For Those Who Are About To Rock
Why the Baby Boomers are the Worst at Concerting
I’m a music enthusiast, so I know my way around a venue. Whether it’s a festival in the middle of a field, second row of a small amphitheater, Equivalent-of-Hell-on-Earth that is the House of Blues general admission, or arena. Been there. Love it. I only ask one small thing…love it as much as I do or stay home and make sure you get to bed by 9 pm after your warm glass of milk. I do not believe this is too much to ask.
I am not a talented musician. I don’t play an instrument. I suck at AIR guitar.
And while I will gladly sing along with just about anything I know the words (or think I know the words) to, I do not pretend that the sound produced by my vocal chords is in any way pleasing to the ear.
So when I hear a talented musician, I cannot help but appreciate them in a manner commensurate to the dedication to their craft, presentation of their genre, intent of their message, and my own abundant enthusiasm.
Enter Sir Paul McCartney. You might recall he was in the greatest rock band that ever existed in the history of space and time. The band that has shaped rock from the minute they took the stage together until this very day. This is an indisputable fact. My favorite rock band is Pink Floyd. The BEST rock band is The Beatles. And no, Kanye did not discover them.
Here is what should happen when you go to a rock concert:
Band enters. Audience stands. Band plays. Audience sings/dances/claps/waves their hands in the air like the just don’t care. Band leaves the stage. Audience continues to scream. Band encores. When that is over, then, and ONLY then, does the audience turn back into accountants and used car salesman.
So imagine my surprise when, at the conclusion of A Hard Day’s Night (the FIRST song), I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder and turned to find my father asking me to please sit down. SIT. DOWN. (It wasn’t really my dad. My dad knows enough not to attend rock concerts he has no intention of participating in.) And it wasn’t just him. The entire section had sat down. Including the two millennials beside me who I can only now assume thought they were going to a chamber music event.
We continued to stand through the next two songs, but then my unfortunate bladder size forced me to excuse myself and I just couldn’t expect that burden to fall to one person and we sat for a while (Happy, Dad?). The next time we got up, the woman behind my husband pointed out to him that we were with only ones standing.
We did make a concession to sit through the slower ballads, but once we hit Lady Madonna there was no keeping me, my husband and the three other brave women who immediately became my soul mates of Section 100 down. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Mother Fuckers.
I’m sorry. Paul McCartney is seventy-fucking-two years old. And he dragged his ass out bed that morning, did a work out with a personal trainer (I know the dude!) and came to the Quicken Loans Arena and ROCKED OUT for THREE HOURS! And you ungrateful bastards just sit there like you are attending your grandson’s first piano recital. “Oh, that was lovely, Paul. Just lovely. You’re grandmother and I are so proud.”
Look! God bless the many people MY grandmother’s age that showed up in their wheelchairs and walkers for a moment with a living legend. You get a pass. But the rest of you…I’m not sure WHY you were even there.
I get that we’ve all gotten used to the Jem, super-slo-mo version of I’m Amazed and it’s almost a punch-in-the-gut wake up call to hear McCartney jam out on the piano to a song that he wrote for the love of his life. But he does! And it is one of the most kick-ass love songs of your generation! Have some god damn respect! I’ve never seen so many uptight yuppies in one place. That’s NOT what The Beatles were about. Do you even remember the 60’s? I do! And I wasn’t even born yet! (If you noticed a lot of exclamation points in that paragraph, it was a deliberate editorial choice.)
Do not use your advancing, apparently geriatric, years as an excuse. I’ve been to handful of Dead shows, my husband a few more. Bobby Weir and Phil Lesh are contemporaries of McCartney. They draw from the same generation. And I can tell you for a FACT that those beautiful, dirty hippies are on their feet, spinning in circles and hugging each other like teenagers.
Here is a rule of thumb. If you are at a show with Live and Let Die pyrotechnics do NOT ask the person in front of you to sit down. Just don’t.
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