My Son's First Concert

The Very Best of Steely Dan: Reelin' In the Years
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When my husband suggested we take our 12-year old son to see Steely Dan, live, in concert, I tried to gently suggest it might be a bad idea.

“He’ll love it,” Hubby insisted, in that clueless way that husbands sometimes insist on things.

What Hubby really meant was: “I want to see Steely Dan in concert.”

We were not trying to punish our son, but to a child who has a strong preference for techno, I’m pretty sure three hours with Donald Fagen and Walter Becker felt like something akin to water-boarding.

Here is the way the night played out in numbers:

6. PM: the time we left our house so we would get “good” parking.

10. Dollars spent so we could park as close to the exit as humanly possible.

22. Minutes spent in the bathroom for Break #1. This is where Monkey first learned that women’s lines really are 3 times slower than men’s.

30. The difference in the number of years between Monkey’s age and the age of the average concert goer.

5. Dollars spent for a sleeve of kettle corn in an attempt to distract Monkey from noticing the balding men and folks in wheelchairs toting oxygen tanks.

8. PM: The time Steely Dan was supposed to start playing. Except they didn’t. The opening band was a whacked-out jazz ensemble featuring a bass guitar, a drummer and an organist.

2. Number of songs Monkey sat through before he decided he needed to go to the bathroom.


87. Degrees Fahrenheit outside as people filed in under the shell to take their seats.

9. PM. The time Steely Dan actually started their show. Monkey and I were in the bathroom, so we missed the beginning of the opening number. We returned to our seats where Hubby  pointed to the four vacant seats in front of us. “Awesome!” he shouted, sticking his thumbs up.

Our "awesome view" of the man in front of us.

Suddenly, the incarnation of Andre the Giant arrived and sat right in front of us. He was 8 feet tall, and his head was bowling bowl big. His cranium completely eclipsed our view.

Oh, and Andre brought his wife Chatty McChatter and her friend Ima B. Talkintoo.

Monkey tolerated 3 more songs before he asked to go to the bathroom.


Once outside, my boy confessed he didn’t like the music. The lights were too bright. He couldn’t see anything. He was getting a headache from the people in front of us who wouldn’t stop talking. I suggested we go to the darkest, blackest, most deserted corner of the lawn and lie down on the grass. I rubbed my son’s hair, which had grown long. I looked at the clouds which appeared gray in the night sky.

“Sixty-three!” said Monkey.

“What?” I asked.

“I counted 63 people playing with their phones.” And he was right. Everywhere I looked, people’s phones flickered like little rectangular fireflies as folks plugged into their favorite apps. The sight actually made me a little sad. I mean, I remember going to concerts and really watching. Really listening.

Monkey sniffed the air a few times which smelled like freshly cut grass – if your lawn was a giant field of green, sticky-bud marijuana.

“What is that stink?” my boy asked.

So while Hubby enjoyed the music, I got to school our child about marijuana. And concerts. And how they sometimes go together. Monkey looked for the source of the smell and found we were surrounded. Monkey announced he did not like the smell. I told him he did not have to. That smoking pot was not a requirement for going to concerts.

As the show wound down, Steely Dan played “Dirty Work,” a personal favorite of mine.

When the song ended, Monkey didn’t clap.

“It would be fake clapping.”

On the way home, Hubby asked if there was one thing about the concert that Monkey had liked.

“Having it end,” our son said unapologetically and fell asleep in the backseat.

Monkey will probably not remember his first concert. He will more likely remember the 16 mosquito bites he acquired from lying on the lawn without a blanket.

It’s okay; he has a whole lifetime to see concerts by musicians he really likes; to laugh in the darkness with friends; to cuddle on a blanket with someone he cares about and smooch while a fabulous song plays in the background.

On an up-note, I’m thinking that the number of times Hubby will question my judgment about things like this in the future: 0.

What was your first concert? Do you remember who you saw? What else do you remember about the experience? Or what was the worst show you ever attended? How underwhelmed were you? Explain.

