Growing up, music was always a huge part of my life. I remember sitting in front of the computer screen watching hours upon hours of videos of my favorite bands, longing to see them live. When I was 16, I attended my first show and was instantly hooked. Over the years, I’ve attended a plethora of different shows, getting to see some of my favorite artists just like I had dreamed all those years ago.
But something that means more to me than music, shows, or anything else, in general, is my little sister, Carly. With a 10-year age difference between us, I take it very seriously as a big sister to show her the world and include her in my life at every opportunity I get. When I had plans to see her favorite band, Twenty One Pilots, in concert during the summer of 2016, I just knew that this would be the perfect opportunity to bond and introduce her to a part of my world. Being only 11 years old, this was Carly’s first concert and I wanted it to be as special and memorable as possible.
In this memoir of sorts, I take both my sister and I down memory lane and offer both Carly’s story of her first concert and my perspective of a major event in my sister’s life.
My mom and I kept Carly’s going to the concert a secret until the morning of the show. I was going to meet up with some good friends there and asked my mom how she would feel about letting Carly tag along, to which she agreed. My sister was a little upset that I was going without her, and it was so difficult to keep it a surprise. The morning of the show, I went to my sister and asked how bad she wanted to go to the concert, to which her answer was very. I then handed her the ticket and she immediately started crying.
On a scale of 1-10, how excited were you when you found out you were going?
What were you most excited about when you found out that you were going to the concert?
Being able to actually see Twenty One Pilots in person and be actually close to them and be able to see them.
Since this was your first concert, what were you expecting/not expecting the concert to be like?
I was expecting everyone to be sitting down and listening to the band and swaying their arms. I wasn’t expecting everyone to be jumping around.
Right before the concert started, I remember asking my sister if she was going to dance around and sing along to which she gave me a very confused look and responded with an incredulous “No!”. With this being her first show, I could see a lot of apprehension to letting loose in front of so many people. But once the sun went down and the boys came on, she lost any kind of reservation that she had. She was jumping, dancing, and singing along as loud as she possibly could. Twenty One Pilots is known for their innovative and unique live performances, and she was enthralled. From the costume changes to Tyler’s human-sized hamster ball, Carly was blown away.
What was your favorite part of the concert? Why?
There was one part where everyone had to get real low and then when the beat dropped, everyone jumped up at the same time. It was my favorite because it was so cool to see everyone in the crowd do something at the same time.
Since you were 11 when you went to your first concert, do you think it was cool to have gone to a concert so young or do you wish you would have been a little older?
I thought it was cool because I was young and not a lot of people my age get that experience. None of my friends had gone to a concert so it was cool to tell them the story.
Do you think that going with someone who had been to a lot of concerts helped?
I think it helped because you knew how to react and what to do like dance around and stuff so I didn’t really have to worry about anything.
Since you were very young when you went, I’m sure that a lot of your friends were curious about how concerts are. How would you describe concerts to other people who have never attended one before?
That they are a bunch of fun and they definitely won’t regret it. You jump around and sing to the songs and you get to be like in the same place as your favorite band.
Once the show was over, and we stood in the rain-soaked lawn of the venue, the magic of the night was definitely not over. As we walked around, I could see a newfound concert confidence in my sister; the little girl who was too afraid to sing along turned into one who ran around collecting confetti and expertly navigating the post-show crowd with ease by my side. It is one thing to know the feeling of finding your place at a show, it is an entirely different type of magic to watch someone gain their own footing in the world of concerts.
For many people, a first show is a huge experience. Whether it be their favorite band or a local artist, the first time that you walk into the world of concerts can be like stepping into a new dimension. From knowing how to act to wondering what to expect from the artist, it’s a learning experience that is both chaotic and beautiful. To be able to have one’s first concert documented and remembered in such a complete way, such as my sisters, is something that is special for not only her but me as well. It also proves that artists who perform to thousands of fans over the span of just a few months can touch individual lives. When they put their entire lives into performing, the fruits of their labor are clear. And whether it be an 11-year-old girl or her 21-year-old sister, their effort means the world.