My first three kids each attended a concert in-utero: Cake, U2, and Barenaked Ladies (at 9 months!). Most recently we saw The Avett Brothers, and we’re excited to see Nickel Creek later this month.

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29 Sally from Little Hiccups April 3, 2014 at 11:24 pm

Feed the Tree by Belly is one of my favourite songs :)
My eldest also went to a U2 concert in-utero! I’d been trying to get tickets to see them for about 15 years but a combination of living in an Australian city they never visited and their stadium tours in other Australian cities selling out within minutes meant I kept missing out. When I finally did get to see them all of those pregnancy hormones (I was about 8 months) caused me to burst into tears when they appears on stage and I spent the first few songs sobbing! I must’ve looked a mess ;)

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30 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 12:13 am

I saw U2 when I was pregnant with number 5! Also, would LOVE to see the Avett Brothers.

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31 Misty April 4, 2014 at 11:25 am

I love nickle creek! I thought they disbanded years ago?! Are they touring?

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32 Micah April 4, 2014 at 11:32 am

Nickel Creek is fantastic in concert. I saw them live at Chautauqua Park (Boulder, CO), which was a perfect concert setting. My parents went with my sister and I, and it was such a fabulous music experience. They just started touring again!

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33 Lindsay April 3, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Hall & Oates was my first concert – I was 8 or 9? It was a great memory and their music reminds me of a happy childhood. :)

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34 Amy April 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm

My first was The Jets (from the 80′s) at a local state fair! I think I was in the 6th grade. Wish I could say it was Morrissey! : )

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35 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 12:14 am

The Jets! I’ve got a crush on you!

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36 Camille April 3, 2014 at 9:22 pm

My first concert was White Snake…in 2003 hehe. I was 21. My husband (then dating/boyfriend) took me when they were touring with other 80′s rock bands in Vegas. It was a blast because I love 80′s music.

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37 Amy T April 3, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Oingo Boingo at the tiny concert hall at the Air Force Academy when I was 14! My dad was a young father, loved new music, and used to take me and my brother with him on Sundays when he searched the stacks at the record store. I still remember pulling my chin up over the edge of the record bins, watching him flip-flip-flip through the weird and mysterious covers to find something interesting. I love knowing that I saw Danny Elfman onstage — what a composer he became!

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38 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 12:15 am

What a cool dad. I would have loved to see Oingo Boingo. Another band I didn’t get to see before they broke up, but wanted to, was Echo and the Bunnymen.

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39 amy April 4, 2014 at 7:04 am

Echo and the Bunnymen are touring Europe this spring :D
My first concert was Jethro Tull on the Thick as a Brick tour. yeah I’m old, still love going to concerts. Already have my tickets for Tori Amos this fall.

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40 Jyl April 3, 2014 at 9:54 pm

First concert – Duran Duran. Erasure opened. For a girl from a tiny town the energy was magical.

I would have been overwhelmed and thrilled to have seen The Smiths in the 80′s. Unfortunately Moz never toured close enough to my tiny Midwestern hometown. I have since been lucky enough to belt out Throwing My Arms Around Paris from the 3rd row and have tickets to see him again in a few weeks.

We *love love love* music and attending concerts as a family. Some of our very best memories are about the shows we went to together.

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41 T April 3, 2014 at 10:07 pm

James Taylor. I was 13 and I went with my whole family to the great outdoor amphitheater known as The Gorge at George, WA

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42 Megan Flowers April 3, 2014 at 10:45 pm

Pink Floyd in the 90′s for their Division Bell tour. I was in junior high and a friends dad had got tickets for them plus an extra one so a friend could join. We lived on LA and drove down to San Diego for the concert. He drove us back that night. It was totally surreal! My second concert was a Grateful Dead show in Oakland a few months later with my uncle. I’ve been pretty lucky with my music influences growing up!!

