The First (Worst) Concert

The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.


When we’d arranged to buy tickets to see Nine Inch Nails at the Worcester Centrum earlier in the fall it had been a different world. Jon and I were the best of friends. I didn’t even really know who Tracy was. The other kids that were going didn’t matter. It was to be my first concert and it was going to be fabulous.

The reality of the situation was far different when January 5th rolled around. JonMartin reasserted his right to the front seat. Tracy, relegated to the back seat, was understandably pissed off at me. We were dating and she should have been sitting next to me. To make matters worse, she was in the backseat with an ex-boyfriend (Will) and a guy who was lusting after her, if only to piss me off, in the form of Stander.

When we got to Worcester it only got worse. Stander had this fucking chain that they wouldn’t let him in with and rather than just give it up to the guys he made me march back to the car with him to drop it off. Meanwhile, I lost track of my girlfriend who was probably getting more pissed with me by the minute.

Tracy and I didn’t talk much during the show. I don’t even know if we were permitted to sit next to each other by the rest of them, who seemed to have more control over me than I had over myself. There was an opening band I don’t recall and then the Jim Rose Circus and then NIN came on and played a blistering set. The fans were crazy, rushing the floor with such force that they collapsed the ramp just to the right of where we were sitting. Even crazier, some of them were leaping over our heads and over the rail in front of us to the ground.

After the show I drove everyone home and Tracy home last. I asked her if she wanted to come up front and sit with me but she wanted no part of it. When we got to her house I got out to give her a hug and perhaps a kiss but she was having no part of that either. Whether it was tiredness, anger, or a combination of both, it didn’t sit well with me. Secretly, or not so secretly, I think I recognized that so soon after our initial bit of magic, we were doomed for failure.