Mom and Jean, a nostalgic thank you for taking me to my first concert–Andy Gibb and the Alessi Brothers at Chicagofest, the pre-cursor to Taste of Chicago. It was unassigned seating, so we arrived to the open air pavilion early. We snagged the front row seats, and waited in the sun, the heat, the concrete for our first concert. The moms wandered around the other music stages, leaving us three girls alone for several hours. What intoxication, our freedom! What brave ones, our moms, in the time long before cell phones. The only touchy moment I remember was running to the bathroom lines–in our bare feet, gross–seeing the moms and HOPING they would not notice our lack of footwear. They didn’t.
I remember loving the concert, standing right in front of Andy Gibb. No lasers, no dancers, no video. Just pop music with a cute singer and band behind him. Big brother Barry Gibb was standing in the wings, acknowledging our calls with a wave.
I was mentally reminiscing about this concert as we went to our first family stadium concert, to see Lifehouse and Daughtry this past week. We have been to outdoor venues for concerts, but this was a true rock/pop concert with heavy rock and ballads from Daughtry, bit more pop from Lifehouse, with many songs that all three kids knew.
I loved watching how excited the girls were: standing up to dance when everyone around us was sitting, singing, buying the ubiquitous tee-shirts, taking photos. Ronan–who hates fireworks–seemed to like the heart-pounding music, liked watching the few graphic changes that Daughtry had, was inspired by the lasers and lighting, intrigued by the drummers.
Having been already been to Alicia Keys this year with one daughter who won tickets, I wonder why the crowds start yelling when the lead singers say “Hello, Chicago!” or “I love to be here in Chicago.” Do the fans interpret them to be saying “Hello Cindy!” or “I love to be here Pete!”, being acknowledged by the famous and semi-famous singers? Every time a band says it, there is a groundswell of cheering. I don’t quite understand it. And maybe that is why there is such a big press outcry when a famous singer says the wrong city. People then feel invisible, forgotten. Like someone walking up to me at a party and saying “Good to see you, Sally” when that isn’t my name.
Thankfully, Daughtry and Jason–lead singer from Lifehouse–said the correct city!, played to the audience, telling stories about their past and songs which always makes me appreciate the music more, walked through the crowds and seemed to appreciate their fans. Our kids loved their first stadium show, and I know they hope we go again soon. Although with seats closer to the stage. C