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43 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 12:16 am

Grateful Dead! I saw one of their last concerts. It was in Salt Lake City. We bought tickets from scalpers and they all promised the tickets were on “Jerry’s side” of the stage.

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44 K April 3, 2014 at 10:48 pm

I love this topic! My first was Steve Miller! But a couple years later (1992?) was Morrissey at Meadowbrook in MI. It was awesome! Also saw the GoGos and Erasure and INXS. ALL great bands. Best concert EVER though was the Strokes.

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45 AnEmilyB April 3, 2014 at 11:11 pm

Mine was U2, I think it was 1985? I was 14 and I was blown away. I’m not a big fan anymore, but I definitely still have a soft spot for them. I’ve been wondering what my own 14yo is going to end up seeing for his own first concert! I hope it’s not someone lame!!

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46 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 12:17 am

That’s a cool first concert! I’ve been a U2 fan as long as I can remember — still am — but I didn’t see them live until I was 31.

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47 Amanda April 3, 2014 at 11:14 pm

My first concert was seeing Ingrid Michaelson play in Montreal. (http://ajigreer.blogspot.com/2012/04/ingrid-michaelson-in-concert.html) It was so much fun and I think I cried!

Since then, I’ve seen Tegan and Sara twice (once in New Brunswick, Canada, and once in Beijing!) and I’ve seen The Lumineers (in Beijing!). I’m from a small town, so moving to Beijing has opened some concert doors for me haha

I really want to see Mumford and Sons and Joshua Radin!

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48 Sally from Little Hiccups April 3, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Oh, what a wonderful first concert for you! I saw Morrissey in Sydney around 2002 and he is such a fantastic performer. So melodramatic and over the top! He was carried out onto the stage and laid on the floor to start the concert while fans in the front row threw gladioli at the stage! I wonder if that still happens… He’s playing in San Jose next month but seeing as it’s only a week after I’m due to have a baby I think I’d better give it a miss :( You should definitely go though and take the kids!!
I wish I could say that my first concert was someone as amazing as Morrissey but alas it wasn’t. Growing up in country Australia there weren’t any opportunities to go to concerts until my family moved to the city when I was 17. The first concert I went to was a Cypress Hill & Ice Cube double bill with my new hip hop loving neighbour. Not really my thing but it was entertaining.

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49 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 12:18 am

Cyrpess Hill & Ice Cube! Color me impressed.

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50 Becca April 3, 2014 at 11:30 pm

My first concert was Dave Matthews around 97 or so, when I was 19. My date smoked a joint as it was passed through the crowd, and my little innocent (judge mental) Mormon heart thought that was about the worst possible thing in the world. That’s my biggest memory from the night!

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51 Lynnette April 3, 2014 at 11:59 pm

Mine was Ringo Starr and his all star band. But that makes me sound much older than I really am! It was 1998 and I was 16 (I’m 31 now). I was OBSESSED with the Beatles through junior high, so it was totally a dream come true. I still need to see Paul ;)

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52 Gayle April 4, 2014 at 12:31 am

omg. my first concert was the Beatles, at a stadium in San Diego. I was 15 or 16. I think it was their first US tour, like 1963 or 64. They were so far away they looked like tiny dolls dancing on the stage, and the girls next to me, who I didn’t know were screaming so loud most of the time that I could barely hear anything. Talk about disappointing! My next concerts were in San Francisco at the Fillmore and other similar venues. I saw the Doors and Janis Joplin. That was 1968. I also went to see Led Zeppelin at the Oakland Coliseum, but the music was SO loud, I left after 10 minutes and waited in the parking lot for my friends to finish. After that I stopped going to loud concerts. Sensitive ears at age 20. Now at 66, still sensitive ears. I won’t go into a noisy restaurant to eat. Dream about having a restaurant with really good healthy food, named Quiet. and it would be. :-) Oh yes. Just remembered, I also went to Altamont in 1969 to see the Rolling Stones. So many young people there, pretty much all seriously stoned on something. The concert was good, but then the Hell’s Angels, whom the Stones had hired for security were overzealous and were actually assaulting concert goers, and even killed one person. It was pretty seriously terrifying. I had a pretty wild youth. And now live a nice quiet life, which I love.

