Saturday, March 03, 2007

Live music

The Wiggles LIVE on Stage!

That was supposed to be my lemonade...

Sleepy Holden...

Daddy and Jackson after the gig

The first live music concert I ever saw was Helen Reddy in 1981. I was 8 years old. I begged my mom to get tickets because I loved Pete's Dragon and I also loved the song "Delta Dawn." I don't remember who else came with us to that concert - probably my sisters came - I just remember seeing her cross the stage in a flowy red dress and I was completely mesmerized. Over the years I really grew to enjoy seeing live music. My first concert solo (sans mom!) was "Cheap Trick." I was 14 and mom dropped me and my friend Shan off and picked us up when it was over. I can imagine she was sweating bullets the entire time. Over the years I continued to enjoy seeing live shows. In college we went to The Depot District and saw cheesy alternative acts like Deep Blue Something. It was cheap entertainment, all we could afford back then. When Ruth and I were living in London we were ecstatic to see Ani Difranco and Erasure (not together of course!), two of our favorites at the time. And when I moved to Seattle, well, you couldn't help seeing live music. It was everywhere. I went a lot to shows my first few years there - at The Croc, The Showbox, The Sit-n-Spin...all cheap gigs with cheap beer, but lots of fun. My favorite show I remember seeing at The Croc was "The Presidents of the United States of America" playing along side Sir Mix a Lot. Now THAT was a show! I don't remember a lot of the gigs from those days, but I definitely remember that one.

When Shawn and I got together we saw a lot of bigger shows that came through. The Gorge Amphitheater was an amazing venue to see the likes of Jack Johnson and Ben Harper. We saw Dido, David Gray, and Dave Matthews & Friends at Key Arena (also not all together, of course!). In fact, I was 6 months pregnant with Jack when we saw Dave - he rocked in my belly the entire time. We also loved going to hear jazz at Jazz Alley. That was always a treat to get dressed up and listen to some great scatt'n. There's just something wonderful about seeing musicians play live, feeling the rhythm, and enjoying the atmosphere.

But alas, our days of going to live music gigs came to a screaming halt after the birth of Jackson. We no longer had the time or the energy (or the money) for such frivolities. We stayed close to home and enjoyed the time with family. That was until Today. Today we saw our first family-friendly live show -- 4 grown men jumping around, dancing and singing, in brightly colored t-shirts. I'm talking about The Wiggles Live of course! Now that trumps all live music experiences ever, simply because of the look on Jackson's face seeing his beloved Wiggles live. It was enough to bring me to tears. He actually seemed to clam up at the experience. As if seeing this kid-like-royalty live was too much to bear. In fact, he kept sucking his hands throughout the show, something he's never done before. Then I noticed the kids in the row in front of us were doing the same exact thing. It was obviously a coping mechanism for dealing with the shock of seeing these guys live and in person! But the minute a song ended he would erupt into applause, screeching YAY! and waving his electric light Wiggles stick that Daddy shelled out $15 for. It was a wonderful experience. Even though by the end he could barely keep his eyes open. And even though Holden sort of fussed through the whole show - obviously too much to take in for a 4 month old baby. It was worth it because maybe, just maybe, he'll hold onto this memory just like I did with Helen Reddy. I know I will.

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