First Music Concerts

This past weekend, my Dad took his 10-year-old granddaughter Fiona to her first concert: Taylor Swift. Her parents gave Fiona the two tickets months ago on her birthday and she chose her Boompa (as the grandkids all call him) to join her. I think for each of them individually, it was the best gift ever.

My Dad took me to my first concert too:  The Beach Boys at Husets Speedway in Brandon, South Dakota. I don't remember how old I was, possibly in junior high. To this day I still love the Beach Boys. That happy memory started a conversation with my Dad and siblings about the first shows he took them to...

For my older brother Patrick it was: "The Grateful Dead, Dylan and Tom Petty show at the Metrodome was in 1986 when I would have been 15 or 16.  I went to see Loverboy and Rick Springfield with some St. Mary’s friends at the Arena prior to that - - and likely other shows. Romantics at the Roof Garden's last concert was very memorable. Happy to still be alive and that the floor did not cave in.  It was moving like a trampoline."

My little sister Mary Ellen said, "Garth Brooks for my 10th birthday! We ate at Chi-Chi's and I wore pink cowboy boots and had a cowgirl shirt with fringe on the front. I wore a necklace that was a bubble holder with a wand. I was so cool. Martina McBride opened."

Dad added: "I also have great memory of scoring sold out Garth Brooks tickets from an Arena board member for Mary Ellen's birthday. 11th? 12th? Concert at Arena. Mom and she went together and loved it!"

My younger brother Matthew wrote: "My first was Son Volt with Patrick at 1st Ave when I was 12, then Smashing Pumpkins at the arena a month or two later. And then a few weeks after that dad dropped me off for my first all ages show at the Pomp Room! I remember being embarrassed that he walked around to check it all out but in the end he let me stay. Thanks Dad!"

When asked about his first concert, my Dad said: "First ones I remember were Beach Boys at Shore Acres ballroom in Sioux City. A place like Arkota. Saw the Byrds ( singing the Dylan covers they had hits with - Mr. Tambourine Man and Turn Turn Turn) at Sioux Falls coliseum. The Mitchell Trio at USD.  Name was changed from Chad Mitchell trio. Chad was replaced by then with a new guy....John Denver. Also saw Peter Paul & Mary at USD when I was a senior in high school. Folk music and civil rights superstars."

That's my Dad.

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