Join us as Kristin Carter shares the story of her first concert.

(photo credit: Liz Rosa Photography)

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

It was the morning of my 12th birthday. 12 felt like a big year - my last year before the title “teenager” - so I really wanted to make it count.

I rushed down the stairs and ripped opened a bright orange card with my name on it, sitting on the kitchen table. Inside were the words “you’re going to the Tsunami relief concert”.

At first, I was kind of disappointed, because that was the title of a choir benefit concert happening at my school. Don’t get me wrong, I love choir, it was the only world of music that I knew outside of the songs I heard on the radio, but I was thinking that wasn’t a super exciting gift for the big year of 12.

My mom, sensing my confusion, looked at me sideways and asked, “Do you know what that is?”

I explained what I thought it was and my mom said, “Oh no no, this is the Tsunami relief concert at GM Place! Avril Lavigne will be there!”

AVRIL. LAVIGNE. Only the biggest name in pop music at that time. I would get to hear “Complicated” live, the song I sang every time I heard it come on the radio. I knew every word almost as if I was practicing my whole young life for this event. I was ecstatic, it would be my first ever concert.

On the day, I remember feeling overwhelmed by driving into Vancouver; the tall buildings, and the busyness of the roads all seemed so exciting and ‘big time’. As we got closer to downtown I started to see glimpses of the arena peek into view. I couldn’t even imagine what something as big as GM Place would look like inside, I had only seen it through hockey games on TV.

The gate agent scanned the paper ticket we picked up from the mall kiosk earlier that week, and my mom immediately bought me a concert t-shirt that I threw on so eager to be part of the crowd around me. Finally we reached our gate; upper bowl, near the back. As I walked up the stairs, I’ll never forget what it felt like to see the flashing lights of the screens, to hear music so loud it rattled my bones, and to sense the excited energy of the crowd. What a feeling. It was extraordinary, it was music.

The lights dimmed and the concert began. My eyes were so wide you could probably see Avril reflected in them. She performed her set amongst an absolute onslaught of Canadian music legends; Sarah McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies, Chantal Kreviazuk & Sum 41 to name a few. Each act pouring out their emotions in support of a great cause. It was moving and elating all at once. The late Robin Williams even made a guest appearance. My mom screamed with joy for that moment.

Driving home that night, ears ringing and imagination soaring, I rested my head on the door of the car and stared up out the window at a glittering city skyline. I imagined a world where maybe one day that could be me, maybe one day, I could make music that moved people, like Avril and Sarah. And just like it did every few minutes that year, “Complicated” came on the radio, and I sang it all the way home.

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