September 6th, 2021 @ 12:48 am
as a kid growing up in the 90s, physical concert tickets was the default vs. doing will call. i regret doing any will calls, tbh. at the time it was like “wow, less to worry about!”, but now i can’t savor in those memories physically in my hands.
it’s crazy to think that i used to buy concert tickets at rite aid (maybe it was eckerd at the time). my how times have changed, now it’s a free for all with bots, website timeouts and legit having panic attacks, worrying about mere microseconds of fucking up on timing.
i was trying to buy tickets to see genesis this winter, and ticketmaster actually had the balls to post outright before you purchased tickets, that they don’t offer physical box office purchasing the first day of when tickets go on sale anymore. what in the actual fuck?! that is the one time you were GUARANTEED to get tickets to whatever you were pining for, bc you got your ass out of bed and down to the box office, unlike the internet slugs.
it’s unreal what ticketmaster has become. i wish we could all boycott it, but i digress…
the other night, i was putting away my stub/bracelet from rancid from last weekend in my show tickets storage box, and i decided to organize my tickets by year. then i thought it might be a rad idea to start posting a pic of the stub, about the show, and add any images that i took from the show associated with the concert mentioned. i’ll have to keep the images of myself and friends on IG only bc it’s private. here on my site, i usually don’t add pictures of myself anymore bc of privacy reasons (le sigh). i think it’d be a cool thing to document, though.
the first like, 5 tickets i have are barely even legible anymore, bc i used to keep them in my plastic sanrio planners in high school and they rubbed together and damaged the front of the tickets. you can still read them for the most part, whether it be the name of the tour, the venue or the date, so i at least can reference wtf the stub was for… i also scribbled some notes on them (in my horrendous adolescent handwriting).
without further ado…
my first 10 concert experiences:
1. april 14, 1997 // bush @ madison square garden (razorblade suitcase tour, veruca salt opened)
i went with: my friend lisa, setlist
my first concert as “an adult” aka without a parent. technically, it wasn’t the first live music experience, but for THIS ONE, i only went with a friend. this was a big step into adulthood for me. we had GA tickets, and i was so scared bc all i ever saw as mosh pits on tv was slam dancing, lol. i kept thinking the entire time that i was going to get hurt, and that my mom was going to murder me and never let me go to a concert again.
truth be told, this show was the only show i’ve ever been to at the garden, GA styles. i rarely go to shows at the garden bc of pricing and i usually prefer going to smaller, more intimate venues for concerts. i remember getting my GA bracelet (of course i still have it) and walking out onto the floor where my beloved rangers won the stanley cup. i remember looking up at my favorite, paneled ceiling and i felt so small. the garden just felt so huge and powerful from the floor.
i learned the hard way what opening band patience was, lol. i knew “seether” by veruca salt, but that was about it. all i wanted was my hot gavin in front of me singing bush songs. once that finally happened, all i remember is screaming lyrics while having a poland spring bottle in my hand, and waving it like a dope the entire time while pogoing (google it, if you’re unsure of what it is). lucky for me, there was no slam dancing. i don’t remember any type of pit (lol, a bush mosh pit). i just remember everyone jumping up and down the entire time, and that gavin was so fucking hot that i could have died happy just looking at him from 100 feet away.
most importantly, i also gained my first love bc of this show. it changed and set the trajectory of my life. from my first love, to my future social life, to inheriting my favorite types of music for the rest of my days, to my future career… just from one alt. rock concert.
there was a cute guy in my high school i started talking to bc he came in wearing a shirt from the show. we hit it off and dated on and off for a few years. we’re luckily even still close friends today. if it wasn’t for him being a completely hot computer nerd, i wouldn’t be a web developer or a graphic designer. he taught me how to use photoshop and sat me down with tools to code in 1997. so, thank you for playing this tour, bush, and the universe for giving me the timing to have to use the payphone at school that afternoon.
2. june 30, 1997 // bush @ jones beach (razorblade suitcase tour, the jesus lizard opened)
i went with: randolph and his sister, setlist
well, i was dating randy at the time, and so we went. not much to this show, we were sitting (bleh).
man, it is like pulling TEETH to find info about these old shows. i can’t find any setlist for this tour or the other groups/bands. i pretty much went just for blink at the time, not knowing i’d someday be an aquabats fan. i think randy liked primus, and the other bands were just whatever.
i do remember blink still had the old drummer (i think he was let go after this tour, actually), and i remember dude ranch had already been out, so we saw all of those songs alongside their old stuff. i remember aquabats having some big, weird, tin foil or spacesuit monster on stage? i feel like there was fire involved. i remember them being fucking WEIRD, lol.
a bird shit on my fucking head before this show. we were walking through times square and just PLOP. it was horrendous, and there was nowhere to take care of it. i guess i took care of it in the downstairs bathrooms at roseland, bc i do remember cleaning it up, but what shit timing (no pun intended). i still remember the crowd doing mostly pogoing. i don’t really recall a circle pit. during this show, i remember mark came down into the crowd during the last song and i pushed people TF out of my way and ran my hand through his disgustingly sweaty hair. good times?
