(This is part of the Slice of Life project at Two Writing Teachers)
The very first rock concert that I ever attended was the prog-rock band, Yes, and I joined a group of friends and my older brothers and his friends. It was at the Hartford Civic Center and I still remember the feeling of the bass notes pounding through my heart. (Ironically, Yes just came around again, hitting my town a few weeks ago but I didn’t go.)
I mention this because last night, I took my older boys (10, 12) to their very first rock concert. The band, Train, was in town at a theater and I thought Train would be a good intro into the concert experience. I was right. The boys were thrilled, and the band put an a great show, complete with lights, loud guitars and power pop singing. The three of us danced in the aisles together, along with the crowd, to songs like Soul Sister, Drops of Jupiter, Virginia and more. (Their website allows you to take a listen for free to a bunch of songs.)
The band even covered a few songs, so I would bend down from time to time, and say, “That’s Led Zepelin,” or “That’s a song from Van Halen” and “Doobie Brothers did that one, first,” as if I were giving some tour of music that shaped my world as a kid.
A few highlights from the show:
- Their version of Led Zep‘s “Ramble On” was incredible and singer Pat Monahan was like a replica of Robert Plant. This guy can sing and hit the notes.
- At one point, Monahan said that he liked small concert halls because of the acoustics. He then asked if he could sing us a song “without this microphone getting in the way of you and me,” and we all cheered. He put down the mic, stood up tall and then serenaded us with no amplification on a powerful song whose name I now forget. I thought that was pretty cool.
- The band brought a whole lot of fans on stage to dance, and help sing songs, and I thought, these guys are having too much fun. Later, I told my boys that I thought Monahan had a real stage presence and put on quite a show. Not quite like Bruce Springsteen, perhaps, but Monahan knew his audience well.
- The opening act was Butch Walker and the Black Widows. They were very energetic, too, and I kind of liked them. I always pay attention to opening bands because sometimes, they are the stars of the future.
It was late when we finally left, and with the clock change, I imagine today is going to be a bit of a drag. But it was worth it. Oh, one other funny slice of the event. My sons filled up some baggies with cheese popcorn (they are always hungry), but worried as we walked to the theater that they would be in trouble if they got caught smuggling in food.
“What will they do to us if they catch us?” my 10 year old wanted to know.
What I thought was, kid, you don’t know the kinds of things I have smuggled into concerts in my day. What I said was, “Aww, don’t worry about it. It’s just popcorn.”
No one even checked.
Peace (in the show),