The Concert That Changed My Life

red hot chili pepper pacific coliseum vancouver 1996 ticket stub

In my early teenage years, I wasn’t really into music.

I mean it was there, it was always in the background. I just didn’t follow it closely.

Then in early 1996, at the wonderful age of fifteen, I was invited to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, BC.

The band was one I knew, and rather enjoyed, so I said yes.

A few months later, without really knowing what to expect, I headed down to the venue.

Walking up to the venue I was filled with anticipation.

As walked down to our seats, I remember how I was wrapped up in the scale of everything. The crowd, the arena, the stage, it was so overwhelming.

We sat there for a little while, just looking around and taking it all in.

Then the lights dimmed, and the venue was filled with the screams of fans.

I looked up and only a few hundred feet from me, was this group of famous people I had only ever seen on tv or heard on the radio.

I was flabbergasted.

Before the first song was even over, I was mesmerized.

Our seats were in the stands, but looking at the floor area we knew that was where we needed to be. The energy was close to the stage, and we needed to capture some of it.

My friends and I had a plan. We would walk down a bit, and stand about 15 steps from the end of the stairs. Then when the lights got dark enough, we would run down the stairs, jump up on to the first fence, then leap over the security guard moat area and clear over the metal portable fence.

It all seemed to be too easy.

In between songs, the lights went out.

My buddy yelled – ‘Do it’, and we all ran.

Within about 8 steps, I slipped and rolled down the steel steps.

I stood up, just in time to see my friends make it to the promised land with ease.

Looking down I could see I had ripped my jeans, and the slow spread of blood started to colour the fray.

Some people around me asked if I was okay, but I didn’t care.

I wasn’t worried about the pain or the pants. I was worried about getting out to the floor with my friends.

Since I had caused a big commotion with my falling incident, the security guards had their eyes locked on me.

They knew what I wanted to do, and they were paid to stop me.

I walked around for a couple of minutes and found a new set of stairs to try my luck on.

The lights once again extinguished, this was my chance.

I ran down the stairs.

I leaped on to the first fence. Two near-by security professionals ran towards me. They managed to get within a few feet as I sprung towards the inner fence. Just as I cleared it, I felt my shirt tug against my body. I instantly knew they had grabbed me. I pushed outwards with all my might, my shirt stretching and ripping against my body. With a stagger, I broke free. With a sigh of relief, I darted into the mob.

My friends saw my narrow escape.

We fought our way to the front and I stood there in awe.

Anthony Kiedis, with his long locks swinging side to side and his two-handed grip, poured his being into that microphone.

Flea was a mad man, he seemed to be in constant motion. Buckets of seat poured down his body.

The songs came to life. They had so much emotion.

I would no longer look at music the same.

As the show ended, my friends and I regrouped.

My neck was sore from head banging for over an hour straight.

My leg was sore from the tumble down the steps.

But I was enthralled.

I have now been to hundreds of concerts, but looking back this was my most memorable.

This was my first concert. It was taste that got me addicted.

Here is my stub from that show:
red hot chili pepper pacific coliseum vancouver 1996 ticket stub

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