Australia · music

My First, Last and Only Rock Concert

Perhaps I really have lead a sheltered life, but the only rock concert I have ever been to in my entire life was in Sydney. I was nineteen years of age.

The concert was held at the Sydney Showground, which was the old venue for the Royal Easter Show, long before Olympic Park at Homebush Bay had even been thought of. At that stage, Sydney had not been given the rights to host the 2000 Olympic Games.

I remember the day well, it was a warm November day, and I believe it was a Friday. The well promoted concert was called Rock Arena and it was THEE place to be in Sydney that day.

It had only been six weeks since I had left my brand new job at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast, my home and my parents. Sydney beckoned and I had answered the call.

The line up of artists on the day of the Rock Arena was impressive and included, among other lesser known bands, The Little River Band, Santana and the big finale was to be Fleetwood Mac.

With apologies to L.R.B. and Santana, I will admit (now!) with all honesty that my only attraction to the day was Fleetwood Mac!

The earlier part of the day began in quite a civilised manner. The concert was open air and the audience sat around on the huge grassy expanse with blankets and esky’s.

As the day turned into night and the big names appeared, my civilised afternoon transformed into chaos. Arm and legs were flung willy-nilly and girls climbed up onto beefy boys shoulders. Long hair flew hither and yon as the crowd surged forward, taking over our once claimed patch of ground.

The horrendous noise (from the crowd, that is!) and smells of cigarette smoke (or whatever it was that people were smoking!) and sweaty bodies scarred me for life.

Fleetwood Mac were the band I had waited to see, the only reason I had sat patiently in the heat of the afternoon, feeling like a veritable fish out of water, and see them I did!

I dodged and weaved with the best of them, straining my neck and standing barefoot on unnaturally high tippy-toes and there they were, confirming that the band was actually there!

Between songs, I seem to recall Stevie Nicks reaching for her glass of water, a lot. After the heat of the afternoon, I needed water too.

Finally the concert seemed to be winding down. It was decided that a speedy exit would be wise as the traffic leaving Sydney Showground would be horrendous.

My shoes! Where were they?

Crawling around the grass between smelly legs and feet, my one and only pair of decent shoes that I had brought with me to Sydney when I left the Gold Coast were located.

On that warm November day, way back when, I experienced my first, my last, my only, rock concert.

To this day, the scarring of that November day still remains and I continue to view rock concerts from home, on my television set, comfortably curled up in my comfy chair.

Tonight, I watched a George Michael concert, which he performed in a massive, under cover stadium in London. Thousands of seats surrounded the stage, filled to capacity with fans who witnessed the charming George belt out hit song after hit song.

As I watched George Michael performing, it brought back to mind my patch of grass and Fleetwood Mac, and all of the other memories from a lifetime ago.

Rock concerts have certainly advanced during the goodness-knows-how-many years since I suffered through the heat and discomfort for Fleetwood Mac.

Wonders may still exist…if George Michael should arrange a concert tour of Australia, I may just buy a ticket to his concert! 🙂