Who Was Your First?

“Ask someone, ‘What was your first concert?’ and pretty good stories almost always come out.”

That was the nut graph of a story pitch the Evansville Living editorial offices received in May. (In journalism, a nut graph is a paragraph that explains the context of the story in a nutshell.) Evansville native and Texas resident Anthony Head, a writer of more than 30 years now focusing on live music, proposed a story about his first concert ahead of its 40th anniversary – the July 7, 1984, performance at Roberts Municipal Stadium by hard rock band Van Halen.

Photo from Little Feat Concert at Victory Theatre on June 24 by Kristen K. Tucker

Head’s query caught our attention; his timing was great. We invited him to recount the memories of his first concert in Final Detail (page 144). In the office at the same time, we were putting the finishing touches on the organization of “Sounds of the City,” working with writer and musician Zach Evans. As the feature team was wrapping up a meeting with Evans, they put Head’s icebreaker question to the test, revealing their first concerts (find below). The responses were as broad as the age range of Tucker Publishing Group, Inc., employees. The music feature, robust in its inclusion of artists across musical genres, venues, festivals, and more, begins on page 46.

Enjoying live music was something I grew up with. My parents took me to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, before I was a teenager, in 1974 or 1975. I saw Tony DeFranco and The DeFranco Family perform at Mesker Park Amphitheatre. (Look them up; a pre-teen blast from the past. Those of a certain age might remember the pop single, “Heartbeat, It’s a Lovebeat.”)

Photo of the Apollo Theatre by Kristen K. Tucker

The first rock concert I saw with a friend was on July 9, 1979, at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Downtown Evansville: Molly Hatchet and AC/DC. Today, my taste in live music isn’t quite so loud. In early June, my husband and I traveled to New York City to Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater to see one of our favorite musical performers, Joe Jackson. And right before this issue went to press, on June 24, we saw Little Feat bring its catalog of rock, funk, folk, blues, jazz, country, rockabilly, and New Orleans, Louisiana, swamp boogie spanning six decades to the historic Victory Theatre. Now then, what was your first concert? It’s never too late for that first!

As always, I look forward to hearing from you!

Kristen K. Tucker
Editor & Publisher

What Was Your First Concert?

Todd A. Tucker
“My first show was AC/DC, UFO, and The Motors at Freedom Hall Civic Center, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee, circa 1978.”

Jodi Keen
“My best friend and I went to see ‘NSYNC at the then-Kiel Center in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 2, 1999.”

John Martin
“[My first concert] was the heavy metal band Ratt, who played on the campus of Western Kentucky University in 1984.”

Maggie Valenti
“My first concert was Kelly Clarkson at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey.”

Hadley Mitchell
“My first concert was Justin Bieber at the KFC Yum! Center in 2012.”

Maliah White
“My first concert was a Pentatonix concert in 2017 at the PNC Pavilion in Cincinnati, Ohio.”

Adin Parks
“My first concert was Lecrae at the International in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Oct. 18, 2017, for my close friend’s and my 14th birthdays. A very good time.”

Jessica Hoffman
“My first concert was Boyz II Men at the old Roberts Municipal Stadium.”

Logen Sitzman
“My first concert was Florida Georgia Line at the Ford Center in 2014 … the tickets were free.”

Gregg Martin
“My first concert was Three Dog Night at Roberts Municipal Stadium in 1972.”

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Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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