Feind's First Concert
Welcome Scribbler Fans to another little piece of Scribbler history. For this edition of Learnin’ About the Scribblers today, Old Man Feind’s gonna tell you all about the time way back in 1990 when Feind went to his 1st damn concert! I’ll try to squeeze in my best concert experience if I can manage not to get a little too long in the tooth so odds are that may have to wait for another day. We’ll see…
Learning About The Scribblers
Feind's First Concert
Well Scribbler Fans this is one that is both easy and difficult. Obviously I’m not so old that I can’t remember my first concert experience (Stop laughing damn it! Old Man Feind ain’t afraid to knock a bitch out!) but the best? I’ve been to plenty of shows and I’m fairly selective on what I lay some hard earned green down on so honestly I can happily say I’ve never been to a bad concert. Plucking the best out of my memory banks may be a little difficult but I will do my best since I already know what that is and it may surprise you but it was about the experience not who I saw. So here goes with my very first concert…
So why this discussion? Well first, why the fuck not? Concerts are an awesome experience everyone should have and show you what bands rely heavily on studio equipment to sound good and who can actually rock the fuck out. When it comes to metal luckily a heavy reliance on studio equipment usually isn’t an issue though for some it makes their band a very short lived experience as, in general, we metalheads toss out the poseurs pretty damn quickly when they can’t perform live worth a shit. Pop stars can lip sync and dazzle you with dancing and light shows, in metal you can either throwdown your heavy shit live or we toss you aside quicker than a month old taco unless we’re drunk and someone bets us $5 to eat that shit! (Don’t try that one at home kiddies, your toilet will thank you. Also from personal experience never drink 5 or 6 ounces of hot sauce for that same aforementioned $5. Trust me it burns worse coming out!) Sorry you didn’t need to hear about my burning butthole but hey. you didn’t have to read that either, Pssst it’s ok to skip ahead when Old Man Feind goes off on a tangent, I won’t even know and it’s gonna happen quite a bit so be prepared!
So the reason I suggested to my Scribblin partner extraodinaire Cult that we talk about at least our first concert experience has to do with that trip I made back in June for some R&R. I’ve done so much since then it seems an eon ago which has me looking forward to next year already if I’m able to make it. For those I’m telling for the first time about this, every year for one long weekend somewhere around Father’s Day myself and a group of friends get together at a place we have on Lake Erie (We don’t own it but it’s a rental property of some friends so we get a cheap rate). I won’t say exactly where since I’d rather not have my peace shattered after I’m big and famous someday (Ha! No, does not expect this to actually happen but a single crazy, psycho fan? Well that’s a possibility.). Anyway we all get together for a few days of sun and far too much drinking but it’s about as relaxing as it can possibly be. I know everyone pretty well so the social anxiety doesn’t kick my ass too bad and I can get away to myself if need be. But I’m off on a tangent again, Damn it! So one night while we were sitting around half or more shitfaced someone started the conversation of what their first concert was…
In this group of friends I’m the only metalhead so I tried not to point and laugh as people mentioned this or that terrible country band like Garth Brooks and one unlucky individual whose first concert was NSYNC, I think it was (I don’t know if I spelled that correctly and I refuse to look it up just for correctness sake!) Then it came around to me. I couldn’t help grinning from ear to ear, holding my head high and proudly relaying that my first concert had been… Metallica, BITCHES! It didn’t really matter what I said since no one there has seen anyone that I have with only a couple exceptions like Grand Funk Railroad, Jeff Healy or maybe the Dropkick Murphys. No one there had seen Metallica let alone anything heavier. I mean no offense by this either they’re great friends and good people just different taste when it comes to music & movies (Unfortunately they aren’t horror fans either). Although I do have to say definitively on behalf of metalheads that Hollywood Undead are not metal and should just fucking jump off a cliff and die, there I said it. I feel better now! So I didn’t go into any great detail on that first concert experience there saving it for all of you instead!