74 thoughts on “My Son's First Concert

  1. I know I went to a few concerts with my parents during my younger years. I think we saw Donny & Marie at the NYS Fair. I’m pretty sure I blocked most of it out.

    When I was 15 I really wanted to see The Kinks with my friends, but my parents stayed firm and would not let me go to a concert alone until I was 16.

    So, six months later, when CSN was playing in Rochester, NY, I was there. My parents, who were so strict about not letting me see the in-town concert with my friends earlier that year, happily sent me from Syracuse to Rochester for my first concert.

    I stayed with a camp-friend in Rochester for the weekend. We went to the concert with 2 other friends and had an incredible time. I do remember that distinctive sweet, smokey smell, as well. That smell seemed to be a factor at most of the concerts I attended. I’m not sure what that says about my music choices, but I have no regrets.

    I’m curious to know what Monkey’s “real” first concert will be. Keep us posted!

    1. Larisa: I’m guessing Donnie & Marie was a sweet show.

      My first show was Andy Gibb. I think I cried when he played “Love is Thicker Than Water”

      And I was in 4th grade. I think. And, yes, people were passing joints down the aisle. At Andy Gibb. And I was terrified and I thought I would die, but I just passed it along and it was fine.

      He was so pretty.

      1. My first concert was “The Jacksons” at the War Memorial in Syracuse circa 1979. I went with my friends Phyllis and Marla and I remember Marla and singing to a bunch of the songs. One thing that stands out: as we were enjoying the music, Phyllis pointed to a long-haired bearded man sitting in the stairwell and pipes up “Do you know what he’s doing? He’s smoking marijuana!” We all gasped in horror as we were sheltered 12 year olds from the suburbs, never having witnessed such an “occurrence” before!

  2. I adore that your kid said: “It would be fake clapping.”

    Keep it real, little man.

    My monkey will not remember his first concert, because it was in utero. He danced around in my belly at a Ben Folds concert. He may not remember it, but he still loves Ben Folds, so I guess he enjoyed it 🙂

  3. My two very first concerts, which I was dragged to with my parents, and which I don’t remember were Three Dog Night and Bob Seger. I don’t recall but I probably complained throughout like your son did. My very first concert attended on my own was the Cars, around 1984-85. Great show, but they basically did nothing but stand there and play there songs. Very little dialogue. Soon after that I saw the Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt no nukes concert at Madison Square Garden. Freakin’ awesome show! My mom went with me! Jackson Browne is my fav and I have seen him more than anyone else. The last concert I attended was the Motley Crue/Poison tour just a few weeks ago. Good show, but like what you saw, lots of oldies there!

    1. “Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt no nukes concert at Madison Square Garden.”


      I heart Jackson Brown. And JT. And Crosby, Stills & Nash. With or without Young, to which Larisa alluded above.

      I would totally go to a show with you, Cowboy. 😉

      1. Hey Renee, are you near Rochester NY? Somehow I think that. I was just looking at the Jackson Browne tour schedule – he is going to be in your neighborhood Sept. 30th. Auditorium Theatre – Rochester. Just FYI. He’s in Michigan for a couple shows as well but I can’t make it. WAAAAHHH! If you live in like California or something just disregard this! 🙂

  4. You are paying a huge and unnecessary price for your pedestrian tastes. Let me lift the veil from your eyes. Read my virtual lips: RPO. Introduce Monkey to Mozart. Parking is easy. There is seldom a huge crowd (alas).
    The seats are comfy. No corn dogs, but beer at intermission. A much classier bald head in front of you, most evenings. The lines in the men’s room can be a bit long with all those enlarged prostates or no prostates at all.

    1. Many years ago, I tried to look all fancy to attend the symphony and I wore one of my grandmother’s fur coats. (Every ten years or so, I would try it on and decide, “Nope, I’m still not old enough.”) Well, it was winter and I decided to go with it. Because it was freeeezing.

      I swear to you, everyone was staring at me.

      I felt like I must have looked: like a little girl playing dress-up.

      I sold the coat.

      And now I only attend the RPO in the summer.

