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The First Concert: A Rite of Passage…A Beating


concertAbout 6 months ago the Wife and I somehow drink ourselves into the decision to take M to her first concert.  Some of you may feel that 6 years old is much too young for a concert. We are on the fence, but decide to let it ride.  I mean, how bad could it be if we are there with her?  Hell, we have another few drinks and even end up purchasing a ticket for Lil B too.  Some of you may feel that 3 years old is much too young for a concert.  We are…oblivious.  We are…drunk.  All this being said, we are music lovers and like any good, strong, overbearing parents would do, we cram our personal interests down the fragile, noisy, little throats of our children.ticket

It’s December.  We are hungover…and the proud owners of 4 shiny, new Taylor Swift mega-concert tickets.   These golden tickets are to be M’s Christmas gift from her awesome parents.  Being such a media darling (excluding the endless stream of ex-lovers), one might be inclined to think that tickets to Taylor’s show are somewhat affordable.  One also might be a dumb-ass.  We have, quite possibly, the shittiest seats in the stadium and we have to take out a personal loan from local Craigs-lister,  Eddie “Fingers” Grimaldi, just to afford the them.  Not sure why they call him Fingers…He seems nice and even gave us some “special juice” or something like that…I wasn’t really listening…All I heard was, “Blah, blah, blah…40%…blah, blah, blah…I will cover all of your thingers.”  Whatever, dude.  Fork over the cash!

shark

The “magical”Christmas morning ticket unveiling goes as expected.  M gives us a half-hearted smile, a bro hug, and then bounds off to see her “real presents” from Santa.  Wifey and I are a little booty hurt, but quickly cast our disappointment aside. “The real excitement will be when we actually go to the concert!”, we reassure ourselves.  Who needs an aspirin?

Fast forward to May.  Taylor Swift is in town and M is starting to get excited.  LUCKILY, we have a G-Ma in the house (or “hizzy” if you prefer) and she agrees to keep Lil B.  This solves the huge concern that we have.  Once we sobered up, we quickly realized that we would be lugging a toddler around a pro football stadium amidst capacity crowds and unimaginable loudness.  The likes of which, he is no way prepared to experience.  WTF were we thinking when we bought him a ticket?  (Note to self: Don’t drink rubbing alcohol again) Instead, we let M invite a friend and all is right with the world.  Load up in the family truckster! It’s time to make our way west…into the waiting arms of sweet, cute, money-grubbing, slutty Taylor.

We arrive at the majestic Jerry World and it is gratifying to see the awe and excitement in the girl’s faces.  By the time we park, walk to the stadium, and get the girls some grub (arm-length hot dogs…mmm) we have missed the opening act.  We hit the seats, cram some cased meats down our gullets,  and listen to the stylings of the remaining opening acts. It should be noted that the house lights are up and the stadium is fairly empty.

Gimmie that Tee, Bitch!

Gimmie that Tee, Bitch!

Once the last opener finishes, we decide that it’s a good time to run down and grab some T-shirts.  We hit the swag shop and promptly plant ourselves in line with about 1000 preteen girls.  The line moves slowly, but we make it to the small shop eventually.  By the time we get to where we can actually put our hands on any merch, it’s picked over and we are pretty much left to fight each other for scraps.  I felt like the kid from District 1 duking it out at the cornucopia.   We manage to  scavenge a few T’s for the girls and make our way to the cashier.  “That’ll be $130 sir”  WTF?  “There must be a mistake.  We only have 3 T-shirts and 2 light wands.”  “No mistake.  The T’s are $40 and the wands are $5″, smirked the teen cashier.  I wanted to grab his greasy, pierced head and slam it through the countertop. (like I did to that little bitch that tried to grab my light wand.  Nobody Effs with District 1!) Alas, I am with my girls, and I have severe indigestion from the baby arm that I previously consumed, so I reluctantly pay the little bastard and we scurry off to our seats.  Taylor.  Is. Coming.

We emerge from Jerry’s underbelly out into the stadium and are greeted with a much different scene from that which was there when we left.  Now, the stadium is FULL.  The stadium is DARK, and the stadium is LOUUUUD.  We scramble up to our seats in the dark (thank you light wands!) and get seated just as Taylor takes the stage.  The roars of 55,000 prepubescent girls is deafening.  All four of us cover our ears instantly.  (I feel like a Turkish protestor after a percussion grenade has detonated)  As Taylor works her way through her first song, Wifey and I both notice that M is just sitting quietly in her seat.  She’s not dancing, singing, or clapping along.  She’s just sitting there…scared…almost tearful. (and quite possibly bleeding from the ears) We do our best to communicate with her over the ear drum-piercing  squeals, but it’s tough to hear anything.  I jokingly ask if she wants to go home and she stares up at me with her blue doe eyes and meekly says, ” Okay”.  Are you effing kidding me?   Of course, I don’t say anything…Instead, I simply hug her.  Her Mommy does the same.  Another Taylor number and M is up dancing, singing, and clapping along with her friend and the rest of the crowd.  Hell, I even caught myself twerking!

