A 13-Year-Old Boy Reviews His First Ever Concert: The Sword at Granada
One question you'll always be asked, forever, is about the band at the first concert you ever saw. The first ever concert I attended, at 13, was Texas (I know, right?). Texas is a frankly awful indie pop band from Scotland, and for this one tour they were inexplicably popular enough to book arenas. And so it was that I found myself inside the NEC Arena, a 16,000 capacity aircraft hangar-style corporate bowl, sitting through an indie band that thought hiring a DJ called "DJ One" to be on stage with them was a good idea. It didn't get any better, either: My second concert was Jamiroquai.
Mike Brooks "When you go there take some earplugs because it's going to be LOOOOOUD."
The point is, I was determined that no child of mine would have such a woeful tale to tell his future friends when making small talk. Which is how my stepson Lewis found himself last night at his first ever concert, The Sword's headline appearance at the Granada Theater.
Sure, it's not Black Sabbath or something (why would they skip Dallas? Why would they do that?). But as far as being able to say cool things in future, this should suit him just fine.
Given that any normal live review of The Sword would state that they are as bone-crushingly good as you'd expect from the best heavy rock band to come out of Austin in some time, which they really are (this show was fantastic), I thought I'd ask him how he felt about his first concert, how he felt about The Sword, and whether going to concerts is something he'd recommend to you, the curious consumer.
Lewis on the crowd
"I thought it would be more of everything being a mosh pit. I didn't expect it to be so chilled out. The crowd is so much better than people think it is. I thought it would just be people in their 20s who love rock music and ride bikes and stuff and they're all angry. They're not; they are nice people who just like this music. Just regular people."
Lewis on appreciating music
"If you're going to get the best atmosphere you need to be down the front and it's definitely not the same further back. The band was amazing. I was looking closely at how everyone played their instruments. I thought there would be more jumping around, but you don't need to jump around to play well."
Lewis on seeing music live for the first time
"It's definitely different seeing music live versus listening to the album. First, the sound quality -- to be able to listen to a CD really well, you need a really great stereo system. If you go see the band, they have all that, and you get to see them play it, which is totally different to just watching them on YouTube or something. I thought I was going to get my ears blown off (GC : I think we bigged that up too much), but my ears adjusted, and now I'm partially deaf."
Lewis on the, uh, well ....
"There was an intense herby smell that was new to me. It was weird. It's not a smell I like. The two smells were that and sweat."
Lewis on The Sword
"The band were younger than I thought, and were super chilled out. They did moves as they were playing, but that's just because they're feeling the music as they're playing it. I thought the music was pretty good and I loved the band. They were really heavy."
Lewis' final word on whether you should go to a concert or not
"I would recommend going to see live music. Pick a good band. This will always be a day I remember because the band was so great.
"When you go there take some earplugs because it's going to be LOOOOOUD. I had some to be on the safe side. If you've got all their records you should definitely go see them. It's not the same as listening to the records, cos if I've never seen a band in person before, even on YouTube, then I've no idea how they'll look or act. When I was in the mosh pit everyone was really excited and it got me more excited and helped me enjoy the music more.
"If you're watching it at home, you don't get any of the feelings. I was really excited, and tired out by jumping up and down and wailing. You really can't guess how anything is going to be live until you've seen it live. You can't know how it's going to be until you've been to that place and stood with the people in it, because the atmosphere changes you and changes your experience of the music. You can't guess how it's going to be, but from my first show it seems that it's just fun, and I can't wait to go again."