Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Friday Music: The First Time

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  • Chip Matthews,

    My old man and I, we didn't get on a lot. We butted heads always. It always seemed I was on the cusp of getting a bloody good hiding, or the buckle end of a belt in my direction. But one thing we could agree on, was country music. So my first major gig exposure is an awesome memory for me.

    Kenny Rogers / Dolly Parton, at Mt Smart. I woulda been abt 12 I guess, and my Dad had to go and stand closer to the stage cause of being deaf, but it was one of those few times where me and him saw eye to eye. I treasure that gig.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Chamberlain,

    1986: Icehouse supported by Boom Crash Opera in Wellington. Aged 13. (Went with a friend, no parents).

    The Kiwi Concert Date Archive says it was July 26 at the Town Hall, but it was definitely the Show Buildings. I remember not liking Boom Crash Opera much and Icehouse just fine.

    Probably saw some bands at school before then, but can't remember.

    London • Since Aug 2007 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    Hoodoo Gurus at Founders Theatre in Hamilton when I was 14. Would have been just after Mars Needs Guitars came out. Loved it!

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 242 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    This question puzzled me for a while. I went to Icehouse in the Chch Town Hall in 1991, but in memory it doesn't feel like my first concert experience. Was it just sneaking under-age into Dance Exponents pub gigs?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • matthew,

    1994 aged 14. REM, Crowded house and grant lee buffalo at Western springs. GLB were only the support act but out of the three they are the group I still listen to on occasion now.

    auckland • Since Nov 2013 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    1986: dire straits at western springs. caught the bus up from the mount with a mate from school.

    i remember security looking suspiciously at my carry-all, and how disappointed they were to see it filled with a packed lunch.

    the first low-down and dirty gig must have been the Fits at a non-defunct upstairs bar on taranaki st, 1991 - unless you could seeing forgettable bands at the mount soundshell... (or pseudo-echo in 1987 (?) at the QE2 centre in tauranga).

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan King,

    My first was The Clash, at the Logan Campbell Centre in 1982 – 14 yrs old, shortly after getting First Record I Ever Bought – London Calling. And speaking of Jonathan Ganley, pics of that night by him here: http://www.pointthatthing.com/2009/03/to-faraway-town.html

    There is also a live recording of the show – was on Megaupload, since gone, if you didn’t grab a copy. And, I must say, being able to hear an actual recording of the first show you ever went to: pretty awesome (copyright be damned!).

    Since Sep 2010 • 185 posts Report Reply

  • tim kong, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Pretty sure I was at that 1991 Icehouse gig at the Chch Town Hall.

    But I've always had Transvision Vamp, also at the Christchurch Town Hall, as my first "I've paid and I'm going out with my mates" gig. Can't be sure what year it was though.

    Also, strange memories of being taken to see Charley Pride in the middle 80's still torment me...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    My first proper gig and first proper international were one and the same: The Red Hot Chilli Peppers at the Mt Smart Supertop in 1992, aged 17, when they were touring Blood Sugar Sex Magik. My mate’s dad was head of security and got us in for free. We thought we were 10 feet tall when we arrived there from Whangarei, walked through the waiting crowds, got to say “I’m on the list”, then were first punters into the Supertop.

    MC OJ and the Rhythm Slave were first support act, and got a fairly hostile reception from a fairly aggro crowd, followed by Head Like A Hole at the height of their naked phase.

    At one point the promoter came out and abused the crowd for their behaviour and threatened to stop the show, which just made it worse. In the end it took Hans Hoeflich, (bFM Breakfast host at the time I think), wearing Doc Martens, floral dress, pigtails and a goatee, to calm the crowd in one of the most masterful bits of crowd control I’ve ever seen. I believe at one point everyone actually sat down, cross-legged, and folded their arms. That, or memory is playing tricks on me.

    We’d been promised a chance to get backstage with security after the show, but by the time RHCP had blown the roof off the tent and shot actual fire out of their helmets, the crowd was close to rioting and security had their hands full clearing the place.

