Back to the story. Music is big in our family. The boy has awesome taste in music (how many preschoolers do you know who own Rancid or Black Sabbath on vinyl?), and we've always looked forward to the day when we could bring him to see his first live show. Since they usually start at bedtime, we figured it would be a while. Then we heard that the Aquabats were playing an all-ages show at a club in Boston at 6pm! Totally doable, right?
We bought six tickets (three of our friends were coming, too). You should have seen the boy's face when we told him. Maybe when he's sixteen I'll ask him if he minds me sharing his picture, and I'll update this post. In case you're reading this in 2025, look at this face!
Future photo here
As it turns out, the doors were at six, and there was an opening act. Which means the Aquabats weren't going on until 8, which is bedtime. Ouch. So I kept the boy outside all afternoon to tire him out, and then took him to soccer at 4. After soccer, I had him put on sunglasses and we blasted the music in the car so that he'd sleep on the way to the show. Yes, I said blasted the music. Loud music knocks him right out. That's what happens when you wear headphones on your belly 8 hours a day for the entire second half of your pregnancy, apparently. Also, your baby will be born with awesome taste in music.
We got to the city with plenty of time to eat before the show. We had dinner at a pub next door. I won't mention them by name, because my food sucked. We walked into the club just as the opening act was finishing up their last song. The bouncer was very careful to draw the boy's X off to the side, so he wouldn't cover the smiley-face stamp he'd just gotten at soccer.
|You know, just in case he tried to buy a beer.|
My husband wanted to stay in the back, because he's not punk rock, but you know that's not how I roll. I found a spot up front, about fifteen feet from the side of the stage. As soon as we showed up, the couple in front of us insisted on giving us their spot. Classy move.
The band came out, and it turns out that we were on the same side of the stage as the boy's favorite Aquabat, Jimmy the Robot. He was enthralled. They put on a great show, mixing in some songs from the show, fighting bad guys onstage with aluminum trash cans (seriously) and asking the grownups in the audience to please be cool to the kids. Yes, there were a few other kids there. We're not so terrible. Or, at least, we aren't the only terrible parents in Boston.
The band finished up around ten. That's two hours past bedtime, minus a forty-five minute nap, if you're counting. But... the tour bus was parked right out front. And the boy, bless his heart, asked me when we got to go on it. Growing up with me, he thinks that normal. Everyone gets to meet the band after the show. I mean, we had to wait for them, right?
Of course we did.
One by one, the Aquabats came out. They were out of costume. The boy didn't recognize them, and I think he might have been a little disappointed to learn that Jimmy the Robot is actually a human. They were all so gracious, signing his shirt and chatting with him. We learned that Eaglebones' favorite episode is "Floating Eye of Death," and Crash's kids tease him about "getting emotional" (on the show, his super power is that whenever he gets emotional, he grows to ten times his normal size).
We had everyone but the singer, M.C. Bat Commander (my favorite Aquabat, who's also the creator of Yo Gabba Gabba, incidentally). I told the boy that the singer always comes out last. Finally, he came out, and he could not have been more apologetic for keeping us waiting. What a class act. He complimented my Devo shirt (OMFG he actually knows them and I was this close to asking him to give Mark Mothersbaugh my phone number) and asked the boy if he liked Devo, too. Of course he said yes. So in addition to his autograph, he drew a self-portait complete with an energy dome.
The boy was out like a light by the time we hit the highway, and slept until 9 the next morning. And would you believe, he was perfectly behaved all day long. Bottom line: you should absolutely take your kid to a concert. This was a night he'll never forget. As he told his grandmother a couple days later, "I got to stay up past bedtime, and I ate dinner at a pub."
|Oh, and meet his favorite TV/rock stars, too, no big whoop.|
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