Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Friday Music: The First Time

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  • Eediot,

    I thought it was the other way around but according to that website my first gig was Leo Sayer at The Maj in 1978, followed by Split Enz at the same venue the following year. Both gigs my Dad took me to and I was 12 for the first one. For the Enz we were in the front (seated) row- couldn't ask for a better intro to live music really. Thanks Dad.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 51 posts Report

  • paul reifel,

    March 1977 when I was 14. Rockin Rod Stewart! At the grand old Western Springs. I grew to hate his output from about when Hot Legs was a huge hit but back in the days of Maggie May and Sailing etc he was ok. And a good show to start out with...

    (Alice Cooper followed a month later so I guess I got the bug!)

    Since Nov 2006 • 8 posts Report

  • RaggedJoe,

    Like a few others, it was Bowie in '78, at the Springs for me. During or just after school C exams, loaded on the back of a mates Dad's Holden ute. My poor mother was ignorant of the transport arrangements thank God. No memory of the show at all, but clearly remember thinking that the back of the ute went from cool to scary quite quickly once we picked up speed. I also remember that Cheap Trick show at the Town Hall Russell. They really set the standard for live shows for me for quite a while after that.

    City of Sales • Since Sep 2008 • 72 posts Report

  • paul reifel, in reply to RaggedJoe,

    I remember Bowie and Cheap Trick. Especially at Cheap Trick as I recall the Town Hall was likely to fall down if we got out of our seats! Didn't seem to stop us...

    Since Nov 2006 • 8 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    Dire Straits in 1986, aged 13 - although I remember it as being at Mt Smart.

    Same recollection (sad to say).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Dave Patrick,

    Loudest? That would be either Motorhead at Mainstreet or the Hoodoo Gurus at the Gluepot. Motorhead you could feel the bass in your bones, the Hoodoo Gurus I had constantly ringing ears for a couple of days and secondary ringing whenever something made any noise.

    Best concert might just be the Mekons in some tiny little pub in White City in London, about 1987. There were almost more people in the band than in the audience, there wasn't a stage as such, just the band playing against one wall practically in the audience, and everyone just had a whale of a time. Or Joanna Newsom. Or the Pogues.

    Concerts I regret missing: the Clash and the Members in Auckland in the early 80s, and Husker Du in London in 1987.

    Rangiora, Te Wai Pounamu • Since Nov 2006 • 261 posts Report

  • Robyn Gallagher, in reply to Andre,

    I think we saw Rolf Harris at school once. He probably felt that Christmas had arrived early.

    Rolf Harris came to my intermediate school, which would have been '86 or '87. My memory of it is not his performance, but that he drew a cartoon for a boy in my class who came up on stage for something.

    Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report

  • Robyn Gallagher, in reply to Julian Melville,

    I remember that ’92 Chili Peppers show. They’d just got a new guitarist in after Frusciante quit (Axel somebody?) and he wasn’t much cop, and it just wasn’t all that great. Until Flea told everyone to take off their tops and fling them round their heads while he launched into Higher Ground, which they dutifully did.

    Arik Marshall! Apparently they had no creative mojo with him.

    I also remember the top flinging. I hurled my corduroy faux army jacket about, then got a bit tired of it. But yeah, it was generally a bit of a lacklustre performance.

    Because I’d gone up to Auckland for the show, I didn’t complete an assessed seventh form geography assignment. I regret nothing.

    Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report

  • Hebe, in reply to Mike O'Connell,

    The Cure @ Chch Town Hall. Hebe, did they play a second concert?I don’t recall – though I do recall it cost $6 to get in; Town Hall was pretty full. I think DD Smash were support or was it the Newtones?

    I thought it was the Town Hall, but didn't know the date. The concert archive Russell mentioned says The Cure played the Theatre Royal, so I went with that (having a certain amount of chemical unreliability in concert recollections). Town Hall it is: I remember the foyer being very empty for a concert. It was a cracker. one of those concerts where afterwards we floated out into a cold smoggy Chchch of old, buzzing with the music and off to the Vic or some coffee shop for a bit.

    Loudest: The Gordons at Thistle Hall in Wellington (another amazing gig) winter 1981, maybe Monday or Tuesday night (seemed decadent early-week going out). Tied with The Clash at the old Wellington Town Hall (1984?): crap, over-loud and ended up sitting on the stairs outside the auditorium waiting for it to go away.

