My older daughter has now completed high school. It’s all over except for picking up the diploma, grazing the buffet at a dozen grad parties, and forcing us to take the “Congratulations Class of 2013!” sign off our lawn before she ships off to college in the fall.
She is celebrating by making good on a promise to her little sister and taking her to her first rock-and-roll concert, without parental accompaniment. As I write this they are downtown at the Fillmore seeing their favorite band of all time: the recently reunited Fall Out Boy. (I continue to struggle to understand the band’s appeal. The music just doesn’t catch my middle-aged ear. The lyrics are often overly arch or sneeringly obscure, and their typical song titles are just way too long: to wit, “Our Lawyers Made Us Change the Name of This Song So We Wouldn’t Get Sued.”)
I’m okay with the girls being on their own. I trust them and since I’ve taken the older one to half a dozen concerts at that venue, it’s familiar territory. I also drilled them on concert safety:
- Stick together
- Choose a place to meet in case you get separated
- Don’t stand in direct proximity to a speaker
- Standing close to the stage is less important than steering clear of the unstoppable sea of crazed fans that can crush you against the barricades
- Don’t park in the skeevy lot I usually go to even though it’s half the price of the more well-lit ones
- Before shelling out $35, check the label on the t-shirt to see if it will shrink
There’s a sense of coming full circle this evening. I took the older one to see Fall Out Boy at the Palace five years ago, which was her first rock concert, too. What’s more, just a week ago the two of us were at the Majestic to see our favorite band, The Airborne Toxic Event.
TATE will always have a special place in my heart because my daughter and I discovered them together. We’ve seen them three times; we have their three albums plus their contributions to tribute discs for Bob Dylan and The Muppets. I’ve seen them enough to know the band members’ names and stage personalities. This time around they had more tattoos and a different set of covers for their encore (including a medley of “Ring of Fire,” “American Girl” and “Born in the USA” … can’t get more genuinely American than that).
It was only fitting that at last, I was able to nab a stage souvenir for my daughter. I grabbed the guitar pick that had bounced off a drunken fan and hit the floor. It’s a fitting memento of our concert-going history, one she can easily pack and take with her to her dorm in a few short weeks.
Now, the real work begins: turning my younger daughter into my next concert buddy.
See you on the flip side …
P.S. The girls came home safely, the younger one has her first tour t-shirt and they witnessed a drunken catfight — all and all, an awesome evening!