Concert Reviews

My First Show: Joel Buchanan Saw Dennis Rodman Join Pearl Jam at Reunion in '98

Welcome to My First Show, where we give bands a chance to talk about the first shows they ever attended -- no matter how uncool and embarrassing those tales may be.

If you happened into Fallout Lounge on a Friday night a few years ago, chances were good you saw one of the DJs air-drumming along to what was pumping out of the speakers. That was Joel Buchanan, who, along with Cameron "DJ MUDI" Brand, kept the dance floor going with his FEVER weekly.

These days, their tandem night, FEVER, can still be seen at Tradewinds Social Club in Oak Cliff. Meanwhile, Buchanan runs a solo Britpop/indie night called New Art Riot, too. Plus, he serves as the drummer for local band Modakai.

Given that he's got all this going on, we recently caught up with Buchanan to hear about his first show experiences.

More often than not in this feature, we hear stories about how parents nervously took their kids to see a concert. Buchanan, on the other hand, happened to have a mother who loved The Outfield.

After the jump, he tells us what that was like, while also sharing his memories of seeing Pearl Jam -- with Dennis Rodman, no less -- at Reunion Arena.

What was the first show you remember seeing? Did your parents take you?
When I was six years old, my parents took my little sister and me to Six Flags to see Starship and The Outfield. My mother was a huge Outfield fan. I think she wore out both Play Deep and Bangin' on vinyl. I don't remember much about the show. I was more interested in all of the sounds of the park around us, which might explain why I'm such a rollercoaster junkie now.

What was your first show without parental supervision?
Pearl Jam and the Murder City Devils at Reunion Arena on July 5th, 1998. That was the infamous Dennis Rodman show. He was a backstage guest, and decided he was going to join the band for the night. I still remember him putting Eddie Vedder on his shoulders at the end of "Alive." It was like some sort of 12-foot monster jumping around on stage! To this day, it remains one of the best shows I've ever seen.
What was the first show you spent your own money on?
Travis and Remy Zero at the old Gypsy Tea Room in 1999. I fell in love with Remy Zero that night. They quickly became one of my favorite bands, and some of my favorite people. I miss [Remy Zero's late drummer] Greg Slay. Travis were excellent as well. I remember, at one point, Fran Healy was trying to tell a story, and someone down in front yelled, "Shut the fuck up and sing!" Not cool. Fran let him have it and, during the next song, which was "Coming Around," he stared a hole right through the guy as he sang, "Tell me if I'm bringing you down / 'cause I was fine 'til you came along." The rest of the crowd loved it. The heckler? Not so much.
What do you remember about the first time you did FEVER?
It was at The Cavern in August 2005. Cameron brought me on for a one-hour guest spot, and it was a hit. We spent the last hour of the night trading songs back and forth. I remember him saying, "As far as I'm concerned, you can come back every week," and we've been giving people a good time ever since.

Catch FEVER this Friday night at Tradewinds Social Club.

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Eric Grubbs is a Dallas-based writer who has published two books, Post: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore 1985-2007 and When We Were the Kids. His writing has been featured in Punk Planet, Popdose, Fort Worth Weekly, The Dentonite and LA Weekly. He supports Manchester City and will never root for Manchester United.
Contact: Eric Grubbs