Join us as Presence reveals his first concert story.


In this First Concert Ever segment, the hip-hop artist, Presence, talks about the story of his first experience with live music. You can check out the story below:

Attending your first concert is a special experience for anyone. Getting to see your favorite artist perform live, singing along to your favorite songs, and simply being a part of a crowd that shares your love for music is exhilarating. I can remember the first concert I went to, down to the very day of the week it was (it was a Sunday). October 12, 2014, was the date. I was 12 years old.

The headliner for the concert was Lecrae, a hip-hop artist who impacted my youth tremendously. The concert was a part of Lecrae's "Anomaly Tour," which had stops all over the country. This stop was just an hour south of my hometown of Camarillo, at the famous Hollywood Palladium. The opener for the concert was Andy Mineo, another rapper who was probably my second favorite artist, just after Lecrae at the time, so you can imagine the excitement I felt in the days leading up the show. I went to the concert with my dad and my friend Carter Alexander. Tickets were $28.50 apiece.

The show opened with the instrumental of Lecrae’s song “Outsiders” and a cinema-quality visual depicting his birth, intertwined with eerie, gut-wrenching clips of Ronald Reagan’s presidential victory and news stations talking about his war on drugs. This transitioned seamlessly into Lecrae performing his song “Welcome to America '' where he raps about some of the hard realities that face this country and its origins. I can still remember the passion in his voice as he rapped, “I was born in the mainland / Great-Grandpa from a strange land / He was stripped away and given bricks to lay / I guess you say he a slave hand.”

His performance was captivating from the jump, and it didn’t end there. Each song had its own visual accompaniment displayed behind him as he performed, and the show progressed with a very intentional narrative from song to song. By the time the last song, “Say I Won’t,” was performed, I had completely lost my voice from yelling lyrics right back at him all night long.

As I look back at that concert, it’s easy to see how much it impacted me and my style of performance all these years later. If not for Lecrae’s music, and maybe even just that show in general, I’m not sure that I’d be where I’m today as both an artist and a person. I couldn’t have asked for a better first concert, or any better people to have attended with.

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