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What was your first concert? RadioBDC staff share their memories

Posted by Alex Pearlman  May 9, 2013 02:45 PM

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This summer, Live Nation will be sending one lucky Super Fan to six (seriously, SIX) concerts of their choice, along with six of their friends. In order to win, hopeful New Englanders can share the story of their first-ever concert on the entry page.

Sadly, not all regional music-lovers are eligible. The RadioBDC staff can't win the prizes. But we were so excited about the contest, we wanted to share our earliest concert memories anyway.

My first concert was in April, 1999. It was 'N SYNC's second tour, and my sister and I danced (and shrieked) the entire time, probably covered in glitter. We were so giddy, we likely deprived our brain cells of the oxygen tweenage girls need to focus on things other than JT's bleach-blond curls and epic dance moves. (Extra props to my Dad who sat through the whole thing.)

Here's what the rest of the staff remembers from their first live music shows, which are way cooler than mine.

Carly Carioli:

carlyheadshot.jpgIn my hometown, Philadelphia, The Jacksons' Victory Tour arrived in September 1984 for two shows at JFK Stadium — a massive, decrepit concrete bunker that could seat 100,000, and would play host the following year to half of Live Aid. The Victory Tour was, for a time, the hottest ticket anywhere: at $30 a pop, seats were outrageously expensive. And despite the presence of the other Jacksons, it was essentially Michael's only national tour behind Thriller. You had to enter a lottery, and you also had to agree to buy four. Going to see the thing seemed such an extravagance, it never crossed my mind that anyone I knew would actually go.

But the night before the second show, my Dad came home and said that on a lark he'd walked up to the ticket counter at Wanamaker's (the ancient department store on Market Street), and had bought tickets without standing in line. Our seats were somewhere in the upper deck, and for most of the concert I couldn't see anything — but I remember hearing a particular roar of the audience and knowing that somewhere, off in the distance, decades before YouTube and DVRs, Philadelphians were beholding a Michael Jackson moonwalk, in the flesh, for the first time — and my dad hoisting me onto his shoulders for a glimpse of the stage, very far away.

Mark Lewis:

marklewisheadshot.jpgOfficially, it’s Billy Joel, Madison Square Garden, floor seats, June 1982. I fell asleep half way through the fifth song. My life.

But the first concert I really remember was at Camp Baco, July 1986. Ron Dagan, Jewish folk singer extraordinaire, entertained 250 Jewish campers cramped into a basketball court dancing and schvitzing all over each other while belting out "Hava Nagila," "Shalom Aleichem" and, of course, Grateful Dead hits like "Friend of the Devil."

Each year Ron would come back and regale us with his glorious schtick. Some of the greatest nights of my life. Hands down.

Adam 12:

adam12headshot.jpgMy first concert was Pearl Jam at the Boston Garden on April 10, 1994. This was just days after Kurt Cobain killed himself, so it was an emotional set from the band. The mood was solemn, the stage was adorned with candles, and Eddie Vedder delivered a sort of eulogy. Not that I understood any of it, between Ed Ved's mumbling and the old Garden acoustics.

They opened with "Release," then tore through a ton of songs from Ten and Vs. Toward the end of the set, during "Blood," Eddie Vedder used his mic stand to smash a hole in the stage, which he then proceeded to climb down through. I remember watching him do this from where I was sitting in the balcony and thinking how small he looked.

My one takeaway, being a jaded, too-cool-for-the-room 17-year-old, was that Pearl Jam was "OK," but it was their opening act—Mudhoney— that I was really impressed with. I bought their t-shirt. What a punk! I'd just witnessed one of the most legendary moments in Boston concert history, and all I can think is, "the opener was better."

Typical teenage contrarian.

Henry Santoro:

henryheadshot.jpgMy first concert was Creedence Clearwater Revival at the Boston Garden, July 16, 1971. I was 15. No embarrassing moments.

Julie Kramer:

julieheadshot.jpgMy first "real" concert was David Bowie in 1976. David Bowie was the king in my house. My older sister dressed like him, had a band that did Bowie cover tunes, and her bedroom walls we adorned with his posters. I was a young elementary school student when we heard Bowie was coming to the Boston Garden and we begged my mom to get tickets and take us.

The ticket price $4.50. Seriously, $4.50 for David Bowie: The Thin White Duke tour. My mom took us in by train and we got to our seats and waited for the show to begin. The guy behind us was smoking dope out of a power hitter and blowing it in our faces. My mom, surprised and disgusted, kept looking at me and rolling her eyes.

At one point and the highlight of the show was when my mom said to me, "How are they going to remember the show smoking all that pot?"

Alaina Riccardi:

alainaheadshot.jpegLike a true teeny bopper, my first show was a Kiss 108 Concert. I'm not sure of the year, but I was young. I had really good seats, and it was before the band Train was popular. But they were sitting right in front of me after playing very early in the concert. The band was WICKED nice, and they were my first rock star crush – and currently my all-time favorite band.

Chris Rattey:

ratteyheadshot.jpgMy first concert was in the fall of 1986 at the now-defunct Kingston Fairgrounds in Kingston, New Hampshire. The occasional big act would roll through this southern N.H. town, and on this rainy Saturday, Ozzy Ozbourne held a show in front of a rather small crowd. My eighth grade class at Sanborn Regional Middle School held a fundraiser selling snacks for our trip to Washington, D.C., so a bunch of us were there.

Three bands opened up for Ozzy: one called Raven, along with a very, VERY young rock group named Queensryche. But my most vivid memory was the opening act, a Boston-based punk act called Gang Green. For whatever reason, the crowd of maybe 1,000 people hated Gang Green. They were absolutely pummeled with a barrage of boos, hisses and F-you's. This was the only time in my life that I saw a band literally booed off stage. Gang Green cut the act short, the lead singer flipped us the bird, yelled "Kingston sucks," and dropped his drawers and gave us a full moon. As an eighth grader, it was thrilling ... and raised the bar very high for concerts. Turns out that doesn't happen at every show. It actually has never happened since.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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Adam 12
Not only is Adam 12 Boston.com Radio's Production Director, he also hosts afternoons. 12 is a longtime fixture on the Boston scene, and when he's not out and about in the city, he's trekking around New England with his kids.
Julie Kramer
Julie enters the building every day with a big smile and trough of freshly brewed coffee. She’s Boston.com Radio’s Music Director and mid-day hostess, and will deliver Lunch At Your Desk every day from noon to 1 PM.
Henry Santoro
Henry‘s always on the lookout for news. He’s Boston.com Radio’s News Director and Morning Presenter. He’s also a music and art collector, and is a world-class cook with over 5,000 cookbooks in his library.
Paul Driscoll
Paul Driscoll is Boston.com Radio’s Program Director who has the best ears in the business. Paul gets dozens of phone calls and visits a day, from bands and record labels looking to get their music played. Some even leave an apple on is desk.
Steph Mangan
Steph Mangan hosts Grrl Power and LocalBDC. When she's not at the studio, she is constantly on the look out for up-and-coming local bands and attending shows at Boston's many venues. She is an avid enthusiast of burritos and denim jackets.
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