In this First Concert Ever segment, the pop punk band, Eugene Levy, talks about the story of their first experiences with live music. You can check out the stories, after the break.
My first real concert was at a small venue called the Picador (now known as Gabe’s in Iowa City). I was in eighth grade when friends invited me to go, and the venue was about 30 minutes from my hometown. My friend John had to drive us all because I was too young to drive.
I had no idea what to expect when I got there.
There are two floors: a bar on the first level with the actual concert upstairs. You could feel the floor stick from spilled beer and everyone was packed in like a bunch of sardines. With a small stage only a few feet above the ground, stickers all over the walls and bathroom stalls, and posters from all the other acts that had come through, it felt just like a scene out of a movie.
The bill was We Shot The Moon, The Higher, Sherwood, and Houston Calls as the headliner. I have no idea how, but we made it to the front of the stage. Right before Houston Calls went on their drummer was carrying his drums through the crowd. I remember us helping him load on stage and as he finished he thanked me and said, “I’d buy you a beer but you are too young to have one”.
Then Houston Calls started to play and the entire crowd started to sing along, pushing and shoving all around me. This was the first time I had ever experienced the energy of a live performance. I may not have known any words to any of the songs but I felt like I belonged. I remember paying close attention to the bass player because I had just started playing it.
After the show ended I went to the merch table and purchased a Houston Calls shirt and had the entire band sign it. I hung it on my wall in my bedroom where it stayed there until I moved out of my parent’s house. I also had their bass player sign the back of my Nokia phone – no idea why the phone or even what happened to it.
This was the show that drove me to pursue music. I’m lucky enough to even have the privilege to play a ton of shows, right there on that same stage.
And I can’t wait to play there again.