In this First Concert Ever segment, the country artist, Karen Lee Batten, talks about the story of her first experience with live music. You can check out the story below:
My first arena concert was memorable – for so many reasons.
Leading up to this concert, the only real live music I attended was at my local church.
Having grown up in a religious household, there were certain types of music that my parents wanted me to listen to, and then other types of music they definitely were not fans of!
As I started to appreciate a wider variety of musical styles, I grew to be in love with many genres. One of my very favorites was the ‘90s alternative scene – Specifically bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Midnight Oil, The Tragically Hip, Alice In Chains, Alanis Morissette, and The Cranberries.
I had music that I left out by my cassette player and other music that I hid under my bed! Lol.
My first arena concert was a birthday present from my high school bestie, Christine. She surprised me with Rage Against the Machine tickets at the arena in Vancouver! We were so excited and knew every word to every song.
Not having a single clue what we were in for, we set out at 17 years old, believing that we already knew everything about everything, as one does at 17.
We got to the Arena and quickly realized that there weren’t too many females in attendance, let alone close to our age. We felt extremely little compared to other people in line. Having general admission tickets, we had been told to try and get as close to the front as possible.
I hope anyone reading this who understands the band is now laughing along with me at this point in the story.
Christine and I didn’t get all the way to the front but we were close enough and waited for the band to hit the stage. Finally, the lights dimmed and Rage came out…
It didn’t take us very long to realize we were standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. Shirts were coming off and all I remember seeing was big sweaty bodies all around us slamming into each other. I looked for Christine and I could see her, but she was getting further and further away trying to leave what had now turned into a mosh pit.
Next thing I knew, one of the big security guys clearly could see the terror on my face and picked me up like I was a feather, walked five steps, and placed me on the outskirts of the mayhem with Christine. I could breathe… finally.
Holding hands, Christine and I made our way to a clear area to take in the rest of the concert, which was AWESOME by the way!
Moral of the story: For your first concert, have a ton of fun and maybe stay out of the mosh pit.
For the record, Christine and I have gone on to attend more concerts since then. Our next one was Lilith Fair, which was a bit more in line with our live concert speed. It was one of the best concert festivals I have ever been to, and an amazing lineup of female talent, including Sarah McLachlan, Jewel, Tracy Chapman, Natalie Merchant, Indigo Girls, and Bonnie Raitt.
Now as an artist myself who is passionate about live performance, being able to connect with an audience in person is truly magical for everyone involved. The memories of these early concerts still inspire me to this day.