Family ties around music concerts
By Shaun Kernahan; photos courtesy of the Quam family
Mark and Amanda Quam’s first date was a Kenny Chesney concert, and they have been going to concerts as often as possible ever since. On one wall in their house, they created a shrine of music memorabilia – including a paper coffee cup sealed in a glass box because, “Eddie Vedder poured me a glass of wine in that cup,” beamed Amanda.
In a year where every live music show at Red Rocks, Fiddler’s Green, Hudson Gardens and many other local venues has been canceled, no one is missing live music more than the Quams. This is the first time in 15 years they did not attend the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival.
When asked who is at the top of the list to see once live music comes back, Amanda quickly said, “Twenty One Pilots at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.” While Mark simply said, “Pearl Jam … anywhere!” This is no surprise, given that the couple has seen Pearl Jam together more than 10 times at venues across the country.
The first time was at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Amanda bought Mark tickets to the show, and they jumped on a plane to see Band of Horses, who opened for the headlining Pearl Jam. They have been hooked ever since – from Wrigley Field in Chicago to Fenway Park in Boston, where Vedder poured Amanda that glass of wine.
The Quams have been to Las Vegas for Lady Gaga and Los Angeles for a Chris Cornell tribute show. It was when they were in Austin for The Bright Light Social Hour that they found their way backstage to hang out with the band and the band’s parents. Amanda will jump at the opportunity to tell you about the time she attended Dave Grohl’s bachelor party since the two have a mutual friend. You can catch Mark rolling his eyes as she tells the story.
Mark and Amanda have four kids, Eddie (not named after Eddie Vedder somewhat surprisingly), Sydney, Cooper and Palmer, who have been going to Blues and Brews ever since they were babies. The entire family is into music. It is almost always playing in the house and the kids go to nearly every show with Mark and Amanda, because, “Why not raise rad kids?”