Want an easy group conversation starter at a dinner party or event?
My all time favourite question to ask - especially in those situations that are starting to feel awkward as people are running out of things to say - is “So, what was your first concert?"
Without fail, people revert to the magic of nostalgia, back to a time and place of having a brand new experience that still holds space in their memory and heart. And the great thing is, everyone has a story to tell. Some were young, some were older, some snuck out to see it with friends, and some went with a family member. Some are playfully embarrassed about what they used to like, some wear it like a badge of honour, and some are closeted fans of music genres you’d never guess were 'their thing.'
Before you know it, in almost any crowd, even if the members don’t know each other well, you’ll have people laughing and smiling, feeling relaxed and at ease, because this is one of those rite of passages that unites us all.
We all have these happy, cherished memories, and we have them from a time when our lives were much different, and we were much younger. Opening up this conversation is an invitation for people to relive those moments of joy, with joy, at any age. It’s a chance to hash out the culture and clothes of the time, to recount where we were living and when, who our boyfriends were, and what mattered most at that moment.
It’s a chance to revisit our younger selves, check in with what they loved, empathize with where they were then, where we are now, and how that path took shape.
And it’s a chance to think about how we will shape our own kids’ first concert experience. Knowing what a hold it still has on us, it’s a fun exercise to think about where we’ll take them and when. Will it even be us who takes them, or someone like the chill and fun younger uncle who brought us? Will it be a large scale venue, or something a little more intimate?
One of the coolest parts of being a parent is the reflection on your own life and choices while you’re parenting someone living out their own life and choices. And while we don’t ever want to live (or re-live) vicariously through our kids, or make up for unrequited passions, we do want to share the moments of overlapping joy and connection with them; music and memory is a perfect way to do so.
So. What was your first concert?