Hey, did you know the 57th annual Grammy Awards air this Sunday on CBS? We’ve been prepping for the big show by keeping an eye on the night’s biggest performances, asking insiders to reveal who they voted for, and, of course, making our own predictions about who’s going to win—all of which has inspired more than a few fond memories of the biggest musical moments in our own lives. Enter this week’s nostalgia-soaked PopWatch Confessional question: What do you remember about the first concert you ever attended?
Kevin P. Sullivan, correspondent: When I was 11 years old, my parents surprised me with tickets to a Weird Al Yankovic concert at Navy Pier in Chicago. They broke the news right before the show started. He played all of the hits (“Fat,” “Like A Surgeon,” “The Saga Begins”), and I cried tears of joy.
Katie Christiansen, human resources: My first concert was Rockapella (of Folgers commercial and Carmen San Diego fame), and they made me go up on stage and walk back and forth while they sang “Pretty Woman” at me for, like, four minutes. Then they made me spell “equestrian” in front of everyone. The power of Roy Orbison, man. My first real concert was Third Eye Blind, and I stuck my fingers in my ears the whole time because my middle school crush was also there and was flirting with someone else (a guy, as it were). I was pissed.
Esther Zuckerman, staff writer: Though chances are I’d been taken to see classical music before this, the first real rock concert I remember was going to see Paul Simon with my parents when I was 10 or 11, and he was on tour for his album You’re the One. The concert solidified my lifelong love of Simon, but also scared the crap out of me. Why? Toward the end of the show, Simon was playing one of his bouncier songs—looking at the setlist, it may have been something like “Kodachrome” or the “lie-la-lie” section of “The Boxer. The balcony where we were sitting started to shake. Since we were in Los Angeles, my immediate reaction was, “EARTHQUAKE!” I hadn’t yet learned that sometimes, people just get really excited at concerts.
Danielle Nussbaum, west coast bureau chief: The first show I went to sans parentals–which is why NKOTB doesn’t count—was at a local high school auditorium. My friends Julie and Brian and I went to see alt-rockers Belly, because at the time I was completely obsessed with Feed the Tree. But first ,we had to deal with the opening band, who started playing a pretty catchy song called “Creep” that Brian had put on a bunch of mixtapes. The band, of course, was Radiohead. All in all, a pretty amazing night. (Except for when Julie lost one of her clogs in the mosh pit. Man, I miss the ’90s.)