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December 4, 2008

My first concert

goo goo dollsAhh, high school. Fast cars, raging hormones and other such coming-of-age cliches.

I didn't see my first real concert until high school. I don't know what your first concert was, but I'll bet it was something silly. Mine was pretty silly.

I was in 9th or 10th grade when I bought tickets to see the Goo Goo Dolls.

Fastball (remember them?) opened the show, which was in an auditorium at a college in Delaware (can't remember which one, but the whole state is best summed up in this short video clip).

This was the late '90s, right after the Goo Goo Dolls released Dizzy Up the Girl, and they were riding high on the hog.

For a long time, I was ashamed to admit that the Goo Goo Dolls was my first show. I had friends whose first concerts were cool bands like Green Day.

But now I'm not bashful about it ...

The Goo Goo Dolls were pretty good live, if I remember correctly. I mean, they pretty much played the album tracks verbatim. There was one soccer mom for every two suburban teenagers in the crowd. Everybody loved the Goo Goo Dolls, right?


The Goo Goo Dolls was one of those bands that released hits that sounded nothing like any of its previous material. So when the band played the hits, everybody sang along. But when the band played older punky hard rock stuff everybody went to the bathroom. Kind of like Sugar Ray (remember them?).

I remember leaving the show on cloud nine. I think that feeling is part of why I write about music now.

Do you remember your first show?

(Photo of the Goo Goo Dolls in the late '90s by the AP)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:57 AM | | Comments (52)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff


First Concert: New Kids on the Block. They played Kings Dominion. Tiffany opened. I remember seeing girls PASS OUT COLD. Crazy.
Followed that up with my second concert: Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch...Baltimore Arena. Circa - 1992 ish.

Hey, the link is to a Fastball page, not a vid on Deleaware.

it was the 92Q summer jam in 1998 - completely nuts - i was only 17 years old

ZooTV Outside Broadcast - Hershey, PA. Still one of the coolest days of my life.

Kiss at the Cap Centre, 1979. Hell, yeah.

Second concert: Blondie with Rockpile opening, Meriwether 1979.

In five months I went from Kiss to Blondie. Strange days. was the X tour which had the songs "Suicide Blonde" and "Disappear" on that "album". The Soup Dragons opened. I was in 8th grade and I saw them at the old Capital Center with my parents.
My second concert was U2 for the "Zoo TV" tour, supporting my favorite U2 album, "Achtung Baby".

And for the record, I've NEVER liked the Goo Goo Dolls. I put them right up there with the Gin Blossoms.

Ken, I just updated the link. Try it now.

B-52's at Painters mill (with the revolving stage). It was my freshman year in high school in 1980. The rayvens and bootcamp opened up. I saw the B-52's five times after that and they were always great.

Deftones in 9th grade, before they were lame.

Megadeth with Stone Temple Pilots opening for them, before they were big. It was at Towson. I remember STP rocking and Sex Type Thing had maybe been played like once to that point on 98 rock. Such memories!

mine was Live in 7th grade. I remember getting stuck in the "mosh pit" and not being able to get out. when I do get out, i'm dripping in sweat.

unrelated, now when I hear "mosh pit" I think of adam sandler's goat.

ahhh, you buttonhooked me.

B-52s & Violent Femmes @ Merriweather Post Pavilion. It was pretty awesome.

NKOTB at the Cap Center. I was sick but there was no way I was missing the chance to see NKOTB. We had great seats and backstage passes but only Jonathan and Danny came out for the meet and greet. We were disappointed. We wanted Jordan and Joey.

Went recently to their show at the Verizon Center and it was just as good the second time around if not better.

Mine was Bush at American University in 8th grade with the Toadies opening for them.

My dad took me and my 3 buddies and we thought we were totally bad A. I even lost one of my Vans while moshing.

Good times.

Well, if you don't count my brother and sister taking me to see Sha Na Na or Jan and Dean when I was a kid, I'd have to say it was when I was in 7th grade. My sister took me to see Air Supply at Merriweather Post. I think I more than made up for that 2 years later when I went to my first show "alone" at the Cap Centre...The Police Synchronicity tour.

Genesis 1983, Cap Center

First concert was Color Me Badd, at Pier 6. I think I was 8 or something? I remember being upset because everyone was standing on the chairs and I couldn't see!

Then my first REAL show was when I was 11, I went and saw They Might Be Giants at Bohagers!! I went with a friend of mine, and her mom dropped us off and picked us up later, it was on a school night too. I remember having to leave in the middle of Ana Ng.

Cheers to all the NKotB folk! I remember in 6th grade that was a bunch of my friends' first concert. (Okay, they weren't my friends because I wasn't cool enough to even be spit on, but whatever.)


