Eleven years ago today I was 15 years old and standing in the pouring rain for my first 311 concert. The night was monumental, as 311 was THE favorite band of both my younger brother Isaac and I. He was 13. We were too young to go ourselves so our sister Karsten, her boyfriend at the time and a friend of his took me and Isaac. Isaac and I wanted to get really close to the stage but Karsten wouldn't let us because her boyfriend had already been kicked in the head by a crowd-surfer and she didn't want to return us home with blood dripping anywhere. Mum would have never let her take us anywhere ever again.
This was the summer of 1997, the summer 311 released Transistor. Isaac and I had been listening to the self-titled album for the past year non-stop, ever since we saw the video for the song "Down" on MTV the prior summer. (They opened the show with that song. Perfect.) 311 was everything to us. We bonded over their music and quizzed each other on lyrics. Isaac was really good at SA's parts and I always sang Nick's.
So we screamed in the pouring rain at the no-longer-there Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach. It was amazing.
My first concert ever was also at the Ballpark but quite a few years before my 311 experience. I saw New Kids on the Block there when I was 8. I'm serious. I got a Donnie shirt to take home because they were out of Jordan.
There's still an hour and a half to qualify for my Pay It Forward contest (see most recent post before this one) if you want to tell me about your first concert. It's open until 11 pm eastern time tonight, August 21.
Have fun laughing at the image of my 8-year-old self in an oversized Donnie Wahlberg shirt, singing "The Right Stuff" or "Hangin' Tough." To my NKOTB poster in my bedroom. Into my hairbrush. Trying not to be seen by Karsten, who was 13 and into metal.