      Agreed, they are fabulous.

      But if you think the lines in the men’s rooms are long, honey, you ain’t never seen anything like the lines in the women’s rooms!

      1. I have noted the lines by the women’s rooms at Kodak Hall but did not want to open myself to derision by commenting. We men do have the advantage of being able to pee in the sink but that is only at Steely Dan events and at establishments with neon signs and Happy Hours. It is frowned upon by lovers of the classics.

        By the way, everyone stares at me , too, when I wear my grandmother’s fur coat to the RPO. Must be the PETA crowd. Yeah, that’s it.

  5. Next time you’re going to see Steely Dan, leave Monkey at home and bring me instead!

    My first concert was a Peter, Paul, and Mary revival or something like that. No, I don’t remember it. At all.

    The first concert I remember (not counting my band concerts and/or my parents band’s concerts) was James Taylor. I saw him with my parents when I was like 6 or 7. I saw him again 10 years later. What an awesome show that was. Me and two hot chicks hanging out under the stars listening to James at S.P.A.C.

    The best concert I’ve ever been to was when I took my brother to see Dave Matthews Band for the last show of the year. It was just after my birthday and the band did Christmas Song, which is a favorite of mine, but one I had never heard played because I’d only seen them in the summer. I can’t wait to take my kids to their first concert. They love music (good music, none of this Justin Beiber crap), and I know it will be a memorable experience for them.

    1. Eric:

      I so wanted to take Monkey to see JT. He knows all his songs; I’ve only been singing them to him for his entire life! Alas, Sweet Baby James did not make his way over here this summer and we couldn’t make it to Lennox, MA in August. That would have been a show for Monkey to remember. Your parents were thinking. Also, I don’t know how old you are, but I have seen J.T. many times at S.P.A.C. so chances are I was there when you were. Just sayin’.

      I’d love to see Dave Matthews. I understand he does a great show.

  6. I just love this, Renee! Get ready for this one! The first real concert that my mother took me to was Liberace! I was eight. In the middle of the concert he came up into the audience and, probably because my brother and I were the only kids there, shook our hands and let us look at his fancy rings. I didn’t mind the music and I loved the flamboyance of the experience.

    My first actual “cool” concert was Aerosmith. This was way back in the 80’s before Steven Tyler morphed into a 60 year-old woman with bad plastic surgery! 🙂

  7. These comments are old and you actually wanted to see those bands? Ouch! Steely Dan? Poor kid. Yes, further terrorize the youngster and take him to see the symphony, by all means! I make no comments on this generations ‘crap’, nor compare it to my ‘good music’. It is, after all, a generational thing. I am allowed some freedom to be crabby, I had to see Bruno Mars and Big Time Rush this year! (nice article!)

    1. David!

      Whaaaat? I absolutely love Bruno Mars! He is probably one of the most talented humans out there. He REALLY writes AND performs. What are you talking about? And Hubby was at Rush. He LOVED it. Like I thought he would never stop talking about it. “They played for hours and they played everything! And they still sound just like they did in the ’80s.”

      If you’d like to toss in the link to your article, feel free. Some folks might want to jump over and read your “professional opinion.”

      Including me!

      1. Must chime in and hip you to the fact that Big Time Rush is in no way related to Rush, the best power trio on the planet and my favorite band of all time. Consider yourself blessed that since monkey is a boy, you are spared from this latest installment in kid-shows-about-fake-bands-that-turn-into-real-bands-and-tour. Next time hubby goes to Rush though, you should go with. They rule. Also? No line for the ladies room. I am not lying.

  8. This was so hilarious!! I loved how the mom is always right. Right?! I loved, “5. Dollars spent for a sleeve of kettle corn in an attempt to distract Monkey from noticing the balding men and folks in wheelchairs toting oxygen tanks.” Steely Dan is one of my faves too! I guess I am dating myself! Hahaha!

    The first concert I ever went to….I won tickets to the “Battle of the Bands” and my GRANDMA took me, my sister, and 2 friends. I remember a hotdog eating contest too….What???

