In this First Concert Ever segment, the metalcore band, Not Forgotten, talks about the story of their first experiences with live music. You can check out the story, after the break.
The first real concert I went to was to see Underoath on Taking Back Sunday’s Louder Now tour. I had to have been around 11 or 12 years old at the time and had just started listening to heavy music. In fact, Underoath’s “They’re Only Chasing Safety” was the first record I’d ever listened to with any kind of screaming in it. I must’ve played that thing on my portable CD Walkman at least 1,000 times as a kid and I’m amazed it never caught fire from all the spinning. I was completely obsessed. My dad bought me tickets for their date in Alabama and we lived in Atlanta, GA, so we made a mini road trip out of it.
Now keep in mind, up until this point the only “concert” experiences I’d ever had were limited to whatever musicians happened to be playing at my Southern Baptist church on Wednesday night so I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. I distinctly remember the Armor For Sleep frontman saying “mother fucker” on stage which at the time was borderline traumatizing for me. Thankfully I’ve loosened up a little bit over the years.
I doubt I even knew what the term “mosh pit” meant before I walked into that auditorium, but I sure as hell did by the time I walked out. I was a small kid and far too timid to get into the crowd at the time, but my eyes were transfixed on all the movement in the crowd. I could hardly believe or understand what I was seeing. All I knew is that I thought it was the coolest fucking thing in the world and I was hooked on the live show experience from that moment on.
When Underoath took the stage it was overwhelming. The music was louder than anything I could’ve imagined and they were absolutely losing their minds on stage. Despite the sensory overload though I remember feeling this sense of community wash over me. I didn’t really have a circle of friends that were interested in the same style of music at that age. Anyone I ever spoke to about Underoath either thought they were 1. off-putting because of the screaming or 2. satanic because of the screaming (despite the fact they were still a publicly Christian band at the time, but try explaining that to a youth pastor in the south).
Not only was I in the same room as my favorite band, but I was in the same room with thousands of people that seemed to love them just as much as I did. That was my first taste of the metal community and I started to understand the culture and what makes live shows so powerful. It was years before I ever set foot in the pit, but I consider that night to be the beginning of my relationship with the heavy music community.
I’ll always be thankful to my father for taking me on that trip. I doubt he knew it at the time, hell I definitely didn’t, but that moment sparked a passion for music that has never burned out. The first steps I took into the venue were terrifying, but now whenever I feel the floor shake at a show or hear bass shaking the outside walls while I stand in line I feel like I’m where I belong. A huge portion of who I am today all came from that one show and I will never forget that.