Family Twerk!

Family Twerk!

In the end, a good time is had by all.  M experiences the awesomeness of her first concert and then sleeps peacefully while Mom and Dad endure the 2-hour car ride home in an ocean of shitty traffic.  All-in-all, I think we can put this event in the memory bank and we will eventually look back and share funny stories…If our hearing ever returns…

ears

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Official Non-official Review of John Mayer Show in Dallas


After a light dinner and drinks with our fellow concert goers at a local Uptown pub, we made our way down to American Airlines Center for the John Mayer show.  As we parked in our traditional spot away from the arena in order to avoid paying $20 or more for parking, I started to feel nostalgic.  It has been about 3 years since I let my Mavericks season tickets go and I have not been down to the arena but a handful of times since.  It was like I was right there back in my comfort zone from 3 years ago.  The landscape on the walk from the parking spot to the arena had changed some, but for the most part was exactly as I remembered it.  As we approached the arena entrance I got a little giddy.  I was not giddy for the concert per se, but just to be back in the AAC.  It was going to be a good night.

As we sauntered around the concourse level looking at concert T-shirts and whatnot I took notice of the typical concert fans that we were seeing.  Let me just say that the Dallas cougar was out on the prowl this night…girls ranging from teenage to their ’50s were dressed up in their favorite low-cut tops and designer jeans.  It was obvious that we are in the middle of a seasonal change as the cougar’s shoe of choice ranged from knee-high leather boots to flip-flops.  I must say that the sight of the flip-flop did make me wish summer days were here.

After taking the long way around and two escalators and an elevator ride, we arrived at the Platinum level of the arena.  We supplied up on concert drinks and a quick bathroom pit stop and we located our seats.  Our seats were good, not great and afforded a nice view of the stage.  Just as we take our seats the lights go down and the crowd noise goes up in anticipation of John Mayer taking the stage (we missed the opening act due to our dinner and drinks running long so you will get no review of Michael Franti & Spearhead…I know you are crushed…)

Before I get into the music, I must first address something that was a major distraction to those in my concert party, and quite possibly many others.  John Mayer has stroke mouth when he sings.  Not just a little stroke mouth, or “carl mouth”  (for you Caddy Shack fans out there), but it was bordering on just too much to handle.  At some points, I didn’t know whether to just turn away as if I had just seen Two Girls, One Cup, or run up on stage and stuff a wallet in his mouth so that he didn’t bite his tongue off!  I have attached a few examples of John’s carl mouth for your viewing pleasure, or displeasure.  I have it on good authority that one of our girl friends finds these stroked out expressions to be hot.  Did I mention that she has a substance abuse problem?  You know who you are, and you should be ashamed!  At first I was disappointed that there were no big screens broadcasting the extreme closeups that you get at a typical concert, but after seeing the disfigured expressions I determined that this was done on purpose for sake of the crowd keeping their dinner down. Of course, all of this is subjective and you cannot knock the guy too much…just look at his track record with the ladies. He is either well endowed, or the stroke is the new black and I had better get crackin’ on my own facial distortion moves.  Either way, well done, sir.  Well done.

All of that being said, I must say that the dude is extremely talented and can put on one hell of a show.  While most of the tracks seemed to be from his most recent album, Battle Studies, there was a nice mixture of the new and old.  There was even a cover of a Tom Petty great, Free Fallin’.  I could go on and on about how much of a badass Mayer is on the guitar, but if you have seen him or listened to his music you already know this.  If not, definitely check him out.

One of the highlights of the Dallas show was a killer drum solo by Steve Jordan was not less than amazing.  The guy put down in a big way.  Another highlight was when the lights go down about half way through the show as they often do between songs.  When the lights come back up for the next song, Mayer is pimpin’ a Mav’s jersey, sweat bands and all.  Kinda cheesy, but it got a nice reaction from the crowd.

The show was great overall and reminded me why I like John Mayer.  There was one other portion of the show other than the carl mouth that made me roll my eyes.  Between songs, Mayer addressed the audience with a nice little tribute to the people in the nose bleed sections.  While doing this, he went on some self-indulgent rant about how the people who had bought tickets to this show had been using them to get through the bad times in their personal lives because they were fueled by the knowledge that they would soon get to see “Mayer”.  He even went on to spout off about how his new calling was to be the bright spot for two hours in our lives.  I may have taken it all wrong, but I just found it to be a little egocentric.  Just an observation and the rant took nothing away from the great show.

A side note about the goings on after the show.  The crazies were definitely out.  Two of our concert party were very nearly killed by a run-away vehicle just outside the arena.  Thank GOD for trees large enough to stop a vehicle!!  We also saw another vehicle tear out of the arena parking against the traffic policeman’s direction and speed the wrong way up a one-way street, but the boys in blue got his ass before he had the chance to hurt anyone.  This was same street that had just produced the crash that almost killed our friends.  To top it all off, we are on the highway heading home and we pass a car that was fully engulfed in flames!  Gotta love it!