Why Your First Concert Is The Best Concert EVER

I remember the first concert I ever went to:  KISS, July 21, 1977, Winnipeg Arena, as part of their Love Gun tour.  The opening act was a pre-Budokan Cheap Trick.

This was when KISS was at their biggest during their first act.  Flames! Spitting blood! Floating drum risers! Guitars bursting in a shower of sparks! Paul Stanley singing about his dick!  It was amazing.

I bought ever single bit of merch I could afford.  I still have the program–and the ticket stub, of course.

The reason I bring this up is because I saw this article at BuzzFeed that seeks to explain why your first concert is always the best.  Any stories you’d like to share?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

19 thoughts on “Why Your First Concert Is The Best Concert EVER

  • March 20, 2014 at 9:23 am
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    my first concert was The Trees, an obscure member of that string of Canadian synthrock bands who inexplicably sang with British accents in the mid-80s; their only “hit” was “Whenever the Wind Blows”, which I never actually saw on Much Music, it was occasionally played between shows on local stations as if it was a PSA. and while it felt like the most awesome concert ever to me at the time, I was blown away years later when I saw hHead (they were opening for The Watchmen, who were too loud and disinterested, but hHead were amazing).

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  • March 20, 2014 at 10:11 am
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    Not that it was bad, but it’s not the case for me. My first was Primus on the Brown tour when I was 15. Two memories form it:

    -the opener announcing changing their name from Rainbow Butt Monkeys to the much more serious Finger Eleven.

    -Les having to stop the show and request that the young men with their out of control “seminal urges” go get laid and stop throwing bottles at him.

    I think my best concert ever was actually last November, seeing Ned’s Atomic Dustbin: 13-year old me’s dream fulfilled. It was amazing. The years have been kind to the band. Them and the London crowd were all still insanely energetic, and I got to watch while crushed in a moshpit from the front row.

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    • March 20, 2014 at 11:53 am
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      i’m insanely jealous you hopped over the pond to see the neds.
      nice to see there’s still a few nedheads floating around the toronto area (assuming you are…)

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      • March 20, 2014 at 2:46 pm
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        Yeah in Toronto. They’re playing Manchester in May 😉

        Check out their 21 Years 21 Songs Live DVD if you’re curious to see/hear what they’re like nowadays.

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        • March 21, 2014 at 7:55 am
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          oh, i’ve still been following. i’ve got everything they’ve released since they reformed and they sound just as good as ever!

          still a grebo at heart 🙂

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          • March 21, 2014 at 6:41 pm
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            New PWEI EP out today!

  • March 20, 2014 at 10:12 am
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    Um mine was Milli Vanilli so I dont know about that – hahaha – But En Vouge opened so that balanced it out a bit.

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  • March 20, 2014 at 11:57 am
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    I also saw KISS on that tour, in Regina a week or so later (Aug 3), but my first ‘arena’ show was April Wine at the Civic Centre in Moose Jaw in 1976. Heart opened for them.

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    • March 23, 2014 at 2:58 pm
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      Ha, my first was also April Wine in early 1980 at the Peterborough Memorial Centre with Red Rider opening.

      Reply
  • March 20, 2014 at 1:30 pm
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    My first was Glass Tiger. Fun at the time, but not the best.
    In ’07 I saw Sam Roberts, White Stripes, and Rush. THAT was the best summer ever.

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  • March 20, 2014 at 2:07 pm
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    OMG… that Kiss luv gun tour was my SECOND concert! And it was every bit as exciting as Alan you describes it! The start of the show: Gene Simons standing an an elevated ramp, the ramp swings down about 40 feet to the ground. He then kicks the gate open with his 9″ high heel shoes, and stomps onto the stage!

    My first concert though was Bachman Turner Overdrive, with Trooper as the backup band…. (caught the drummers stick!!) very good, but I will admit the Kiss Concert blew it away.

    Cheers

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  • March 20, 2014 at 2:38 pm
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    Cheap Trick in Halifax in 1988 riding high on their big comeback. 5th row. Eddie Money opened. I got a pick from Rick Neilson, but he chucks those things out like crazy so that’s no big accomplishment.

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  • March 20, 2014 at 6:26 pm
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    Mine was Blue Rodeo at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium sometime in the early 90’s. The Skydiggers opened for them. It was a pretty tame concert, but I remember being in awe of how the sound was just felt, in addition to being heard. The little hairs on my neck stood right up!

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  • March 20, 2014 at 10:08 pm
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    My first concert was 1977, The Village People, at the Montreal Forum. Gloria Gaynor was the opening act. My friend and I (and my mom, as we were only 11) had floor seats. We had no clue about the sold out arena being filled with a large crowd of gay men. We just loved the music. The guys were great entertainers and put on a true Vegas style show (actual motorcycles and backhoe on the stage!). I fell in love with live music that night and have seen close to 100 big concerts since then.

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  • March 21, 2014 at 8:50 pm
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    Morrissey, Kingswood Theatre (Wonderland 1991). Had lawn tickets but what a memorable day and night. It was an adventure in itself through transit by TTC and Go Bus. Didn’t realize how big of a following would be descending at Wonderland.

    Remember in those days, the odd fanzines and Chris Sheppard playing Mozzer’s new singles on Friday nights was as much of a communal experience I had regarding Morrissey’s music.

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  • March 22, 2014 at 1:10 pm
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    about 76 or 77 at maple leaf gardens, queen with thin lizzy opening.

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  • March 22, 2014 at 2:33 pm
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    Rush at Ivor Wynne Stadium with Streetheart opening. Killer show. Box seats thru boyfriend’s dad! Yeahhhh. Interestingly one of the first concerts that I worked was Rush at Copps Coliseum seven years later. Then a year or so ago saw IWS’s last concert, The Tragically Hip with Sam Roberts. Was too young (don’t hear me say that very often) to catch Pink Floyd there. Have seen them in over a dozen various configurations over the years, but never Gilmore & Waters on the stage at the same time. Crap. But I digress…

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  • March 23, 2014 at 9:11 am
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    First concert was Tina Turner at the Ontario Place Amphitheater in ’83 – just before Private Dancer (dragged there by parents who couldn’t find a last minute babysitter). First concert with friends was Midnight Oil/Hunters & Collectors in Ottawa in ’88.

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  • March 24, 2014 at 10:36 pm
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    Last row grey at MLG Sept. 1972-Ten Years After w E. Winter+ Peter Frampton for $3.30
    Yes still have the stub. It was Iggy Pop at the Victory Burlesque Theatre in Jan. 1974 and The New York Dolls w Kiss at Massey Hall in June 1974 that got me hooked and led to hundreds and hundreds of live shows over the last 42 years and counting. Iggy,The Dolls and Kiss made me see there was a lot more then just the Deep Purple/Black Sabbath/Led Zepplin world I was into then. Rock on.

    Reply

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