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53 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 10:57 am

Wow! That is quite a pedigree of concerts. I’m impressed!

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54 Gayle April 5, 2014 at 7:48 am

haha. thanks Gabrielle. it was the times! I arrived in SF in ’67. “the summer of love”. it was what was happening. I didn’t even go to most of the concerts that were taking place. an embarrassment of musical riches, and wildness. glad I survived the times to tell the story. :-)

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55 Chris Eberle April 4, 2014 at 1:07 am

this reminds me need to continue the chat about music we started @ Alt! (where you knew Samiam :))

My first concert was Whitesnake. I was in 7th grade, so it was 1986-7. My mullet was in full effect! I went to big hair, big arena shows for years until I got into hardcore punk in high school. Then it was all about small shows at small clubs. Now I love being in the Bay Area and having The Fillmore, Slim’s, Bottom of the Hill, The Warfield, and so many other great places to see shows!

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56 Emily April 4, 2014 at 3:16 am

My first concert was boyz 2 men. ’95ish?? All my girlfriends and I were totally in love and I couldn’t believe we were actually seeing them live after so many nights falling asleep to their music. I was 14:)

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57 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 10:56 am

The perfect concert for a 14 year old. Love it.

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58 Julie April 4, 2014 at 4:31 am

Morrisey wasn’t my first concert but he was certainly one of my first “cool” concerts!

Glasgow Barrowlands in 19whatever and he threw his shirt in the air at the end and I was given a piece of it by a very generous friend which I tied around my bag.

My first pop concert was a British band called Kajagoogoo – if you google/yoube it I’m sure you’ll have a giggle!

Thanks for the memory of Morrisey – fav song? Reel around the fountain

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59 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 10:55 am

A piece of his shirt? I think I would have fainted.

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60 Julie April 4, 2014 at 4:32 am

What am i thinking??? 1990′s!!! This was the 80′s – I keep forgetting how old I am!

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61 Victoria April 4, 2014 at 4:40 am

Sting-Dream of the Blue Turtles tour
I was 14 and it was amazing. I’ve now seen him perform 5 times, and each time it’s perfection.
But my first concert should have been Duran Duran–I was such a huge fan, but they were so big that they weren’t playing anywhere close to us. I saw them as an adult when all 5 of them reunited briefly–about 8 years ago? It was like being 13 all over again!

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62 amyb April 4, 2014 at 5:16 am

1979 Eighth grade the Ramones!

But my most memorable 1982 Berkeley Greek Theater English Beat and Bow Wow Wow. We skipped school to get in line and have a good spot. Best night ever!

Amy

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63 Angela April 4, 2014 at 5:24 am

Weird Al Yankovic – shortly after “Fat” came out. I’ll tell you one thing, that man works HARD for his money! He puts on a fantastic show.

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64 Brenda April 4, 2014 at 5:45 am

I was blessed with a dear friend that shared my musical tastes and we saw many concerts together. We grew up on KROQ and had a love for alternative music. We got to see The Smiths, The Cure, English Beat/General Public, Fishbone, Madness, Oingo Boingo, and others I can’t think of now. Sadly I have lost touch with this sweet friend, but I still have all of the amazing memories!

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65 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 10:55 am

Concerts definitely make good memories.

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66 Kate April 4, 2014 at 5:58 am

My very first concert was Andy Gibb – it was thrilling as I had his poster on my bedroom wall. I have seen so many concerts over the years and I have every ticket stub from all of them. I thought it would be fun to get them all framed in one big frame for my son because he loves music too but when I dug out the old ones from the 80′s – sadly they were too faded. My favorite concert was The Beastie Boys in 1987 – so much fun.
Great post – thank you!!