    1. Thank you Susie for getting back to the real point. To quote The Grateful Dead: “That’s right, the women are smarter.” Sheesh.

      Battle of the Bands, eh? Can you name ONE band? Or was it pretty much all about the hot dogs?

  9. OK…I’m chiming in again. On the way to work this morning they had a radio contest. They played a clip of a celebrity saying: My very first concert was The Beach Boys.” You needed to guess who the celebrity was. It was John Stamos (in case you didn’t already guess.) So…do you think Stamos (aka Blackie…aka Uncle Jessie) reads your blog???

    You should have sent Monkey down to FL to see James Taylor & Carole King with me & my bro. He would have loved it! And Stu and I wouldn’t have been the youngest ones there!

      1. It really was awesome. Three (3) encores!! Plus there was a little less pot than there was at the outdoor James Taylor concert at Sunfest a few years ago. Also went with Stu. I guess we do sibling bonding with JT. All I remember is about 1/2 hour in to that concert Stu looked at me and said: “Doobie.” Stangely, that show was more of a mix of concert-goers. Everyone from Boomers in their 60s to families with young kids. JT transcends generations.

  10. Ha! Great story. The “Ima B. Talkintoo” really made me giggle.

    I still go to a lot of concerts with my mom. The first was Paula Abdul when I was 9 – I loved it! After that I didn’t go to another one until I was 15 – James Taylor and then John Denver (saw him just one month before he died; I’m so glad I did). I still have a deep love for the music I was raised on – even though I spent many years denying it. So don’t tease your son if you see him sneak a Steely Dan song onto his iPod 😉

    1. You. Saw. Paula. Abdul?!

      Oh snap!

      That must have been a good show. Did she sing “Cold-Hearted”? That song was the best! Honestly, I can’t remember any other songs — so maybe not so great in terms of music, but I’m guessing her moves were smoooooth. 😉

  11. I was going to say my first concert (of a real band and not just some local high school kids who called themselves “Fatal Strike” playing one night in the auditorium) was the B-52s my first year of college. But I would be wrong. My parents were most decidedly NOT concert goers and they were very strict, so I never went to concerts in high school. This is the reason that I almost forgot that my first concert was when one of my sisters and I went to visit our other sister in Florida during Winter recess in my junior year of high school. Astride lives in Jax but Ana and I had taken a little side trip down to Orlando to go to Epcot and while we were there, we saw that Luciano Pavarotti was going to be at the Civic Center that night. I can’t remember if it was New Year’s Eve or the night before. Anyway, we went to the concierge for tickets. She thought Pavarotti was some new boy band. After the apoplexy settled down, we told her that he was the greatest living opera singer and we simply had to get tickets. We got tickets. Nosebleed seats, but we were there. It was amazing and I loved every second of it. That was the first but not the last time I saw Pavarotti perform live and it was never disappointing. I was there when he did “Nessun Dorma” as his last encore during the free concert in Central Park he did in 1994 and that still gives me chills just thinking about it!

    The most underwhelming concert I’ve been to is probably Fleetwood Mac, but even that wasn’t bad. As I’m thinking of this, I really haven’t been to many concerts but I’ve been lucky enough that the few I did attend have been excellent. I’m hoping that stays true because tomorrow night, in fact, the Smithereens are playing at a local grange fair and I’m planning on being there. Yes, some would say that it’s sad to see the Smithereens playing on the same stage that will feature Chase’s Racing Pigs (I’m not kidding) but I don’t care. I luuuurhve the Smithereens. I saw them in college and they were great. And piglets are damn cute, anyway 😉

    1. Okay, Leonore, I’m trying to breathe… you did not love Fleetwood Mac?


      I just saw them, and they are all old and they were still amazing. Well, kinda. And yes, everyone in the audience was over 40. Except for the people who were over 50 and brought their 20-something year old kids. But I digress.

      You saw the B-52’s? That must have been a fun show! I would love to really scream, “Your tin roof. Rusted!” with the band! Would also like to “Rock Lobster” properly.

