I was 15 when I bought my first concert tickets, shelling out my hard-earned summer job money for lawn seats to see Mr. Mister at Blossom Music Center on July 23, 1986. It was the second stop on their Welcome to the Real World tour. (Oh, shut up, and Don’t. You. Judge. I played the hell out of that cassette and don’t regret it for a second.) Opening act: The Bangles.
I bought one ticket for me, one ticket for my then-girlfriend, and one ticket for her dad – who brought a lawn chair and sat himself at the top of the Blossom hill – since we needed someone to drive us to the show.
My parents had taken me to a Beach Boys concert before then, but the Mr. Mister show was the first time I paid my own money to see one of my generation’s current pop bands. I remember how it changed the way I their songs sounded in my head after that, because my mind would overlay the regular recordings with the much louder, slightly different concert version of the music, with the crowd noise and everything mixed in.
This weekend, my daughter – age 15 – bought her first concert ticket. She and a friend will be heading to Columbus next summer for an arena show – and yes, Kels had to buy a ticket for her mom, who has the driver’s license. (Of course, unlike my girlfriend’s dad back in 1986, I know Jenn’s excited about going. And hey, I’m not judging.)