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67 Heidi April 4, 2014 at 7:16 am

My first rock concert was in the early 80s and I was in high school. Some friends and I went to Day on the Green at the Oakland Coliseum and saw the Police-Thompson Twins and Oingo Boingo opened for them. They were all great-but I’m not a huge crowd fan-so I actually remember that more than the music!

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68 amyb April 4, 2014 at 10:27 am

I seriously think combining the folks I knew then and during the course of the last 30 years I have ‘met’ everyone who attended that Day on the Green!

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69 Heidi April 5, 2014 at 10:21 am

So funny! It was definitely a HUGE crowd.

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70 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 10:54 am

That sounds like an epic event!

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71 Tamara April 4, 2014 at 7:39 am

If you don’t count seeing The Jets in 5th grade with my Girl Scout troop during their Smoke Free Generation tour, my first concert was REM. Michael Stipe was in a cast, but still jumping around and amazing.

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72 Rebeca April 4, 2014 at 7:43 am

That is so funny. I went to art school and Morrissey and the Smiths were required listening. I now have a 16 and 14 year son, they often respond to my questions jokingly using “Morrissey” speak. “I wear black on the outside, because black is how I feel on the inside”. I always answer “…that joke isn’t funny anymore….”.
There is never a situation where I don’t hear them teasingly whispering lyrics in my ear. At the hairdressers ( busy clipping) , in traffic (.. If a ten ton truck, kills the both of us…). They act appalled that I listened to ‘mope rock’ but I think they secretly like it. Thanks for a fun memory. Oh yea, my first concert was when I was brand new to town and my new friends asked if I wanted to go to campus to a concert. It was REM playing from Life’s Rich Pageant.

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73 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 10:53 am

Love this! Morrissey lyrics to fit and occasion.

And REM is another band I’m sort of shocked I never saw in concert. Maybe they’ll do a reunion tour someday.

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74 Kathleen April 4, 2014 at 7:55 am

My first big one was Lollapalooza in ’93–Tool, Primus, Rage Against the Machine (though to my chagrin, they “played” by just standing on stage naked with feedback going on for 10 minutes, major disappointment for me. It was such an awesome first concert!

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75 Debra April 4, 2014 at 8:12 am

First concert with first boy friend 1975, Ted Nugent, Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. That was an eye opener!!!

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76 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 10:51 am

Hah!

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77 Kari April 4, 2014 at 8:14 am

My first concert was to see pop singer/soap opera actor Rick Springfield. I was about 14 and went to see him at our Kentucky State Fair.

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78 Angela April 4, 2014 at 8:24 am

My parents took me to see LEIF GARRETT (!!) when I was pretty small, maybe 8 or 9? Late 1970s. I loved it, and have loved all types of concerts ever since. My first (fairly) independent concert was seeing the Police during their Synchonicity tour in Fdb 1984 – I was almost finished with 8th grade, and one mom drove her daughter and and several of us friends. To this day, I think of that as one of the best concerts ever – I have never had the chance to see Sting live again, thus far. In college, a roommate took me to see Mary-Chapin Carpenter in a very small venue, and she was FANTASTIC. I had never listened to country music before, but she converted me. Finally, a high-school friend of mine became the head sound guy for Keith Urban. When Brooks & Dunn’s Neon Circus tour came to our town in 2001, my friend let us watch from the side of the stage – we got to see B&D, Urban, Montgomery Gentry, and Toby Keith ALL live, and got to meet them, go through Urban’s tour bus, etc. It was so amazing. I could never live that concert life (so much work on everyone’s part, and so constantly mobile), but I am so happy for every chance I get to go!

Thanks Gabrielle – fun memories!

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79 Marissa April 4, 2014 at 8:25 am

My first concert was Sum41 in the spring of 2002. I was 14, and it BLEW MY MIND. I would totally see them again, despite having much better taste in music these days :).

