In this First Concert Ever segment, the R&B artists, AKA Block & SYPS, talk about their first concerts ever. You can check out the feature, after the break.
It was 2006, a humid and hot summer day in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. At 12 years old I was completely obsessed with reggae and I completely idolized Damian Marley, Bob Marley’s youngest. So when he came to Amsterdam that summer I begged my parents to let me go to Two 7’s Splash Festival. Being the amazing parents they are they bought me tickets and I convinced two of my friends to tag along. We had the whole red, yellow & green outfits going and memorized the entire Welcome To Jamrock album and were ready to sing along the entire show. Besides being on a music mission, the three of us decided this was the perfect time to smoke weed for the first time. Before too long we were hanging out with a group of veteran Rastas who wouldn’t sell but were happy to share their spliffs with us. Somewhere during my high, I freaked out and had a full-fledged panic attack because I didn’t have any money for a drink. If you’ve ever smoked weed, you know when thirst strikes you need a fucking drink right then and right there. Thankfully an old lady with dreadlock gave me a bottle of water and all was fine. Damian Marley was amazing and that show made me a lifelong fan.
My first ever show was an epic two hour, 2000 people Incubus concert in Bangkok, Thailand, where I grew up. I was 12 years old so it must have been 2002, right after their incredible album, “Morning View”. It was the first show that my parents actually allowed me to go to with friends. I knew every song by heart. Before the show, I went to my buddy Martijn’s house so we could leave together. His spot years later became the place we would all sleep over at, sneak out and get drunk in the endless abyss of Bangkok. His parents would cover for us if our parents ever called. Absolute class. They dropped us off at the venue and off we went. I was in awe when the show started. They opened with “Are You In?” through a flood of technicolor lights. It smelled of the morning after you threw your first college party. The crowd was fascinating and intensely diverse. The greatest thing is that nobody was on their phone. We were all fully in the present moment. Brandon Boyd’s presence was divine. He taught me what it is to perform. Each song was an alternate reality that took me far away. As the show ended, the DJ brought his theremin out and turned the last few songs into an experiment. It blew my mind. A week later I bought my first guitar and the first song I learned was “Drive”. I still play it to this day.