Spotlight on MCA Faculty & Staff: What was your first concert? Part One

Echoes Staff

Music is a big part of our lives, but can you guess your teachers’ first concerts? We asked our faculty and staff to tell us about their first experiences! We had so many great responses that this is only half; stay tuned for next month when we feature the other half of our answers. Read on for all their great stories.

Abbey Kerner

First Concert: Backstreet Boys, 1999

Where: New Orleans Arena

I was very young and I fell asleep mid-concert. The first one I can remember was Ashlee Simpson in Baton Rouge my eighth grade year. The concert was great, but she was the worst dancer I’ve ever seen. We sang her songs the whole ride home and drove my mom crazy.

Andrea Kurica

First Concert: New Kids on the Block, 1989

Where: Superdome

The concert was amazing. Of course, I was a huge of NKOTB since I was a young girl growing up in the 80s. I remember seeing the band up close and personal was just unbelievable. I actually have seen them twice since then when they came to NOLA for a reunion tour, and they will still just as awesome!

Brooke Barbalich

First Concert: Backstreet Boys, 1999

Where: New Orleans Arena

My dad took me because we both LOVED the Backstreet Boys! It was my first concert so I didn’t realize there were opening acts, so I started crying because I thought my dad took me to the wrong concert and that I would never get to see the Backstreet Boys!

Chad A. Howat

First Concert: Stryper, 1989

Where: UNO Lakefront Arena

My first arena concert was Stryper’s “To Hell With The Devil Tour” in 1989. Stryper was a big-hair, glam-rock, 80’s Christian metal band. Their big gimmick at the concert was throwing bibles off the stage. I don’t have a picture, but I’m sure I was wearing tight acid washed jeans with a jean jacket. I have good memories of having fun with my friends – and a sore neck the next day!

Cheryl Perez

First Concert: Pat Benatar

Where: Baton Rouge

My parents took a group of us to the concert and we went to eat donuts after. We were so excited and loved every minute of it.

Christie Cognevich

First Concert: Smashing Pumpkins, February 5, 1997

Where: UNO Lakefront Arena

My story is a little long, but it was such a fun experience. I was incredibly obsessed with the Smashing Pumpkins, and when I found out they were coming to New Orleans on the Infinite Sadness Tour, I absolutely had to go. Unfortunately, I was twelve, so it wasn’t really up to me. My parents weren’t exactly on board with my plan to attend, so there was only one solution: cry and cry and cry some more. I cried like a baby without shame. For days. Obviously, this ploy worked. (I only feel a little bit guilty about it now. It was worth it!) I was finally allowed to attend with my mom and older brother.

I even made my mom get up literally before dawn on the day tickets went on sale so that we could line up outside Blockbuster Music to get good seats. I was outraged when after a couple of hours of waiting, the employees made us draw random numbers to shuffle the line! As I recall, in the end we had a good balcony view of the stage, front and center.

For some reason, I was really embarrassed that my mom was with me, so I made her wear my clothes so she wouldn’t look like a mom, and she actually did. (She’s very tiny. They did fit.) In retrospect, I really need to thank her for going above and beyond for me to be able to see my favorite band in the world perform.

The show itself was nothing short of amazing. The first time I felt the pulse of music vibrating the floor was life-changing in a way; that trembling sensation of excitement and sound is thrilling. I wish I could experience it all over again!

Christopher Kelley

First Concert: Oak Ridge Boys, 1988

Where: Six Flags America, St Louis, Missouri

My parents had purchased us season passes for an amusement park near our house. Normally my mother would take my brother and I for a few hours during the summer to pass the time. My father had a pass but never went because he was working.

One night, he expressed great interest in going to Six Flags. We went and at some point he asked us to follow him to the amphitheater. Turns out the Oak Ridge Boys were playing. I was being held hostage at a country music concert. It was a thoroughly unpleasant experience as I did not like country music.

Emilee Arthur

First Concert: Britney Spears, 1999

Where: UNO Lakefront Arena

We sat three rows from the stage for my best friend’s 10th birthday!

Erica Ross

First Concert: Britney Spears, 1999

Where: UNO Lakefront Arena

My first concert was Britney Spears when I was in eighth grade. It was her first headlining tour, and it was sponsored by Tommy Hilfiger. My best friend’s dad grew up with Tommy Hilfiger, and he was able to get us front row seats. This is gross, but we were so close to Britney that I got her sweat on me! I went to No Doubt the same summer so once I was in high school I would always tell people that No Doubt was my first concert since I thought people would think it was cooler.

Up close with a young Britney Spears!

Gabriela Galeano

First Concert: Wolfmother, MuteMath, Jane’s Addiction, and Kiss

Where: Voodoo Fest 2009

This was such an incredible first music experience to have during my senior year of high school that I shared with a close friend of mine. I even got to meet the band members of MuteMath and Wolfmother during a meet-and-greet at Voodoo Festival. This first concert experience sparked my interest in live music. My husband and I share this passion and continue to follow this music.

Jaime Carroll

First Concert: NSYNC, 1999

Where: Superdome

Still one of the best nights of my life! I had floor seats with friends and family members. We loved the concert and went to Tiffin Inn for pancakes after. JC was my favorite, and I wore my personalized/airbrushed t-shirt.

Jen Richard

First Concert: Garth Brooks, 1998

Where: The PMAC on LSU’s campus

I was shocked that my parents let me attend this concert as it was all the way in Baton Rouge on a school night and the night before a math exam, but when one of my brother’s friend’s invited me to go, my parents said yes on the condition that my cousin come with us. I think I was 14 years old, and I didn’t really know much about Garth Brooks’ music other than a few of his hits. The very first song he played was “Calling Baton Rouge,” and I’ll never forget: the venue was completely dark, and they played just the first chord of the song, and the entire place went completely berserk. It was a really fun concert and good one for a “first” concert.