      I am not surprised that you love Pavarotti. You and Steve Hess would get along like two peas in a pod.

      1. I like Fleetwood Mal just fine, and the concert was fun – it was probably just the least memorable. Well, them and Bad English, though that was perhaps slightly more memorable because I thought Tom Waits was pretty cute and Mac Fleetwood really doesn’t do much for me 😉

        The B-52s were awesome. I actually saw them twice. The second time, some people in the back were fighting and starting to push the entire crowd forward (it was an outdoor concert). They stopped playing, Fred Schneider stamped his foot and yelled, “Hey! We’re here to party, not fight! We won’t sing again until y’all stop it out there!” They stopped fighting and then the band started playing again. They were so much fun! I’ve loved them since I was a little girl listening to Rock Lobster on my sister’s turntable 🙂

        Oh my god, I just found this on YouTube. Witnessing this was one of the greatest thrills of my life.

      2. I don’t know why I always think it was 1994. The concert was in 93. I’m bad at remembering what year it was when stuff happened to me 🙂

  12. My first real concert was Rolling Stones in 1981 at the worst place ever to see a concert — the Carrier Dome. I think I went with a friend and my parents sat a couple rows behind us. I was so cool.

    I have tried to explain to my kids how cool it was to sleep out for tickets (pre-internet) at the dome or at the Ticketmaster outlet in the basement of Shoppingtown Mall.

    I took my kids to Green Day (having already seen American Idiot on Broadway with them) for their first show in lovely Camden, New Jersey. Not counting seeing Taj Mahal in a Landmark Theatre type place. It was awesome. They loved it, I loved it. Can’t wait for more.

    Foo Fighters up next.

    If its worth listening to — Its worth listening to LOUD!!!

    Hope you dont have to censor me this time!!!!!!

  13. Great post. I might have felt like Monkey too if I were there.

    My older sister and future brother-in-law brought me to Genesis when I was a wee thing.

    Then they brought me to Bryan Adams later.

    I lined up for 9 hours to get tickets to John Cougar Mellencamp. He may have lost the Mellencamp by then.

    And there was Tears for Fears.

    And others.

    Wow. I just went back to the 80s!

    1. I saw Genesis many times. I love Phil and Peter.

      That’s why I feel I can call them Phil and Peter.

      Wait, are you saying you didn’t dig Genesis? Have we found the one place where we are not compatible? I… I… I’m not sure what to do with this information.

      I could do without Bryan Adams. (Yawnsville.)

  14. Ima B. TalkinToo…oh my GAWD, Renee…I had to come back to read the rest of this post because that made me laugh so hard.

    Got to “Having it end” be your son’s fave part and had to walk away all over again, for the laughing.

    I love this post. Will love it more when I’m done reading it, which I’m off to do right now…

    1. I love you, too, Liz. I’m sorry I’ve been a bad commenter lately. *hangs head* Everything goes to pot when I’m back at school. I don’t mean I’m smoking pot. I just mean… oh, you know what I mean. 😉

      Thanks for laughing.

  15. I’m with Liz, I may have snorted red wine with Ima B. TalkinToo
    And pretty much my son would’ve said the same thing about having the concert end.
    So funny!

    1. Thanks Elena. It’s funnier now that some time has passed.

      If I were a faster blogger, I would have gotten this post up before school started.

      Technically it is still summer though, so I feel it is that gray area where it kind of works.

      Sort of. 😉

  16. Time to date myself- it was David Cassidy. I was 9 and went with my mother and my brothers. Yes. Really. My mother stuffed kleenex in my ears to protect my hearing which later had to be removed by a doctor because she pushed it too far into my ear canal. Again, yes. Really.

    I loved your description of the people in front of you- and a photo!! That guy looks scary. Why go to a concert if you’re going to talk? Yikes.

    Love stopping by to see what’s going on. I just included you in my Versatile Bloggers list of blogs I love. Stop by if you want to participate!

  17. I went to very few. All the unpleasantries you describe and more ruined everything. It seemed very few came for the music and the camaraderie that people of the 60’s were supposed to share re the revolutionary times. They were too messed up on stuff.

