The lovely staff of AP comes from a huge variety of backgrounds, ages, and tastes, but the one thing we all have in common is that we LOVE music.
All of our journeys started somewhere. Now, we're sharing with you our very first concert experiences, so that you can see where it all started. Here are 14 of our staffer's first concerts:
“Aside from going to local metal shows with my older brothers, my first concert was Good Charlotte with Mest and Something Corporate. It was Sept. 28, 2003. I remember the date because my best friend and I celebrate the anniversary of our friendship on that day. Good Charlotte introduced us to the music scene and brought us together. We went to hundreds of shows together after that, but I'll always remember that first one because that was when we really became best friends. And, we actually got to meet Good Charlotte. As soon as we walked in the venue some guy told us if we bought CDs we could go to a meet-and-greet with the band. I just remember being so happy to meet my favorite band and then go sing along to my favorite songs with my best friend.”—RABAB AL-SHARIF, DIGITAL CONTENT EDITOR
“My first concert was the INXS “Listen Like Thieves” tour in a1986, but my Mom & Dad took me to see Elton John, when I was 12. My first concert was actually a slightly scary, culture shock experience on it’s own. “What’s that smell Mom?” “Oh, those are cigarettes that make them feel good,” she said. And we left it at that. I don’t know if that smell helped, but once I loosened up, I sure danced away on that venue’s grassy knoll despite my uncool, oversized winter coat though!
But then my freshmen year I was adopted by a gaggle of “Weird Senior Girls.” My new wave/goth big sisters used to take me out every weekend, We’d cruise town & the McDonalds parking lot in their mom’s huge Cadillac All the while we would listen to “Saturday Night Dance Party” a pop-dance radio show that the popular kids listened to. The girls would all scream bloody-murder when anything remotely alternative came on. (i.e. New Order, the Cure, Depeche Mode). So when INXS, not our favorite, but a cooler, regular spin on that show came to town that summer we were all down to go. The night of the show it was over to their house for a soon-to-be-common “get-ready ritual“. It’s still one of my favorite parts of going to a show. I got my first spiked, “hair-do” and one of them lent me a gaudy broach to rock on my trench coat. This was not “normal” for me at all, but damn, did this misfit gang make me feel cool! That awesome gang-confidence powered us all the way through the show, and on that same grassy hill where i first saw Elton, we danced, screamed & cheered louder for their cooler, older stuff, while the boring preppies just stood & stared & waited for the new radio-single.”—CHRISTOPHER BENTON, CREATIVE DIRECTOR
“My first concert as a kid was a double bill of the Beach Boys and Poco. Sadly I don’t remember much of it, so the first concert I attended and actually remember was Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden. I was about seven years old and It was the “From Piano Man to Innocent Man Tour.” I was complaining loudly to my parents that I couldn’t see because there was a giant dude in front of me the whole time. My dad kept shushing me out of fear when this massive Hells Angels guy turned around and grabbed me in the air. Next thing I know, I was watching the rest of the Billy Joel concert on the shoulders of a massive biker bro. I thought it was so cool.”—JOSH BERNSTEIN, VP OF SALES & PARTNERSHIPS
“My first concert was a Justin Bieber arena show because my friend won tickets on the radio and took me with her. I try not to tell people about that one. My actual first concert that I bought tickets and got excited for was the 2010 AP Tour with Never Shout Never, Hey Monday, The Summer Set, The Cab and Every Avenue. NSN was the biggest thing in the entire world at the time, and the show was so insanely packed that all 4 feet and 8 inches of me were lifted off the ground. I was 13 years old, and I remember thinking that it would forever be the best night of my life. And it probably was, to be honest.”—KIKA CHATTERJEE, DIGITAL ASSISTANT
“My first concert was the Ready Set at an outdoor mall in both of our hometowns, Fort Wayne, Indiana. I was, like, third row on the side. He was playing in a tent by a fountain. He was the only one that played, and he played, like, five songs. And that was it. There was people drinking beer out there. And they weren’t supposed to. Because it was at a mall.”—SARA DEWEESE, MARKETING INTERN
“Growing up in small town Iowa means there aren't an abundance of shows that simply pass through, so I had to take what I was given. When I was in junior high, I saw Hot Chelle Rae at a local county fair. I went with my mom, which is probably not the coolest thing to admit. But I was young and more excited than I had been in my entire life.”—MAGGIE DICKMAN, EDITORIAL INTERN
“My first concert was Kenny Rogers and the Oak Ridge Boys. My mother was a huge country music fan and took me to the Indiana State Fair to see two of her favorites when I was 4 years old. I was embarrassed by it for years, given that country music wasn’t “cool.” When I became an adult, I really appreciated that my mom had played Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Crystal Gale, Conway Twitty and so many other important country music singers around the house. She liked some cool pop music, too.
