Yngwie and Ozzy: Nothing Beats Your First Concert

yngwie-who.jpg
Yeah, I said it.
"How long will it be before I get my hearing back?"

My girlfriend Cathy's 12-year-old niece, Jade, asked me that question Monday night after the final strains of "Paranoid" had finished reflecting off the walls of the Toyota Center. "It will probably be a couple days," I said.

For Jade, Ozzy Osbourne was her first real concert experience. She had been to shows at the rodeo, but those are nothing compared to seeing the "prince of fucking darkness" in person. Hearing her question, I felt an odd symmetry knowing that 27 years earlier, I asked the same thing of my best friend's older brother at my first concert.

Late one night in the summer of 1984, my ears were ringing badly. At barely 15, I had been to a handful of rodeo concerts in the Astrodome, but those were with my parents, an experience only slightly more rock and roll than going to the circus. I was a big music fan and the music I loved the most was heavy metal, so I went with my best friend and his older brother to see Yngwie Malmsteen and Talas at legendary Houston music venue Cardi's.

I remember the smell of the smoke in my clothes and that high-pitched squeal in my ears, both experiences I would repeat dozens more times throughout my life. I have very clear memories of the songs that were played, where we were standing and what the stage looked like. To this day, I cringe when I think that familiar location at the corner of Westheimer and Fountain View is now a karaoke bar.

On Monday night, I got to witness that thrill of seeing live music in person for the first time.

Like the 15-year-old version of myself, Jade loves music and has amassed an amazing store of knowledge on the subject.

At dinner before the concert, she was thumbing through the iPhone of Cathy's friend, Jennifer, and paused on a song by the Alan Parsons Project, who she thinks is "cool." When I asked if anyone knew what Parsons had done prior to forming that band, Jade quickly responded, "Pink Floyd." I would have been amazed that she knew Parsons was the engineer for Dark Side of the Moon had I not already seen her answer similar music trivia questions numerous other times.

And she wants to know more.

"Which song is this?" she asked at the beginning of "I Don't Know." When I told her, she said, "Oh, yeah, from Blizzard of Ozz."


Location Info

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Toyota Center

1510 Polk, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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26 comments
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Radio Zero
Radio Zero

Proud to say, my daughters first real concert was The Pixies on their reunion tour a few years back. Had to start her on something worthy. Mine was Van Halen "Diver Down" Tour. (Yeah, I'm old.)

basshole
basshole

My first rock concert was the Motels in 1983 in College Station. My first REAL concert was Bob Dylan backed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Southern Star Amphitheater at Astroworld in June of '86. I still had the shirt until a few months ago, when I gave it to the friend I went to that show with. It was the first time we'd seen each other since '88 or so.

KeithH
KeithH

My first concert was Depeche Mode at Astroworld in 1986. Snuck up to the fifth or sixth row in the front where some friends were sitting. Security stopped the row in front of us checking tickets...so we felt like a million bucks getting to see DM up close.

My wife took my daughter (8) to her first concert...Carrie Underwood at The Orleans here in Vegas. Was a spur of the moment type thing...so my daughter hadn't prepared for an extended evening. Poor thing fell asleep towards the end of the concert...but loved every minute that she was able to stay awake.

gary
gary

When I was about 8 (circa 1976), my parents took me to a Johnny Cash concert. At that age I did not appreciate the man's genius.

Steve Gilbert
Steve Gilbert

Excellent article Jeff!!My first concert? Chicago, at the Summit, 1976

Chris D
Chris D

Great story! My 1st concert was Kool and the Gang at the rodeo with my mom, but the 1st one I actually WANTED to go to was Motley Crue...1985 Theatre of Pain tour at the Summit. I smoked my 1st joint at that show too so I dont remember a whole lot about the show except they played Home Sweet Home twice so they could film that stupid video. Oh and the flash bombs scared me half to death...

treydub
treydub

Loved this -- very cool:)

Manchester
Manchester

I think my 1st concert was either Phish or Primal Scream, not really sure but that's what my folks keep telling me. I was a wee bit 4th grader.

jason tinder
jason tinder

First show was Van Halen 5150 - the hollywood, fl sportatorium in 1986. Quite possibly the worst venue ever but it was all sorts of fun.

Thursday Girl
Thursday Girl

First concert: Rick Springfield at the the Garden State Arts Center, New Jersey. With my mom. *hangs head in shame*

GlenW
GlenW

RockinMy first concert was Iron Maiden Somewhere in Time 1987 at the Baltimore Arena. Yes, I bought a t-shirt, and yes I still have it.

Marc Brubaker
Marc Brubaker

Billy Joel's River Of Dreams tour. And it kicked ass.

JS
JS

My first one was Bon Jovi. I'm admitting that. So yes, she is way cooler than me. Anyway, I was honored to be there for this experience!!!

Jade
Jade

great concert and i hope there are many more where that came from!

DeathBreath
DeathBreath

Yes, I remember when Yngwie Malmsteen was introduced to the staff of Sound Warehouse at the intersection of Hillcroft & Westheimer. When I heard this guitar virtuoso, my jaw dropped. Later, I got to see him live, at Cardi's. Yes, it was a great concert.

So, I recommend the following to fans, the DVD of him playing with the Japanese Philharmonic. I prefer his neo-classical songs to the those that have the high-pitched singers he loves so much.

Greg Wythe
Greg Wythe

One of these days, I think I need to steal an hour or so of your time so you can regale me with the Yngwie/Talas details. I had my eyes set on making it to the show in Dallas, but couldn't get ahold of my guitar teacher that night. I stewed for a few weeks after that. Or at least until Yngwie opened for AC/DC a year or so later.

Jeff
Jeff

Hell yes.

Evan
Evan

My first concert was Weird Al.

groovehouse
groovehouse

What a great blog post. Thanks for sharing that with us Jeff! There's nothing like your first concert and I'm sure this was a doozie for Jade!

Jarod Frank
Jarod Frank

Did you slap her and tell her that "Flying High Again" was actually on Diary of a Madman so she wouldn't forget next time?? ;-)

Great story!

Jeff
Jeff

She didn't ask about "Flying High Again." She asked me about "I Don't Know," which IS on Blizzard. The discussion of FHA was in reference to Randy Rhodes' guitar solo if you check the story. :)

Sarah
Sarah

heh heh my first concert was the cranberries. embarrasing. ps Jade's cooler than all of us.

Sarah
Sarah

Also it's embarrassing that I apparently can't spell

CathyMat
CathyMat

She is so much cooler than I am.

Jeff
Jeff

She's so much cooler than all of us. :)

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