Join us as James Hersey talks about his first experience with live music.

(photo credit: Janos Götze)

In this First Concert Ever segment, the indie pop/rock artist, James Hersey, talks about the story of his first experience with live music. You can check out the story below:

I was 10 when my dad took me to see my favorite band at a festival outside town. It was the early 2000s and there were two bands responsible for dragging punk rock into the mainstream: the ever-approachable Green Day, and my ever-so-slightly left-of-center childhood favorite: The Offspring. Something about the lazy way they drawled out the intro to “Self Esteem” had me hooked, and “Americana” had just come out to satisfy my earliest rebellious kid desires.

Things I remember:
The fans looked amazing. Like a dystopian graffiti zoo. Spray-painted leather and denim, spiked jackets, covered in patches with colorful band names and obnoxious logos: NOFX. Bad Religion. Leftöver Crack. Hair pointing in all directions crusted stiff with dried wood glue. I felt small and uncool, but also (and maybe for the same reasons) that I belonged. The band played a great show. I only remember a few flashes. The light cutting through Dexter’s hair. Noodles looking like a substitute teacher on Halloween. The crowd from above, sitting on my dad’s shoulders.

He was more excited about Joe Strummer opening the night, which meant he had a good excuse to slide a couple of Clash CDs my way as soon as he could. It was the beginning of a deep and long-lasting love for punk rock that I still carry to this day. Crazy enough, I was invited back years later to play at the same venue myself, and who knows, maybe I also inspired some kid to pick up a guitar and change their life.

Keep up with James Hersey on Instagram and his website.