We made a conscious decision when we had the boys (at some point when we were conscious, but I'm not quite sure I remember when that was) that the one place we had that was sacred was our cars. No kids music in our cars. Period. We were going to listen to what we liked and they were going to deal with it. And it actually worked. That decision has paid enormous dividends already as our kids go around singing Foo Fighters, Green Day, Beastie Boys (you gotta hear that shit, it's pretty funny). It makes long car rides that much more enjoyable when instead of Sesame Street we're listening to Marilyn Manson covering "This is Halloween" from Tim Burton's A Nightmare Before Christmas. For whatever reason, they're not scared.
So one day while on the way to school and listening to Foo Fighters, I told them that mommy and daddy have seen the Foo Fighters twice in concert. So naturally, the next question is "Can we go see the Foo Fighters?" Now, of course, these are the kids who used to go screaming from the vacuum cleaner because it was too loud.. They're supposed to sit through 3 hours of Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins and company?
So naturally I said, "well, when you're older". But why? Do we shield our kids from certain things just because of their age too much? What if my boys were 10? Would it be ok then? Does everyone's first concert have to James Taylor or the Moody Blues? My first concert wasn't until I was 16 (Steve Miller Band on the lawn at Great Woods). But since there's no lawn anymore as well as it not being called Great Woods for many years, I don't go too often).
When I was 10 years old there was this huge pop star named Michael Jackson. You might have heard of him. He was kind of a big deal. He was coming to the Boston Garden on tour and my sister and I wanted to go. We were told no. Sorry mom, but looking back that would have been the most kick-ass show to say my first concert was Michael Jackson in the mid-80s. I'm over it, but I digress. The reason was because I was too young. But I think that an experience like that could shape people. What if going to that show at 10 years old brought out some love of music I didn't know I had. Maybe then I wouldn't have had to fake play the clarinet later that year in my elementary school concert because I had no idea what I was doing. We just don't know.
Life is all about experiences and what you take from them and make from them. So while taking my 4 year olds to see the Foo Fighters would probably be a little irresponsible, I'd say the show is quite possibly in their near future. Because you never know, maybe it'll open up something inside of them that makes them the next Dave Grohl. (Oh that would be so awesome).