milhouseNederlander Concert’s Eric Milhouse began his music industry career stuffing punk show flyers between windshields and wiper blades, thinking he had won the “job lottery.”

“All I had to do was hand out flyers and I could go to the shows for free? I was in heaven,” Milhouse told Amplify.

It was Milhouse’s love for live music that pushed him to ask for that first job at the Barn at University of California, Riverside. In 1993, Milhouse first met Bill Fold, the head of 98 Posse, who gave him the flyer job. His duties increased when Goldenvoice’s Paul Tollett took notice of the work he was doing in the Inland Empire.

“Before I knew it, I was in charge of passing out flyers for all GV and 98 Posse shows in Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Inland Empire. And I was getting to see and work shows, not just little shows either, I was getting to see something bigger happen,” he said. “Festivals were blowing up, and I was fortunate enough to be a part of Coachella since it began in 1999.”

A few years later, Milhouse became the General Manager of the Glass House in Pomona, Calif. then worked as the National Talent Buyer for legendary 600-cap venue Belly Up in San Diego.

“I feel very fortunate for being able to do this for as long as I have, and lucky to have learned and received lifelong lessons from my mentors in the business: Bill Fold, Perry Tollett, Paul Tollett, Chris Goldsmith, Steve Goldberg, Phil Berkovitz, and now Alex Hodges,” Milhouse said.

Milhouse has taken all of that experience, from the bottom up, and put it into his current role as Director of Talent for Nederlander Concerts in California and also collaborates with Paragon Presents, a partnership with Paul Thorton’s TAG Presents, to promote events at the Statesman Skyline Theater and The Belmont in Austin, Texas.

Amplify caught up with Milhouse to hear about the five best shows he’s seen throughout his career.

Fugazi /w Blonde Redhead at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles

Nov. 8+9 1995

I don’t remember if I paid for a ticket, I think I must have, because Fugazi shows were always under $10. I remember being blown away by the stage setup. I had never seen anything “artistically” done in regards to show production. They had VERY minimal lighting — I think all they had was two or three lamps that you would put in your house. The stage looked like a living room. Fugazi made the biggest impact on me musically, it was one of the only times I was able to see them, the other was at the Glass House in Pomona in 1999.  I remember the Shrine feeling so big.

Rage Against the Machine at UC Barn in Riverside, Calif.

June 11, 1995

I saw too many great shows at the Barn and this one seemed to have the most impact on me. I remember it being so hot inside the 300-capacity venue, the walls were sweating. The energy inside that room was unlike anything I’ve ever seen at a show to this day. It was scary and great, all wrapped into one. I will never forget it.

The Roots and Friends at House of Blues Sunset in Los Angeles

 Feb. 27, 2003

Hip-hop has made as big of an impact on me as punk rock has. Both genres of music are so similar with their rebellious expression – often times speaking out against the same types of injustices. The Roots were the first hip-hop group that I saw with a live band, which was such a new thing.

The show was running late (in true hip-hop fashion) so late that I thought the show was going to get canceled. People were uneasy. The lights went off, and all you could hear was this cow bell being beat on up in the balcony. It was Questlove, and he was in the crowd, walking through the venue, playing a beat on a cowbell, making his way to stage. Once on stage, each band member came out one by one and started to play along with the beat, which had to have taken at least 10 or so minutes, until Blackthought made it out. The energy from the crowd was incredible, and it was one of those nights that just got better and better. They brought out so many special guests, like Common and Mos Def. I was blown away.

Daft Punk at Coachella in Indio, Calif.

April 29, 2006

Most everyone has read, or seen footage about this show. I feel so incredibly lucky to have experienced this one in person at Coachella (which was sometimes hard to do while working). In my entire career, I don’t think I ever witnessed a higher level of anticipation from a crowd than what happened at this show. There were so many people ready to see them, spilling out of all sides of the tent. It was the most chilling, religious experience that I’ve felt while being at a show. When they started, it felt like the earth was bouncing from all of the people jumping. And I was completely sober.

D’Angelo at Club Nokia In Los Angeles

June 8, 2015

There were many skeptical people in the crowd for this sold-out show. D’Angelo was out of the spotlight for so long and everyone wondered if he would be able live up to the level that he’d set 14 years prior. I was lucky that he didn’t disappoint at all. He knocked it out of the park, and he knew it. You could see it on the smile he tried to hide between every song. It’s so great when everything goes as planned – and you get to be there as a fan.

Taylor Mims

Taylor Mims

News Editor at Amplify
Taylor Mims is Amplify's News Editor. She is a Los Angeles native and received her Masters in Creative Writing from Cal State Long Beach.
Taylor Mims