In this First Concert Ever segment, the singer-songwriter, Jacob Lee, reveals the first experience he had with live music. You can check out his story and stream his newest single, “With You”, after the break.
I think most would be surprised when I mention the artists on stage at my first concert. With the music I write, I presume the heavy metal genre would be quite far from anyone’s first assumption. To my parent’s disapproval, I was the kid amongst the ruckus at the Parkway Drive concert at Riverstage, Brisbane. I discovered Alternative Metal / Post-Hardcore at about 14 years old & absolutely fell in love with the depth amongst the lyrics. The voices, instrumentation, & desperation I discovered in that genre drew me in from the very moment I was introduced to it. Even though I don’t listen as frequently now, it was no doubt a soundscape that genuinely inspired the artist I’ve become.
I was fortunate enough to grow up amidst the generation that genuinely appreciated Metal. It seemed to be at its peak throughout the early 2000’s & was definitely more prominent in young culture than it is now. I listened to BMTH, Bless The Fall, As I Lay Dying, Asking Alexandria, Underoath, Dance Gavin Dance, Escape The Fate, Emarosa, Parkway etc… All the standard artists that were popular at the time. As mentioned, Parkway Drive was the first concert I ever attended & as a 15-year-old, you could say I wasn’t exactly prepared for the level of energy, movement & insanity that takes place at those shows. Nevertheless, I fell in the love with the passion of both the crowd & the artists on stage.
I recall standing amongst the responsible souls for a while. Those who weren’t there to jump in the sea of sweat that clung to the front of the stage. If I’m honest, I don’t recall the support act so they mustn’t have been overly impressive. I was with two friends, one who introduced me to the genre, somewhat mental & the other who was only a shade less mental. We pushed our way through the adults, mostly dudes with beards, too many piercings, tattoo’s & band tee’s & what I found surprising is that none of them blinked an eye at us. As much as there was an age difference, even a cultural difference, it felt extremely communal & safe, which was definitely a welcome feeling for a teenager at his first concert. We were involved in the death-walls, circle pits & the most vivid memory I could possibly share in this entry is the lack of movement I had in the back of my neck the 2 – 3 days afterward. The amount of head-banging was on an all-time high & I only realized afterward that the spine wasn’t actually created for consistent & violent swinging of the face.
I’ve attended a fair few Parkway shows over 2007 to 2013, alongside Bullet for my Valentine, BMTH, Pierce The Veil, The Used, Asking Alexandra, even Cancer Bats, who I didn’t vibe within the slightest. Even though I listen to the genre much less now, I sincerely believe the passion, lyricism & emotion felt listening to all that music impacted the songs I’ve written & write nowadays. I often try & seek out meaningful & purpose-filled music, & it’s honestly becoming more & more difficult. I don’t find artists that are extracting & injecting themselves into the music anymore. It’s become a fully-fledged business model rather than an art form. I’m grateful my perspective is to still appreciate artistry, sincerity & truth in the creation of music.
I believe all things come in cycles. All genres rise & fall in popularity & I think the time is coming where people will start looking for substance in music again. At least I hope so.