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80 Julie Marsh April 4, 2014 at 8:31 am

Love this. I saw Morrissey in college, and he walked off when security wouldn’t let people onstage. We could hardly believe it when the lights came up – “He really LEFT?!” True to his moody form though, right?

(First concert: Duran Duran “Strange Behaviour” tour, Erasure opened for them.)

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81 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 10:51 am

Hah! Fabulous story. And awesome first concert.

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82 Lindsay April 4, 2014 at 8:37 am

It was Siouxsie and the Banshees with Wonderstuff! It was at an outdoor amphitheater and the whole venue turned into a big, muddy mosh pit. The tall, handsome friend I was with whisked me to a safer vantage point and put me on his shoulders so I could still see the stage.

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83 Cynthia April 4, 2014 at 8:55 am

Age 13, the Monkees in Chicago…I had just completed charm school and knew that concerts required white gloves. So my first concert outfit was a sleeveless turquoise paisley tent dress with white gloves. 1967, y’all. I ditched the gloves and basically spent the entire concert standing on my seat screaming my head off. Take that, charm school!

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84 Melissa April 4, 2014 at 9:29 am

Love your story! I love the Monkees and wish I could have seen them live. Good thing their tv show is still in syndication, ha ha.

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85 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 10:50 am

Love this story!!

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86 Stacy April 8, 2014 at 6:49 am

Omg i think i want to be your friend! Excellent story!

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87 Barchbo April 4, 2014 at 8:59 am

My first concert that I begged to go to was Donny & Marie when I was in second grade – 1978. It was outdoors and I was in heaven.

My first bought-my-own-tickets concert was Billy Joel. He was my first two concerts. I’ve seen him five times. Love.

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88 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 10:50 am

Well of course. The second grade you was a little bit country and a little bit rock-and-roll.

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89 Bliss April 4, 2014 at 9:13 am

U2 with my dad. I was 19.

I remember the thick smell of marijuana and thinking “can my dad smell that??”

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90 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 10:49 am

I bet he was thinking the same thing about you. : )

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91 Jenny Stockton April 4, 2014 at 9:25 am

My husband and I got into this conversation with a bunch of strangers when we went to an Outstanding In The Field dinner a couple of summers ago and it was so much fun. My first real concert was The Temptations and The Four Tops with my whole family when I was 7 or 8 years old. It was magical.

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92 Melissa April 4, 2014 at 9:26 am

Ha – my first concert was also Morrissey! In Detroit. I was about 13 years old and went with my best friend and her older sister. I can still remember what we wore, where we sat and Morrissey whipping that mic cord around. Thanks for the trip down memory lane :)

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93 Amy April 4, 2014 at 9:27 am

My first concert was Echo and the Bunnymen, with New Order and Gene loves Gezebel at the Greek Theater in Berkeley. I was 16. So much fun. My friends and I drove there and hung out on Telegraph. No cell phones! I wouldn’t let my 16 yr old do that today!! We still like to go to concerts. My kids have already seen several shows. Maroon 5 at Shoreline last year was great.

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94 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 10:47 am

We saw Maroon 5 at Madison Square Garden. A huge show! Really fun. I would love to see them again.

I feel a little connected, because the Maroon 5 guitarist, James Valentine, is the younger brother of a good friend, Lisa Valentine Clark.

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95 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 10:49 am

Also. So jealous you saw Echo and the Bunnymen!

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96 Julie April 4, 2014 at 9:29 am

Wow. Someone besides me saw James. :) And I’ve seen Morrissey as well. The fans running up and hugging is almost a tradition now. My first concert was oh goodness, Shaun Cassidy in the third grade. That was the start of my concert-crazy life. Currently, I am basically an Avett Brothers groupie (in a nice way–haha!) and travel around the country going to their shows.

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97 Felicia April 4, 2014 at 10:06 am

It was Bob Dylan in Berkeley!

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98 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 10:46 am

That right there sounds very memorable.

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99 Risa April 4, 2014 at 10:08 am

My first concert was *the BANGLES* in the sixth grade! I won tickets on the radio and my cool aunt took me!