So I’ve stated a few times that I grew up in the middle of nowhere (about 15 miles from my R&R spot in fact) so I wasn’t able to go to my first concert until after I was 16 and could drive. That also means my first concert involved a ROAD TRIP! It was only about 100 miles (one way) so not too bad but like any good road trip I had friends with me, we got lost (twice in fact), great music and plenty of time to be happy, angry, angrier and then happy again. It was a good fuckin time! Along for the ride were my high school sweetheart (we’re still friends to this day in fact) and her cousin who was one of my best friends, Steve. As I mentioned we got lost a couple of times on this trek the first was an easy correction, the second was three country kids trying to figure out how to maneuver through what is (in my humble opinion even though I have driven through it now as an adult) the worst city to find your way around in the entirety of America. I won’t mention the name of said city though if you’re ever in western New York I suggest you avoid driving in ROCHESTER at all costs. It’s seriously a horrible city to maneuver your way around! Damn another tangent! Is that 3 or 4 now? Ahh fuck it, if you’re reading this shit you must not mind.
There we are, three white country kids, smack dab in a highly, shall we say… colorful neighborhood. No AC in my girlfriend’s ’83 Olds and up went the windows down went the stereo volume and I think we all held our breath for about 15 city blocks until finally we hit the concert traffic and could see the stadium! It was Silver Stadium for Rochester’s minor league baseball team at the time, I have no idea if it’s still there or under same name today and I’m too lazy to look it up. Finally on a hot as fuck summer day we could roll the windows back down and crank up some Metallica! Please keep in mind this was 1990 at the end of the And Justice For All tour cycle well before Metallica crossed over into Totally Sucksville. At that time I couldn’t get enough Metallica and it seemed even though Aerosmith was the technical headliner that everyone was there for Metallica. Now sadly Warrant was also scheduled on the bill but as luck would have it I didn’t have to suffer that shit but I’ll get to that in a moment.
Finally I was at my first concert! We parked practically running inside like we were somehow going to miss something even though it was still early with the opening act a band none of us had yet heard of who just happened to be The Black Crowes. Please forgive this Scribbler as their first album the classic Shake Your Money Maker had only been out for maybe a couple weeks at the time. We weren’t alone after a few queries it turned out no one knew who the hell they were and we saw one lonely fan wearing a Black Crowes t-shirt, a rather obese, rather drunk and quite unattractive woman. See I’m not that old I remember shit! I also remember a young man perhaps a year or two older than me that had enjoyed too much sun & fun parting the still gathering crowd nicely by loosing his lunch and about a six pack with a few mighty heaves. While people rushed to get out of the way of the drunk’s vomitous outburst we rushed forward getting a row or two of people back from the stage. I didn’t know it at the time but I had found how I like to view a show. To this day I try to get right up against the gate front & center if I can maneuver my way there to watch a show. Another reason I generally go solo these days when I go since no one seems to like it there. But again Old Man Fiend is off on a tangent, #5? I don’t fuckin care anymore!
Moving on again… Finally The Black Crowes took the stage and as I said outside of a couple people no one knew who the fuck they were and they weren’t Metallica so things got ugly quickly. I was willing to give them a chance but this crowd wasn’t by a long shot. I don’t think they made it more than halfway through their first song when shit started getting thrown at them and it didn’t stop. The ugliness continued as the objects getting thrown became more numerous and turned uglier still when one of the guitarists fed up with getting pelted with debris spit into the crowd. That’s when a glass bottle got thrown on stage and things came to a stand still for a moment. Also shortly after ‘Crowes took the stage it started to sprinkle then steadily rain harder and harder until at the time of the bottle incident it was near a full downpour. Singer Chris Robinson implored the crowd to stop which of course only made it worse until the lightning started. That ended The Black Crowes first concert in Rochester, NY after only 4 or 5 songs while being pelted with anything that could be thrown with the added danger of electrocution! Yeah if I were them I would never have returned but I’m sure they did several times after that.
