In this First Concert Ever segment, the rock and roll band, Grand Canyon, tell the tale of the first concert they ever played together. You can check out the story, after the break.
A couple years back, we were making slow progress writing our first album. We thought getting out of LA might help us focus, so we found an Airbnb about 5 hours north in North Fork and headed out of town.
On our first night, we went out for drinks at the one place in town that had its lights on. By the end of the night, we had drunkenly talked the bartender and owner into letting us play a gig at the bar on our final night in town. It was to be a three hour set of covers and originals. At the time, we had about 8 songs to our name, and we had never played a gig as a band. We had a few days to get about 25 more songs under our belt. Did I mention it would be our first gig as a band?
A few days later, we found ourselves playing for a packed house. It was electric. Seemed like everyone in the small town had come out to see if we had anything special to offer. Thankfully we were in good form…everything was going great until midway through the third set.
Appropriately in the middle of the Tom Petty classic “Refugee,” two-thirds of the bar emptied into the parking lot, the other third pressed up against the windows in the back of the bar. All of a sudden, the place was empty, I thought maybe we had finally worn out our welcome, or worse, maybe we were just terrible? Unsure of what was happening, we played on.
A few minutes later, the bartender ran inside gesturing wildly, shouting for the shotgun. A sawed-off shotgun was thrown over the bar and run out the door. “Refugee” in full swing. A couple minutes later, three shirtless, adrenaline-filled locals stumbled in blood-soaked, b-lining their way to the bathroom. Literally holding the smoking gun, the bartender followed and locked the door behind them. We were all looking around at each other in disbelief…we played on.
They ended up shutting it down and locking us all in after the fight and ensuing shootout that took place in the parking lot. I joke all the time about barely surviving gigs, but that was a special one. Grand Canyon could easily have been one of those bands you’ve never heard of…as a matter of fact, we probably are. :)