Written by April Ibarra
What are some of the firsts that you remember; your first love, your first kiss, or the first time your parents took you to the beach? We all have so many firsts but which one sticks in your head the most? Which one first changed your life? Mine was my first concert. My life changed so much that I learned through music how to cope with the bad things life put me through. My first concert was actually a music festival. We got to see the Kumbia Kings. They were a Mexican-American boy band from Corpus Christi, Texas founded by AB Quintanilla, Selena’s brother. I remember the atmosphere and how excited I was, not only to see them but all of the bands. I remember dancing and singing the songs and the vibe that was in the crowd. I remember the exact feeling I felt when AB spoke about his sister and we danced and sang at the top of our lungs to her songs. At 13 years old that feeling left a profound moment in my heart and soul; that is when I knew music was my first love.
As I got older, I went to more concerts and music festivals and learned to experience music. Each musical experience was different for me and each one has touched my soul in a different way. I wanted my loved ones to have the same experience and to love music as much as I did so I started a tradition of taking them to their first concerts.
My niece Stephanie was first. I took her and a cousin to see Backstreet Boys when they were at the top of every teeny boppers list to see and we were all big fans. When I sprung the news on my niece she was so excited that the waiting time for the show was excruciating. I just wanted her to feel what I felt when I saw these musicians on stage and I just could not wait to see her little face when we got to the venue. She had a blast, we laughed, we cried, we sang at the top of our lungs, and we even did the cliché lighter side to side action (this was before everyone had a cell phone). This was definitely one of the best nights for us and only forged a stronger bond between us.
In my last years in high school I became obsessed with one artist. While I love all music, I am not the biggest rap fan but this artist had something that other rappers at the time did not have; something to say. Eminem still holds a very special part of my heart but at that age it was a crazed teenaged obsession. I had his posters plastered from wall to ceiling in my room, I could sing all his songs, but I needed to see him in concert. I would go by myself but why do that alone with I could share the experience with another Slim Shady lover? My cousin Philip, who is like a little brother to me also loved Marshall as much as I did. When I told him I wanted us to go see the Up in Smoke Tour he was beside himself with excitement. The concert did not let me down. I got to see Eminem live and in color, Dre, and Snoop and I got to share the excitement with one of the most important people in my life. We even waited afterwards to try and catch a glimpse of Em but to no avail. Even though we did not get to see him up close and personal, my cousin and I get to have that memory together forever.
I continued to pop concert cherries and have till this day but the best has been taking my kids to their first concerts. I had the opportunity to take my daughter to see Taylor Swift when she was only 7. We had to drive to Austin get a room and take a bus to a secret location. We then had to walk 3 miles to get to the spot, but that did not deter my little Swifty. We got tto the location and she had the time of her life and I could not be happier. Seeing her dance under the flashing lights while her hero sang her favorite songs to her was the best feeling ever. I had to recreate that feeling for my son who was older so I bought tickets in Arkansas to see Twenty-One Pilots, his favorite band. We drove four hours to the high rise Marriott. We then took a cab to the location and I had to hold on to him before he ran off into a crowd of teenagers. His face lit up at the site of the venue he was just so excited. He sang along to Tyler, he danced, and cheered at the band’s performance. I got to see them fall in love with music and I get to see them as that love grows. I get teary-eyed when they put their earphones and zone out to their favorite artists because that is where my love started.
We all have first loves but there is nothing that can replace mine. Music is my first love and will be my last love. I have had the pleasure of passing that love onto my family and friends and we will always have those memories. Peace, Love, and Music everyone; pass it on!