School of Rock

7 Aug

“The Boston gig has been canceled … I wouldn’t worry about it though, it’s not a big college town.”

My teenage daughter is going to be a senior in high school come September. Next week, I will accompany her up and down the East Coast for her first college tour … or as she sees it, the Bataan Death March of the Soul. As much as she wants to flee parental control, she is leery of jumping into the arms of the academic establishment due to the cost, the pressure, and the likelihood that she’ll have to do her own laundry.

I told her that going to college means one thing for certain: great music. Even dinky campuses get any number of bands traipsing through town to build up their rabid following, one underclassman at a time.  Occasionally, they spring up from the students themselves: Talking Heads at RISD, MGMT at Wesleyan, Vampire Weekend at Columbia.

To prove my point, and perhaps to make it worth her while to set foot in Providence, I looked up the concerts in the New York and Boston areas when we’ve got free nights. And there is NOTHING. No thing. Nada. (There is a Marina and the Diamonds concert in but it’s 18 and over. As her mother, I can’t exactly help her get a fake ID so we can catch a concert.)

Of course,  Bruce Springsteen is playing Fenway Park while we’re in Boston. Call me un-American, but I have absolutely no interest in seeing the Boss in concert.  I wish him no ill. I’m glad he’s in the world, and he is nothing if not sincere. If someone offered me tickets to his show, I’d go. But otherwise, it would be like me going to a Latin mass when I’m only a diffident Protestant: I might recognize some of the melodies and get the gist of what all the fuss is about. Not being a true believer, though, the fervor of the faithful would be dumbfounding. (Maybe if I had gone to Rutgers …)

I was looking forward to catching a show. I saw all of three concerts in the Boston area during the eight years I lived there:

  1. Elvis Costello and his ill-conceived “Spectacular Spinning Songbook”, where he spun a wheel to choose the next song, making the show seem like it went on for days. When 10 p.m. came around and he hadn’t landed on “Alison,” he gave up and just shoved the ticker over.
  2. David Bowie’s “Glass Spider” tour at Foxboro Stadium (speaking of ill-conceived).
  3. The Fine Young Cannibals’ only appearance at Great Woods; they performed their three songs respectably then promptly broke up.

Of course, I want to see a show with her for reasons beyond just redeeming my Boston-based concert roster. With the advent of her senior year, it’s hitting me that there aren’t that many more opportunities for my daughter and me to share music together here at home. I’ll start feeling the emotional impact as we head to the airport and I hand her my iPod to select what she wants to hear in the car. It’ll rear up again when we’re packing her turntable in bubble wrap so it’ll arrive on campus safely. And it’ll knock me flat when Airborne Toxic Event comes through Detroit and she’ll be seeing them on another stop on the tour.

There are still Marina and the Diamonds tickets left. Anyone know where in New York I can get my daughter a fake ID?

See you on the flip side …

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3 Responses to “School of Rock”

  1. Pam Houghton August 7, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    Lisa – it is a big process when a child, especially the firstborn, goes away to college. And it may be rocky! But you will all adjust. Eventually. P.S. – I saw Bruce Springsteen my freshman year of college at Munn Ice Area at MSU. Had no interest in him prior; some guy on our floor couldn’t use his tickets so gave them away; after seeing him in concert, I was converted – he is an incredible performer. But today? Eh…I’d rather see and listen to more interesting singers/bands…like Carly Mae Jepsen and New Direction. Hee hee. Actually, I downloaded a Sleigh Bells song to my iPod the other day. Heard of them? Check ’em out if you haven’t.

    • lpon45 August 7, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

      Thanks for the moral support … and for the firm belief that my daughter will actually GO to college rather than argue me into the ground. I’ll keep the faith.

      And in other news, I agree: Sleigh Bells’ first album is fun: they’re kind of like a cheerleading squad at a dubstep concert – rhythmic, loud and squonky. I haven’t heard their second album but would like to.

  2. Pam Houghton August 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    P.S. Have a wonderful trip with your daughter.

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