In this First Concert Ever segment, the indie rock band, Pool Toys, talks about the story of their first experiences with live music. You can check out the stories, after the break.
Morgan Ching (Vox/Guitar):
The first large, open-air concert I ever attended was the American Idiot Tour at Isleta Amphitheater in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was early October of 2005 and I was 13 years old. Green Day, my favorite band. Jimmy Eat World, my other favorite band. I went with my dad and my brother; we had lawn seats, but that didn’t matter. September had ended and I was HYPED.
Two of the most significant moments from the concert for me were Jimmy Eat World dropping into the intro of “Sweetness” and Green Day’s epic extended live version of “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” During the former, I remember nearly passing out from screaming the two opening lines “if you’re listening, woah oh oh… // sing it back, woah oh oh…” The latter, “Wake Me Up…,” was one of those childhood comfort songs that got me through all the torments of pre-teen adolescence and angst at the time; the second those opening acoustic guitar plucks rang out, I turned into a jumbled cocktail of chills, tears, and euphoric singing.
“American Idiot” and “Bleed American” were two of the very first albums I remember buying with my chores money growing up (the third being The Postal Service’s “Give Up”), so getting to see both bands perform songs from those records live was probably the coolest thing I had ever seen in my life up until that point, and I credit it as one of the earliest music experiences that eventually got me into making my own!
Eric Jecklin (Bass):
I vividly remember the anticipation and nervous energy leading up to my first show. Back then (the early/mid-2000’s) emo and hardcore music were at their pop culture peak in my opinion. At 15 years old, we had decided to go see A Day to Remember opening for The Devil Wears Prada. ADTR opened the show with a metal cover of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” and I will never forget that moment until the day I die. Your first show can be an intimidating experience, especially because moshing was a huge part of the culture at the time. Kicking off the show with familiarity and levity converted me to an ADTR fan for life and I still listen to metal/hardcore music to this day.
Ryan Rael (Drums):
There are a few technicalities regarding my first concert experiences. As a child, the very first concert I attended happened over the telephone. I was obsessed with P!nk at a young age, but was too young to attend the P!nk and Aerosmith concert that came through town, so my mom called me from the concert and let me listen over the phone. My first physical concert experience was ZZ Top with my dad, but again I was so young and the concert was so late that I believe I slept through most of it.
The concert I ultimately consider my first concert was Green Day and Jimmy Eat World. I was in middle school at the time and had recently picked up playing drums. I was obsessed with the American Idiot record and “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World was on repeat. I have so many vivid memories of this show including the show starting with someone in a pink rabbit costume chugging beers on stage. My favorite memory though was that during the set, Green Day called on the audience to see which of them played instruments and started to piecemeal a new band on stage. When they were calling drummers, I remember screaming so loud “Pick me! Pick Me!” but in hindsight, I was so far away from the stage there was never a chance they would call on me.