Kris Hey and her son before the big show in Tampa. (Don Hey / June 10, 2013)
Update 6/10/13: My son's first concert went better than I could ever have expected for all of us. The show was about 3 hours of hit after hit (read Sentinel Music Critic Jim Abbott's review here), and we all loved it. My son sat still for most of it, which was hard even for me.
It did get a bit loud at times, so I brought ear plugs for him, just in case.
I should have brought tissues for me.
"Yesterday I went to my first concert, and it was awesome," he said. "My favorite singer was Stevie Nicks, and my favorite player with an instrument was the guy with the drums (Mick Fleetwood)."
My favorite part was holding my son's hand while we both sang along with my favorite Fleetwood Mac song, 'Big Love.' I got a bit weepy more than a few times that night, especially during that song and several others I have loved since I was only a bit older than him. Sharing that experience with him is something I will never forget as a mother. I hope he remembers it as fondly when he gets older.
To boot: I even got lucky and did not have to explain any funny smells or intoxicated patrons. I definitely picked the right show for his first one!
Right up there with family, binge-tv watching (Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Walking Dead), coffee and my cats, music is among the most important things in my life.
I have been obsessed with music and concerts since I was a teen, maybe even before. My earliest musical memory is listening to Stevie Wonder. I recently heard 'Innervisions,' and I almost fell out of my chair at home when I remembered the words to a song that came out when I was 5. It was 'Jesus Children of America.' I had not heard that song for more decades than I want to tell you. Words can't even explain the feeling I had remembering that song after so many years. Heck, I can hardly remember what I did yesterday.
I do remember lyrics, though, pretty well, and we always have music playing in our house. One of my favorite bands is Fleetwood Mac, and 'Big Love,' 'Never Going Back Again', 'Rhiannon,' 'The Chain' and 'Tusk' are always in heavy rotation. My son, who is almost 11, likes the band and especially Stevie Nicks' (who doesn't?)
So when tickets went on sale I thought this would be a perfect first concert for him. I have been looking and waiting for just the right show. It had to be a legendary band that would provide an unforgettable experience for him and nothing less would do for my little prince.So his (and our) big night is coming up in a few weeks. Besides Nicks, the current lineup includes Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Lindsey Buckingham. This concert is a bonus for me because I saw Lindsey Buckingham's 'One Man Show' tour last year for my birthday.
I know I am living vicariously through him, but isn't that we parents do sometimes? I wish I had seen Genesis with Peter Gabriel or Led Zeppelin as my first show, but I was too young. But there is still time for me to make my son's first show a huge one he can brag about for life. My first show ::: insert embarrased Kris here ::: was Hall & Oates at age 12 or 13.
Yeah, I know it's sad. I have even considered saying my first concert was U2, but I am a terrible liar.
Fortunately, I saw many respectable acts in my teens and afterward-- U2, Genesis, Roger Waters, Pink Floyd (without Roger) R.E.M., Yes, Rush -- and I am glad I still have hearing in both ears.
The only thing that concerns me a bit about my son's first show is how to explain the intoxicated attendees and the expected strange smell. But, I will figure something out. People at concerts won't change whether he is almost 11 or 16, so we will choose to enjoy the music and not worry about others (and probably sit him between us).
Maybe some of you are gearing up for your child's first concert? Perhaps, one of Paul McCartney's shows this weekend?
Drop me some comments below or @momsatwork about your child's first show, what age you think is appropriate to start taking children to concerts and any other thoughts you may have.