Hey look no real tangent there! The sky’s opened up killing the Black Crowes set and it just kept going. The lightning was wicked as fuck and we were in an open air stadium getting soaked to the bone in a downpour for what seemed liked hours. Oh, that’s not an exaggeration it literally poured for about the next 2 or 3 hours straight. It let up slightly a few times and chants of “Metallica, Metallica, Metallica!” would rise up before the sky opened again drowning 10, 000 pleas for METAL! Aside from the chants of “Metallica” there was another chant that kept happening with greater fervor the later it got and it brought a smile to this Scribbler’s lips and, of course, I joined in. The chant was delightful, “Warrant Sucks!” which would go for a minute then switch to “Metallica” again and back and forth. The rain delay was seriously long and there was no doubt someone was going to have to give up their set and I’ll never forget the announcement, “Ladies and gentleman, due to the rain Warrant have decided to pass their set to Metallica.” The roar that went up which I’m sure Warrant hoped would just be “Metallica” again was instead an even louder cry of “Warrant Sucks” followed quickly by the classic “Na, Na, Na Hey Hey Hey Good BYE!” I couldn’t help laughing my ass off while trying to make sure my voice was the loudest. I should tell you Old Man Feind hated Glam Rock (It ain’t fuckin metal and never will be!) and I pretty much still do though I have to admit to once loving Motley Crue’s Shout at the Devil but again in my defense I was like 9 maybe 10 at the time and they said Devil so it had to be cool, right? Besides I hadn’t discovered Metallica yet so eeeexxxxxxcccccccuuuuuuuusssssssseeeeee mmmmmmmeeeeeeeee! (If you heard Steve Martin’s voice in your head there you’re as old as Feind and one seriously cool mother fucker.) HAHAHA! I think that’s tangent #6 if you’re still counting but seriously stop that!
The sun was starting to set as the moment 10,000 crazy ass fans had waited for finally arrived… it was time for Metallica to take the stage. Their intro music began (which is the soundtrack of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly at the time. I think they still use that but I don’t know to be honest.) hushing the crowd until the lights went up and Metallica was finally up on stage! A ferocious roar greeted the four men we had all waited so long to see then the mighty Hetfield spoke. I was elated, the moment I had waited so long for was finally here not only was I at my first concert but it was fucking Metallica live in the flesh a mere few feet away! I knew then what all those young women I saw going nuts for The Beatles back in the day had felt. I had goosebumps but to be honest I don’t know if they were from my excitement or because I was now drenched and freezing but I’m going with excited. Hetfield yelled out something to the effect of “Thanks for waiting for fuckers” or some such sending the crowd into a new frenzy as they broke into the first song of their set. I wish I could tell you what it was but I honestly don’t remember. I know with the exception of my favorite Metalli-tune, Dyer’s Eve, they pretty much hit all my favs at the time from the classic Master of Puppets to One. They put on one fuck of a show back then that’s for sure.
My experience of the show let me know how and where I want to be at any concert which hasn’t changed to this day. As I mentioned earlier I like to be up front in the thick of the crowd which is why I usually go solo these days and that’s where my 1st concert experience began. By the time Metallica hit the stage we had moved back from the stage in attempts to get out of the elements a bit but when I saw Metallica hit the stage I had to try getting closer and the march forward began. I got back near the front dragging my girlfriend along but less than halfway through the set the forward push from the back as thousands attempted to squish in closer to the stage it proved too much for my petite friend. Grudgingly I began moving toward the back further until we were finally at a less frenzied part of the crowd. I wasn’t happy but such is life and I still had a great view just not the one I wanted. By the end we ended up in the stands so “someone” could sit down. So at my first concert I had the experience of being front and center, about midway to the stage and finally at the back of it. Being in the back wasn’t for me and never will be. I remember going to see Pantera a few years later leaving my friends at the back, their preference, as I made my way to the front of the crowd. You better believe I had a better experience. Passively standing in the back where it’s “safe” just ain’t for this Scribbler though I do generally avoid the mosh pit but that’s a whole other story.