[i can’t seem to find a ticket for this show]
4. august 1, 1998 // warped tour 98 @ randall’s island (lineup)
i went with: randolph, his sister, my bff javie
if you’re not aware of what warped tour was, it was an outdoor festival that had a shit ton of bands playing smaller sets throughout the course of a day. mostly punk/ska bands, some alt and heavier rock, some hardcore, some rap on a smaller stage, methinks.
it took FOREVER to get to randall’s island from northeast queens, holy shit. we had to go up through harlem and came down for some reason. i think trains weren’t running or something, and by the time we got up to harlem, there were swarms of punk kids everywhere. i just remember there being yoo-hoo EVERYWHERE that day, which was absolutely disgusting bc of how hot it was. i was so pissed off bc i didn’t get a yoo-hoo ringer shirt that i wanted. i think javie got one. i think i actually still have yoo-hoo stickers on my randolph memory box under my bed (i brb’d and looked, and yes, i do. see image below).
both stickers have randy in them ♥ and oooooh, a bonus sticker from mars 2112! (this article about the restaurant made me laugh, thank you ♥), may it rest in peace.
i remember specifically seeing: rancid, deftones, nofx, save ferris, snapcase, hatebreed and mxpx. at that time, i wasn’t super into punk/ska yet and i didn’t know a lot of the bands that i listen to today. most importantly, the specials (i could cringe not knowing them at the time, but their set list was thankfully nothing that would break my heart today).
i STILL don’t remember seeing circle pits, but i’m going to go out on a limb that warped used to be a sea of bodies and there wasn’t space for it. i also remember the next morning including fun stuff like: coughing up black dirt, getting sick w a sore throat for the next week bc of all of the dry mud i had inhaled for 12 hours the day prior.
i can’t remember any fucking thing from this show. like, nothing. i don’t know why my brain did not retain this.
6. october 29, 1998 // rancid @ roseland (the life won’t wait tour, hepcat opened)
i went with: randy, tiff, sophie
i couldn’t find a setlist for this show (i really think i remember the last song being “avenues and alleyways”. that’s all i got, lol).
it says it was for the “life won’t wait” tour, which means i had to have seen some of my favorite rancid songs at that show. i wasn’t aware of those songs then, bc i hadn’t heard that album yet (it KILLS me, i was such a baby ignoramus).
here’s the thing: randy got me into punk, but i wasn’t really branching out into other artists or albums yet bc well, it was 1998. we didn’t have napster, limewire or kazaa yet. we did have mp3s, but they were harder to obtain. we traded mp3s via AOL emails more than we sought them out through programs. this was still the “go to the music store and buy shit” times, and i don’t remember the wiz or coconuts carrying the likes of the aquabats, goldfinger or rancid back then (MAYBE rancid). my mother didn’t give me money to really go buy music anyway, so i was a lost soul. i had the same 8 CDs in my portable cd holder at all times and was happy as a clam with them (the blue album, tragic kingdom, smash and ixnay, the empire records OST, nimrod, out come the wolves, dude ranch). i knew like 5 punk/ska-punk albums bc of him, but then sophie/javie and i started branching out in our junior year of high school.
7. october 11, 1999 // goldfinger @ irving plaza (bloodhound gang, showoff and the hippos opened)
i went with: sophie, setlist
around this time was when sophie and i really started going to shows and i fell right into the social life i’ve known since teenagehood. randy went off to college, then we broke up for a bit, going to shows was fun and exciting and kept my mind off of the bullshit.
i remember during the show, i can’t remember if it was gf or bloodhound gang, but one of them stopped playing mid-song to kick out some fat chick that was trying to crowd surf and was hurting people in the pit. like, they all booed her and pointed her out the side doors and she left. it was one of the most fucked up things i’ve ever seen. i mean, crowd surfers are really fucking annoying, though. if she was overweight and being an asshole, i can understand trying to stop her, but that was nuts.
when sophie and i were going home that night, we were on the 7 train and the train stopped at shea stadium and it wouldn’t let us go any further. apparently, someone had committed suicide on the train tracks between there and main street (which was the last stop, and where we had to catch our bus). we sat there at shea for like a half an hour and were like OK time to call a parent… so sophie’s mom had to come pick us up. it was so shady down under the train over there, so we had to call her from a payphone within the station and then time it to when she’d be there, and hope we found her. oh, the days before we all had a phone glued to our hands, lol.
