Monday, August 15, 2005

First Concerts - Posted by Lisa

One of the many rites of passage on the way to growing up is the first concert. Most of us can recall who we saw, how old we were, where it was held, and the ringing in our ears after being exposed to sounds that could be measured at decibels reserved for commercial jets.

My first concert was The Bee Gees, the summer before 6th grade, the Pontiac Silverdome, and yes, my ears rang until I fell blissfully asleep that night. I’m certain this is my first concert, although around the same time I also remember accompanying my parents and some family friends to see Willie Nelson at the Jackson (Michigan) County Fair. No matter which one was first. At both venues, the smell of marijuana in the air was strong enough to (theoretically, at least) give an 11 year old girl a contact buzz.

Chris’ “first” was Motley Crue, 16 years old, IMA Arena in Flint, and I’m sure his ears rang as well. I will defer to him on what kind of buzz, if any, was involved.

Our son Christopher, on the other hand, has now been to his first concert at the ripe old age of 20 (months, that is). The air quality in the Palace of Auburn Hills today could be most accurately described as pristine. In fact, the only buzz I am aware of was that of the sugar high and the sheer toddler euphoria that can only come from seeing live and in person a purple octopus, a 7 foot tall brown dog, a rose-munching green dinosaur with yellow spots, a friendly pirate, and 4 goofy but loveable guys dressed in red, yellow, blue and purple.

That’s right, we have now experienced The Wiggles live. If you haven’t heard of The Wiggles, they are a preschooler’s answer to the Beatles; a musical group of 4 men from Australia (3 of whom are preschool teachers) who sing about the virtues of “Fruit Salad” (Yummy! Yummy!), drive onto stage in their “toot toot, chugga, chugga, Big Red Car”, and have kids and parents alike dancing in the aisles to “Can you point your fingers and do the twist.”

For a short time, I think Chris and I both wondered if we had rushed this first concert experience a little too soon. At first, Christopher just sat on Chris’ lap as the tears started to well up in his eyes despite seeing his Disney Channel heroes on stage before him. In fact, it took several songs before he started to relax a bit. But when I picked him up to do “the Monkey Dance”, I think he finally started to realize that this was supposed to be fun! For the rest of the show, he decided to sit in his own seat (thank you very much), eat some crackers offered to him by the nice mom behind us (thank you!), and giggle, yell and point at the varied characters that crossed the stage.

After the show had ended, he went home with a souvenir (of course)…

…then we ate dinner at Stir Crazy at Great Lakes Crossing Mall and played on some cushiony, oversized assorted foodstuffs.

All in all, it was a good day to be a toddler.