In this First Concert Ever segment, the singer-songwriter, Adam Douglas, talks about the story of his first experience with live music.

Adam Douglas

In this First Concert Ever segment, the singer-songwriter, Adam Douglas, talks about the story of his first experience with live music. You can check out the story, after the break.

My first real concert of sorts was pretty late in the game actually. I had seen various types of performances before, but not a real concert, with an artist or band. I would’ve been around 16 years old, and I wanna say it was 1997 or so. I had just recently joined a bit of a garage band project, after being invited by some new friends. They had been playing in another band together for a year or two, but I was a total newbie. I remember vividly first hitting it off with Ryan Taylor (guitarist and songwriter) in the library at school one day previous to my being invited over to jam. We both were reaching for the same classic rock books – hunting down info about our mutual heroes Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. I think Ryan was pleasantly surprised to see the “classical singing choir-boy” Adam hunting for similar reading material. He then invited me over to hang, talk music, and pushed me to sing my first rock songs: “paranoid” by black sabbath, and “Midnight Rider” by the Allman Brothers Band. I had a blast that first day! But I’ll never forget the looks on the faces of Ryan, and Stu the drummer. I hit the notes just fine, but they were quite entertained by my choir boy tonality – trying to sing that rock stuff for the first time. I can still picture them laughing about it to this day.
After some weeks of hanging out, talking music, listening to music, and continuing to jam on the stuff, Ryan invited Stu and me to join him and his folks to the BB King Blues Fest up in Tulsa, OK. I remember how excited I was upon hearing what names would be on the bill that year. It was just an all-star lineup, and right on the money for my budding blues and rock enthusiasm.
It was an outdoor festival, on a lovely late-summer evening. We had parked relatively far away and had to walk quite a ways to find the entrance, waltz through the gates, walk past a smaller stage where a local blues band was copping some SRV, proceed to make our way through the sea of lawn chairs and picnic blankets to find the reserved seats, numbered, and aligned directly in front of the enormous stage. I was ecstatic about the opportunity to catch 3 of my absolute heroes: BB King, Buddy Guy, and Dr. John.
After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, the main stage lights lit up, and Dr. John’s band took the stage to begin vamping the first tune. Soon after, the Dr. Himself was paraded out to his throne behind the piano, and the evening took off like a jetliner. Admittedly, I had only previously heard through a greatest hits type compilation CD that I borrowed from the library and was otherwise a little unfamiliar with the deeper cuts that Mac and the gang were pulling out. But I was mesmerized – nonetheless… That kind of vibe and attitude I had never really experience before. It felt like a party on stage. Meticulously organized chaos in a way. I loved it. Eventually, they ended up the set with “right place, wrong time”, and the previously observed “organized chaos” seemed to find its stride.
Next up, was the formidable Buddy Guy. The source of inspiration to so many of my favorite guitarists, and bands. It was extraordinary watching buddy with that signature polka dot Strat seduce, taunt, and converse with the crowd. That in particular is something I’ll never forget. He was full of rude humor and witty remarks on the microphone. This otherwise very conservative catholic boy was totally blown away. It felt dirty, in all the right ways! I had of course never seen anyone command the band (and crowd) in the way… He had total control of the entire dynamic of the evening. Truly inspiring… For me, Buddy and company had broken all of the rules that I thought existed. And that was really refreshing.
Last up (at his own festival) was the king himself, BB King. It was virtually impossible to be down the kind of music rabbit hole I was in at that time, and not be completely in love with Riley B. King. He was (and is) the man. His guitar Lucille was over his one shoulder and he remained seated thought most of the show. It was a rather large band, complete with a horn section, and all of them dressed to impress.
I recall thinking to myself that BB seemed old and tired. You could hear it in his voice and see it in his body language. To me, that made the evening all that much more significant… This king amongst men, was here in front of us, giving absolutely everything he had – to ensure that we all had a wonderful evening. A man of his age, and stature – still going at it. Still delivering. Still inspiring…
I left that evening on a complete high. The drive home seemed never-ending, as I was still processing what I had experienced. That evening showed me the true power of live music. The connection that each performer had with the swath of concert-goers. The shared journey we had all taken together. Pure magic. I was hooked.

Keep up with him on Facebook and Instagram.