Wow. This took me back. I feel like I had several "first" concerts (I mean, do you really count one your parents took you to?).

First concert with my parents: Neil Diamond, 9th grade. Their idea, but I was happy to go. Scoff if you like, but honestly it was a hell of a show (even if his voice was starting to go).

First concert I sat outside of Merriweather listening to because my friend promised to get tickets and failed: Spin Doctors with Soul Asylum and Screaming Trees, 9th grade. (Same friend would later get tickets to Page/Plant in 11th grade and bail on me for a ride, causing me to miss the show.)

First concert, no parents: Steely Dan, 11th grade. My friends were going, so I went. I had no idea who they were. Still don't.

First concert that a) actually mattered to me and b) I actually made it into: Live with PJ Harvey and Veruca Salt, 11th grade.

And I followed that up with R.E.M. with Radiohead, 12th grade. Finally I'd hit my stride.

PS: Radiohead didn't play "Creep." I've resented them ever since.

I always asked my mom to take me to see Green Day, Bush, and No Doubt back in 1996-1997, and being 12 she said I was too young. But, on my 13th birthday she took me to see Alanis Morisette w/ Radiohead - 3rd row center tickets for free (and how we got those is another long, hilarious story!). It was awesome!

First Concert I ever went to was the HFStival at RFK in 1998. I remember walking in, smelling a "funny smell" and seeing Wyclef on stage. He wasn't half bad.

This will date me...but it was The Stray Cats at Merriweather. And shortly after (for my 16th birthday present) I saw Adam Ant in his "Strip" tour. I loved the 80's.

First concert I remember was sitting on Pier 5 listening (and kind of watching) B.B. King and Bobby Blue Bland. This one was with my mom. She chose the show; I was too young to have that good of taste in music.

First concert with friends (or friend, as it turned out) was Tears for Fears at the Civic Center. I was supposed to go with two friends. The three of us spent some time smoking cigarettes in one friend's bathroom before it was time to go. By the time we left for the show, one friend was throwing up due to an adverse reaction to smoking. Oh yeah, and it was his birthday we were celebrating by going to the show. He never made it.

1967--The Lovin' Spoonful; Asbury Park, NJ on the Pier. No parents. First date! Totally awesome.

Laugh if you will, but my first concert was Alan Jackson. I was in 7th grade and I went with my mom, but I remember having a great time. By the time I made it through high school, I had been to 8 Phish shows, 7 Dave Matthews concerts, and a bunch of HFS-tivals. But nothing quite like Alan Jackson singing "Honky-Tonk Rainbow" to 10,000 cowboy-boot wearing country fans.

Don't know if you would even call it a concert, but it was the 4 Seasons at the Club Venus back in probably 1966!

First show with parents - Kenny Rogers with BJ Thomas opening (singer of "Rain Drops Keep Falling on My Head" and the theme to Growing Pains, "As Long As We've Got Each Other") at the Ocean City Convention Center

First without - The Black Crowes with (pre-Dookie) Green Day opening up...seems like an odd pairing now, but back then it was perfect

Before I remember: Billy Joel
Earliest I remember: The Rascals at Six Flags Great Adventure with my dad and brother
First without parents: The Roots at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach. Macy Gray opened and actually put on a great show. Black Thought was sitting at the bar behind us before his set. I was 15 or 16 so I wasn't at the bar with him.

Springsteen at MSG in June 2000

Zippy - Adult Alternative:

I have seen so many concerts but I remember when I was really little my parents would take us and sit outside next to Pier Six and listen to Jackson Browne, Little Feat, and Steely Dan among others. My first concert for someone I wanted to see was Debbie Gibson at Merriweather. I was 9 or 10 at that time and I was so excited. I also saw NKOTB at the Baltimore Area way back when.

Jane's Addiction, Ritual de lo Habitual tour. Haha, my first concert was awesome. That was in, um, 1990. 18 years ago? *GULP* I'm going to go cry now.

Perry Farrel popped my concert cherry too at the tender age of Fourteen, The very first Lalapalooza in '91. 7 bands: Jane's, NiN, Soundgarden, Living Clour, Ice T (& his Body Count), Rollin's Band, Souixee and the Banshees. Stood in amazement the whole time. Now I cant even sit thru a day of Virgfest.

The Kinks with the Greg Kihn (Sp?) Band, June 1st, 1983 at the Capital Centre. Went with a friend who said there'd be tickets at will call for us. Not! Since his mom dropped us off and left, we had to buy from a scalper. We bought 2 tickets for $16 (retail: $9.75 each), row BB, section closest to stage left. (Maybe 20 ft. from the stage). Great show! The Davies Brothers were getting along that night.

