I love going to live shows. I started way back when as a smallish child with my mom, mostly her music and mostly boring. When you’re six, you don’t always appreciate some of those opportunities. I started going to shows on my own in my early teens.
I was living in Salt Lake City at the time, and it had an incredible hard core scene in the early-mid 80’s. All of the top west coast bands broke through the Zion curtain fairly regularly. Black Flag meant fights in & out of the mosh pit. The Circle Jerks were a great show, also with a lot of mayhem. Back then, the Dead Kennedys were big time stars and played the horticultural building at the Fairgrounds. I even saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers around the release of Freaky Styly. Then when I moved back to NJ, a brave new world of venues opened up to me.
There were a few years where I didn’t. Actually, a lot of years, to be honest. I knew something was missing in my soul, but I thought since I was an adult with adult responsibilities I had to you know, adult.
But….I wanna rock.
Just because I’m a middle aged woman wanting to relive my glory days, it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with that. I don’t think I’ll be up front in the mosh pit anymore, but I’m definitely as close as I can get without inflicting bodily injury. I have realized that I don’t have to wait for an invitation to see a band.
There’s an intimate connection when you see a band live. The anticipation of hearing your favorite song, the jaunty banter, the obviously drunken idiot yelling stuff (except when it’s an ironic “free bird” at a hardcore show. That shit is funny), the boozy blonde who decides I’m her next BFF, all play into something you don’t get listening at home. It’s a shared experience, if you want get all touchy feely new agey about it. For a few hours, you and the crowd and the band are one. You’re all sharing the same space, breathing the same air doing that carbon dioxide-oxygen exchange thing, and witnessing the same thing.
[I won’t get into when things horribly go wrong, because they sometimes do, since that’s the nature of this messed up world we live in]
I’ve hoped to share that with my son, but he’s got sensory issues and the last place he wants to be is around sensory overload. All the stuff that exhilarates me-the music, the lights, the crowd, the sheer loudness of it all-is an anathema to him. He hasn’t really gotten into music yet, and is still heavily influenced by mom’s impeccable taste. However, his friends are starting to exert influence just a teeny bit, and they are sharing some awesome choices with him. I couldn’t be happier. If and when he’s ready for his first show, I’ll be beaming with pride. I’ll even let him borrow my sacred, 30+ year old Clash shirt if he wants to (if clothes could talk, that tee has some great ones).
And he’ll want to rock too