I was late to the music party, as I didn’t attend my first concert until I was 16.
But what a first concert it was: the 1993 Lollapalooza festival, with the main stage featuring Primus, Alice in Chains, Dinosaur Jr., Fishbone, Arrested Development, Front 242, Tool and Rage Against the Machine.
It was held in Indio, Calif. — now the home of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival — on an intolerably hot day in August, with festival organizers spraying fans near the stage with high-pressure firehoses. I remember the then-unknown Rage Against the Machine electrifying the audience in its opening set, encouraging everyone to shoot middle fingers into the air. I remember being puzzled when Primus came onstage with the crowd yelling "Primus sucks!" (I later found that the slogan is a term of endearment for the band.) I remember Dinosaur Jr. playing the loudest music — and sound — my ears had ever endured.
Next year will be the 20th anniversary of that first concert for me, which prompted my colleagues and me to consider the relevance of first concerts and what they mean to music fans as a musical coming-of age. Over the past few months, I have asked the musicians I have interviewed for memories of their first concerts, with sometimes-surprising cross-genre results. Many, like Al Green and Chris Squire of Yes, didn’t remember. But most did.
So, here goes: What was your first concert?
Geoff Tate, Queensryche » Alice Cooper’s "Billion Dollar Babies" tour. It was completely over the top and bizarre. It made quite an impact on me. I try to incorporate theatrics into our act, and I think Alice Cooper was the instigator for that.
Tyler Glenn, Neon Trees » James Taylor. One of my church leaders took me.
Rachel Crow » Miley Cyrus. I was so excited I was shaking. The Jonas Brothers opened.
Hank William III » My first official show was Adam Ant. It was very intense for me.
Erika Wennerstrom, Heartless Bastards » Janet Jackson’s "Rhythm Nation" tour. She had that tough Joan Jett sense about her. My musical tastes have morphed over the years.
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Joshua James » Three Dog Night in ninth grade. We had the worst tickets. I couldn’t even see them.
Dave Simonett, Trampled By Turtles » Bouncing Souls. I was 14 and it was an all-ages coffee shop. I was an angry young kid, and punk spoke to me.
Benjamin Davis, Bad Veins » When I was 18 or 19, went to see Possum Dixon and The Continentals at [Cincinnati music venue] Bogart’s. We played there with Interpol several months ago.
Greg Laswell » Chicago at the Hollywood Bowl with my parents. I must have been 12 or 13. I remember a four- or five-minute piano intro.
Walter Parks, Swamp Cabbage » Yes, with opening act The Eagles. It was fantastic.
Cody Simpson » I saw The Wiggles when I was 8, and Keith Urban when I was 10. I grew up a lot in between those.
To read plenty more, go to http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/entertainment/54404436-81/band-concert-dad-festival.html.csp