Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Too Old! For Rock Concerts

Last Friday, I accompanied my baby sister (okay, she’s twelve) to yet another Panic! At The Disco concert.

The first time we went, back in July, the concert was at a nightclub. I stood on the dance floor surrounded by pre-pubescent girls trying to push their way to the front of the crowd. They got their little groups together, joined hands and forged through the crowd, butting out anyone in their way. Until they got to me. I’m just not the type of person who LETS people push them. I don’t give a rat’s ass if “It’s a fucking concert, you old bitch.” That attitude (theirs and my own) led to problems. Problems that would take too long to get into again.

This time around, it was much better. We were at an arena with SEATS. I love having seats. It’s like paying for your own personal space. Not much space, but at least I didn’t have people’s nasty sweat being rubbed on me.

I really liked the opening bands. There were the Plain White T’s – who’s CD I promptly bought. Then there was Jack’s Mannequin – who I’d never heard of before, but had a large fan base. They were pretty good, too. I’m glad that both times I went I ended up liking the opening bands because I really don’t like P!ATD. Some of their songs are alright – they’re catchy, to say the least. I’m not some super-religious person and have been known to label things as “God damned,” but I don’t write songs that repeat it over and over. You’d really have to know their music (or at least heard of them) to know what I’m getting at, but if you just read the titles to their songs, you could maybe understand why they offend me so much. I just feel like they make a joke of God and religion in general and I have a really hard time dealing with that, let alone condoning it.

But my darling little sister is just OBSESSED with them. I thought when I was little, I was obsessed with NKOTB (New Kids On The Block, for those who weren’t). I was wrong. Collecting giant buttons and knowing all their songs is NOT an obsession. Painting your face to look like your favorite band - now THAT’S obsessive. I just couldn’t tell her “No,” despite my feelings.

Some years ago, I want to say four, I was standing next to the mosh pit at Ozzfest. Happily being bumped into by sweaty nasty drunk people – having the time of my life. I tried to get close to the stage. I even tried to catch the stupid water bottles that were thrown into the crowd.

Somewhere between then and now I got old. Of course I had a good time Friday. The only time I ever leave my house is to go to work or the grocery store. I was so excited to go out, the band could have insulted me on stage and I would have had a good time. But not like my sister. She was scheming ways to get backstage, on the GA floor, past the ushers, whatever. Despite our great seats (I sat and could still see the whole stage while everyone around me stood – see how old I am??), she perched herself atop the railing at the bottom of the stairs, screaming out “I LOVE YOU BRENDON!” She screamed when they asked and held out my cell phone (her generation’s way of holding up the lighter) during the ballads. She was breathless when she came up to beg me to go back down with her. (To which I replied, “I have to watch our jackets.”) She had the light in her eyes that told me how thrilling it all was for her. I don’t have that anymore.

It’s not that I mind much. I know that as we get older, we stop enjoying some of the things we liked when we were young. What I’m finding is that, for me, the loud hard-rocking part of me was replaced with an appreciation for classical music, a nice dinner or just a peaceful night. I’ll call it “Trading Ozzy for Offenbach.”

It's probably for the best, I could turn out like this:

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