[i can’t seem to find a ticket for this show]
8. ???? 99/00 // bouncing souls @ the swing set (anti-flag opened)
i went with: dave and jason?, maybe sophie?
i have no idea when this damn show was, but i also can’t find ANY info on it. i can’t find any damn info about the swing set even existing aside from setlist.fm recognizing it as a venue. this wasn’t even supposed to be my first official souls show, a show at tramps was supposed to be, but sophie went with this girl she was dating instead. the worst part is, that girl not only hooked up with me, but also sophie and then was IN LOVE with javie’s gf at the time. like, obsessed. i think they may have hooked up after her and javie broke up, too. what a waste of a ticket, she didn’t even listen to punk!
the fact that the first time i went to a small souls show, it was on long island, pisses me off. i wish it was a manhattan story, but whatever… it was fun. it was the first time i really was ever in a pit, circle pitting and dancing. this place was so damn small and the band was on the floor with us, it was nuts. they were playing like 10 feet away from us from the circle, it was so rad. it was the smallest venue i’d been to yet. i remember there was a like, wooden bridge type thing that went around the top that people could stand and watch, and there was a pipe people were hanging off of. no wonder the damn venue is closed now, lol.
i don’t think i knew TOO MUCH anti-flag just yet… just the main hits. i got into a lot more punk bands at the tail end of 2000 when i was dating jeff, as he was way into punk… mohawk and all.
[i can’t seem to find a ticket for this show]
9. july 15, 2000 // warped tour 00 @ randall’s island (various bands – scattered lineup here)
i was wayyyyyyyy more versed in punk and ska-punk bands by this warped tour. i was elated to see: AFI, anti-flag, CKY, flogging molly, the bosstones, nofx, green day, less than jake, mxpx, the donnas, save ferris, suicide machines.
i can thank this warped tour for reuniting kristen and i! we went to high school together, and i hadn’t seen her in a while, since i was a grade ahead of her and wasn’t in school anymore. i was meeting people there, so i think i was alone on the journey there, until i found her. she got on the Q34 i was taking to main street and we took the train in and got to randall’s together, but we lost each other somewhere during the day. i remember bumping into buzz and frank and frank put ransom note looking letter stickers on my chest that spelled out “orgasm addict” by the buzzcocks. i remember seeing my former friend christina and her friend lauren, but i don’t recall being friends with christina until like 2002, so i don’t know how that timeline works. i remember being with javie at one point and we bumped into our friend justin. i somehow ended up with sophie at the end of the night, and we took the picture below in astoria, while waiting for the N train. a lot of that warped is a blur for me. i don’t remember it being super yoo-hoo at that warped.
you can read about this show here STRAIGHT FROM THE ARCHIVE, but tl;dr:
i couldn’t for the life of me understand why no doubt was opening for u2. there was almost no one was there for them, GA was so empty and no one was moving. it was sad and embarrassing, as a no doubt fan. it was the first time i ever saw them live, and was not the setting i wanted to see them in. gwen couldn’t dance for shit. i just remember thinking to myself “please, just stop moving”.
u2 was fucking amazing. i’ve seen them 2 or 3 times, and they seriously never disappoint. okay, i get it, it was annoying that they forced a damn album on us via itunes… but you must know that anything prior to 1995 is good music. it’s u2!
not entirely sure if this counts as a show, but we were there:
11/11/97 // green day @ tower records
i went with: sophie and javie, setlist
VIDEO (not mine!)
so we found out green day was going to be at tower records in the village. i don’t recall if it was a signing or if we knew they were going to play or not, but it was the plan to go there. nimrod had just released, so whatever it was, it was for that album.
we all cut school that day, and sophie and i went up to javie’s brother’s apartment in riverdale (the bronx) to hang out before we went downtown. we were schmoozing for too long and left for the village too late. once we got there, there was a line going around the damn block to get in. we were standing around there for HOURS waiting… and we got cut off by like, less than 20 people. we were at the outer corner of the store right by the entrance/doors for the rest of the time.
here’s a pic of what the corner looked like (i didn’t take it, i took it from this post and it’s also uncredited, maybe it’s his pic). i think we were probably standing where the white planter is situated, and the doors are directly after that pearl jam poster.
if you watch the video, the band would have been situated towards the back of the store towards the other corner, on the second floor loft area. if you look through the windows, you can see the wall of the loft area next to the blue neon light. the lightbox poster to the right of it is actually further back, and that’s right where the stairs were to the loft area. so it wasn’t a big store by any means. anyways, we were stuck there and were like “okay well, we stood here for hours, so if we can’t see it, we’re going to at least listen from outside”… but then billie joe started climbing the damn walls and windows like a spider monkey, so we did get to see him.
in the pic, you can see how many windows tower records actually had lining the entire side of the building there. i think if i remember correctly, he mooned us through those very windows under the neon lights that say “tower records”.
i remember going to a nofx show at coney island high, but i can’t find anything online around the time of when i went. there’s only one show in the setlist website, and it was a few years before what i remember, and too early for me to have been at that show.