For Sofia’s fifth birthday, Colin and I thought it would be a good idea to take her to a rock concert. Don’t ask me why we thought this would be good, and as I write it, I know how deranged we sound. The “rock” was the Disney type. Aly and AJ, two sisters who are now whining their way onto TRL but still have that soft Disney center. The concert was at the Ryman Theatre, the old Grand Ol Opry place that used to be a church before that. You sit in pews with stained glass to the sides and watch bejeweled 8-13 year olds scream their heads off at the opening boy acts. I was thrown back to my days at Genesis’s Invisible Touch Tour or Bryan Adams in his good--bad days.
Concerts were a right of passage, a time to say I am a teen, if not an adult. Now there are concerts for every age group, starting with the Wiggles for toddlers.
Even the performers are jaded. I have never seen such bored attitude than watching Aly jump around wishing that her crowd was cooler and trying to make Aerosmith jabs at the air only to be followed by her sister’s sweet harmony. It was sad. Waving lighters were replaced by green glow sticks.
After the concert we waited an hour in the back alley for them to come out to get their picture. Colin and I were not into it, but we thought, we’re here and the girls want to see them, so…. Of course we waited forever only to hear that they snuck onto their bus and “were not coming out.” Not very Disney.
The appalling thing concerned the mothers I talked to in the alley. I had heard of stage mothers, but not back-stage mothers. Two recognized each other from the Hillary Duff concert in Indianapolis. They exchanged emails. One kept getting secret phone calls from an unknown source telling her where AJ and Aly were in the building and posted herself near a window to see when they would be coming down. These women were serious, running back and forth, sending their kids to go around the corner and report back. Each of them had their own sharpie pens ready for the attack.
Colin went to his first AC/DC concert when he was 10. His mom stayed in the car and knitted and he was thrown in among the riff-raff for a few hours. I can only think that this is the way to go. A little risk and a lot of chutzpah. No glow sticks, no kids with birthday hats on (yes). This is the big league. A concert is the losing of innocence--as it should be.
Again, it comes back to Disney and the idea that they water down everything, even our rights of passage. My only consolation was that while all the kids were doing the two-step and hand clap, Tassy was rocking her head off, her hair flying everywhere. There’s hope yet.