The Most Important Gig Of My Life Is Actually Quite Cringe
I’m a big, big music fan. I grew up with a Dad who liked rock and punk, and a Mum still stuck in the 80s. I was lucky enough to have an eclectic upbringing when it comes to music, as my Spotify playlists will show. Music is food for the soul, so they say, and I never went hungry. So, it probably won’t come as much of a surprise when I say I have attended a LOT of gigs. Yet the one that sticks out as the most memorable, and most important, is actually also one of the cringiest.
My Gigging CV
Before I let you into my embarrassing secret, I feel like I best start redeeming myself first. I’ve been very lucky to see some of the most amazing bands and artists out there. I’ve even seen Bob Dylan play; albeit it was at a festival and he was rubbish. I’ve won free tickets to see Muse, I had box tickets to see The Black Keys, I’ve danced in a sweaty pit to Ray Davies, Pete Doherty, Mumford and Sons, Blondie… The list is pretty endless. I particularly like going to see smaller bands play, in tiny venues, right up against the stage. My most recent experience of this was with Everything Everything, but I also got up close and personal with Kings of Leon pre-superstardom fame. To me, going to a gig is all about the experience and I find you get the most out if it when there’s a twanging guitar, some heavy bass playing, and some beautiful drumwork. So, it’s even more cringe-inducing when I tell you what the most important gig of my life actually was.
When I was younger, I used to rebel against my parents’ musical influences. Whilst they were playing Santana, Blondie, Sex Pistol and The Rolling Stones, I was taping the Top 40 Charts off the radio. C’mon, we’ve all done that right? Making sure you hit pause at the exact minute the DJ starts talking again. The first tape I ever bought was Sisqo – Thong Song. More to annoy my parents than because I actually liked it. I still shudder whenever I hear the intro of that song. There was someone in the charts that both of my parents could stomach, and who I luckily had a major adoration for. Pink – or P!nk, depending on how 90s you’re feeling. There was something about her mix of pop and rock that meant I appeased both my Mum and Dad, when her album was blaring from my tiny, portable CD player. And there was something about her emotional lyrics and stories, that made me feel empowered. She was my idol – and every single school Stars in Their Eyes I would attempt to squawk my way through one of her newest hits.
I Have Tickets!
I remember the day my Mum turned round to me, ever so casually, and said “I’ve got us tickets to the next Pink gig if you fancy it?” I swear my eyes must have popped out of my head as I screamed, “Are you freaking kidding me, right now?!” I’m sure I didn’t actually say it like that, I just feel like teen me should have said it like that. And so, we made the trek to London about 3 hours before the show was about to start. We had to get their early, to secure ourselves a good spot. My Mum, clearly the gigging pro (well, she had seen Wham live), was right about getting there early. We were one of the first in the queue and ended up about as close to the stage as you could get. The rest of the night was pretty much a blur of pure excitement, but there is one thing that stuck out in my mind – My Mum singing along to every single one of the songs, without missing a beat. You don’t get moments like that every day.
So, while it might be cringe to admit that seeing Pink was the gigging highlight of my life, I don’t really care. Because when you’ve got two of your female idols in one room, singing together (well, kind of), what can beat that experience?