Last Saturday, we introduced all three boys to a whole new set of fun–their first concert experience.
Each summer, Hubby and I enjoy going to at least one concert, sometimes two. This entire year, I’ve been noodling the notion “What is a good age to take my kids to a concert?” I mean, I’ve seen kids at concerts–sometimes wee-little ones. My initial reaction (the schedule-nazi in me who believes in kids’ bedtimes) had been “wow, that’s young.” I was 16 when I went to my first concert. But times “have changed” and my boys seem to be pretty into country music. From our experiences, I believed that country music would be a fun, safe venue for my kidlets.
And then an opportunity came up, that I just felt I couldn’t pass up. I belong to a “groupon” like club that sent me an offer of $30 tickets for the upcoming Toby Keith concert. $30! Clearly, they weren’t going to be the best seats, but it was cheaper than say, the Red Sox, or other events we’ve been to. I talked to Hubby; we talked to the kids–all were on board.
We decided to take the big black truck (otherwise known around these parts as the “Hillbilly Limo”) so we could do a little bit o’ tailgating—cuz, you know, it has a tailgate. The parking dudes had us park in the bowels of Great Woods. Who knew parking even existed where we were told to go. The kids were upset that we couldn’t actually “tailgate” as someone parked behind us, and we had to place our chairs and grill in the front of the truck. Chairs got set up, grill got started.
OMG!! T-man LOVED the tailgating experience! He couldn’t/wouldn’t sit down!! You would have thought he had ants in his pants. “Mom, Dad—-this is like one giant party! Everyone is so nice and having fun!!” LOL!
Little guy was getting lots of attention from folks walking by—he was dressed in camo pants, a Patriots tshirt, and a camo sweatshirt—the perfect attire for a cool September evening in New England just before a country-western concert!
Our initial plan was to hang in the parking lot until 7:30 or 8:00pm and enjoy the tailgating experience. I thought the kids would enjoy the tailgating more than an opening act. But truth be known, we were all shivering. It was either get in the truck and wait it out (and be dorks) or head into the Great Woods venue (sorry–I refuse to call it the Comcast Center).
What I thought was the opening act was actually pretty good. A short 20 minute set with good music. However, that was just the “cocktail.” After a 20 minutes stage set-up, the real opening act came on–Eric Church. I have to admit, I wasn’t entirely familiar with Eric Church (unlike all the 20-somethings sitting around us). It was not that fun. I felt like I was sitting in a Metallica or Guns-N-Roses concert (something I *would not* take my kids to). The only thing that made it “country” was the electric banjo and the “small town” song lyrics. And those lyrics were supplemented with continuing choruses of “Jack Daniels can kick my ass” (over and over and over) or “I’m getting stoned”…….and it lasted a very LONG hour. Luckily, my boys (especially Little Guy) were distracted by the bouncing beach balls. Once Eric Church got off the stage, it was another 20 min wait for the stage to be set up for Toby Keith.
At 9:05 (really, 9:05?!?!?!!), the lights dimmed…..and we were shown a (funny) 5-10 minute video of Toby Keith, his Ford F-150, and his Bulldog in a poker game. Cute, funny, but really? The actually “concert” didn’t start til 9:15. And our hope/plan was to leave between 10 and 10:30. After about 4 songs, Toby let his back-up singer take the spotlight (yes, she had an AMAZING voice…..but really?!?), and then his band got to take a break while he did some acoustical stuff….none of which my boys knew. And the acoustical stuff seemed to drag on. The boys were bored. And we ended up leaving at 9:50.
So, mommy wasn’t too thrilled with the way the night ended up. But the boys claim that they had a really good time. M-man was absolutely mesmerized by the lights and the music. I’m sure that next year he’ll be asking to go to more concerts. However, I’m not sure I am ready to attempt this for a couple more years.