In this First Concert Ever segment, the pop rock artist, Deva St. John, talks about the story of her first experience with live music. You can check out the story, after the break.
My parents are pagan, so I have quite a few memories of being at family-friendly music festivals when I was really small. Dancing barefoot to flute music, wearing a flower crown, and feeling like a little fairy. Though as I got older and became a cynical teenager, pop-punk and emo swept the adolescent world, and I – like basically everyone else my age – got into it. I was 15 when I went to my first “proper” gig.
One afternoon after school, I went with a group of people to hang out at somebody’s house. We got a snack and sat in the dining room. My friend stuck her iPod on the speaker dock and played Ignorance by Paramore. I’d never heard of this band or their music before – and I absolutely loved it. My friend was headbanging, lip-syncing – she put on a great show for us! It’s a really sweet memory, and I’m pretty sure it was the first time I’d heard a band – and particularly a lead singer – that I really resonated with. At the time, I was considering writing music and singing more – so being exposed to Hayley Williams at that particular time was just the boost I needed.
That November, they came to the UK and played the O2 Arena. We found out and begged each of our parents for tickets as early Christmas presents. I’d never been to a gig I was genuinely gassed about – let alone a giant stadium! We were up in the cheap seats. I remember trying not to look down as we climbed higher and higher up. Shaking off vertigo as I planted my butt on the plastic seat.
The band Fun opened the show before they were properly famous. They were okay, I wasn’t a huge fan. They had a great year the following year though, so good for them.
When Paramore finally came out, I was super excited. Any nerves I had about the height disappeared, and we had the best time. Everyone was fantastic – I really couldn’t have asked for a better first show. Hayley Williams is widely regarded as one of the best front-people ever, so her performance was a real masterclass. I came away from that gig feeling invigorated, inspired, and educated!