A Kids Guide to Live Music. (part 2 of 2)

Things are different for girls. I read that somewhere. I think it somehow referred to sex; not to live shows. Nonetheless it’s an apt sentiment for how I approached my daughter’s first show.

We started a little early with her; 3 years old. A punk rock show was not in the cards. We went in the other direction; a folk show. But no church basement, bad coffee, folk show for my daughter. We were going full out; Lori McKenna at the fabled Club Passim in Cambridge.

Now, my wife and I have seen Lori a dozen times over the years. I’ve loved her since I first heard Pink Sweater on the Respondlori2 compilation (I love an angry folk girl). The rest of my family jumped on the bandwagon when Faith Hill recorded a bunch of Lori’s songs on her Fireflies album and was featured on Oprah. No one listens when George has a new music tip but when Faith and Oprah have something to say, watch out, my family is listening. But that’s a rant for another day…

Lori was doing a series of shows near Christmas at Club Passim and my Mother’s Birthday happens to be at the end of December as well. I thought it would be a fun time for everyone; take our daughter to her first show, treat Mom to a nice night out and win some points all around.

If you’ve never been, Club Passim is one of the greatest places on Earth to see a folk show. Intimate setting, quality sound, enthusiastic crowds, and a storied history. I love the place. We had general admission seating and got there early to make sure we could all sit together. We grabbed great seats along the side, near the front. Problem was we were there quite early and had to wait around a long time before the show started. 3-year olds, small clubs, and long waits don’t sync up too well so I ended up strolling around the lobby and walking back and forth to the bathroom. We were standing outside the bathrooms when Lori walked by. Not being accustomed to seeing 3-year olds at her show, Lori hesitated for a second, then stopped and said, “Hi”. Erinn, in her best 3-year old voice, introduced herself, told her that she was there to celebrate her Grandmother’s Birthday, and that she wanted to hear Fireflies (a hit with both my kids because of its Peter Pan/Tinkerbell references). Not bad considering it’s now nearly 7 o’clock; approaching bedtime. And not bad for her first ever show.

After our conversation we headed back to our seats and eventually the show began. There is nothing more fun that to watch a young child mesmerized by something. Whether reading a book or seeing a play it’s just such a precious moment. That’s the look I saw on her face for the next hour. She had a grin from ear to ear. She clapped at the end of every song and sang along with those she knew. Towards the end of the show Lori was bantering with the crowd; she thanked her backing band and introduced some of her family in the audience. Then suddenly she said she wanted to introduce a special friend that she’d met just before the show. Young Erinn who was there celebrating her grandmother’s Birthday. She then dedicated Fireflies to our family and played her last few songs.

My entire family will cherish that night for the rest of our lives. My daughter’s first live music experience was amazing. Most people go through their entire lives without having their name called from a stage. I think that’s what I love most about exposing my kids to live music. I hope that they’ll grow up knowing that they can be a part of it. Music isn’t just something that you listen to or watch; it’s something that you can actively experience. I hope that these experiences will encourage them participate in the musical experience throughout their entire lives.


~ by spinthis45 on December 17, 2008.

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