Do I really want to brave the Interstate and fight the crowd at the Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheatre? Do I really want to spend 6 hours with every angst ridden Emo (new word for me, apologies to Emos everywhere if I have misused it) in the Metro area? Do I really want to explain what that smell is? Do I really want to subject my eardrums to the cacophony that will render me deaf for several days thereafter?
No. I do not.
Even when I was a teenager, I only went to concerts because it was cool. Truthfully, I do not enjoy concerts for concerts' sake. There have been exceptions, of course.
The Police were simply phenomenal. I was overwhelmed at being in their presence, even if they were ¾ of an inch high from my vantage point. The music was incredible and the vibe in the audience was one of complete reverence.
Billy Joel and Elton John played together the year I got pregnant with my first child and I went grudgingly because my boss had box seats at the Omni and a dear friend was a huge, huge fan of both performers. It was by far one of the best, if not actually the best concert I have ever, ever seen. There was such energy, such euphoria. And since most of the concert goers were my age or older, we didn’t have to put up with a lot of teenage nonsense.
INXS was one of my first concerts and I remember everything about it. They played Summerfest in Milwaukee. They took the stage twice, but never actually got to play an entire song because one of their speaker towers got struck by lightning. We, with about 400 other women, huddled in the bathroom waiting for the storm to pass. It was hot, smelly, and crowded. The deluge turned the fairgrounds into a veritable quagmire and we returned home filthy, bedraggled and tired. But I saw Michael Hutchence in the flesh. For that reason alone, and because we had been allowed to go without adult supervision, I considered it in all ways, the time of my life.
I saw Def Leppard the year that Rick Allen made his comeback. I was in tears watching him. It was incredibly moving and awe inspiring. He was in this contraption that elevated him above the stage and spun around. He did a drum solo that must have been 15 minutes long. With One Arm. I couldn’t believe it. The crowd went absolutely wild with adulation.
Aerosmith...ummm, I don't actually remember, but it must have been good given the state of my clothing, or umm...what was left of it. I’m kidding. I do remember it through sort of a booze soaked haze. Nobody can rock it like Aerosmith. It was one of the first concerts I attended as an adult, and we did it right. We hired a limo, stocked it with beer and wine coolers, and drank ourselves silly. I remember my friend’s 6 foot tall husband standing up in the sun roof and vomiting all over the top of the limo. Ahhhh. Good times.
I saw the Duran Duran reunion concert in 2004 when I was 35 years old.I felt the years melt away I'm telling you. If I could bottle that feeling, I'd have the secret of youth everlasting. They say you’re only as old as you feel and that night, I felt seventeen again.. There’s nothing like loud music and nostalgia to turn back time. Twenty years ago I bought their first album. But they still had it. And so did I.
Six concerts. Six that really stand out in my memory, six that I would say were worth the money, six that I actually enjoyed. Considering the sheer number of concerts I attended in a misguided attempt to appear musically sophisticated and insanely cool....that's not a good percentage.
Beause I remember what a momentous event my first concert was. It was the Psychedelic Furs, again, in Milwaukee. God, I was so excited. I chose my outfit so carefully, I spent hours on my hair and even longer on my make-up in order to get that sultry pseudo-punk look just right. I had to look edgy enough to attract any suitably hot punks, mainstream enough that I didn't scare off the normal hot guys. I wanted to be noticed. I didn't want to stand out. I was timid. I was brazen. I was terrified I was exhilirated. I was utterly lost. I felt right at home. And I was on top of the world.
But it was a friend’s Mom that took us that night. My Mom had no interest in my music or in going to a concert. My Mom was a fabulous parent, but my teenage years were tough because we had no common ground. I spent a lot of years feeling disconnected from my Mom.
I realize now that it’s because we are so much alike and that two very strong female personalities in one household makes for a lot of tension. But back then it just felt like she was disdainful of everything I liked and that was important to me. She probably felt the same way about me.
My son and I have a lot of years ahead of us during which we will not like each other. I don’t want him to spend his teenage years hating me, though I suppose a certain amount of antipathy is unavoidable. But we need something to keep us connected or we won’t make it.
This is it, I think. If nothing else, we can rock together. It's a small thing, but a not insignificant thing.
Do I get major points for this? I don’t know. I hope so. But more than that, I hope he will just look back and remember that we had fun together. I hope he will remember that I cared about what he cared about, and I liked what he liked and I was, in some small, weird Mother way…cool.
His birthday isn’t until April. Geez, I hope I can keep the secret that long. I’m about to bust.