One of the biggest industries hit by COVID-19 has been the performing arts - with no venues open for a long time (now with sit-down capacity caps), and touring restrictions for interstate or international artists, concerts effectively stopped dead. I have to admit that I haven't been the biggest patron of the local music scene over the past few years (I think I still have some burn-out after 15+ years of gigging...) but I've usually always had a concert on the horizon to look forward to. In the past few years I saw Paul McCartney, Elton John, The Killers, Robbie Williams, John Mayer, Ben Folds, Jon Bellion and probably a couple more that I'm forgetting right now. The unknown of when this type of concert will be able to come back to Australia was making me feel a little wistful today, so in the spirit of celebration of the industry, I thought I'd tell you about the first concert I ever got to attend.
Believe it or not, my first concert was the one and only Michael Jackson at QEII Stadium in Brisbane in 1996. I was a huge Michael fan as a kid, and getting to see him in concert was a dream come true for 11 year-old Dion. We had taped a televised concert from his previous international tour on VHS and it had a lot of viewing in my house. The ticket was a surprise present - maybe birthday or Christmas? I was stoked!
My older brother and I were on a tour bus full of other ticket holders from Gympie - I can't imagine what crazy time we ended up back in Gympie after the concert! (Thanks Mum/Dad for the late night pickup!) We were so far away in the back of the stands that he was just a golden speck in the distance! Being seated in the stands meant that we weren't allowed to stand up and dance, which is just the worst when your favourite songs come on. Luckily we were able to sneak up to the back of the tier and dance in the aisle a few times.
My memory is a little hazy on a lot of the details, but I do remember him walking on to the stage with a suitcase that opened up to contain his "Billie Jean" props - the single rhinestone covered glove and his fedora. I also remember a lot of people walking out between the end of the main set and the start of the encore. The lure of the quick exit out of the parking lot is strong with some people!
So now I've told you mine, I'd love to hear about yours! Let me know in your next lesson. :)
Things I've been watching/listening to this week: