In this First Concert Ever segment, the singer-songwriter, Leanna Firestone, talks about the story of their first experience with live music. You can check out the story, after the break.
My first ever musical obsession, like most tweenaged girls in the early 2010s, was One Direction. It was love at first listen. I heard Liam Payne say, “You’re insecure” and immediately identified. So much so actually, that I ran fan accounts, read and wrote fanfiction, and found friends and community within the mutual interest of 1D. I loved the feeling of being a part of something and eventually realized at 11 years old that I needed to up the ante. I needed to see the 4 British and 1 Irish boy that had stolen my heart, and the only way to do so was to go to the hottest event of the season. The Live While We’re Young Tour, live and in-person on June 19th, 2013, in Nashville, Tennessee. The only problem with this was, while I was early in the grand scheme, I was quite late to realizing that One Direction was the best boyband to have ever lived. The concert was sold out. Scalped tickets on the very back row were going for $450.
I had brought up the idea of going to this concert to my parents before I had even looked it up, of which they were okay with… until I had looked it up and the tickets were $450. After I had told them, they immediately shut down that idea. So, I cried. Threw a tantrum, actually. This eventually led to me asking, if I could afford the tickets to go, could I buy them myself? I was eleven with no way of coming up with that money, so my parents said……………. “Uh, sure, if I could afford to take myself and a parent?”
Something that they had not anticipated was just how annoying I can be. It was all I talked about. “When I see One Direction…” “In June, at the concert…” “When Harry sings to me…” I dropped hint after hint about this concert, over and over again. It definitely didn’t help that my twelfth birthday was 4 days before the concert, and I offered that if I got these tickets I’d never need another birthday present again. I begged and pleaded, and saved and saved and saved. And by the time June came around, my parents made it very clear that I was not going. But being the unbelievably persistent person I am, I refused to believe them, and I realized that I had actually saved enough… for one ticket. So, I begged and pleaded that they let me go in alone. To which they said, no. (Again.)
And right when it seemed that all hope was lost- I turned 12. I had a cool birthday party with like 6 friends and we played laser tag. When we came back sweaty and disgusting from that to have a sleepover at my house, my parents sat us all down on the couch and claimed that they had made a home video of my life. Snore. I was 12, and therefore disinterested, but I sat down to watch the home video with all of my friends. And then when they opened up the cabinet the TV was in, it had a One Direction poster inside- a sign that informed me that I was going! I was actually going! Apparently, my mom and dad had bought the tickets far before I had even thought to look the concert up.
So, four days later I put on the most 2013 outfit I could think of, a black tanktop with bowties on it, heart print denim shorts, and purple Chacos. I went with my mom and spent $40 on an obnoxiously pink tanktop with yellow text. We sat one row from the back at Bridgestone Arena and to be honest, I think I blacked out. I remember that I couldn’t see jackshit BUT more importantly: that I loved every second of it.