1987. Bon Jovi. Live at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. My first concert. I remember every second of it. I remember who I went with, and where we sat. I remember that shaft of light coming down from the ceiling to a blacked-out stage to reveal Richie Sambora sitting alone with his multi-armed guitar, as he played the iconic opening notes of “Wanted Dead or Alive”. I remember Jon Bon Jovi thrusting out his microphone so the crowd could sing the words to “Living on a Prayer” in unison.
Jon Bon Jovi was my first adolescent rock star crush. He was the whole package: Stunning face, killer smile, abundant chest hair and very tight jeans. Those arm muscles and the Superman tattoo. Holy smokes, I was besotted. Yet still too young to understand what Slippery When Wet meant.
I have always worn Bon Jovi as my first concert experience with an immense sense of pride. So, it was with mixed emotions that I accompanied my daughter to her first-ever concert last night.
I am the first to admit that Harry Styles has on more than one occasion made it into my dreams. It’s icky and it’s wrong, but no one can control their slumberous fantasies, right? Must be the lustrous hair. Jon Bon Jovi had that too. But truth be told, 1D are less “Beatles” and more “New Kids on the Block”.
And I worry for my daughter’s future. If one day she announces to the world that One Direction was the first concert she ever went to, will people laugh, will they gasp, or worse still, will they say, “Who?”
Here’s a recap of last night’s concert.
• The new Singapore Stadium owners in their zeal thought these 5 British lads could fill a 100,000 seat stadium. They were wrong. But even with all the gaps, the enthusiastic shrieking from the female fans filled the voids very comfortably. And the 1D boys seemed pleased that people in Singapore knew who they are.
• The boys started the show 1 hour late. In my day, it would have been perfectly acceptable, because the band needed an extra hour to finish snorting lines off their groupies’ thighs while swigging whole bottles of whisky, so they could give us an energy-charged show. But in drug-free Singapore, they simply were just late. And my daughter was getting tired.
So I did what any mother with an agitated child would do – I Tweeted Simon Cowell to complain – “@SimonCowell C’mon man The @OneDirection boys are 50mins late. Kids in the audience. School night, lah.”
OMG, did I actually do that? What have I turned into? Fortunately, someone removed this tweet overnight, so there will be no record that I ever embarrassed my daughter in this way. Oh, hang on.
• Because I only knew 4 songs, I spent the time watching the boys perform. Despite all the press Harry Styles gets for being too adorable for words, he actually came across as very serious, especially when he was singing. Maybe he has a strong work ethic, maybe he was nervous. The crowd favourite was the blonde one, Niall, whose name I never remember. And so he should be. He emerged as the leader of the group. Confident, sincere, rocking a guitar the entire show. He may just be the group’s Robbie Williams. On the shriek-o-meter I would rank Zayn the 2nd most popular. But he seemed a bit dull to me. And the other two were a bit of a larrikin duo.
But who really cares what I thought.
As I looked next to me to see my daughter dancing away and screaming and singing the words to every song, all I could feel what they this is a memory that she will have for life. Bon Jovi could have slipped into the same obscurity as many of the other big hair 80s bands, but they didn’t. And One Direction might not either.
But who really cares what I think.
As far as my daughter is concerned, her first concert ever was 10/10.
P.S. Keepin’ an eye on you Niall Horan
P.P.S. Mummy still thinks Harry’s the cutest