In this First Concert Ever segment, the indie rock artist, Kaptan, talks about the story of his first experience with live music. You can check out the story, after the break.
I was 14 years old when I went to my first concert. By that time, I had already begun obsessing over discovering new artists and went from spending most of my time on a skateboard to sitting at my computer for hours illegally downloading endless amounts of songs. We had one computer in our house and I am really surprised that thing didn’t explode.
During this time, I listened to my local rock station quite a bit and they often gave away tickets to shows. Green Day had just put out their album, Warning, and the station + MTV were giving out tickets for a free show that was about an hour or so away from where I lived. I called the station about a hundred times until I finally got through and I freaking won a pair of tickets! I was overwhelmed with joy! I had been a fan at this point for several years and had never been to a concert. There was one thing that was stopping me at this point from fulfilling this dream.. transportation. Both my parents worked and there was no way they were going to drive me to this… I’m also not entirely sure they knew what they were giving me permission to go to, as it was pretty WILD!
The next day I went to school and heard this kid I had somewhat known since elementary school talk about how he was going to the show and I could not fucking believe it. I approached him immediately and asked if he thought I could catch a ride with him and his dad, he said yes. His dad picked us up early from school and we started heading to the venue. On the way there, his dad talked to us about the band No Doubt almost the entire time and played their album Tragic Kingdom, all the way through TWICE. I could tell he felt really cool and angsty, so I smiled and politely agreed. By that time I was in full-on pop-punk mode and spent most of my time listening to New Found Glory, Less Than Jake, Blink 182, MxPx, Midtown, Sum 41 (that first record… is so good) and bands like that so No Doubt, unfortunately, wasn’t super high on the list but I came around later on because that album is actually incredible.
We got to the venue which was actually a drive-in movie theater that they had converted into an outdoor arena for the day and to my surprise.. my friend’s dad did not stay with us… HE LITERALLY JUST DROPPED US OFF and told us to meet him at the gate after the show! Keep in mind we did NOT have cell phones so these days that would be kind of crazy! The rest was a dream. I threw myself into the crowd and was surrounded by a bunch of sweaty, enormous humans that were all singing along and pushing me around like a rag doll because I’m a pretty small person. I remember being halfway to the stage, not being able to move when this massive man picked me up and threw me on top of the crowd! And there it was.. my first crowd surf… I don’t think I have ever felt more alive in my entire life.
After the show, we waited for hours to get our t-shirts signed by the band and I still have that shirt to this day. I was honestly never the same after that. I was so in love with seeing live music that I would make my dad pick up my friends and I early from school every time a band I wanted to see came through. We’d show up at the venue at 2:30 and wait forever for the bands to get there so we could say hi. Sometimes I wouldn’t even have tickets but would still go so I could beg them to let me know and you’d be surprised how many times that worked! That is one of my favorite memories and it changed me forever.