Live Nation’s Duc Nguyen wasn’t quite sure what field he wanted to go into when he entered college at Temple University. Growing up about an hour and a half outside of Philadelphia in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Nguyen was a music fan, but never thought of it as a career.
“I started interning at the Liacouras Center (in Philadelphia) when I was a junior in college,” Nguyen told Amplify. “My mentor at that time was John Piehuta. Internships were part of the curriculum and John did this as a favor to the assistant dean. As it turns out, he was a great boss and I learned a lot.”
Through the internship at the over 10,000-capacity venue, Nguyen saw a path forward for his career. He moved on to an internship at the Trocadero Theatre under Ned Gaudette then started interning under Jeremy Koplik at Electric Factory Concerts.
“This was the big leagues,” Nguyen said. “Jeremy showed me a lot of things that I still use today.”
Nguyen did a final internship at The Agency Group, but eventually found himself returning to talent booking.
“I didn’t really have a goal, I just fell into the music business and my first job led to talent buying,” Nguyen said. “My first job was working in the contract department. I never left and stayed in Philly.”
Nguyen now works as a talent buyer for Live Nation in Philadelphia booking shows in theaters, amphitheaters, arenas, and stadiums throughout Pennsylvania including Allentown, Wilkes-Barre, and Bethlehem. Amplify caught up with Nguyen to find out about that first show that got him hooked and four others.
Green Day at Liacouras Center in Philadelphia
Oct. 29, 2004
I was an intern at the time, but the energy and excitement in the building was unbelievable. I never felt like that when I was on the working side. I always enjoyed going to shows, but from the other side of the fence. Being able to be a part of putting that show up and having the fans go crazy was pretty cool. I am a Green Day fan. They put on a great live show and being able to put on one of their shows was great. I wanted to work in sports, but this turned me the other way.
Jay-Z at Theater of Living Arts in Philadelphia
Nov. 12, 2007
Theater of Living Arts is a small club in Philly and very rarely do you get to see one of the biggest superstars in such a small club. Given how big he is, selling out giant arenas and getting to see him in a 1,000-capacity club was really exciting. I was working to put on the event, but I got to be there just for the show. I am a Jay-Z fan, but I’m not a huge hip-hop. But he brings it to another level that everyone enjoys. He is the superstar of all superstars.
Keith Urban at Theater of Living Arts in Philadelphia
April 3, 2009
This was the first time I’ve seen him play. I knew he played arenas, but I wasn’t much of a country fan. I became a Keith Urban fan that night. When I saw him perform I was blown away by him. The show wasn’t what I imagined a country show was at the time. Since it was a small venue, it was just him on stage shredding on a guitar. The show was amazing and I found out that Keith can play the guitar like nobody’s business.
Pearl Jam at Wachovia Spectrum in Philadelphia
Oct. 31, 2009
Pearl Jam is one of my favorites and Live Nation was promoting this show. It was the last show at the iconic Wachovia Spectrum in Philly. The building was one of those historic rock buildings. It was one of those old school, last generation arena rock buildings. Pearl Jam played the last few shows there before it was torn down. It was like a going away party for that venue.
Foo Fighters at Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, New Jersey
April 29, 2003
My sister bought us tickets to go to this show as a birthday present. We hadn’t seen each other in a while. At that time she was working for the government, so she always lived on ships doing research. I got to see her maybe twice a year. She bought the tickets because I was a big fan and they were going to be in town when she was in town. I always love going to see Dave and the band, but it was extra special since my sister was around.