    One of the best ever: Patti Smith and Bob Dylan in Christchurch in 1998 or 1999. Both were sooo good, and I only went to see Patti; didn't understand Dylan before that.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report

  • Hebe, in reply to Ross McA.,

    The Cure pre goth and kinda what we got in 1980.

    Yes. That's it exactly.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Simon Bennett,


    My first proper date was going to see Split Enz play at the St James in 1981, with the Blams in support.

    I was side stage on that gig as part of the Blams touring party. The smoke machine jammed and filled the stage. I was able to wander out onto the stage as nobody could see a thing for an age. I just wanted to say I'd been on stage with Split Enz.

    First international: Zep at Western Springs. Almost bankrupted me and the parents thought I was staying at a friends - well I was but we both went.
    First paid for local: Probably either Ticket or Space Farm at Levi's Saloon in Customs St - building is still there (see pic).
    First free local: Pretty sure it was either Human Instinct or The In-Betweens at school. They both played, I'm just unsure who was first.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report

  • Kimberley Verburg, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Cliff Richard for me too, early 90's and definitely in the Michael Fowler Centre. My aunt was a huge, huge fan and I guess I had a usual kids' attitude to him, though he did put on a good show. Since my aunt died early, I'm glad that I went along with her.

    My first outdoor concert was fairly soon after: Dire Straits in Athletic Park because under 12's got in for free. The kid-friendliness was apparently an attempt to discourage troublesome elements after an AC/DC concert. I mostly remember that it was sunny and loud.

    No idea when I actually paid to go to a concert myself. Feel like a bit of a failed music fan seeing as you all seem to remember!

    Leiden • Since Jun 2007 • 27 posts Report

  • andin, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Ahh someone who just shares my vintage.
    First international gig The Who and Small Faces at the Auckland Town Hall.
    I was a roadie for a lot of the gigs mentioned here hmmmm…
    I was sneaking out to clubs in Ak when I was young and saw the Underdogs, LaDeDas, The Brew. And Alaistair Riddell and his brother a drummer, of the Ginger Baker mould, played at school dances. Yep I have years.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report

  • philipmatthews,

    We kicked this one off on Twitter after I posted that my wife is taking our daughter (who is 10) to see Bieber tonight and someone else in the office thought, isn’t that young to be going to a gig? I dunno. I remember when the Wombles, as a live act, toured Chch in the mid-1970s. How old would those audiences have been? I didn’t go, of course …

    First international: INXS at the Logan Campbell Centre, and it would have been about 1984 or 1985. There’s no record of the tour on the INXS official “gigography” though.

    First paid local: The Chills at the Gluepot around 1986.

    First free local: Maybe the time the Mockers came to Takapuna Grammar one lunchtime. Or one of those dreaded Christian rock bands.

    In about 1988 or 1989, the Jesus and Mary Chain played the hall at Victoria University. It’s one of those gigs that everyone went to, sometimes people I didn’t meet until years later, like it was a generational thing (our Woodstock!). I have a feeling they weren’t much good, though.

    Somehow, I've seen Dire Straits live twice. Not sure how that happened.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report

  • Harry Musgrave, in reply to Sacha,

    drum and bass heavy

    not that there’s anything wrong with that

    Not at all - it works for the newer Simple Minds songs from their stadium days but not so much for the older stuff where you actually want to make out what is hapenning on the keyboards.....

    Since Jul 2009 • 28 posts Report

  • Harry Musgrave, in reply to philipmatthews,

    I thought we might be having this discussion for some reason like that.
    I took my oldest daughter to see Rihanna and Chris Brown when she was 12 or 13. Nowadays she goes to Taylor Swift with her friends (we still have to provide transport :))
    Both the girls saw he Wiggles and Hi 5 when they were pretty young - which are arguably better than Justin Beiber (educational you know..)

    And of cause Julia took her first steps at a Music in Parks concert in Tahaki reserve when she was not much over 1!

    Since Jul 2009 • 28 posts Report

  • Andre Alessi,

    My first free concert was John Farnham in a paddock at the AMP Showgrounds in Hastings in the late 80's. His parents lived in Havelock North and he was visiting them so decided to put on a show for the locals. I was about ten or eleven and only remember that there was a lot of sheep poo on the ground.