However, I did turn down an offer to the homecoming dance with a big crush when I was 15 because I ALREADY HAD TICKETS TO MORRISSEY!! It was also very mellowdramatic and at the biggest sports arena outside Detroit so we were very far away.

*Shortly after I saw James at a small club, where I could swoon at close distance. *

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100 Liv April 4, 2014 at 10:43 am

My first concert was Tiffany in 1990- I was 13 and my friend’s aunt was the chaperone- she was so cool it felt like we were doing something so grown-up and wild- My Mom took me to get a new outfit and my ears pierced before the big night- I looked rad in my hot pink acid washed skirt.

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101 Design Mom April 4, 2014 at 10:45 am

Ears pierced before the big night. Fabulous!

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102 Miggy April 4, 2014 at 10:44 am

I was a sophomore in high school when I went to my first concert–U2 at Mile High Stadium. It was insane. We were on the floor with seats really close to the catwalk. I felt like that was life changing. I remember going home and writing about it in my journal–even sticking some mementos from the night in there–Bono Money and some tape from the stage. Yes stage tape. I’ve love shows and used to live to go to them, but sadly haven’t been in many years! I’ve seen The Cure, The Grateful Dead, Duran Duran, No Doubt, Weezer, Morrissey, Page and Plant (essentially Led Zeppelin), and a slew of punk/ska/indie bands. Oh man… love this thread, it’s got me all nostalgic.

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103 Amy April 4, 2014 at 10:48 am

Mine was Metallica. It was such a great concert! I was 15, and my friends and I sat up all night outside the record store to get the best tickets possible. It worked! We had awesome seats, and what an incredible show they put on. My friends adult cousin took us. I’m still not sure what my mother was thinking by letting us stay out all night for tickets.

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104 Shennon April 4, 2014 at 10:52 am

This is a sore subject for me when it comes to my kids. Your “first bought your own tickets concert” helps me a bit. The arena shows aimed at little ones seem to take away a right of passage for our kids. I live in Minneapolis MN. This town supports a strong music scene and First Ave still hosts all ages shows. Yet most young ones have seen the wiggles and a host of Disney supported shows before they ever enter First Ave (our local temple of music history) or a college campus concert.

I have a big sister that was way into contemporary christian music so my first concert was Sandy Patty followed by several SONshine festivals. Not the wildest, but they were mine. It was a bit of a change when I got to my first Violent Femmes show. I had been listening to them since grade school (please don’t tell my mom). I think I was 18 before I saw them live.

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105 RobinW April 4, 2014 at 11:04 am

My first was supposed to be Cyndi Lauper in 1984, but there was a big snow storm that night and my mom wouldn’t let me go. Oh, the angst! ha ha! So the first ended up being INXS the next year.

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106 Lynne H April 4, 2014 at 11:06 am

I grew up going to the “Kool Jazz Festival” in Cincinnati, Ohio. This was a two-day concert with multiple artists performing over the two days. I think I attended–with my mother–for the first time when I was 6 or 7! The artists were primarily R&B, and over the years I remember seeing Al Green, the O’Jays, The Isley Brothers and the queen of soul herself, Aretha Franklin. I also remember seeing Chick Corea, Carlos Santana, Al Jarreau and Herbie Hancock. Lots of good jazz fusion!

When I was 12, my 18-year-old cousin took me to see the group Chicago, whom we both loved (don’t laugh–I still love their music). I think the next concert I attended (in high school) was Prince, which was probably the best concert I ever attended!

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107 JP April 4, 2014 at 11:25 am

The first concert that I went to was also Morrissey. After a fan ran up on the stage (and tried [did?!] take off his white t-shirt), Morrissey ended the concert. However, maybe the best memory of that night was the Xeroxed copies of a Philadelphia map my dad gave my best friend and I with the street corner—of where he’d pick us up—highlighted. That Xerox hung in my best friend’s room for years.

