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Waiting in Line for my First Rock Concert: Journey The Escape Tour

Updated on November 13, 2014

Journey Escape Album


The Journey Escape album was by far the most popular Journey LP of their entire career. It was 1981 and the highlight of great band tours. People waited in line for not hours, but days to get a ticket.


No one waits in an actual line to buy concert tickets anymore, yet that was part of the whole concert experience. The internet has taken the quest, the anticipation, the excitement of physical "tickets" away from generations of young music fans.

The date was October 8, 1981, the place the Hartford Civic Center, the classic rock band was Journey, and they were in their prime. Journey was my first concert experience, I had the Journey Escape Album, went to the concert and bought the concert t-shirt. It was an experience I will never forget.

We left right after school to the Ticketmaster location to be first in line for the Journey Escape tour the next morning. But we were not the first in line and had a long journey ahead of us.

Skipping School for Tickets

Tickets went on sale at 8:00 am the next morning, in order to obtain these highly coveted seats kids either had to miss (skip) school, or convince their parents to stand in line for them. My Mom wasn't that cool. Teachers had been hearing rumors for over a week about plans and anticipated empty classrooms.

An actual announcement was made over the intercom that absences the next day would NOT be excused without a Doctors note from your parents.

My Mom actually let me skip school and gave me a Doctors note as an excuse. You could of pushed me over with a feather. My teachers were not suspicious because I was an honor roll student, never caused any trouble so I actually got away with it.

Waiting in a Concert Line

When we arrived at the small ticket location my friend and I were disappointed we weren't the first people there. There were already over 100 diehard Journey fans in front of us. Even so, we figured we would get good seats. Little did we know.

We stood, sat and huddled in a sleeping bags, all night. We played cards to pass the time, we brought our cassette player and blasted Journey music until the batteries died and it made Steve Perry sound strange. We made deals with others on trading trips to the bathroom.

Gradually I saw other kids from my high school show up, they stared at me in disbelief as if they couldn't believe the wallflower, the nerd, the "square" was skipping school and in line ahead of them. I felt like I was part of the cool crowd and stood a little taller.

Eight o'clock, everyone is pumped, first concert, sold out in less than 30 minutes, our line hadn't moved!. (We weren't the only ticket location in Connecticut) 2nd concert sold out and hour later, still don't have my ticket.

Some people left the line, only two concerts had been announced. People started leaving, but we had heard rumors down the line that a third concert might be possible.

Waiting, waiting, 3rd concert announced. Wahoo!!! It paid off, we didn't get the "best" seats but they weren't the worse either.

Journey was my first rock concert and I will always remember the experience and the music. I had the album and the concert T-shirt.

Songs from the Journey Escape Album

  • Don't Stop Believing (single)
  • Stone in Love (single)
  • Whos Crying Now (single)
  • Keep on Runnin'
  • Still They Ride (single)
  • Escape
  • Lay It Down
  • Dead or Alive
  • Mother Father
  • Open Arms (single)

Album Facts: Released July 31, 1981, nine time platinum record, 12 million copies sold worldwide, only Journeys Greatest Hits album has sold more copies. Classic Rock name the Journey Escape album as the 22nd Greatest rock album of all time in 2001.


I wore out my Journey Escape album, and highly anticipated the next Frontiers. Although I liked the music on the next album, it wasn't the same.


Classic, Legendary Arena Concerts

Classic rock concerts from the 1980s had screaming fans and cigarette lighters held up during ballads. Even if you didn't smoke you brought a lighter to be part of the concert experience.

Today concerts have cell phones held up, it's not the same. People try to video the concert on their phones, take selfies, tweet "I'm at the Justin Bieber concert!" and don't really experience the music and the feel of the concert. Maybe it's just a difference experience, what do you think. Tell me below

Journey: Live in Houston - The Escape Tour (1981)
Journey: Live in Houston - The Escape Tour (1981)

Go back in time to the 1980's when Journey was at their peak. Experience the live music of Journey on this DVD movie taken from their infamous 1981 concert tour.

The footage in this rock DVD was originally filmed by the fledgling new cable station MTV.

Contains Journey classics such as: Wheel in the Sky, Any Way You Want I, Lights, Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin

FEA Men's Journey Escape Men's T-Shirt
FEA Men's Journey Escape Men's T-Shirt

No concert is complete without buying the commemorative concert shirt. Before online band websites the only way you got a band t-shirt was to attend a concert. I wore out my concert shirt and I bet I still have it in my high school memory box.


The year was 1981 and Journey fever consumed the United States, they were the hottest band at the time.

Do You Remember Waiting In Line for Concerts?

See results

What Was the First Concert You Ever Attended?

Share your first concert memories here, how long did you wait in line? Was there a special memory associated with waiting in line?


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      Pcgodusa 19 months ago

      1st concert: May 1977. Saw Boston, led off by Rick Derringer! Venue: Hartford Civic Center (about 6 months before the roof actually collapsed!). Derringer was so good that night, an album was cut from it. We came to see Boston (which wasn't bad at all), but Derringer stole the night! Talk about "bringing down the house!"

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      Frisco49er 2 years ago

      I remember seeing Journey in the early 80's. I love that band, and have so many good memories driving around with my girlfriends, listening to them. But I must say, I will never go see them without Steve Perry. He put so much feeling into those songs and that is something their new singer will never be able to do.

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      Chad 2 years ago

      Me and a friend once drove 100 miles to see Journey. When we walked into the arena to get our tickets, it smelled like livestock. We had the date wrong, we were one month late. We decided against seeing the rodeo...

      My first show was Elvis about two years before he died...


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      Carol 2 years ago

      Dave Clark Five

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      Carol 2 years ago

      I remember Journey in concert with Loverboy...Nashville, TN...Awesome

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      Cathy1112ct 2 years ago

      Wow, in the late 70's my first concert was Peter Frampton, think it was the Frampton Comes Alive tour. Lol, I showed up at 10pm the previous night, was #1 in line at the box office. Front row of course...oh the memories, thank you New Haven Coliseum♥

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      tpohil80 2 years ago

      First concert was Journey in 1981 as well. 30+ years and many, many concerts later and it's still the best show I have ever seen. No tricks, no gimmicks, just pure talent and on that stage. Priceless.

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      49erGrandma 3 years ago

      I'm a bit older than you so my first experience was in 1970. I didn't wait in line because the tickets were a surprise from my boyfriend. I went to see the Pointer Sisters opening for Sly & the Family Stone. My parents didn't know I was going to a concert but rather a dance at school so I had to be home by 11:00pm. Sly hadn't even come on yet! We left during his first set and was almost two hours late! My dad was furious and I was grounded for a month! But I never regretted it.

    • Cathy Lemke profile image

      Cathy Lemke 4 years ago

      Edgar Winter is AWESOME too!, also very talented!

    • Cathy Lemke profile image

      Cathy Lemke 4 years ago

      OMG i LOOVE Journey!!!!!, Arnel Pineda is doing an AWESOME job too!,what's everyones favourite song by Journey?! mine is Open Arms!

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I remember waiting in those lines for tickets. My first concert was in 1977 and I saw Edgar Winter.

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      LisaDH 4 years ago

      I remember Journey! I never saw them in concert, but had a few of their albums. I loved reading your adventure! Your mom was pretty cool to let you skip school. Sometimes being an honor roll student has its advantages. ;-)