John Mark Nelson – FIRST CONCERT EVER John Mark Nelson – FIRST CONCERT EVER
In this First Concert Ever segment, the singer-songwriter, John Mark Nelson, talks about the story of his first experience with live music. John Mark Nelson – FIRST CONCERT EVER

In this First Concert Ever segment, the singer-songwriter, John Mark Nelson, talks about the story of his first experience with live music. You can check out the story, after the break.

The first concert I ever went to makes me seem extremely high brow – which I assure you I am not. Growing up in the Twin Cities, I took all my musical influence from two friends several years older than I was. I watched in awe as they legally smoked cigarettes and played small snippets of Red Hot Chili Peppers songs on their beat-up acoustic guitars. I assumed this was the pinnacle of living, and that I would arrive someday in the foggy future. One of them was a religious-level fan of the ambient Icelandic rock band Sigur Ros. Being about 14 at the time, I was unable to attend the myriad 18+ shows in the clubs scattered across the metro area. However, as luck would have it, Sigur Ros was playing at the Orpheum Theater, a historic, gaudy, and most importantly, all ages theater in downtown Minneapolis.

 

In the days leading up to the show, I didn’t feel at all like a 14-year-old Chili Peppers fan waiting for an Icelandic, drone-rock show. I felt like a 6-year-old waiting for Christmas morning – impatient and prone to emotional distress. But the day finally arrived and my Dad drove me from our sleepy, possibly 18th-ring suburb into the heart of downtown and dropped me on the corner of 11th and Hennepin. I will never fully know what it feels like to be President or a Nobel Prize recipient, but I imagine the feeling to be very similar to being a 14-year-old kid, about to attend a rock and roll program with your cool 18-21-year-old friends.

 

The show was absolutely incredible. I had never seen anything like it. The sounds and lights burned brand new pathways into my brain and confirmed that there was no better way to spend this one precious life than rocking – hard. So I’ve tried to rock at least moderately hard ever since.

 

Now, when I tell people that my first concert ever was Sigur Ros, they give me this disapproving look, convinced that I wear a scarf and tweed blazer when the temperature falls below 70. They make a mental note to never bring up smoking a pipe, newsie caps, or podcasts that discuss things in only the abstract. But they have me figured all wrong. In reality, I was just a kid who had cool older friends that could legally smoke cigarettes and play small snippets of Red Hot Chili Pepper songs on their beat-up acoustic guitars.

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Joshua Weidling Owner/Founder

I'm the owner & founder of Digital Tour Bus. I started the company in my dorm room during my freshman year of college. I have a degree in Marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Outside of music and going to concerts, I'm a big fan of stand-up comedy, playing board games, trying the most amazing unhealthy food, and watching really mediocre comedy tv shows.