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108 Judy Grubbs April 4, 2014 at 11:25 am

My first concert was the Beatles in Portland,OR in 1965. I won the tickets in a contest thru Tiger Beat magazine. I was 14, so my parents drove me and a friend 100 miles to Portland and waited outside during the concert. It is one of the greatest memories of my life! My husband and I still go to lots of concerts. We have recently seen Boz Scaggs, Michael Buble, Tony Bennett, Rufus Wainwright, TimMcGraw, Elton John, Pink Martini and are looking forward to seeing Rod Stewart and Bruno Mars this summer. We are in our 60′s but like to pretend it is the 60′s!

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109 Nikki April 4, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Oh Morrissey would have been a great first concert. I can’t remember my first but it was either Depeche Mode or The Pogues. I distinctly remember going to see both around 8th grade but not sure which one was first. Loved them both though!

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110 Meg April 4, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Oh, this is such a happy topic! I’ve loved reading through the replies. My first “real” concert was The Cure (and Dinosaur Jr., and The Cranes) at Spartan Stadium; I was 18. That was the beginning of so many great concerts, but that is still one of my top five all-time faves.

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111 Diana April 4, 2014 at 12:27 pm

I was 16 when I saw, ‘Echo and the Bunnymen’ at the Civic Center in San Francisco. I still can’t believe my parents let me go. So much Fun! I really thought Ian was going to see me and fall madly in love. Did I mention I was 16! Morrissey was my 3rd concert in Berkley. He was AMAZING! Still love him!

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112 Nicolette April 4, 2014 at 12:39 pm

My first concert was Alanis Morissette but the best thing is Radiohead opened for her! It totally made me a live music lover! I’m going to see Morrissey in May. It will be my second time seeing him and I’m curious to see if he lets people rush the stage and hug him. Last time everyone who jumped on stage was kicked out. That Morrissey is getting so temperamental in his older age!

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113 Sabrina April 4, 2014 at 9:16 pm

Radiohead is so amazing! My favorite concert I’ve ever been to (and I’ve been to a lot) was Radiohead at Red Rocks in the summer of 2001.

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114 Jennifer Vallez April 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm

I WISH I saw The Smiths or Morrissey. They were my favorite! My first real concert was Duran Duran – Seven & The Ragged Tiger. It was unreal.

xx

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115 Ann April 4, 2014 at 1:14 pm

I’m having trouble remembering! Isn’t that terrible?! It may have been the Psychedelic Furs in Seattle! There may have been smaller bands less known before that at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC! When I saw this photo of Morrissey it brought back so many memories of listening to The Smiths in my teenage angst days! Loved it! When I have heard or read recent Morrissey quotes he sounds so grumpy lately but I’m still going to read his book! :-)

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116 Beth April 4, 2014 at 1:54 pm

What an awesome first concert. I didn’t get the chance to see the Smiths or Morrissey when I was in high school, but I have seen him in more recent years. He still puts on an awesome show, and yes, people still run up on stage to hug him. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit my first concert was Huey Lewis and the News.

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117 Emily F April 4, 2014 at 1:59 pm

My first concert was Shania Twain and honestly it was a bit lame. No dancing, no costume changes, just standing and singing. But still fun! I was 18. I saw SheDaisy at Thanksgiving Point in college and I’ve seen Angels & Airwaves. But Weezer was my most favorite and SO fun. They put on a good show. And that’s it. Kinda pathetic!

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118 Jenn April 4, 2014 at 2:18 pm

It wasn’t my first concert but I saw Morrissey perform in London in 1997. I had been a fan for years and when he came out on stage and yelled, “Hey all you sexy Londoners!” (even though I was sexy American), I screamed so loud I made myself lightheaded. After performing for about 1/2 hour someone broke through security and jumped on stage heading towards Morrissey. After hearing your story, maybe it was to hug him (was this a thing?). But Morrissey was having none of it. He walked right off the stage never to come back. I was really disappointed and mad at the guy who scared Morrissey away. Maybe he’d had one too many hugs and was done with the ritual!

