Aspen Untucked: The First Performance |

Aspen Untucked: The First Performance

by Barbara Platts
Nathaniel Rateliffe and the Night Sweats performing at the JAS Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience in Snowmass on Saturday.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times |

Everyone remembers their first concert, that initial performance that we couldn’t wait to see. The ones after that first one may have been better, and probably even more fun, but the beginning is always the most memorable.

I recalled my first concert this past weekend, when I went to the Sunday show of Jazz Aspen Snowmass’ Labor Day Experience. The three-band lineup was diverse, to say the least, starting with a southern-style rock band (The Revivalists), then moving onto an old-school hip-hop group (The Roots) and then finishing off with Maroon 5.

As silly as it may sound, the show I was most excited to see was the finale. The 10-year-old girl inside of me was screaming with joy at the idea of getting to sing along to hits like “She will be Loved” and “One More Night.” And my 27-year-old exterior self was pretty pleased with the idea, as well.

In the minutes leading up to the show, I was sitting on a picnic blanket, drinking some white wine and waiting for my friends to get back from the porta-potties when two young girls directly behind me caught my attention. They couldn’t have been older than 10. They were chattering away about the show that was about to begin, talking about their favorite songs and if they were going to be able to see Adam Levine (the lead singer of Maroon 5) from where they were standing. Then, one of them grabbed the other in a full embrace and started jumping in the air. “Charlotte! This is our first concert! This is so exciting,” she shouted as she jumped up and down. Her friend, who was supposedly named Charlotte, sort of rolled her eyes and made a comment about Maroon 5, saying she would only be happy if they played a certain song. But even the brooding Charlotte couldn’t hide her enthusiasm. As she talked about her favorite songs she pranced around, clearly beyond elated to be at Snowmass Town Park for this show.

Charlotte’s friend then turned to her dad, explaining enthusiastically to him how they needed to get closer so she could properly Instagram the entire experience. The father scoffed at this idea.

“This is your first show. You need to experience it entirely and not just sit there posting on social media. Hundreds of other people will post about it and you can look at those later,” he told his daughter.

The girl did not appreciate this response and turned to her mother, sure that she could convince at least one of her chaperones to get closer to the show for recording and posting purposes.

I smiled as I watched this exchange unfold. It brought me back to my first concert. I was in the second grade, probably 7 or 8 years old, and I went with my best friend to see the Spice Girls at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater in Denver. We were giddy with excitement in the weeks, possibly even months, leading up to the show. We had gone shopping together to find the perfect Spice Girls outfits, and when we finally got there we couldn’t stop talking about our favorite songs before the group came onstage. And when they did, it was more exciting than we could have ever imagined. Of course, back then we didn’t have Instagram, or cellphones for that matter, so we took pics on our disposable cameras and recorded the songs in our memories instead.

The young girls at the concert this past weekend looked exactly how my friend and I must have 18 or 19 years ago at Fiddler’s Green. They knew how monumental their first concert was and wished to experience it to the fullest. Although the dad didn’t acquiesce to the girls’ Instagram request, the mom agreed to take Charlotte and her friend as close to the stage as possible to snap some pics.

I didn’t get to see the reactions on the girls faces when Adam Levine and the rest of Maroon 5 arrived onstage. But, in that moment, it didn’t matter, because my friends and I became those girls. As soon as Maroon 5’s hits started playing we were back in the second grade again, singing along to every song in the band’s lineup. I can only imagine that Charlotte and her friend were close by, singing along, too.

When it comes to a good show, we can all revert back to our young selves rather seamlessly, consumed with excitement to see our favorite band and hear their best songs. Maybe Maroon 5 and the Spice Girls aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but luckily there are many other musical options available.

Just make sure to get a proper Instagram photo.

Barbara Platts would see Maroon 5 again if they came to town again. She would also kill for the chance to see the Spice Girls again. She’s not ashamed … and neither is her 10-year-old self. Reach her at or on Twitter @BarbaraPlatts.

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