In this First Concert Ever segment, Beaumont Bradbury, of the blues/r&b band, The California Honeydrops, talks about the story of his first experience with live music. You can check out the story, after the break.
I saw a lot of music growing up. My uncle played accordion and led a Cajun/zydeco/New Orleans R&B band called Gator Beat that I must have seen 100 times before he passed away when I was just a teenager. As a kid, I took that music for granted. It was just my uncle’s band. As an adult, I now realize just how valuable my Louisiana-music-steeped childhood was. I am forever grateful for that early exposure and the influence it’s had on my own musical journey. However, I wouldn’t call Gator Best my first concert, in the traditional sense…
My first true concert experience was in the fall of 2003. I was 15 years old. Red Hot Chili Peppers. Arco Arena in Sacramento. Opening the show was the Flaming Lips. My dad drove me and my 3 friends to the show in the back of his beat-up pickup truck where he had a fully carpeted camping rig installed under an oversized camper shell in the truck bed. We all smoked weed for the entire hour and a half drive. It felt like we took a demented limo to the show. It cemented my pops as an absolute legend with my fronds from that day forward. We had cheap nose bleed tickets. We were determined to get closer. About halfway through the show my friends and I jumped some guard rails and snuck onto the floor where people paid top dollar to be. The show was absolutely amazing. The Chili Peppers had come off the release of their biggest hit records within the past couple of years. They were at the top of their game.
All in all, that night remains as one of the most memorable concert experiences of my life. It checked every box for a coming-of-age budding musician and teenager. Don’t know if it had any lasting impact on my pursuit of becoming a musician later in life. Hard to say. My musical horizons have broadened quite a bit since the early 2000s, but it stands out in my memory in a way that I really love. Pure joy. Pure glitz. Pure glamour. Pure rock n roll.
(photo credit: Deborah Wilson)