Growing Up OC – My first concert

The year was 1981.

I was 13 years old.

My Girl Scout leader organized a field trip and I surely begged my parents to let me go. It was going to be my first concert. I was a devoted fan of this band for easily 25 years and I was known in my troop to verge on obsessed with them. Who could this band be? Popular bands in 1981 were Hall & Oats, Journey, The Go-Gos, The Tubes and Squeeze. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved all these bands, and The Tubes would have been a strong contender for my first concert, but alas, they weren’t THE band that held my fascination.

You’ve got to understand, until I heard of this band, I listened to the Beatles and Elvis. I was voluntarily cloistered in terms of popular music, and Billy Squier was downright shocking to me! But I was taken, not with Squeeze, not with Journey.

I loved Oingo Boingo.

It could have had something to do with the enormous crush I had on a boy who also liked Oingo Boingo, but this band really changed my concept of the boundaries of music. I saw them for the first time on Halloween night at Universal Amphitheater in Hollywood. Typical of an Oingo Boingo show on Halloween, people in the audience were dressed up in costume. One guy came as the Pope – and continued to do so for another 10 years or more – and another person was dressed as a big Tylenol capsule with a cyanide warning on the side. My friends and I wore Boy Scout shirts. I was in heaven. Many years later I went to their final Halloween show down at Irvine Meadow’s Amphitheater and my friend and I had procured back stage passes. How times had progressed for us!

What was your first concert?


3 thoughts on “Growing Up OC – My first concert

  1. Wow! Back stage passes. Cool. My first and only concert of this type was when Garth Brooks was playing the Pond in Anaheim. Late ’90s. I HAD to go. Martha got tickets and someone else took one and we never found a fourth. That was a fun concert. Don’t get me wrong I’ve been to dozens of concerts but they lean more towards theater and symphony and concerts in the park. Although, I’m not adverse to going to another stadium concert.

  2. Mine was probably the Philharmonic in Erie – whoopee. I did go to them occasionally, but something like modern anything was kind of frowned upon by my Dad. I wasn’t even aware that people like Frank Sinatra would have a concert. I was very protected. AND we didn’t have television. WHAT, you say – you didn’t have TV?? It was hardly invented. We saw our first TV in a store window – had always had lots of people lined up in front just to watch this amazing talking radio.

  3. Sweetie, you were beyond obsessed! To this day I can NOT think of Oingo Boingo without thinking of you. I think my first “rock” concert was Eric Johnson and Joe Satriani at Verizon Amphitheater in Irvine with Aaron Hamachi so I’m guessing it was 1990. I don’t remember who the opening act was, but they were so lousy that we almost didn’t make it to the main concert. There was a thunder storm in the distance and I remember trying very hard not to freak out (thunder is my one irrational fear). At least the noise from the concert drowned out most of the evil thunder, but the lightening view was great.

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