Childhood, Family, Favorite Things, Life, Music, Writing

What Was Your First Concert?

I’m not a big fan of going to music concerts. As I’ve grown older and gotten to know myself better, I’ve realized that it’s because my characteristics are neurodivergent. Loud noises and flashing lights tend to bother me.

But going to my first concert with my dad to see Hall and Oates is something I’ll never forget. This concert was held during the day, which was ideal for an eighth-grader who enjoyed music but disliked bright flashing lights.

Even though I am starting to forget more and more of my past experiences as I get older, there are still some aspects of the first concert I ever went to that I will never forget.

The enthusiastic greeting that was given to Hall and Oates when they entered the stage. (Whoa! Famous people! Right in front of us!)

The idea that the amphitheater was in our small Ohio town, just minutes from my middle school, and how exciting that felt. (Whoa! Famous people! In our small town!)

Hearing the music I’d listened to on the radio coming from the stage thousands of feet away. (Whoa! Famous people! And not on the radio!)

Smelling a strange odor all around me and later realizing that the folks next to us were smoking marijuana and had offered my father some (he politely declined).

While researching for this blog post, I came upon the setlist for this exact concert, and it gave me chills. I remember them opening with Family Man. When I saw that setlist, it was like opening a core memory.

Daryl Hall & John Oates Concert Setlist at Songbird Center, Lexington on June 18, 1983

I was just 13 years old.

It was Marshall Crenshaw, The Tubes, and Hall and Oates.

In Montreal but same tour

When Hall and Oates visited to my small town in Ohio in 1983, my father chose me out of all the people he could accompany to the concert. That is my fondest memory of my first concert, and it is one I will cherish forever. ❤️

What was your first concert?

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60 thoughts on “What Was Your First Concert?”

  1. When I was in first or second grade, I loved Helen Reddy. “I Am Woman” was my favorite song. My mom was working in a local ticket office, and she was able to get tickets for a Helen Reddy concert in Seattle. So, my first concert was before I was in 3rd grade–early 1970’s. When I was a teenager, that sort of mortified me whenever this question came up. But now, I love that this was my first concert. It was just my mom and me, going to see the woman whose song made me feel good about being female. So much more meaningful than whatever my second concert was–probably Journey. (I’m not a live music person, either. Probably my own neurodivergence. I can never get into it like everyone else around me. Always feel like an observer more than a participant.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My first concert (of sorts) was a battle of the local bands, held in the biggest park in our town. I went with my friends. I was 12, maybe 13? And a little overwhelmed being surrounded by all these older kids and adults. But not too overwhelmed obviously, as I became a lifelong concert goer! 3 day festivals, stadium shows, intimate club shows…still love them all. Still bummed about Foo Fighters cancelling their tour (I had very nice seats for Victoria, in October) but completely understand the reason.


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  3. Um… I think it was Boys II Men, TLC, and someone else.. we had lawn seats at what used to be called Great Woods in Massachusetts. I liked that it was mostly outdoors and a beautiful day where we could spread out a blanket and have some personal space.

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  4. My first was Bon Jovi 1986, Stabler Arena Bethlehem Pa..pretty much before Slippery when wet made them huge, apparently Cinderella played with them..but i don’t remember that. My buddy won 2 free tickets, i said what the hell. I was 16, i would recall seeing Cinderella open for a Solo Ace Frehley the following year though. Perhaps my friend and I were late to the show and only saw Bon Jovi.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I suppose, thing is though…it was months before they really hit it big, i really had no clue who Bon Jovi was at this moment in time. It was before they were om heavy rotation on MTV.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jesse and I had a long car ride on Friday and we were talking about our first concerts (and our favorite ones). I actually love live music. It’s where one of the few places where loud and flashy don’t completely create overwhelm. (NYC is like that for me too – it’s SO busy it creates a calm). My first one was Dave Matthew’s Band with a friend from my dorm freshman year at college and when we were asked if it was a date I answered “no” at the same time he answered “yes”. I don’t remember much from the concert but that friend is now my son’s godfather and one of my favorite people on the planet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Katie, I love your take on loud and flashy. I have wondered if for some people, there is calm in the chaos. I’m in love with all of the stories being generated by this post. A DMB concert, in my opinion, would be a truly unforgettable experience.


  6. War. I was a freshman in high school in Snohomish, WA. One of my best friends organized a competition where we saved Wrigley gum wrappers and turned them into the local Top 40 radio station. Our high school sent in the most and we all got to go to War for free. My girlfriend who rallied the school to win — was also good friends with a DJ at the radio station — so I don’t know if we won the contest legally or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. OMG…..well, first of all, my first job out of college was as a section manager at O’Neils at the Richland Mall!!! Did you ever go there?!?

    Second, I was actually thinking about doing a post just like this in the future. I remember really liking Hall&Oates at that time period. I’m older than you, but I think my first concert was 1982 on a date. We saw Rick Springfield with special guest, Sparks. My husband, who I met a few years after, was a Sparks fan and couldn’t believe I had seen them in concert. They were definitely an alternative band.

    We went to see the Psychedelic Furs this past July and it was the best night of 2022 for both of us. Of course, a smaller venue, so it didn’t seem so loud or have glaring lights. And I didn’t smell weed!