Jimmy Buffett, 1980 Merriweather Post....seen him every year since.

Collective Soul, They Might Be Giants, and Toad The Wet Sprocket at an Earth Day concert at Merriweather back in 8th grade.

My first show was...Barenaked Ladies...I was impressed by their stage performance and thought that they were that original every show...then I realized years later that a lot of their videos were pre-recorded and that they do the same thing almost every show.

I did end up seeing them a few times when they came back in town...I should also mention that my momma took my younger sister and brother to the show...thanks mom

Bush at UMBC in 8th grade. The Goo Goo Dolls opened! It was awesome.

I went to see Lynyrd Skynyrd with my dad at Aberdeen Proving Grounds when I was 12 (after being denied the huge Pink Floyd concert at RFK and the Metallica/Guns n Roses tour in the same 6 month period). They weren't bad, but it was like seeing a band at the state fair...kind of a lame atmosphere for a concert.

The first show I went to on my own was Metallica at Merriweather in '94...3rd row seats and backstage passes. I was 14, but it's still one of my favorite music experiences ever.

Have no fear, Legendary Lovett. BNL's December 31,1998 show is still the best live show I've been to.* They even played Prince...only instead of "1999," they played "When Doves Cry."

*Sorry, Gogol Bordello. Rap to "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" and we'll talk.

Blood Sweat & Tears in 1970 during one of their comebacks.
Don McLean was the opening act. The crowd hated him, and he hated the crowd. My friends and I must have been the only people not booing a weird, really long song he did about driving "his Chevy to the levee" or something like that. We were young and not stoned.

My first concert was Rod Stewart at the Caps Centre when I was in 8th grade. I went with my aunt, uncle and cousin. My first show alone with friends was Third Eye Blind with Smashmouth opening at Loyola my sophomore year of high school. That started my concert obsession, and by the time I graduated high school, I had seen over 150 bands live.

Yeah it was my hobby for a few good years. I've calmed down a little since. One of the best shows I've seen recently was Gavin DeGraw at Rams Head back in September. He was amazing live!

the place was hershey park, and i was a tender young age of 12. the opening band was chicago, and the headliner was crosby stills and nash. kicked off my concert life with a couple of classics.

Since when is Green Day cool? They are a self-admitted 3 chord half talent band who laugh at their popularity. They suck and are only still relevant because like- minded people think they, and other hack bands are cool.

Wow. Last year we played for Rzeznik on Next Great American Band. He actually liked us and said he'd buy our CD. Of course, an order from Rzeznik was not forthcoming, but at least the guy had the balls to stick up for us against the likes of Sheila E and Ian "Dicko" Dickinson.

Ten Years After at Merriweather Post around 1970 or '71. They were riding high after their performance at Woodstock. We snuck right up to the front of the stage. Awesome. Then Badfinger at Painters' Mill (with the revolving stage). Black Sabbath at the Civic Center. Opening act: Edgar Winters' White Trash.

Wow! I have "smoky" memories, but I believe it was 4 bands together at the old Civic Center in '76. The lineup: Foghat, Boston, Crack the Sky and Ruth Coplin. The price: $15. We thought that was expensive at the time...

Bette Midler with the original Harlettes in the early seventies. Some total unknown named Barry Manilow opened for her.

1st concert: Kiss, opening act: Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, 1975 at the Civic Center.

Most memorable: Rolling Stones at Wembley Stadium in London. J. Geils and Black Uhuru were opening acts, 1982.

Bon Jovi. New Jersey tour, the homecoming show at Giants Stadium. 1989. Opening bands were Billy Squier and a just pre-fame Skid Row.

Lynyrd Skynyrd. They were at Pier 6, I think I was about 14ish? We went for my step dads birthday, and I asked my mom why the air smelled like dirty gym socks. She never really answered me.

Also around that time I saw Link 80, and like 6 other bands at Cafe Tattoo, I can't remember which came first.

Asia at Merriweather. I think some juggler opened up. Still have the baddass dragon t-shirt, though it hardly fits.

Carl Palmer's double-kick drum solo is still a highlight of my life.

The earliest I remember going to was Blur at the Black Cat in D.C. in the fall of 1995, my senior year of high school. I don't remember much about the show, just that I skipped school the next day and wasn't allowed to play a soccer game. Of course I saw Oasis about a month later at Hammerjacks, I just remember being nervous I wouldn't get in because I wasn't 18 and didn't have a fake ID, but the show was pretty empty as I recall so I guess they just needed bodies.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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