So my eight year old daughter, Sophia, recently went to her first live concert in her continuing attempts to grow up and make me feel like a fossil. The band she went to see was One Direction and her bubbly excitement was contagious to the point that I had to check myself to make sure I wasn’t too excited. The excitement reached such a crescendo that I almost forgot the exorbitant price of tickets, parking, t-shirts, etc. which made me make up my own song…”That’s What Makes You Bankrupt.” In an homage to her own youthful crush, my wife proudly wore a New Kids On The Block hoodie jacket that I recently found for her on eBay (although I tried not to mention that their heyday was about a quarter century ago). And in the midst of all this breathless exhilaration, I began to reminisce on my own first concert experience, not just for nostalgia but also to prepare my daughter for the mind blowing evening she was about to have.
Back in my teens, I ventured off to the Orange Bowl in Miami to go see The Police…opening acts were The Animals and The Fixx with MTV original veejay Martha Quinn introducing them. The fact that I was going to be in the same city, the same stadium, the same zip code as my favorite band was beyond belief. And being in a venue with 70,000 other people was certainly a new thing as well because if you’ve never experienced such a crush of humanity, it certainly impresses you. Looking back, I am glad I got to see Eric Burdon live as well as my 80’s doppelganger, Cy Curnin. But on that night, I just wanted them to get off the stage so I could hear “Rooooooxanne.” Obviously, I could dive right into a steel cage death match debate between 1D and The Police but that’s ignoring the fact that they have a lot more in common than I’d like to admit. Just as Sophia and her friends did with One Direction, I sang every lyric in a far-away duet with Sting and waded in a sea of devoted fans doing the same. And I can’t really criticize the infatuation of girls like Sophia for their favorite band because at one point, the Beatles were the 1D of their generation. Not to say that Harry Styles and company become what the Fab Four became…in today’s music world, it’s rare to escape that boy band stigma. But the hysteria of it all is an utter joy that’s completely oblivious to the older generation’s consternation and disdain. I wanted her to look around and take in all the sights and sounds so she could also someday hark back to this very moment and remember the euphoria that only music can provide. Of course, some of those sights were Mexican jumping bean little girls accompanied by rolling eye parents with a lot of the music being drowned out by shrieks and squeals. But when the best song ever is playing, that’s exactly what you expect.
I highly recommend going back in time and revisiting your own first concert experience…it truly defines the reason we love music so passionately. Just try not to remember how cheap concert tickets used to be.
– Submitted by Eric Martinez, Music Design