In this First Concert Ever segment, the indie pop artist, Mothé, talks about the story of his first experience with live music. You can check out the story, after the break.
I grew up around music ever since I was a child, but for some reason proper concerts weren’t something I got around to for quite a while. I hadn’t considered a career in music at the time, but one day a friend of mine asked if I wanted to go help stagehand a festival. I was 15 or 16 and he grew up with the stage manager, it sounded like a cool way to spend the weekend. So I got to this giant empty field with eight stages around 9am, I had no idea who was playing or what was going on, we just started moving boxes like the older people told us to.
First thing in the morning I get introduced to a really charming older man in a tattered grey suit named Wayne who I will later find out is the singer for the headlining band, The Flaming Lips. Without knowing anything, I was just happy to meet the guy, he was kind and was also helping us push boxes so I liked him a lot. As the day moved on I was thrilled back to back with every performance I was watching. It was 2012 and indie music was storming through like it would never die. I watched performances from Portugal the Man, Fitz and the Tantrums, Cat Power and tons of other incredible acts. I was basically losing my mind all day trying to figure out how they all sounded that good.
Finally the sun is setting, and Wayne emerges from a bus looking exactly the same as he had looked that morning only with a tin foil cape. People had set up this massive LED wall that I hadn’t seen used yet, and after a quick side conversation, Wayne and a number of other people walk on stage. I peek out from the side stage to see, for the very first time, a sea of people so large that you can’t even see the ground. It feels like it goes for a mile and everyone is screaming as The Flaming Lips walk out. Suddenly there is just an explosion of light, color and confetti as they open their set with Race For The Prize, to this day a favorite song of mine.
The Flaming Lips played for about two hours and created such a beautiful wonderland for the thousands of people watching. I couldn’t believe I was watching the show from so close, and I realized there was only about 10 feet between me and where Wayne stood singing Do You Realize and various other songs I would listen to for years after. I wanted so badly to stand there, and when they ended their set I knew that’s what I needed to do with my life. The chance to create such a large emotional environment of joy for everyone was the most exciting thing I had ever discovered and still drives me forward to this day.