Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rock 'n' Roll

A few days ago, we took LE to see Jack Johnson, his first rock concert. It was way past his bedtime, but he seemed to enjoy it in a somewhat zombie-like state.

My cousin Adam is the drummer for Jack Johnson, so we got the Super VIP Nowhere Is Off-Limits Backstage Passes. This meant we not only got to go backstage with the sound guys and roadies and huge crates and lots of wires, but that we actually got to hang out onstage, in the wings. We all took turns with this, with me spending part of the time sitting on the grass outside the stage on a blanket with an increasingly fussy baby. As the show was starting, LE was getting a diaper change. The crowd roared when the band went on, and LE started clapping too, certain, no doubt, that the applause was for him and his tiny bottom winking under the stars. A mere wooden fence separated this particular diaper change from several thousand people.

There once was a day when I envied the people who got to go backstage and hang out with the band. I imagined it must be the greatest thing ever to get to be onstage in the wings while they played. So glamorous! When I finally got my chance, however, I was too greatly occupied with LE to even feel nervous about being in front of thousands of people, with hair that needed to be brushed and a grubby old sweatshirt. I was busy keeping the earphones on LE in order to protect what I'm sure is his Super Hearing, given his ability to hear an airplane overhead when there's a lawnmower next to us. He didn't much care for the earphones offstage, but onstage he was too fascinated with the musicians and flashing lights to worry about his ears much, especially once he discovered the video screens behind the band. Take a kid onstage at a rock concert and what he wants to do is watch TV. I was holding him tightly lest he struggle out of my arms and make an escape across the stage while the band was playing. I had visions of him finding buttons to push and cords to pull up there. He has a way of pushing the one button (or combination of buttons) on my computer-- a button I didn't even know existed-- that causes everything I was doing to disappear. If there were such a cord or button on Jack Johnson's stage, LE surely would have found it. I don't imagine that would go over very well.

But I can't imagine Jack Johnson being too angry about such a thing. He has his own kids, and he seems pretty easygoing, so I would guess such a kid-antic could maybe be amusing for him. LE's favorite part of the show was when they sang Upside Down, the theme-song from Curious George, and dedicated the song to the band members' families who'd showed up. LE can't sit through all of Curious George yet (I tried to get him to watch it on the airplane on a portable DVD player, but he was mostly interested in whacking the DVD player with his sippy cup), but he certainly likes that song, which plays on repeat through the menu on the DVD, and which is LE's favorite part of the movie. He looked awfully surprised when they played that song.

And I was so pleased to introduce LE to Adam. I've always had such a soft spot for him and to me, he was the coolest guy ever even before he became a rock star. Whenever we come to his shows, he's so pleased, like a kid in a school play who can't believe anyone's bothered to show up, and he always makes a fuss over us even though he's busy. When I was in boarding school, Adam (who'd attended the same school and got it what it was like there) was my cool older cousin who would come and get me off campus every so often, causing great envy amongst my peers because he was so handsome. He acted like it was no big thing, but at the time, it was huge. Now here he is getting us Super VIP Nowhere Is Off-Limits Backstage Passes and acting like it's no big thing, even making sure my baby has a set of earphones that fit his little head and fresh water in his sippy cup. But it's a very big thing.

Too bad LE won't remember. But I'll be sure and tell him many times about his very first rock concert. May it be the first of many.

**Special thanks to our friend Lisa for the photos, as I was too dumb to remember to bring my camera...


simple blogger said...

You`ve hooked up with your cousin? You`re full of crap!

siobhan said...

Loud noise, frenzied activity, sleep deprivation, this isn't some kind of exercise in giving him a taste of his own medicine, is it? ;)

What a great experience though. You'll be surprised what he remembers if you keep talking about it. D definitely remembers stuff from when he was 18 months. Don't know how long he'll hold onto those memories but it's interesting to observe.

rebecca said...

He could remember it. My first memory dates back to 10 months old, although when I talk to people it seems that women have longer memories than men. This is just anecdotal and there is no reason why LE shouldn't remember such a big event.

Stranger said...

If I'd hooked up with him, I certainly would have mentioned that.

I'll keep telling LE about it. Even if he doesn't really remember it, it should live on as an implanted memory. My first memory I was 9 months old, so I won't discount it as a possibility!