When I was pregnant with my daughter 14 years ago, I went to both Metallica and Kiss concerts. Metallica because her dad wanted to go and Kiss because I wanted to see them live. I grew up listening to my brothers play Kiss albums. I loved their make-up, costumes and theatrics, but I especially loved their song "Beth." I also related to Gene Simmons because we both have a long tongue.
Since my daughter was three months old, we have been going to concerts through the local concert associations. We have experienced a ton of top-notch performers ranging from folk to big band.
I enjoy a variety of music genres, but my favorite songs are the ones that I have an emotional experience or memory attached to.
I do not enjoy super loud, head banging music, especially blaring out of a cheap speaker. And sometimes music featuring the saxophone can really grate on my nerves.
My daughter is really into her music, which is today's rock or alternative metal. I was clueless. What I did know is when we went to her favorite store in the mall, the loud music with screaming vocals would drive me crazy. She wanted to buy the t-shirts featuring the bands "Blood on the Dance Floor" and "Falling in Reverse." She talked with her friends about their favorite bands, their songs and of course, "Falling in Reverse's" super hot band members Ronnie and Jacky.
A couple of weeks ago, my daughter asked if she could go to Vans Warped Tour outdoor concert at Canterbury Downs in Shakopee. She really, really wanted to go.
I do not drive in the cities. My husband takes on that responsibility. I asked if he would drive, but we recently made a couple of trips down and back, and he was not looking forward to another trip or the rock concert.
A few days before the concert, I was talking to my young co-worker, Cara. She was telling me about her recent trips driving friends to the cities. I asked her if she heard about Warped Tour and her eyes lit up. She had always wanted to go. This music was also her music.
So I bought the tickets and Cara drove us down.
Cara took charge, Hope followed and I was at the rear. We navigated the huge crowd of 13 to 25 year olds in the sweltering heat. We watched a few bands getting up front with Cara's boldness.
Hope was on her cell with her best friend Missy, who had seen Warped Tour earlier in Texas. Missy gave Hope pointers over the phone. We needed to find the "Falling in Reverse" booth, and buy a CD to receive a bracelet to get the band members autographs. With Cara's perseverance, we found the booth and waited an hour and a half in line for the signing. Hope got her chance to meet, for a brief moment, the "Falling in Reverse" band while they each signed her CD. But when she met Ronnie Radke, she handed him a small stuffed animal with a handwritten note safety pinned to its belly. He graciously accepted her gift. As a proud mom, I snapped pictures. Hope was flying high and shaking. She called Missy, who recently moved away and told her what just happened.
The note was to Ronnie about Missy. Missy was born without her left forearm. Yet with Ronnie's musical influence, Missy is learning to play guitar. Hope just wanted to tell him that.
The final concert was "Falling in Reverse." Hope, by herself, took charge and elbowed through the crowd and found her place near the front to watch her band.
At that moment I could relate.