    Then we got lost in Penrose, then the CBD, trying to find Ranui. Good times.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 262 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    First international concert: 1984, The Cure Logan Campbell Centre

    First real gig: 1982 I think, Divine Faction (I think they were called, not D Faction - played Echo & The Bunnymen and Psychedelic Furs etc covers ), Caroline Bay Hall, Timaru

    If school counts: Certain Sounds, at least 4 times

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    The Concert Archive folks and me must move in different circles. None of my formative live music experiences are on their list. My first real international band was Poison at the Mt Smart Supertop during the height of hair-metal in the late 80's. I recall a gig by the Angels at Claudelands showgrounds which doesn't show on their list. And in about 1991 Pop Will Eat Itself played at The Club in Hamilton. I was at the first Big Day Out and a year or so later the Smashing Pumpkins were at the Supertop. Mixed in throughout were gig by local outfits like Knightshade and Whisper/Scream.
    Ah, memories!

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Argh! PA ate my post. Anyway, I'm glad to see I wasn't the only Pseudo Echo fan. How can you not love a band named after an ARP Odyssey patch?

    For those who only know them for Funky Town, their debut album Autumnal Park had some of the best synth pop/New Romantic this side of the equator. A Beat For You was the quintessential 80s video: big fluffy mullets, baggy pants, gradiose longing, Roland synth arpeggios and Simmons drum fills. Because if you have to have a drummer, then at least make sure your drums are hexagonal.

    In contrast, the title track was a lovely quasi-ambient instrumental:

    Unfortunately, that DX7 bell preset at the end hasn't aged as well as the analogue sounds.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to Tom Beard,

    never said i was a fan.

    was just a great new place to get turned down by girls.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Brown,

    Alexandra. The New Zealand Army band doing Summer Pops. Blossom Festival. 1972. I was in Primer 3. Amazeballs. So impressed, I wrote to the regiment and they replied with an autographed 10x8 glossy photo and typewritten letter from the C.O. First real show? Mark Williams in about 1976. Alexandra. Music capital.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2013 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    First concert avec parents was Elton John at Mt Smart in the early 90s so I must've been 11 or 12

    First concert sans parents was REM at Western Springs on their Monster Tour. I was 16. The openers were Grant Lee Buffalo and Crowded House.

    I went to that concert with a friend and his older brother who insisted we sit(!) at the back so we could use his binoculars to see the stage. I was heavily disappointed. The mosh pit looked so damn inviting too!

    Crowded House got people to make human pyramids and stopped mid-song to point out a particularly tall one. And in between Crowded House and REM (wherein a certain demographic of the audience left) a security guy got on the mic and told some lout to stop "punching kids". Then he pointed directly at someone, yelled something and dove off the stage to tackle the offender.

    Good times (as seen from afar).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    First free concert: the one at Mt Smart Super Top, 1991, age 16
    I don't remember what it was called, but there was this big festivally concert planned. Tickets weren't selling so Pepsi picked up the tab and made it free. It was full of people who weren't necessarily fans of anyone. The only act I remember was Snap. Their frontman had a giant drum kit.

    First international concert: De La Soul, Auckland Town Hall, 1991, age 16
    I was really into De La Soul and had squealed with delight when I heard they were touring. I dragged along my 14-year-old bro who was not into it. But it was a brilliant evening, and really seemed to capture the sprit of young, creative Auckland at that time.

    First rock gig: The Baby Animals, The Club, Hamilton, 7 July 1992, age 17
    It was at this weird nightclub in Hamilton that is now a Briscoes. I was highly underage, but didn't drink and was terrified of being arrested. I only went because my friend dragged me along. I didn't really enjoy it. It was a bit boganny. The band's lead singer slagged off Hamilton.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • tim kong,

    Sorry for double post - editing window timed out.

    I have useful memories of that 1991 Icehouse gig at the Christchurch Town Hall.

    But I've always had Transvision Vamp, also at the Town Hall, as my first "I've paid and I'm going out with my mates" gig. Can't be sure what year it was though.

    My fav "gig" of that era was Faith No More circa 1993 - who I seem to recall did an unscheduled trip around the South Island after proper shows in Auckland and Wellington. A packed out Caledonian Hall on Kilmore Street saw them smash out a set that made the walls sweat. The first time I felt (and smelt!) alive at a show - and loved it.

