first gig memories
As Rihanna’s “work” crosses the 2 billion streams mark, the new era of music consumption is undeniably upon us, and the days of CD’s long gone. Though this age of easy accessible music allows a new generation of fans to experience virtually any album ever released, despite their financial status, there is a certain bitter-sweetness in the ease of clicking to listen.
Perhaps it is the sense of nostalgia for an era gone by, when purchasing an album for the first time was so significant. Saving pennies to buy a CD on its first day of release and treasuring each and every song. These days, streaming allows fans to access music for free and be selective on which songs they hear, leading many to suggest that the consumer no longer values music in the way they once did.
One thing that streaming does not have the power to change, however, is the feeling of your first gig. The allure of a concert or festival has not diminished in the way that purchasing albums has. In fact, in the age of social media, festivals are possibly even more appealing due to the focus on festival fashion. People now go to festivals in order to be seen.
A prime example of this is Coachella, a festival in Los Angeles that took place over the weekend. Coachella is famous for its style and social media presence, arguably more so than for the music.
Perhaps this is a positive thing, as trendy festival fashion attracts more young people to see live music, thus pumping more money into a struggling music industry.
But, before the desire to feature on the trending Instagram page was a thing, people went to gigs for the music. Although paying for a ticket and attending a concert may seem unremarkable, the first live music performance you see is a truly unforgettable experience, as evident in this interview with Liam Gallagher where he discusses seeing the Stone Roses for the first time, and how influential this was on his life and career.
Although younger generations may never purchase an album for the first time, they are likely to still experience these 7 first concert memories:
1) The countdown from the day you buy the tickets to the day of the show, almost like waiting for Christmas. Being excited to the point it’s unbearable.
2) Queueing outside for hours, possibly in freezing December rain, with the determination to be at the front, standing only a few feet away from your favourite band.
3) Being almost suffocated in a crowd for hours, but not caring. Feeling utterly powerless to the tsunami of people surrounding you, yet loving it and giving in to every wave of movement that almost knocks you off your feet.
4) Seeing the artist you admire in person and being in complete disbelief that they’re real and exist outside of the posters on your bedroom wall.
5) The bittersweet feeling of sharing the gig with the other thousands of people in the room. Although it’s almost magical to experience this with so many others, it’s kind of heartbreaking as a teenager to discover that, despite what you thought, you’re probably not their only ‘biggest fan’.
6) Attempting to sleep that night while your ears are ringing and adrenaline is still pumping through your blood.
7) Waking up with no voice after screaming lyrics for hours, but wanting to do it all over again.
I asked Twitter to share their first gig memories: