Sam Paquette


Katie Cashman, staff writer

Many know Sam Paquette as ‘the kid who’s at every concert.’ This is pretty much true–he has been to over 200 concerts since since first seeing Eric Clapton in eighth grade, and he has the t-shirts to prove it. “After that concert I just decided to love music,” said Paquette.

Since then, Sam has enjoyed all types of concerts from big productions at the Xcel, to small venues like First Avenue, and most of all, outdoor festivals like Basilica Block Party and Summerfest. “I like concerts because of the energy–everyone’s there for the same reason–the music,” said Paquette.

Being short has not worked as an advantage for Paquette at concerts; he has to fight to get to the front of the crowd in order to see. Once at an Atmosphere concert, he and some friends stole an “Atmosphere” banner and used it to convince people they they were authorized to be on the front row. Paquette also learned that being in the front row is not always the safest spot when things got violent at an Avenged Sevenfold concert. “I ended up getting smashed into the fence and breaking some ribs,” said Paquette.

Following Paquette’s first Eric Clapton concert, he began to play guitar as well, saving up for two summers to buy a $2000 dollar guitar modeled after Clapton’s; he also owns the same acoustic guitar as Jack Johnson. “Eric Clapton is definitely my inspiration,” said Paquette.

Since the age of thirteen, Paquette has practiced and mastered the guitar, sometimes he even visits a recording studio to play. Friends of Paquette’s say that he plays shows at The Depot in Hopkins sometimes but he is humble and never tells any friends to come. “I’ve never heard him perform because he never tells any of us,” said senior Jake Stewart, a friend of Paquette’s.

His favorite band is O.A.R. but Paquette also loves underground hip-hop and really enjoys every type of music–he has even grown to like country music since working at Toby Keith’s Bar and Grill. He got to meet the various country music artists that came to play, such as Uncle Kraker, while also making money, but he quit after about six months because the job was so stressful. “This summer I’m going to work for my dad to pay for concerts and stuff,” said Paquette.

Paquette plans to attend Minnesota State University, Mankato next year to study music business and production, but his dream job would be to use his guitar playing skills to play in a band. “I’m excited to be on my own and start something I’ll get to do for the rest of my life,” said Paquette.

Mankato seemed like the right fit because it’s a big school of about 14,000 students, and because it’s far enough to feel away from parents, but still close to home. Paquette can see himself studying abroad somewhere–maybe Ireland–but plans to live in Minnesota for the rest of his life. “I like it here, I don’t think I’ll leave,” said Paquette.