In this First Concert Ever segment, the singer-songwriter, Mindy White, talks about her first concert ever. You can check out the feature, after the break.
While the concert that comes to mind wasn’t my first (my parents were in a band my whole childhood so I was always at their shows and going to concerts), this specific concert comes to mind because of the impact it had on me. It was really the first time I had ever been to a concert that wasn’t a big mainstream artist, my parent’s band, or a friend’s local band playing a house show (ooh yeah, tons of those).
I grew up on everything from Fleetwood Mac to Michael Jackson, The Temptations, Zeppelin, The Beatles—you name it, but around 14 or 15 years old, I was in a transition between an obsession with pop music (#1 *NSYNC and Britney Spears fan right here) and an emo, scene-haired Myspace kid. I had fallen in love with My Chemical Romance somehow and found out they were coming through town, so I lied to my parents that I was going to a friend’s house and went to the show.
I remember exactly what I wore to the show because I cringe thinking about it (and there’s photo proof somewhere)—a red Rice Krispies tee shirt (which, at the time I thought was “punk rock” because I bought it in Hot Topic), and an old denim cut-off Abercrombie & Fitch skirt from my attempt to wear “popular kid” clothes (that I despised, but it looked “edgy”). I told you, I was in the middle of a transition here!
This concert was way before MCR was big with their “Helena” video looping on MTV. The venue was called The Muse (RIP) and it had a capacity of maybe 140. They opened for a band I didn’t know before the show called American Nightmare (also known as Give Up The Ghost) which I left completely obsessed with. My Chemical Romance played that tiny show as if they were playing an arena. There were no crazy theatrics or gimmicks, just the band on this grummy black stage playing songs like they were having the time of their lives.
I remember going outside after their set hoping to get a photo or autograph (I didn’t, I was too nervous) and not seeing a huge tour bus, but an old 15-passenger graffitied tour van they had been doing the entire tour in. After the show, the bands both stayed outside talking and hanging out with fans for at least an hour, and I was just so stoked at how nice and humble they all were. I bought shirts from each band and I swear I wore them once a week.
Besides the show itself, one thing I remember was that this place was filled with kids like me. Kids that probably didn’t fit in at school and probably didn’t have a great home life, and here they were happy, singing along, and talking to me like we were friends. I had always wanted to be a musician but I think that night really pushed me to make it happen. I started going to every show I could think of, learning from the singers, working harder on writing songs, becoming friends with bands I always saw and telling everyone I knew that I wanted to tour. And one day, I got a call from the drummer of Lydia asking if I wanted to audition for their band when they’re in town because a friend of a friend of a friend told them I was a singer looking to join a band. Pretty crazy.