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Ten Years of Concerts

By Eric | June 11, 2007 2:19 pm

It has been an even ten years since my first rock concert. June 11th, 1997. Our Lady Peace, Cool For August, and Puzzle Gut at the Tralf in Buffalo, NY. Accompannied by my friend Christine from the Harrison co-op program (and driven by her mom, Thanks Mom!), we managed to be right up front the whole night. For some reason, the experience of the show stuck with me. Singing along with the CD in your bedroom is fun, but singing along with the band right in front of you, sometimes in places no bigger than your bedroom, with 500 other people who are also singing along with every word is usually even more fun. I whipped together a little retrospective for myself on the past 192 shows over 10 years:

Over these past ten years, I’ve driven way too far to get to shows far too early, only to wait in far too long of lines for far too long in far too cold (or too hot) weather, to be one of the first in line. This led to running to the barrier to be right in front, and then pinned against said barrier for 3+ hours. I’ve been helped off the ground, helped people off the ground, been kicked in the head and/or slammed by crowd surfers (and I’ve subsequently yanked them to the ground), gotten in shoving matches and fights (*usually* not instigated by me); I’ve jumped, moshed, sweated, screamed my lungs out, lavished praise and bitterly complained more than my share about openers and headliners alike. I’ve met lots of band members, some cool, some not-so-cool, some famous, some not-so-famous; met a lot of interesting fans, some cool, some not-so-cool. I’ve gotten autographs, guitar picks, drum sticks, drum heads, setlists, posters, flyers, stickers, promo CD’s and videos, and anything and everything else I could get my hands on. I’ve won contests to see shows, I’ve ridden other contest winners’ coattails to see shows, I’ve gotten into “exclusive” shows by talking to the band. I’ve seen two different shows in one day. I’ve seen great bands, good bands, OK bands, and absolutely terrible bands. I’ve had some of the best times of my life, and some of the worst times of my life at concerts. I’ve celebrated my birthday at shows (1998 and 2005, and within a day in 2000 and 2001). I’ve celebrated New Years Eve (2000/2001) at a concert. I probably should have worn earplugs at more of them, but I’m doing what I can now. I’ve immensely enjoyed these last ten years of concerts, and I look forward to the next ten years (albeit at a far slower pace I’m guessing!).

Naturally, it’s fitting that on the 10th anniversary of my first concert, I’ll be attending a concert. I’ll be seeing the Deftones for the first time in seven years, in Buffalo tonight. Here’s to another 10 years!

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