    First paid gig was Smashing Pumpkins at the Super top in 1995 or 1996, after Mellon Collie was released. My family had just moved up from Hastings to Auckland, and I didn't know anyone here, but damn it I wanted to see them play. I remember the gig as being great: stripped back and straightforward, almost certainly because the Supertop was a dump. Jimmy Chamberlain got rained on when the roof leaked, but kept playing, and Billy Corgan just rode the wave of ten thousand kids having a great time at a rock show. Bullet with Butterfly Wings was a major highlight.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report

  • bmk, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    First paid gig was Smashing Pumpkins at the Super top in 1995 or 1996, after Mellon Collie was released. My family had just moved up from Hastings to Auckland, and I didn't know anyone here, but damn it I wanted to see them play. I remember the gig as being great: stripped back and straightforward, almost certainly because the Supertop was a dump. Jimmy Chamberlain got rained on when the roof leaked, but kept playing, and Billy Corgan just rode the wave of ten thousand kids having a great time at a rock show. Bullet with Butterfly Wings was a major highlight.

    Same for me - and to me is still the best concert I've ever been too. Was nearly the perfect concert in many ways other than near the end where they got a bit carried away with Silverfuck trying to turn it into Lou Reed's Heavy Metal Machine or something.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report

  • Kate Hannah,

    First gig: exponents at the Albert, Palmerston North in I think 1991? Would have been 14.

    Then various orientation tours - what year was it that the lemon heads headlined?

    First saved up my pennies and travelled to Wellington gig: Smashing Pumpkins & the Breeders, 1994, when I was 17. We were there for the Breeders & got mightily pissed at the munters who kept shouting for the Pumpkins over them. My recollection is that once the Pumpkins took the stage, someone shouted "you think you're a rock god" to Billy Corgan & he nailed the response:

    "what do you know about rock gods? You don't even know how to be a fucking teenager!"

    Would be great to see if anyone else remembers that.

    Next 2 gigs seminal: Massive Attack (96) & Bjork, same year. (Was at Otago in 95 so not many gig options apart from orientation stuff.)

    Auckland • Since Mar 2010 • 107 posts Report

  • bmk,

    One more memory on when I saw The Smashing Pumpkins was the opening band were Garageland and they blew the crowd away - rapturous cheering. It was a case where they'd matched the opening band to the main act really well. Unlike another gig where I saw Prodigy and the opening act was called Bike (I think?) and they were so terrible you couldn't hear them above the booing.

    The best performance I've probably seen was NIN in 2000 or 2001 at the BDO. It was only half an hour though so I couldn't count it as a proper gig - but before then I'd never been fan and they won me over in no time.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report

  • JWT1,

    Howard Morrison quartet Memorial Park, Palmerston North about 1963. Jefferson Airplane in San Francisco 1967. Been in love with Grace Slick ever since! Crap concert in Opera House Palmerston North in 1976; Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge. Music OK but zilch audience interaction. Dire Straits at the Gaumont Theatre, Southampton in December 1980.

    Manawatu • Since Aug 2010 • 12 posts Report

  • Nora Leggs,

    Battle of the bands, mainstreet, don't know what year - The Clean. Don't actually remember it too well, but it was one of those "they're great!" moments (and by contrast everyone else in the 'battle' were dull and uninteresting. There were other gigs which should be memorable before this one, but my poor memory means they are obscured.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2011 • 2700 posts Report

  • Samuel Scott, in reply to Hebe,

    One of the best ever: Patti Smith and Bob Dylan in Christchurch in 1998 or 1999.

    I saw the Wellington leg of that tour. I hadn't really paid any attention to Patti Smith before that gig. I left it a huge fan. She was amazing.

    And Dylan was INTENSE.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 315 posts Report

  • Richard Grevers,

    Conservative parents, so they didn't take me to anything. First big gig was Hunters and Collectors playing Canty Uni Orientation (1985 I think, I had wheels by then). I believe I had successfully suppressed the memory Certain Sounds.
    I do recall being taken to a scout Gang Show in the James Hay Theatre while I was in cubs. It had a "the janitor is a hidden Eric Clapton" type sketch, which might have been the first time I heard music that wouldn't have made it on National Radio. I was impressed, by the show in general but by that act in particular.
    When the Chch Gang show was revived in the late 90's they used Rep, where I worked. The performance quality was dreadful and the script dire - I must have grown up in between.

    New Plymouth • Since Jul 2011 • 143 posts Report

  • Alan Perrott, in reply to Sacha,

    hell yeah Sacha - so loud I couldn't hear anything. just white noise, then stop, then "1 2 3'' and white noise again.

    mad really.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report

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