Rock Fists

Rock Fists

Monday, July 20, 2015

Everyone Remembers Their First

Everyone remembers their first..  That sentence is usually tied to one's first sexual experience. But it doesn't matter what first you're talking about.  Whether that be your first pet, your first kiss or first concert, these are things that humans tend to lock away deep in their memories and can recall at a moment's notice.

Well maybe you have heard there is this little band called the Foo Fighters who this past weekend played this little ballpark called Fenway. I've seen a number of shows there and I'll be honest, the acoustics aren't great. And, as long as we're being honest, it's not that great for watching a ballgame either. It's an amazing park, but the seats suck, they don't even face the field half the time and more often than not the product on the field isn't even worth watching. But I digress..

For a long time it has been a goal of mine, a bucket list item if you will, to sit front row at a concert. And unless you count being belly up to the stage for Letters to Cleo and Bare Naked Ladies at Smith College in the mid 90s front row (which I don't), it was still on the list. Until Saturday.

I was lucky enough to go to this show with my wife and 2 friends and sat front row, right in front of a wall of bass amplifiers. I truly thought my heart was going to explode during the Mighty Mighty Bosstones set. Thankfully, the Foo Fighters are not a bass heavy band and Taylor Hawkins, the drummer was set on the opposite side of the stage. Again, having never officially sat that close for a show before I had no idea what I was in for. I was able to see small interactions between the band as well as between the band and friends that were offstage which was interesting.

I had always wondered what it was like to sit front row, and now I know.. it's LOUD! Thankfully we were wearing ear plugs because we're not that young anymore and actually value our hearing.. But it was such a different perspective, turning around and looking at tens of thousands of people behind me was weird. And although I enjoyed it, I don't need to do it again. I can cross it off the bucket list and move on to something else.

And that something else was enjoying a Foo Fighters concert with my boys. They are still young (8 in September), however they have been listening to the Foo Fighters since they've been alive. We always told ourselves that we would not succumb to the Barney and Disney Radio crap.. If we were driving, they were going to listen to what we listened to. Hence, their music library consists of all sorts of music. (See earlier blog entitled Müzik, Μουσική, Musiikki)  For example, their favorite song right now is Fire by Jimi Hendrix. A friend's son is learning drums and he made a birthday mix of good drum songs and handed it out at the party. My boys listen to it every time they're in the car. Sadly, they have been asking if they can see Jimi in concert. I told them that unfortunately he is dead and has been for a long time. But, I know there are many people right there with them who would like to see him in concert.

Thankfully I am in a position where I was able to take them to this show and share their first concert experience with them. Everyone plays the game. You know, "what was your first concert"? Mine was Steve Miller Band at Great Woods (known by no other name) in the summer of 1992. We were CIT's at summer camp in NH and as a special night out trip we all got tickets to the show. We sat on what was known back then as "The Lawn". Great Woods is an amphitheater in Mansfield, MA that holds about 19K people. 10K in the lower seating area and then another 9K up on the lawn. This was pre cell phone days where you met someone at a place at a time and you went there. There was no "text me when you get there" or "change of plans we're going here instead". You had to wade through thousands of people just to get the side of the lawn to go to the bathroom, get something to eat, etc. There are very large cement poles that tell you what section you're in if you are in the lower bowl area. Well people on the lawn used to use those as markers so you knew about where you were. And then you used that pole and and an approximation of how far up the lawn you were so you could meet back up with your group. An inexact science at best, yet we always seemed to manage to meet back up with our friends. But after numerous iterations of "the lawn" going from grass, to mulch, to sand, etc they have now turned it into actual rows of seats which makes it more difficult for larger groups to sit together, dance, etc. Oh well, another part of my youth gone.. 

But everyone has a first concert and everyone has that conversation with people regardless of who they are. And it doesn't matter what it was. Oftentimes kids were taken to a show by their parents because either a) they thought it would be a nice night out or b) the parents had tickets and couldn't get a babysitter. But this show was something I knew the boys would want to see and I wanted to share it with them. Again, they've grown up listening to this band and know about 10-11 songs. That is probably more than some of the people that were there to be honest. They were able to sing along to some of the them and had no problem dancing around and just being mesmerized at the live performance that was happening right in front of them. 

As I've said before, life is full of experiences and this opportunity was one I was not about to pass up.

Cross another one off my bucket list too. It's something that they will never ever forget, nor will I. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Luke 6:40

So we're in the car recently and a song comes on the radio. Mitch says "Oh, I know this song." "It's Cecilia and the Satellite". I said that's correct and it's by Andrew McMahon. (I will forever believe that it should be sung by the band Phoenix, but I digress). Anyway, I said the scroll on my radio also says In The Wildnerness.

So naturally, I say that the word wilderness has a bonus letter. Quickly the conversation devolved into a 1st grade (now 2nd grade) grammar conversation about bonus letters, digraphs and the like. I asked what makes a bonus letter and the answer was it has to have a short vowel sound that precedes the double letter f, l, s and sometimes z. So we all took turns thinking of examples of bonus letter words.

The conversation between us went back and forth for a few minutes until Mitch finally says, "you know dad, sometimes I think we're the teachers and you're the student".

I couldn't agree more Mitch.. I couldn't agree more.