The Feministing Crew’s First Concerts

One of the activities we did as an ice breaker at our recent retreat was to talk about our very first concert on our own. Hilarity, as you might imagine, ensued. We thought we’d share some of the stories with you all…
Miriam – Alan Jackson and Deanna Carter, c. 1996, Raleigh, North Carolina
It’s true, I grew up in the South! I went with a friend and her mom when I was in middle school. I can’t say I was an Alan Jackson fan, but when Deanna Carter sang Strawberry Wine I was into it.
Ann – Cornershop and Gus Gus, c. 1997, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I grew up in a small-ish town in Iowa where nationally known musical acts only play when their careers are long dead. Seeing live music meant driving several hours — something my mom and dad were loathe to let me do. When I was a freshman in high school, I told my parents I was going to watch Hamlet (the longest movie I could think of) at a friend’s house, and snuck off to Wisconsin to see the “Brimful of Asha” band (wow, um, yeah) and some random Icelandic act I had never heard of. I got in big trouble later.
Courtney-Smoking Groove Tour, 1998, Boulder, Colorado
As the Fugees were performing in a very small venue, a woman from the audience threw her bra up at the keyboard player. Lauryn Hill stopped singing and made everyone stop playing music, and then did a ridiculously amazing freestyle about how the girl needed to respect herself. I was stunned.
Lori-Musiq Soulchild/Mary J. Blige, c. 2002, Electric Factory, Philly, PA
At 16, my friend’s recently acquired learner’s permit enabled he and I to follow the neo-soul trail from S. Jersey to Philly Phil. Thoroughly wooed by the ridiculous r&b riffs, I’m pretty sure I cried tears of luv & joy at least twice between episodes of “Jusfriends” and “Soulstar”. Afterwards, armed with the audacity only starstruck teenagers can conjure, my friend and I invented a story about winning a radio station contest to bust backstage and take a pic w the soulchild himself. To this day, I spell “musiq” with a Q.
Vanessa-Debbie Gibson Concert, c. 1989, New York
Sue me, I was 9. My cousin brought me and I was rocking the Debbie Gibson hat, leggings with a long shirt tied in a knot at the side — the works. I begged my cousin to bring me to the front of the stage as hoards of girls my age and older were scrambling to get closer, my cousin lifted me up as Debbie reached down to greet her fans…and we touched hands. Electric Youth indeed.

Chloe: Avril Lavigne, February 2002, Sydney

I don’t think I’ll ever live this one down, music-wise. At the time, I was a huge Avril fan, convinced that, as the “anti-Britney,” she was the greatest thing to happen to Girl Power since the Spice Girls. I went to the concert with my older sister and we jumped up and down like maniacs and screamed out the lyrics to all the songs. Do I still know them all? Stop asking questions.
Samhita-Ween, c. 1993, NYC
I was 15 and I was a nerd (as you can tell by the first band I went to see) and it was really exciting to be in NYC with just my friends at the age of 15!
Jos-The Polyphonic Spree, 2004, Boston
I needed a transition from the live music of my Christian fundamentalist upbringing, and this cult-y show certainly fit the bill. Two nights in a row.
And for vintage amusement:

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