My First… Concert
This week, we have the beautiful Rachel from The Real Mrs Bash and we’re reliving her youth reminiscing about her first concert. I can remember mine… I can’t believe I’m about to admit this, but my first concert was Steps! I grew up in the 90’s/00’s… They were all the rage… Ahem… Anyway, over to Rachel, who had much better taste in music during her younger years than I!
My first concert – an experience I will never forget and a story I have told often.
Let me first set the scene.
It was 1997 and I was 18. I was studying A level English Literature and Drama at college with a top up of NVQ French and Maths GCSE. (I’d had a D for my secondary school GCSE Math results, and was doing it again to gain that elusive C grade!)
I was working part time in the local chip shop so had a bit of money and was living at home rent free. Life was good, free and easy.
My two best friends were Clare, a girl I had gotten to know in secondary school, and Emma, a girl who I went to Toddler group with as a baby and then through infant school, junior school, secondary school and college!
We did lots of things together. We used to spend the weekends at Clare’s mum’s house in Perranporth, Cornwall and spend days on the beach and nights in the local pub.
Clare and Emma decided to get tattoos together once and asked me to join them. I am forever grateful to this day I actually said no to this!
It was in the local press that The Prodigy were coming to Plymouth on their “The Fat of the Land” tour. Now, being from and living in Cornwall, this was a huge thing. Not many acts crossed the Devon Cornwall border and usually Bristol was the closest anybody ever came. Plymouth was reachable and there was an advert for tickets and a coach service to the concert and back. There was an excitement in the air because this huge band were coming. Most people at college were buzzing about it and were desperately trying to get tickets.
Here’s the thing. I don’t like The Prodigy. I just don’t. It’s not my kind of music and I really didn’t want to go, but when your best mates beg you and tell you how much fun it will be when you are all together, you cave and say “Oh go on then”!
On the album The Prodigy were promoting over this tour were the wonderful songs “Smack my Bitch up” and of course, the classic “Firestarter”. Joy oh joy.
So, with my friends on 12th December 1997, I attended my first concert at Plymouth Pavilions.
The bus dropped us off into a dark cold evening with hundreds of other fans. It was scary from the onset! People with piercings (a common thing now, but back then for a rural Cornish maid, seeing a man with his forehead pierced and orange hair was like seeing someone from a different planet!) There were swarms of people all heading to the venue and I was one of them.
We headed in and wandered over to the bar area. A huge black abyss was beyond with black floors and chairs which then led to the stage. A huge stage with speakers so high I wasn’t sure how such a thing existed.
I vaguely remember the warm up act (their name escapes me now) and then the concert started. Oh My Goodness. The noise! The deafening beat that hit me so hard I thought my chest would explode. The fans ran, literally sprinted, to the front of the stage and all of a sudden, my hand was grabbed and I was sprinting too! This was possibly one of the most frightening things that has ever happened to me! I should mention here that I am short. I am 5’1” on a good day. Clare is 5’10” and Emma is 5’8”. They are considerably taller than me and it seemed that everyone else in the concert venue was too! During the ‘music’ (which was now actually making me feel sick with the heavy beat) I was being pushed, crushed, kicked, shoved and knocked. I was petrified.
Somehow I managed to literally fight my way out of the crowd. Emma and Clare were jumping up and down and loving it, I wanted my mum! I pushed as hard as I could and finally made it to where the crowd was thinner. I looked back to see my friends, but they had disappereared into the swarm.
I went to the bar and ordered a pint of coke with the plan to find somewhere quieter (in a Prodigy concert, I don’t think so).
I made my way to the edge of the venue where there were very few people and tried to enjoy the rest of the concert which was impossible as I was hating it!
Whilst standing there, with my coke, I watched a few people dancing and having fun when suddenly a very tall man came jumping past shouting “Weyheyyy Prodigy f**king rocks”! Lucky me! He was in total heaven (I was not) and he started jumping towards me. Before I had chance to move, hide or run, he slammed into me somehow making me launch my right arm up (coke in hand). My hand kept a tight grip of the plastic cup, but the full pint of coke (sans cup) shot up into the air and like a slow motion movie film, landed right on me. I had managed to cover myself in a full pint of liquid. A pint in a glass doesn’t look much, but when it lands on you, it’s surprising how far it spreads. My hair was drenched, my top was sticking to me and sure as eggs are eggs, I could feel my pants and knickers soaking up the remaining liquid. The man, not even realising, jumped off in the opposite direction.
So there I was, wet, sticky, cold (because, of course, I had ice) and so grumpy I could have cried.
For the next 90 minutes I stayed where I was (eventually finding a chair near a couple of older people who had obviously brought their kids and were sitting reading books like they were in a library!)
When the concert ended (to rapturous woops, yells and screams) out of the swell of people appeared Clare and Emma who looked very surprised to see a dripping friend waiting for them!
They gathered me up and took me back to the waiting bus and we made our merry way home.
It was quite an experience for my first concert and one that I don’t care to repeat!
A funny coincidence was that Clare, now married with two daughters and just finishing 14 years in the RAF, bumped into Keith Flint (lead singer of The Prodigy) in a pub near to where she lived about 2 years ago and lovingly told him this story. He thought it was hilarious!
Thankyou for reading, and thankyou to Steph at The Mental Parentals for hosting this “My First” series and letting me relive my trauma!
Mrs Bash x
Big thanks to Rachel – I can’t help but chuckle despite the horrendous first concert experience! I do hope you’ve had more successful gigs… If you enjoyed reading Rachel’s post, don’t forget to give her a follow over on Twitter!
I’m always on the lookout for others to share their stories within the My First… feature – if you’d like to share one of your experiences, please do complete the online form here. I love to hear from you!