    Also, strange memories of being taken to see Charley Pride in the middle 80's still torment me...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    @Jeremy and @Robyn I'm getting serious The Club flashbacks from this - I was at the Pop Will Eat Itself show, which is still one of the loudest I've ever been too, an Exponents show when they'd *just* released Something Beginning With C, and Bjorn Again, who I recall were amazing.

    Was that venue called 'Roxoff' before that? Hamilton had a nice line in night club names at the time (Shakes, Zacks, etc).

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 242 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Bennett,

    My first international gig was Gary Numan at the Majestic Cinema (long gone) on Willis Street. The tickets were 14th birthday presents and I remember the concert being deafeningly loud, with a stripy fluro-tube light show and remote controlled pyramids with lights inside that lumbered around the stage. This was 1979 and I went with my best friend Lee, who died 10 years later in the United Airlines disaster. This gives my memory of the gig special poignancy.

    My first proper date was going to see Split Enz play at the St James in 1981, with the Blams in support. This began a long-running love affair with the band - I must have seen them play 8 or 9 times across the years, including at Sweetwaters 1983, when I walked out of my first job - at the National Bank on Featherstone Street - to experience three days of heat, warm Fosters and appalling hygiene.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    International. The Pretty Things (with Sandie Shaw) at the State Theatre in New Plymouth; a concert which resulted in their life-time ban from New Zealand. This ban was lifted last year, when they performed at The Powerhouse, I have written a piece on this nice symmetry (and their influence on 1960/70s music in NZ) for Audioculture, which should be up sometime soon.

    New Zealand*. Probably some group like Herma Keil & The Keil Isles or Larry's Rebels.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2537 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    I'm having The Club flashbacks too.... seems a few of us did time in the Tron, other notable acts I saw there not already mentioned - Hunters & Collectors, Shriekback, Supergroove and a bunch of Auckland hip hop groups (names I can't remember), Straitjacket Fits... Some friends and I hosted a industrial dance club night there - The Bunker Club.

    Pretty sure the Headless Chickens supported PWEI - which I guess was the catalyst for them supporting them in the UK some time (years?) later

    Audioculture has a piece on the Hillcrest, which is pretty fab for memories too http://www.audioculture.co.nz/scenes/hillcrest-tavern

    There was a club called roxoff - hamilton nightclubs were *shudders* special

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Bowie QE2 park mid 70s? - set up directly opposite the grandstand by someone who just didn't understand acoustics - Bowie to his credit played to the echo which where we were standing was about as loud as he was

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Johnston,

    First international concert: Gary Glitter and the Glitter Band, Napier Municipal Theatre, 1975?, aged 12. (they were glam-tastic, but little did we know...)

    First real gig: Space Waltz, Napier Municipal Theatre 1974? aged 11 (they were glam-tastic too)

    Also saw Sharon O'Neill around this time supporting Leo Sayer (aargh!) - she was a class act even then.

    Another memorable Napier show a bit later on that I'm happier to own up to was Citizen Band supported by Get Smart, an early incarnation of The Spelling Mistakes. They played a great version of Magazine's Shot by Both Sides.

    And yes, like Russell my first exposure to live music was also Certain Sounds... live at Taradale High some lunchtime!

    Wellington • Since Sep 2013 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Johnston, in reply to Simon Bennett,

    I went to both those shows - made a special trip down to Wellington to see The Boomtown Rats at the Town Hall and ended up going to Gary Numan as well. The Blams were very impressive at the Enz show - especially Don McGlashan the amazing singing drummer!

    Wellington • Since Sep 2013 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    I am way too old to be posting on this thread (or possibly even reading PAS) as my first real concert was Lulu at the Christchurch Town Hall in 1974. It was my birthday present; I really really wanted to see The Sweet who were playing about the same time but Mum couldn’t stand the idea and took me to Lulu. She was pretty good, but not a patch on what I really wanted.

    First big concert was David Bowie at QEII on November 29, 1978. Mind-blowing, especially loved the set which was huge vertical tube lights that formed black and white stripes with the sky behind and played in patterns (or was that the mind assistance?). Next life-changer was The Cure at the Theatre Royal (think it was underpopulated) in 1980 (edited to match with the concert date archive). They were pumping; it was an experience.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

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