The first concert I ever went to on my own steam was Dio and Megadeth. The band Savatage was also on the tour, but they cancelled the Indianapolis date for some reason. I didn’t mind, because I went solely to see Megadeth. I had gone headfirst from new wave and punk music into thrash metal, thanks to a cassette copy of Megadeth’s Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? I went to Market Square Arena with my best friend at the time, Dave Rogers, and one of his friends. We had “nosebleed” seats. Megadeth looked like tiny insects from where we stood, but it was still killer as far as I was concerned. I bought a t-shirt that night which I still own to this very day. I was indifferent toward Dio at the time, which is a shame, considering how much I later grew to love his work in Black Sabbath and with his solo band. I actually wrote his obituary for MTV News. And as recently as this very day, I listened to the forthcoming set of remasters of the classic DIO catalog.
Megadeth came back the same year as a headliner, with the bands Warlock and Sanctuary in tow. This was my first concert experience in a theater and it was ten times the show as the arena gig. It was so much more immediate and visceral! I saw Slayer, Motörhead and Overkill play that same theater together the same year (I still have my Slayer shirt from that gig, too!). It wasn’t too much longer until I was going to DIY hardcore/punk shows, featuring local bands in VFW halls and tiny clubs.
As hectic and stressful and otherwise difficult as life can be, it’s good to remind myself that as an adult, I’m now very good friends with David Ellefson of Megadeth, I represent the producer who made the latest Sanctuary album, and my old hardcore band toured with two of the guys from Sanctuary when they were in Nevermore!”—RYAN J. DOWNEY, VP OF CONTENT DEVELOPMENT
“My first concert experience was Tim McGraw in Champaign, IL . I was maybe 10. I went with my parents and it was fun, from what I can remember. It was the tour where he played some sad song about his divorce on the piano and paint came out from it on stage and it was like a BIG DEAL. But, as a 10ish year old, concert are like….really long. So I don’t think I made it but 3 or 4 songs into his act before I fell asleep and my parents peaced out.”—AMBER FUNK, MERCHANDISE MANAGER
“It was the Milwaukee date of Fall Out Boy's Believers Never Die Part Deux Tour, with support from Cobra Starship, All Time Low, Metro Station and Hey Monday—so basically, the stuff of both 14-year-old me and current me's combined dreams. I was supposed to be chaperoned by my brother's best friend's girlfriend, but the second we got in the doors, she said, “Okay, have fun, meet me after,” and disappeared. Years later, I found out that her sister was dating Andy Hurley and she watched the entire thing sidestage. I'd be bitter about it, but that show is still to this day the best concert I've ever attended, so I'll leave it untouched in its perfection.”—MACKENZIE HALL, MANAGING EDITOR
“My first concert in the scene was Owl City and Lights at the House of Blues in Orlando, FL with my cousin in 2009 or 2010, so I was 16!”—ALEXIS HOWICK, GRAPHIC DESIGNER
“Back in 2004 when I was just 12 years old, I attended my first concert along with my best friend. At the time, I had no idea it'd be one of the best concerts I ever got to experience: The Subliminal Verses Tour with Slipknot, Lamb of God and Shadows Fall at the peak of the “New Wave of American Heavy Metal.” Slipknot's Vol. 3 had just come out as did Ashes of the Wake by Lamb of God and The War Within by Shadow's Fall. These records are still some of my all-time favorites and I got to see them live! I've been a die-hard metal-head ever since. m/”—STEVIE JAMES, MERCHANDISE ASSISTANT
“My first concert was Motley Crue. I was probably 12. Buckcherry were opening. I remember Tommy Lee made everyone take their shirts off, and that was, like, the whole show.”—ANTHONY LAULETTA, SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
“Baby-scene-me, complete with dyed purple hair and too many pairs of Pacsun skinny jeans, would listen to the Summer Set's Everything's Fine on repeat in 10th grade. Consequently, my first concert was the band's co-headliner with the Cab (Paradise Fears and He Is We opened) at the Beacham Theater in my home locale of Orlando, Florida. I remember being really upset when the door guy put a 'X' on my hand and marked my Ramones sweater in the process—but feeling better when I nabbed a barrier spot in front of John Gomez, my true love at the time.”—CAITLYN RALPH, NEWS WRITER
“My first concert was in 1999 – my mom took me to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on their reunion tour. It was the first time I went to one of my favorite places on earth (Quicken Loans Arena, then Gund Arena – go Cavs!) and the first and only time I’ve fallen asleep during a show. In my defense, it was a school night… and I was nine. While my mom claims my taste in music has only decreased in value since this night, I’ll always appreciate her sharing The Boss with me in my formative years.”—KRYSTEN SULIN, ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
“My very first concert was Creed, in 2000. (I know, I know) Sevendust opened up for them. I went with a group of my friends. Their parents drove and it was actually amaaaaaazing! My friends were into Creed and so I started to listen to them, but I was really into Sevendust at the time. We drove about an hour to the venue and we ended up missing Sevendust (sad face). But it was still a very cool experience that I accepted, with arms wide open.”—DEANNA ZAMUDIO, SENIOR DESIGNER