Lately I have been thinking about one of my favorite questions to ask people.
“What was your first live music show?”
I love asking that question to people and hearing awesome stories from someone’s first show. I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s so I usually hear the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Poison, INXS, Def Leppard, NKOTB, etc. Occasionally I meet someone like my great friend Josh Lang whom I think said his first show was Bob Dylan, which is unbelievably golden. There are also people whose unfortunate first exposure to live music was Color Me Bad or RATT. I’m surprised the Department of Children’s Services didn’t take those poor kids away from their parents.
Well my first live show that I can remember was the great Paul Simon. My mom took my sister and I to see him at Starlight Amphitheatre in Kansas City. It was Paul Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints Tour in 1991. I think all summer my parents were playing that album along with Graceland, which to this day I still listen every few months. I remember the amazing African drums, the bass vocalist singing The Obvious Child, and all three of us singing the Born at the Right Time together out loud. My sister and I were hooked. Looking back, I am surprised that was the first show since my parents were big folk music fans and thought it would be something more like The Kingston Trio or Peter, Paul and Mary. But thank you mom because I feel that I can share that story with great joy. Paul Simon is one to be proud of when answering that question.
The question is more important than ever now that I am a parent.
My daughters are growing up and I want them to be able to answer this question in the future with great confidence. Okay basically I want them to acknowledge that their parents were really cool, right? Is that wrong? I need to be careful because whatever artist my wife and I may be into at the moment might not stand the test of time. So in these next 10 years, I’ll be sure to report in what that first show will be. But I will still love my kids if their first live music show is that year’s version of Hanson or Bieber.
So…what was your first live music show?