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119 Catherine April 4, 2014 at 2:25 pm

My first concert was a Coldplay concert in West Palm Beach, Florida. The tickets were a graduation gift from my parents and I got to bring my older sister! A five hour drive from my home in Jacksonville but oh, was it pure bliss! The smooth sounds of Chris Martin on a beautiful May evening. The air was uncharacteristically dry with a sweet breeze off the ocean. I wasn’t one bit sorry I missed “Senior Day” at school. Coldplay was totally worth it.

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120 Sabrina April 4, 2014 at 8:54 pm

I love this topic because I LOVE concerts, especially rock concerts, and have been to many, although that has considerably waned since becoming a parent. My first “real” concert was seeing the Dave Matthews Band when I was 16. I was hooked with concerts ever since and spent a good chunk of the money I earned in high school and college on attending concerts, even traveling to see certain ones. So many good memories!

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121 jessica April 4, 2014 at 9:09 pm

they might be giants in milwaukee 1992. when they played “the great polka” people ran on stage to dance with them and it collapsed. i was jealous anyone who was injured got a visit from john and jon the next day. junior year of high school.

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122 Pamela Balabuszko-Reay April 5, 2014 at 10:27 am

A bit late to the party (been on a boat all week) but I’ve loved reading all of the comments. I’m pining for so many of the bands mentioned. Billy Idol in 1983? in Chicago (Aragon Ballroom?) I think was my first show. My best early concert was Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1984 in Brighton, England. I went from american short punk hair to a massive Siouxsie black hair explosion that summer. I was beside myself with excitement at that show. I brought back the best mix tape from a friend in England that summer. Echo, Captain Sensible, Sex Pistols, Clash… so many more. I played it to death. By mix tape I mean mix tape. I lived in fear that it would break or get tangled.

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123 Emily April 5, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Morrissey holds a special place in my heart. I saw him for the first time in SLC in 1997. I was one of those who hopped over the barricade and got to shake his hand. But the real magic of that concert was that I met this fellow Morrissey fan online while I was trying to find a ride to that show. We just celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary :) And we are seeing Morrissey in Austin next month!

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124 r April 8, 2014 at 1:48 pm

My very first was Neil Diamond with my mom at age 7 or 8 because my dad got sick and she was not about to miss the show or let a good ticket go to waste! I remember we had a really good time though– I knew all the songs from cleaning house. First ticket that I bought on my own and went to unsupervised was 1994 Lollapalooza in San Diego– Smashing Pumpkins, Beastie Boys, Green Day, Flaming Lips, Guided by Voices– my 15 year old mind was blown, it was completely mad and wonderful all at the same time. And the start of my live music habit. I saw Morrissey a few years later and missed junior prom to see Page and Plant play with the San Diego Symphony…. so worth it. I try my best to still get out, but the kids have definitely slowed it down. I can’t wait until they are old enough to drag to a few shows as a family.

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125 Marie April 9, 2014 at 11:39 am

first concert was Love and Rockets in Tampa, Fl when I was 13. So Alive tour. Went with a friend and sat/stood/danced in between our 19 year old sisters. I’m super jealous of the reader that saw the Ramones in 79 and I would have loved to have seen the Pixies. Best big show was the Beastie Boys at the Saltair and best little show would have to be Fila Brazilia in Hollywood. Concerts are always a fun topic!

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126 Laura April 10, 2014 at 10:18 am

Janet Jackson! I was a senior in HS and a Freshman friend’s mom got her tickets and the mom didn’t really want to go, so asked me to take her. It was not my first choice, but was so much fun.

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127 Nancy S. April 17, 2014 at 3:08 pm

My first concert was Depeche Mode. My Mom took me and I was 13. Then, The Cure at 16 with a friend… Love Morrissey!

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