Last night, I heard The New Pornographers and Death Cab For Cutie perform at an outdoor music festival that's held at a park not too far away from our house. I say I "heard" them and not "saw" them because I listened to their distant, muffled songs, almost-but-not-quite able to identify them by name, as Adeline and I laid side-by-side in our little tent in our last Daddy/Daughter Backyard Campout of the year. We laughed and joked and made shadow puppets and she ate Pop Rocks for the first time ever.
So I had a great night last night, but I didn't go to the rock concert that I would have, were I a single man without small children. And I also had a great Labour Day weekend but I didn't go to the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle and see beloved bands like the reunited Replacements and Dream Syndicate, and another dozen bands and comedians I like. Like I would have, were I a single man without small children.
I'm not bitter (despite the tone of the previous paragraph). I'm really OK with it. Life is all about limited choices and compromises and trade-offs. I'm getting far more than I'm giving up. But I do have to acknowledge that part of my old life is gone. There's a cool new part to replace it though, as proven by the fact I did actually did go to a rock concert yesterday. Yep, Adeline and I saw Imagination Movers as they opened their Canadian tour in our city.
It was a treat to accompany my daughter to her first true rock concert. The Movers are a real band, and had been for years prior to getting a Monkees-styled TV show on Disney Junior. And yes, a reference to The Monkees indicates I'm pretty old. So I can appreciate the Movers' well-crafted original songs and their genuine love of popular music, and feel hip that I pick up all the musical references and in-jokes related to bands ranging from Tears For Fears to Rage Against The Machine and the Movers' largest influence, The Beastie Boys.
More than anything, a Movers concert is inspirational, because the band makes playing music seem like the most fun and cool thing in the world, and they closed the show with only one piece of advice: "Pick an instrument and learn how to play it and you'll thank us some day." I'm proud of Adeline that she's so dedicated to her violin and she genuinely loves playing music.
There was also a toilet paper-dispensing leaf blower contraption, a confetti cannon, and high-fives for Adeline from three of the Movers as they ran around the theatre. Adeline spent most of the show dancing in the aisle (I knew getting aisle seats was a good idea!).
I bought Adeline her first concert t-shirt too, over-priced as every concert t-shirt is. Because taking home a souvenir of the concert used to be important to me, I wanted to introduce the concept to her. Maybe it'll be her first of many, or maybe she won't care about that sort of thing. I'm OK with it either way. As much as I think she's ready for a mix-tape (yes, a mix-tape. You got a problem with that?) of all my favorite, catchiest, most-rocking' tunes, my happiness is not based on her liking the same pop-culture things I do.
I am pleased, however, that she really, really liked the Pop Rocks.