The first band I ever saw was Peter, Paul and Mary. I was 3 and I slept the whole time. Finally, 10 years later (1995), my parents let me venture out on my own and I saw They Might Be Giants at the Metro in Chicago. The room reeked of weed (whoaaaaa) and I saw boobs in real life (whoaaaaaaaa) and I had a blast. Riding the bus home that night and clutching my new T-shirt I knew: I WILL ALWAYS LOVE THIS BAND! I got home, ate a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos to get the whiskey smell off my breath and fell asleep a changed man. I still do like They Might Be Giants, but I don't know all the words to all the songs anymore. In honor of my old favorite band, which is playing the Variety Playhouse this weekend, I ventured out and discovered what bands were some ATL rock musicians', promoters', bloggers', and DJs' first times, and if they would still see them now.
Maria Sotnikova, Program Director, WREK: When I was 17, I went to see Death Cab for Cutie headline at the Variety Playhouse with Ben Kweller and Pedro the Lion. Yes! I would see them again! Death Cab for Cutie were and are a formative band for me (and whoever thinks The Photo Album isn't perfection is lying to themselves). I have no recollection of seeing Pedro the Lion play at all. I do remember holding hands with a boy for the first time, though. I was a late-bloomer. Escaping the suburbs on the weekends to see concerts in Little Five and the like was a welcome respite from an otherwise mundane high school experience. I'm extremely thankful that I had the opportunity to experience the Atlanta music scene at such an early age. I'd be quite a different person had I not been. BTW: I had to go through old diary entries to confirm this. It was painful. You owe me. :)
Danny Bailey, Faun and a Pan Flute: KORN cover band. Hell no I would not see that now. Only if I was on acid. They were all midgets and girls and I loved it at the time.
Jared Pepper, Babar: Converge. If I could see them again I probably would not. It was at the Masquerade and it was the first time I ever saw somebody get beaten over the head with a table. I saw them every year till I was 18 and then I stopped going out after doing lots of mushrooms.
Emily Kempf, Iron Jayne: Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Hahaha, sure I'd see them today?!?!? I don't really remember but it was at Lakewood Amphitheatre on a big rolling lawn. I don't remember any of their songs!
Luis Sandoval, Team Luis: In El Salvador, I think they were called FreeWay. They are still around today and I think I would go see them for nostalgic reasons. I remember thinking "This is pretty cool," but I wasn't really into the band after that. It was really cheesy Spanish rock 'n' roll music. Even as a little kid I was like, "You guys almost got it, but ..."
Lindsay Smith, Rin Larping: First show/bands I went to see without my parents was a local band night at the community center where I grew up in North Carolina. I had just become friends with a bunch of kids who were in hardcore bands, and we were all struggling to be able to express ourselves in this really boring, sterile suburb. I would totally see it again! Granted, the music probably won't be as good as it sounded when I was 13. ... What I really remember from this time is learning about the DIY scene and coming to understand there was so much more out there than whatever was on the radio or on MTV. Becoming part of a DIY scene in a suburban wasteland saved my life and made me the person I am.
Sunni Johnson, Latex II: Weezer at the Masquerade Music Park during their Blue album tour. My dad had an auto shop where Fourth Ward Park is now called Quantum Mechanics, and they had some trade for tour bus help w/ free entry, beer, whatever, so my dad got me a VIP pass and got his friend Bob (who answers the phone by saying "rock" instead of "hello") to "chaperone" me. Dude quickly disappeared though, and I was left to a sea of college kids in ringer tees and emo glasses, kind of intimidating but my heart transcending to total obsession with hooky pop radness afterward. I kept that VIP pass in my Trapper Keeper all year. Hell no would I see them again. I didn't even understand Weezer post-Matt Sharp leaving the band. Bass players are often underrated but seriously sh*t went really downhill once that guy left. I connect their suckage to the lack of Matt Sharp bass underdog badassness.
Christina Abdelnour, Promising Chord: I grew up in a small town in the suburbs of Chattanooga, Tenn., and the first show I went to was at a small bar called Rhythm & Brews. Shawn Mullins was the main act and he is mostly known for his 1998 hit "Lullaby." I remember the place being packed and it was a blast. I would definitely see him again today. I was probably 18 when I went and it's now a 21+ venue. The majority of the showgoers were much older than me and my friends. The best part was seeing the opening bands and falling in love with new music. Then me and my friends would go back to see those openers headline. Chattanooga didn't get as many well-known acts as Atlanta but I still found out about new music.
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