In this First Concert Ever segment, the singer-songwriter, Sean Magwire, talks about the story of his first experience with live music. You can check out the story, after the break.
I grew up in a house immersed in music. My father was a musician and taught me how to play the guitar and sing from an early age. We would comb through his albums and analyze all the great songwriters of the 60s and 70s. One such relatively obscure songwriter, Larry Norman, was at the top of my father’s list. Larry was a rough and tumble character who got his start with the one-hit-wonder 60’s rock band, People! Following the breakup of People!, Larry went on to become who many consider to be the founding father of Christian rock music. His albums in the early 70s were revolutionary and impacted songwriters across all genres and eras.
My father had been a fan of Larry’s since the 70s but had never seen him perform live in concert. On October 6, 1994, my family drove the two hours (on a school night!) from our home in Northern Indiana to a small church in Wayne, Michigan to see Larry perform solo. I was eight years old at the time and this was to be my very first rock concert. I remember feeling like a complete rebel staying out past my bedtime to see this long-haired, hippy man play loud songs with funny lyrics. I will never forget my father telling me that this show would be very important to my life. He was right.
From the moment Larry started playing, I was hooked and didn’t want it to end. He played for what felt like 10 hours but was more like two or three. I remember my brother, who was five at the time, fell asleep for most of the concert. The crowd was composed of die-hard fans and almost everyone sang all the lyrics right along with Larry the entire time. I had never experienced a gathering of people like this before and was immediately caught up in the mystique of live music. It would be another six years before I started writing my own songs, but I knew I wanted to someday perform like Larry. I walked into my 3rd grade classroom the next morning exhausted but feeling like an absolute rock star. Detroit Rock City, baby! Larry passed away in 2008 but his music and songwriting have always been and will continue to be a guiding light in my own musical journey.