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Brandon Wetherbee is the host of the variety show 8×8. The next 8×8 is Tuesday, February 25 at Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsburg with Kate Berlant, Ned Hepburn, Peter Heyneman, Matteo Lane, Will Miles, Nick Mullen and Brooke Van Poppelen.

Apparently, everyone has very vivid memories of odd aspects of their first concert and nearly everyone is ashamed of the act they saw. This is telling.

Regardless of your feelings on the film/book High Fidelity, Rob’s line, “What really matters is what you like, not what you are like… Books, records, films — these things matter,” rings true, especially in the BYT office. After reading My First Concert, the first concert you attended may be more revealing than your first kiss, first sexual partner or hometown.

You don’t really get to pick your first concert. If you’re lucky, a band that you actually know and like is playing within 30 miles of your house. If you’re lucky, a very nice parent will get you to the show. If you’re lucky, you will not cringe when you tell your friends in 10 years who you saw at your first concert. If you’re one of our writers, you took a bus to see Pretty Girls Make Graves when you were 12. I am not that writer.

Your first concert is a glimpse into your childhood. It says something about your parents guidance. It lays the foundation for all future show-going experiences. Or it doesn’t matter at all and you’re never on this site.

Like some of the people that contributed to the piece, I wanted to be a musician. After seeing the Foo Fighters, I was given the confidence to start a band. I was in many bands and played about 200 shows, but I was never a musician. But those band experiences led to zines and interviewing people for stories and podcasts and my talk show. I would not be at this job if I didn’t see the show I did.

But things could have been different. I got lucky. I witnessed something that was a positive influence. Here are some other possible outcomes from the shows that could have been my first concert:

Rolling Stones @ Football Stadium in the mid-90s: This means that a friend’s parent took me. I would have been bored and made fun of the opener, Blues Traveler. I would have lost that friend or even worse, started a blues rock band with that friend.

Now Defunct Radio Station Festival @ Local Arena in the late-90s: It’s way too easy to hook up with other teenagers at I would have gotten someone pregnant or even worse, started a 311 cover band.

Very Cool Show @ Bad Neighborhood In A City in the late 90s: Too cool a kid to appreciate actual good things. I would have burnt out and done a bunch of coke and hung out with ‘rich kids’ or even worse, become an investment banker. FYI: money never sleeps.

Puff Daddy & The Family No Way Out Tour @ Stadium Currently Named After A Bank in 1997: I would have become an insufferable kid that wore too much cologne and used platitudes about nothing or even worse, bought any Puff Daddy endorsed merchandise in the last 14 years.

Any metal band @ any venue in Indiana: I would have become a white power guy or even worse, become a white power guy IN A WHITE POWER BAND!

It’s good that I saw what I saw. It’s good you saw what you saw. Whether it was a boy band or a bunch of men in a band that had boy band feelings, it’s part of who you are.

I wrote this while listening to this video. It’s the closest Foo Fighters show to the one I saw. Pat doesn’t appear to want to be there. And it’s clear why they no longer let Pat sing backup.


Then I realized I’m wearing a Metz t-shirt. Metz is a band that sounds an awful lot like the first Foo Fighters record. They’re not as polished or commercial, but the foundation in garage and college rock is there. I bought the shirt after I saw them at an outdoor festival. 15 years prior I did the exact same thing after seeing the Foos at an outdoor festival.