Join us as Aaron Kellim reveals the story of his first concert.


In this First Concert Ever segment, the pop artist, Aaron Kellim, talks about the story of his first experience with live music. You can check out the story below:

I feel like a hit the million dollar jackpot when I think about my first every concert. It was August 13, 2002, I was 15 years old, and three of my favorite bands were playing at the Fireside Bowl in Chicago, IL. It was a four hour drive, and my friends mom agreed to drive the 283 miles from Bethalto, IL, wait outside in the car for us, just so we could experience this once in a lifetime lineup playing together. Not only an epic lineup, but at one of the most iconic venues in the MidWest at that time. The three bands on the bill: Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, and Rufio.

I had recently starting writing music with my friend Nolan Wright in his parents basement. He introduced me to music that would change the trajectory of my life. Three of the first groups he introduced me to were the bands playing at Fireside Bowl that night. I remember walking into the venue feeling excitement and high anxiety. I had never been to a concert like that before, but I had heard a lot about them getting a little rowdy, and at a whopping 5’2”,  barely 100 pounds soaking wet, I was quite nervous about finding myself in the midst of a pit or being thrown up for a crowd surfing moment I didn’t know how to navigate. Nolan ran straight into the crowd, and I told him I'd hang in the back for the time being (aka the entire show). Rufio opened, and I was blown away that the singer was playing a lot of the lead lines that were some of the fastest guitar parts I had heard at the time, while also perfectly nailing all the vocal parts. Taking Back Sunday went on second, and they were everything I expected them to be at the time. High energy, amazing vocals, and tons of crowd participation. Brand New ended the show, and I found myself in awe at how much the singer left his heart and soul on the stage. It was in those moments during the Brand New set, that I knew I wanted to create music for the rest of my life.

The icing on the cake was hearing Taking Back Sunday play Brand New’s song “Seventy Times 7” and Brand New playing Taking Back Sunday’s song “There’s No ‘I’ In Team”, both of which were diss tracks about the other band, regarding some beef between the two singers. The night couldn’t have been more perfect, and as a first show, I think it’s kind of hard to beat. Nolan met me in the back by the merch booth (where I stood the whole show) and we both just stared at each other with dropped jaws. Bless his mom, as she had to listen to us talk about every aspect of the show on the four hour drive home.

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