It was late. It was getting cold due to the fact that we were all still soaking wet then Aerosmith took the stage. I’ll admit I wasn’t Aerosmith’s biggest fan at the time I was all about the thrash back then but I didn’t hate them or anything. I do have to say they won me the fuck over with their live show that night though. Yes, I’m as tired of Steven Tyler today as I think any reasonable person is as he seems to have become just a walking parody but back then Aerosmith were still making their comeback after over a decade of silence. Love In An Elevator, a song I despised then and still hate, was the popular song of the day but aside from that their set was littered with hits both from their lengthy past and from their current album of the time. They put on one fuck of a show as well, I still liked Metallica better because well… metal but still Aerosmith rocked the fuck out of the stage that night and their light show was just incredible. Apparently though they only had the venue until like midnight and well midnight came and went with Aerosmith refusing to stop playing for a crowd that had stayed and endured about a 3-4 hour thunderstorm delay. Everyone was tired, wet and cold also no one was about to leave until they absolutely had to. Tyler made the announcement that they were being told to stop playing answering with a big “Fuck You! We’ll pay the fines!” continuing to play for I couldn’t even tell you how long so I’m sure the fine was extensive plus paying extra time to the venue. Most don’t appreciate what that means as I didn’t back then but the extra fees and fines a band can pay sometimes by the minute for going overtime means essentially they make nothing for the night. This is probably the reason I’ve only seen it happen one other time many years later when I saw Pearl Jam with the venue even turning on the house lights in attempts to get Vedder and crew to stop which they didn’t just out of spite much to the crowds delight and no though PJ were excellent that was not my best concert experience. Anyway, kudos to Aerosmith for giving it their all that night attempting to give a crowd that had waited through hours in a downpour just to see them a little something extra. Not every band can afford or is willing to do something like that so it was extremely awesome!
My first concert was finally over. I was tired and still fairly well drenched as we made our way back to the car for the trip home, always the worst part of any road trip: The Return Trip. After the turmoil of getting lost twice on the way there we were sure not to make any wrong turns on the way out and we didn’t. It was a quieter but extremely satisfied trio making the trip home that night with the first major concert experience for all of us now behind us. Banter about our favorite parts of the show filled much of the ride back and oh, did I mention this was also a completely stone sober experience? Yup Old Man Feind behaved himself that day but let’s be honest it was really only because I was underage and had been unable to find someone procure me some tasty beverage for the trip. The rest of my concert experiences would be far from sober ones but it looks like that is going to have to wait for another day since I’ve seriously gone wayyyy fucking long on this one. So I’ll leave my best or maybe I should say favorite concert experience for another day. That one may be the most fun I’ve ever had for a band I never wanted to see in the first place but I’ll get to that next time. Perhaps Cult’s first concert will prove to be a little wilder than mine but he’s still getting it together so I don’t know yet either. I went on after this first concert obviously to see many more and would see Metallica a few more times including the big Metallica/Guns ‘N’ Roses tour a couple years later but the last time was at the end of the Black Album run and they never did top that first time I saw them. Hopefully I didn’t bore you to tears but hey, reading is a choice, you could’ve stopped at any point! I have no idea how many tangents I went off on but if you stuck it out this far perhaps you know this Scribbler a little better and were at least somewhat entertained although you could have just masturbated.
Until next time Scribbler fans when I relay that seriously fun and fucked up “Best” concert experience I sincerely hope you smiled a little. If you’re an old fuck like me perhaps you got to reminisce with me on your own youth that’s what Learnin’ About The Scribblers is all about. Cult will have his to me soon (in fact I just got it will proofreading my own drivel) and if I don’t delete it on his ass maybe I’ll get it posted! HAHAHAHA! Now I’ve gone on long enough, YOU DAMN KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN NOW! THOSE SEATS SUCK ANYWAY, GET YOUR ASS TO THE FRONT LIKE FUCKIN MAN! FEIND OUT!
This is pretty damn close to the set they played a few months later when I saw them.
Tell us your first concert experience Scribbler Fans! We'd love to here it in the comments below.
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