Join us as Beth McKenzie shares her first concert story.


In this First Concert Ever segment, the pop rock artist, Beth McKenzie, talks about the story of her first experience with live music. You can check out the story below:

I will NEVER forget the first concert I went to. It was a Gabrielle Aplin concert in Manchester Cathedral. It was in October of 2017, just after I had turned 15. I remember getting these tickets for my birthday, both my mum and I had loved Gabrielle for so long and wanted to see her live when she came into town. However, I believe the minimum age for entrance to the venue was 14/15 so we had to wait until I was old enough!

I was so excited for this concert, I invited my best friend and we got ready together at my house before my mum took us into the city centre. We stood in a queue outside the venue for so long before finally getting in, where we got a pretty clear view of Gabrielle and her band. My friend and I were feeling very independent because my mum gave us a £2 coin each so we could go to the concessions stand by ourselves (provided we held on to each other, and stayed in her eye line) to buy a drink. We both got a Coca Cola.

I remember watching Gabrielle come out on stage. She looked kind of nervous, but if she was it definitely didn’t show in her voice. I remember thinking she was the most beautiful, elegant person I’ve ever seen. I was completely mesmerised by her. I sang along to every word of every song until she played a song I didn't recognise. It was called ‘That Girl’. It’s a song that has stuck with me ever since & really altered the way I saw myself and those around me. She introduced the song as a track she wrote when ‘Piers Morgan or someone said something on the news that really pissed me off!’

The lyrics to the second verse really got to me and still do years later.

‘Why would I wanna be right for you?
Right for you, right for you
Is my skirt too tight for you?
It’s my right to choose
You say I’ve got too many views
And they don’t sit well with you
Well, that's not up to you, that's not up to you’

In fact, I think I referenced these lyrics in a presentation I gave later that school year, about the way women are constantly sexualised and shamed for existing the way they want to & how this existed in my school environment. I definitely annoyed some of the staff at my school, but I told them that Gabrielle Aplin said it was okay for me to share my views!

That concert is a night I will always cherish. My mum and I now go and watch Gabrielle together every single time she’s performing in Manchester. In fact we saw two shows from the same tour last time around! One in 2020 in Manchester, literally just a week before the pandemic hit, then we travelled to Nottingham in 2022 when she resumed her tour to see her again. The very best part of this last show is that I was able to buy the tickets and take my mum to the concert, instead of her taking me. It’s crazy how much has changed between the first time I saw Gabrielle Aplin and the most recent time I saw her…

Keep up with Beth McKenzie on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and her website.