TBT / First Show Ever

TBT / First Show Ever

By the time I was in tenth grade I was a full-blown Hip-Hop head.

Later I would fall fully into Seattle’s Hip-Hop scene, but it all started with the likes of Outkast, Cypress Hill and Nas. I can remember the moment I was told Cypress Hill was uncool and what I listened to next. I remember the first Method Man verse and where I was when I heard my first Too Short song (third grade at my friend Aaron’s house, pillaging his older brother’s CD collection).

Regardless of genre, for me, live is the best way to experience a favorite song, album or artist. I’m 31 now and I’d guess that out of all of the live shows I’ve been to, the vast majority have been Hip-Hop shows. My love for live shows started at the Paramount with my first ever live show. I was probably 9 or 10 and the one, the only, Weird Al Yankovic came to town.

At the time, pretty much the only thing I listened to was Weird Al and Michael Jackson (the latter I discovered only because of the former’s affinity for spoofing his work). I’m not sure if my parents would’ve taken me to an MJ concert if I’d asked, but I only had eyes for Weird Al. That wasn’t just a show, it was my first show. It was a big deal. In my young, confused mind, it was the biggest entertainment event of, well, ever.

I went to the show with my father and my buddy Mitch. I imagine my father lost a few rounds of Rock-Paper-Scissors with the other parental units but Mitch and I didn’t care. All we cared about is whether Al would open with Just Eat It or Like a Surgeon. I remember being briefly in awe of the Paramount and quickly switching focus to bothering my father about when Al would grace the stage.

Eventually the great one came out, performed his greatest hits, changed costumes between 50 and 75 times, and left again – presumably back to his place just to the right of God up in heaven. (Imagine my disappointment years later when I saw Nas live and he had exactly zero costume switch ups).

I don’t believe that my love of live shows was solidified at the Weird Al show, but the seeds were certainly sown there. No matter your opinion of Al’s craft, he can entertain the pants off of a crowd. I remember very little, but the passion, wardrobe changes and energy Al brought to the performance stayed with me forever.

What was the first show you ever attended? Let us know in the comments!

#TBT – A Love Letter to Foo Fighters

#TBT – A Love Letter to Foo Fighters

Dear Dave Grohl and all-associated Foo Fighters,

In most Four Feet Higher interviews with bands, I tend to make sure I ask the standard question, “What got you into music?” because if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that most music nerds can trace it back to one or two artists or albums. While I am very thankful to have been introduced to Sgt. Pepper at a very young age, there is and always be one defining source of my nerdhood: you.

I’ll admit, sometimes I hesitate to list you in my favorite bands because it doesn’t feel right to include you without the ability to explain the whole story, and just saying “No really, I LOVE them.” isn’t enough. So. I’m getting it out into the world now, to exist as my written supplement to my love.

Let’s go all the way back to third grade. I was jump-dancing on my twin size trundle bed/stage (hell yeah, sleepovers for days) to either N*SYNC or Britney Spears. Could’ve been either, all that matters is I was playing it at an absurd volume and probably singing just as loudly. My bedroom was directly across from my brother’s room, who is 7 years older than me. While we are great friends now, it’s safe to say he didn’t have much in common with me as a high school boy.

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The most accurate picture of me and Chris ever taken, 2003

He was likely working on smart-people homework during my concert and did not appreciate it as much as my stuffed animal audience. One day, he stood in my doorway, visibly frustrated, and said something along the lines of “PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS INSTEAD JUST ONCE” and handed me your album The Colour and the Shape. Obviously I did not do what he said immediately because that would have been far too nice of me. Instead I waited until he went to swim practice later that night and listened to the whole thing beginning to end.

That was it. I was hooked. After that, I would sneak into his room during many swim practices to steal every CD from Incubus to the Godzilla soundtrack (HEY don’t mock – it had Brain Stew by Green Day on it AND you guys were on it too so I had no choice).

Fast forward to my first day of 5th grade, a whopping 2 years later. I was starting at a new school where I knew no one. My dad was driving me to school and I was sure if I said anything, the butterflies in my stomach would quickly…um…exit. I don’t remember which one of us chose it, but the decision was made to play Everlong. For whatever reason, it was the perfect combo of mellow but powerful and gave me just the right amount of confidence to actually get out of the car and into this terrifying new world. First day of middle school: same thing. In fact, we listened to Everlong the first day of school every day until I was old enough to drive myself. And then, yeah, I played it then too.

Next thing I know it’s the summer before Senior year, and my brother sees that you are coming to Key Arena. I had not been to a concert yet, so I was unbelievably pumped. Actually, I should probably apologize publicly for it. Dear Chris, I’m sorry for all the screaming. I’ve learned now. I know that’s not okay. You’re the best brother ever.

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Don’t worry, I later bought a $40 concert shirt, 2008

From the moment you got on stage until the last song of the second encore, I was, again, hooked. How was it possible that the music I loved so much in my headphones and in my car was EVEN BETTER live? I can even trace two of the closest friends I’ve ever had to the fact that we were all at that show and could re-live it together.

Even my badass older cousins (with whom I was just getting old enough to hang with) all loved Foo Fighters. Boom: more critical life-bonding. When we lost the beaming-light-of-a-human Mark Holt, my cousin, I found myself listening to February Stars over and over and over until I decided it was time to probably start writing my own music.

Enter: College. While I don’t remember if I listened to Everlong every year, but I know for sure I listened to it on the first day of Senior year again, because I HAD TO. Nothing could perfectly address the cocktail of nostalgia and fear and excitement I was feeling quite like this band I had been listening to for the past 12ish years. I tweeted you about it, but no hard feelings for not responding, you do you. Even my long-distance boyfriend-at-the-time (aka one of those close friendships I mentioned earlier) and I waited until we saw each other to listen to Wasting Light beginning to end. Awww, s’cute.

Even today, if I’m stressed out or having a level-10 shit day and you come on the radio, I am immediately comforted. I only appreciate you more as time goes on as one of the most authentic and hard-working bands in the business, and a model for how to gracefully adapt to the world. You have carried me through the smallest and largest of life changes, and for that I can never thank you enough. Instead, I can only continue writing and listening and performing and show-going with the hope that even one person develops the same kind of love with music as I have.

Dave, Chris, Nate, Taylor, Pat, and anyone else you’ve ever played with: Thank you. You’re my favorite.

Love,

Shannon