Flash Blog: In Concert with Our Past

Flash Blog: In Concert with Our Past

This weekend, I had an opportunity to do something not all of us get a chance to do. I got to relive something from 30 years ago. Well,…sorta.  You see, I was one of the thousands out in the audience at Mid-Florida Central Amphitheatre in Tampa cheering on the tremendous double bill of Earth Wind & Fire and the one and only Chicago. I’ve been a huge fan of both of these bands since I can remember. Probably since I could walk. Actually, I was likely rocking back and forth to them before I could walk given I grew up in a household that truly appreciated both acts. But an additional significance of the band Chicago for me is that they were the first band I ever saw in concert.  Thirty —gulp — years ago.


It was 1986. Peter Cetera had left the band the year prior and this new Cetera-soundalike had taken over at the helm of bass guitar and high-pitched lead vocals. Surprisingly, he was a damn near carbon copy of Cetera’s sound. At the time, that is. This past weekend, thirty years had taken their toll on Jason Scheffs stylings. Then again, thirty years have taken their toll on most of us.


As I watched this weekend, I constantly flashed back to that exciting experience as a 16-year-old. How much I have learned since that day…how many ups and downs in life… victories and losses…soaring moments and crushing falls. Heck, how many places I had seen that I would only dream of some day and wonderful people I would get to meet along the way who would paint my lives in such beautiful hues over the past three decades. Oh, and of course, how many new artists I would discover and come to know and love, as well as how many more concerts I would go to and always compare to this first musical adventure.  Who could possibly know in 1986 what the future held — good or bad? All I knew in that moment was my parents, who never let me go to any of these kinds of events had finally given in and said ‘yes.’  Sigh. Maybe there really were such things as miracles.


As I sat in the backseat of a complete stranger’s car (my very good friend’s older friend and her loud and obnoxious counterpart who I also didn’t know in the slightest), I watched these slightly older girls smoke cigarettes, drink (illegally) and cuss like sailors, and thought to myself…please just let me get to this concert. And later… please just let me arrive home in one piece. (And no, those protective parents never found out a damn thing about the so-called “responsible” chaperons who had my life in their reckless hands that night.)  The concert managed to surpass the wild ride there and back in holding a special place in my heart.  Good thing our drivers didn’t have access to a SmartPhone back then. Texting while driving would have only added to the carpool danger.

What do you remember most about your first concert experience? I’d love to hear about your own memories. ~ Chris  xo






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