I am not a really regular concert goer.  There are very few bands that make me want to drop a whole pile of money on a couple hours of entertainment (though I have seen Radiohead twice and those tickets do not come cheaply).  My first real concert was when I was in 10th grade.

Fed Hall at the University of Waterloo used to have a lot of small bands come through (they may still, I am very out of touch with events in my former hometown these days).  At some point in 1995 or ‘96, two fairly popular bands (now, sadly, relegated to the status of one/two-hit wonders) did an all-ages show at 4:00 and then a licensed show later in the evening.

First up was Zuckerbaby.  I have, someplace, a tape of an interview and acoustic set with them, recorded in a fairly scratchy and staticky fashion from my trusty old radio/tapedeck/cdplayer bookshelf system (the speakers of which still see action as the right- and left-rear surrounds in the basement).  They were clearly there to rock the faces of these teen concertgoers.  The Age of Electric was not really into playing for a non-drinking audience.  They were pretty lacklustre and had almost no stage presence.

I have a few fairly isolated recollections from that afternoon.  A girl from my Orchestra class watching Zuckerbaby’s guitarist light a cigarette on stage and exclaiming “We can smoke in here?!”  The guitarist stuck his light cig in between some strings on the headstock of his guitar.

There were perhaps 50 people down on the floor in front of the stage and they were doing their very best to mosh.  Two guys managed to crowdsurf a little until the AoE’s singer got sick of their antics and told the bouncers to kick out the next person who tried it.  Disbelieving the willingness of the staff to do so, one memorable crazy man in a red t-shirt motioned his friends to pick him up.  The hulking bouncer-types made very good time through the minor crush, despite their heft.  They picked him up bodily (which, thinking back, was what he actually wanted; people holding him up in the air) and carried him down the long, glassed in hallway to the main doors.  I could hear him yelling and swearing all the way down the hall over the sound of the band.

For some reason, Fed Hall had all their payphones about 2 feet from the stage, off to one side.  I was calling home for a ride and getting an absolutely awesome migraine all at the same time.  It was a real time saver.

i know that i’ll be living it in canada