    1. Carl, I thought everyone was all about “peace, love and happiness” at shows in the 1960s. Are you trying to rock my world? Oh, and just so you know, at certain shows, some people are still plenty messed up “on stuff.”

      And at other shows, people are just messed up!

  18. First concert: Janis Joplin outdoors at Forest Park. I wasn’t terribly fond of her, but she was kind of an endearing lady. Her outfit was the wildest thing I’d ever seen.

    I saw many concerts in my day including Jimmie Hendrix. The worst concert was a Canned Heat/Crow double header. I’m certain the bands were quite good, but I rode in the very back of an old Studebaker station wagon on the way to the show, and breathed a bit too much carbon monoxide. To add insult to injury, we took acid laced with speed. I’m told I vomited all over some folks in front of us, but my friends were too loaded to have the good sense to get me out of there. It was a bummer both literally and figuratively but it was also the last time I experimented with THAT drug.

    ***Full apologies offered if any of your readers were in the row ahead of me at that concert about four decades ago. I’m certain they are only just now recovering. ;}

    1. Oh Teresa:

      Nothing worse than a bad trip than a bad trip WITH barf. Egads. Someday when we meet — because someday we WILL have to meet — we will lie in a field and you will have to tell me about Janis and Jimmy and the Studebaker. With a lot more detail.

      I love that you are the real deal, ladybug. I so wish you had a blog. I would read about all your adventures. *sigh*

  19. I love envisioning everything you’ve described. There’s such a sweetness to the evening you narrate, despite the grumbles it encompasses.

    My mom took me to a lot of concerts I didn’t enjoy. Most of these were the sort where I, too, became acquainted with the smell of pot.

    I believe my first “real” concert was a blind date who drove me up to Portland for a Sarah McLachlan show. This was before I liked Sarah McLachlan, so I was underwhelmed, but I was delighted by the chance to escape (briefly) from Eugene.

    Not too much later, I thrilled my sister by taking her to Tina Turner and Joe Cocker in Portland. Just remembering it makes me feel like dancing!

  20. I found your story to be very funny and entertaining. I’ve been to a concert with my mother as well. Last year she had a business trip, and we had tickets to go see Rob Thomas in a private concert in Boston. Even though it was all business people, and I was the youngest person there too, I really enjoyed it a lot. We were in the first row of the balcony so there were no bald-headed guys in our view.

      1. Rob Thomas is the lead singer from Matchbox 20. He also sings solo. You may remember the song “Smooth” he sang with Carlos Santana. You’re right. Rob Thomas isn’t very old, but the crowd he sang to was very old. It was at a business conference, and he put on a private show for an insurance company.

  21. Very entertaining post–thanks! Loved pic and description of Andre and his gals.
    Three concerts sprang to mind–all in the swingin’ ’60s and early ’70s. First, Gorden Lightfoot at college; my memory is of him stopping in mid-song to yell, “Shut the f*@#!ing door!” as kids were rudely going in and out for God knows what.
    The second one was Jr Walker & the All Stars in Fla on the way back from Spring Break (the ride was $5 one way in a car with bald tires). Awesome saxophonist!
    The third was Santana in Saratoga–great music, and he still is one of the best guitarists around, in my opinion.

    1. I have been to shows where the musicians yell at the crowd. It’s kind of a buzz-kill. Once, at SPAC, some band left the stage because people kept trying to get onto the stage.

      It made me wish for the days of The Dead when Jerry and the guys didn’t care how many pictures (or how much audio) people took. They just wanted to play.

      And ‘shroom. Or something.

  22. This is almost embarrassing to admit: My first concert was New Kids on the Block! I went with my older sister and her friends, all of us dressed head to toe in our local popular radio station’s garb in hopes of winning backstage passes. Little did we know that we’d be seated a near mile from the stage.

    The first concert I went gaga/crazy featured the Indigo Girls. I burst into tears when they started singing; I’d memorized every one of their songs.