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    1. ALL OF THE TIME!! This is incredible! This is bringing back a lot of memories. ❤️

      So, did you grow up in Mansfield?

      Where did you see Rick Springfield? At Songbird? Or in Cleveland or Columbus? So many questions….sorry.

      I’m glad you saw the Psychedelic Furs! Were they good?


      1. No, I grew up in Akron. That was where the O’Neil’s HQ was at the time. Then they were bought by May Company. I saw Rick at Blossom Music Center, which is a popular outdoor venue near Akron.

        The Furs were AMAZING! Richard Butler’s voice was exactly the same as in the 80’s. They put out a new album a year or so ago and the songs are just as good. But you can’t beat seeing them perform Pretty In Pink in person.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ohhh, okay! I remember Blossom Music Center! I’ve never been there for a concert, but many people I know have.

        I would have LOVED hearing that song live.

        In 2017, we went to see Hall and Oates, and Tears for Fears opened for them. They were so amazing live. I felt like I was 15 again. ❤️


  8. You’re going to love this…my first concert was Ozzy! I even had an autographed poster of him that I won from WLUP. Too bad I didn’t keep it. Would probably be worth a pretty penny now.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. My all-time favorite radio station. I had been listening to it since I was a young teen. When we moved to KY in my mid-teens, I used to go sit in my mom’s car late at night and try to tune into WLUP. Sometimes I got lucky. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. My very first (and only) concert was a country music concert and as I’m currently battling a bad case of COVID brain fog… I couldn’t tell you the name of the singer because I can’t physically remember right now. I love country music. What I do remember was the my husband and I watched him (the singer) on a military base and I really always loved his music. When I meet him however… He was a total jerk. Maybe that’s why I’m blocking him our right now. He was ruse, disrespectful, ungrateful, and absolutely awful to his fans and his staff. I decided I didn’t like his music anymore after that and I refuse to pay for any of his songs. I seriously with I could remember who it was right now. I’ll have to run it by my husband later ❤️😅

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s okay! I seriously can’t remember who it was LOL but sometimes I do that when things mean so little to me haha. I once had a friend who decided our friendship wasn’t important to her anymore. We were really close… hung out every day close! She started blowing me off. Saying she was going to show up to dinner but leave me waiting for her for hours while she made plans with someone else and never called to cancel. We stopped being friends. Two years later I ran into her at store in town… she asked me if i remembered who she was and my brain recognized her but I couldn’t place her name to save my life. She kept asking if I really didn’t remember her name… I really didn’t. So it’s hard to say if it’s the Covid (which is highly possible) or if I just don’t remember because it wasn’t important to me (also possible). Either way… I’ll ask my husband!

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  10. Disregard the terrible typos. ❤️ I swear I’m literate just completely exhausted. We’ve “recovered” from Covid but have long term Covid. Brain fog, exhaustion… It’s frustrating


    1. I’m so sorry, LaShelle. We understand long Covid. My husband was sick with it over the summer and is still exhausted. It’s very frustrating.

      And I suffer brain fog as a result of menopause and medications, so you never have to apologize for having brain fog on this blog. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The exhaustion is unbelievable. One moment I feel like myself and the next I’m falling asleep at the wheel and hitting a brick wall. I’m normally the go-go-go kind of person so needing 2-3 naps to get through the day is unusual for me. I could survive on 6 hours of sleep a day. Now I need way more… 12 and beyond more. It’s frustrating for sure. Hopefully things get better but my husband and my kid are in the same boat.

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    My first concert was INXS in 1988. It was so exciting. I went to many concerts when I was young because they were so cheap! I mean, rare would a ticket be over $15. I saw a lot of fun acts that way.

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  12. What a fun post and I LOVE Hall and Oats; then and now.
    My first concert was Adam Ant; I was 15 (1983) and went with my bestie at the time. It was at the Fox Theater in Downtown ATL. Her mom dropped us off…Jessica was only 14. It’s a sketchy area, and I can’t believe her mom just left us there. LOL.
    Scandal was the opening act; do you remember them? I saw them again a year later with John Waite.

    I’ve been a life-long concertgoer, and Coach and I had our first (blind) date seeing Robert Plant in 1985.

    The venue for H and O looks amazing!

    We saw Lenny Kravitz open for Aerosmith and he blew them away!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You’re talking about rock and popular music right? As a girl I went to many orchestra or big band concerts with my mother but the first pop concert I remember seeing was The Beach Boys after a Reds game at Riverfront Stadium. The Beach Boys were *old* by then, but the concert was fun with beach balls all over the place.

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  14. I love concerts. Tara and I have been to literally hundreds, but I’ll never forget my first: Janet Jackson, at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA. 1989-ish. “Rhythm Nation” tour. My ex was a huge Janet fan and splurged for 13th-row tickets. Honestly, I didn’t think that much of it all at the time – I was more into rock ‘n roll – but today, I’m thrilled that I got to see Janet Jackson live at the height of her popularity. I appreciate the whole thing much more in retrospect.

    I was a big Hall & Oates fan back in the day. Great setlist, but they definitely stuck to their early ’80s hits, huh? I’d have loved to hear “She’s Gone” or “Sara Smile.” At least “Rich Girl” kind of makes up for that.

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