    Thanks for the terrific post and the fond and funny memories it inspired!

    1. Hi August! NKOTB! You know you love this; you know, when they sounded like little girls.

      The Indigo Girls would be a fantastic show. Look how far you’ve come. So Beiber fans: we all have faith your musical taste will develop. It just takes time. 😉

  23. So sorry Monkey didn’t have a good first experience. I, however, read through the post humming Reelin’ in the Years. I will probably have that song stuck in my head for the rest of the week…or at least I hope so! As for the pot smell, really people? If I smoked pot at my age, I’d end up eating from every vendor in sight, and looking at my thighs with disgust the next morning. Great post, and yes, husbands need to head wifely advice more often!

  24. Great post. I think it’s hilarious that your husband thought Monkey would love it. My first concert was the Billy Idol Rebel Yell tour when I was 12. I had an 8th row ticket and snuck my sister and her friend down with me because I was by myself and their seats were in the nosebleeds. Some guy kept grabbing my ass on the way out. Second concert was later that year, Ronnie James Dio the Last in Line tour. I kind of can’t believe my mom let me go to these.

  25. My first concert was Cheap Trick. I screamed “I want you to want me” so loudly I lost my voice.

    But back then there were no iPhones to record the embarrassment.

    The same cannot be said of my performance at the Weezer concert a couple of weeks ago.

    There is evidence that I may have been singing. A lot.


    1. I loved Cheap Trick. I actually had a weird fantasy involving the lead singer. I thought we were psychically connected so every time “Dream Police” came on MTV, I swore he was singing to me.

      He might have been, right?

      Trade you video of me in my bikini doing a flip off the diving board for some of you singing at Weezer. At private email accounts. What do you say? 😉

  26. Oh my, how this topic divides along generational lines. My first “concert” was a classical piano performance by my pianist father in, say, 1945. Shortly thereafter I was treated to a ballet performance by my prima ballerina aunt of a fairytale (“Sleeping Beauty”, I think). These were in Germany, and my father played for decades. The best part was that he practiced at home, so I’d go to sleep every night with his piano pieces.

    Fast-forward to my grown-up years, and at 8 months pregnant we went to see the Mamas and the Papas performing in a nightclub in Georgetown, Washington, DC, with Ma Cass Elliot making some friendly remarks about how I represented two fans. As it happened, my son did end up in the music business, and he knows all about your kind of concerts, since he’s the stage manager for the Commodores.

    Eventually my husband and I did take in some “concerts”, namely Roger Whittaker, Yanni, and Googoosh. Ha, gotcha. For Yanni we sat on the grass in the wide-open fields of the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Virginia, and it was magic. None of these seemed to have wafts of stinky smoke… not that kind of a crowd. Oh, and then there were the concerts at the Shiraz Festival of the Arts (Iran, vintage 1978), to which other countries sent their most avant garde cultural representatives in music, art, theatre and dance. Some of the acts might have been singlehandedly responsible for the fall of the Shah.

    Somehow, I never developed a predeliction for the jostling of huge crowds, noise, blinding lights, head-splitting amplifiers, and screaming fans. Somehow that whole scene passed me by. I was culturally innocent of all disco, rock, metal, and other “bands”. Decades later I learned to sort of like the Beatles, selectively appreciated Pink Floyd (from the safe distance of home music equipment), and love jazz, reggae, big band sounds (OK, the ballroom dancing kind), and electronic “space” music.

    A few months ago we attended a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic at the Meyerhoff Theater in Baltimore, a mostly Strauss program.

    The closest to the kinds of “concerts” y’all are nostalgic about was also at the Meyerhoff (fantastic acoustics), and I treated my sci-fi and fantasy friends: “Final Fantasy” I through XIV by composer Nobuo Uematsu, performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Arnie Roth. The greatest thing about it was that there was an Anime convention going on across the street, and about 10,000 fans packed into the hall, in full costume. There may have been some wafts of burned-cabbage aroma…

    This is the full inventory of my concert experiences over 6 decades. Who knows what the next 6 decades will bring?

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