Do Kids Belong At Rock Concerts?
"Mum, why is that woman holding up a pair of underpants to Adam?"
Concert-going with kids does bring up some interesting issues. We took the kids to Maroon 5 last night. It was their first official "rock" concert. As first concerts go, Maroon 5 was a good choice. Just enough street cred to be cool for my 12-year-old, and yet tame enough so that we didn't have to explain too many funny smells or bad outfits to the kids.
Other than the underpants. (Frontman Adam Levine, did eventually grab them and make a funny remark about Superman undies which meant I didn't have to deal with the reasons why women throw their underwear on the stage.)
Your first concert is something that stays in your memory forever (David Bowie: Serious Moonlight Tour, 1983) and we were happy to share it with our kids (thanks to a generous Uncle who wanted to celebrate his birthday.)
We did have to talk to the kids about some issues before we went to the concert. Kids these days are so used to innovative videos and the radio that we wanted to lower their expectations a little.Especially after my seven-year-old told me she was going to wear black so Adam could see her better. I had to gently explain that Adam won't be able to see her, that a concert is more like going to a baseball game than a school concert in her gym.
I also told her that she wouldn't be able to see him very well. He would be a tiny dancing man on the stage.
We explained that the songs wouldn't sound exactly like they did on the radio or on their iPods but the trade-off in quality you gain in energy and immersive experience.
I had some stock phrases in the back of my mind (thanks to this article) in case the band got a little raunchy. But I shouldn't have worried, Adam and his bandmates kept it very clean, mostly crooning about heartbreak. Or as Adam said (paraphrase): "This one goes out to all the ladies, because without you we would have no songs." True enough.
Some parents take their kids to concerts all the time, as they want to share their passion for music with their little ones. I think that is a lofty goal, but like this writer who argues that rock concerts are not for kids, I'm not sure I would want to spend my time worrying about my children's sleep schedules, or what that funny smell is.
The kids enjoyed themselves and it was definitely worth it for my 12-year-old, but the nine and seven-year-olds got tired and a little annoyed that their buddy Adam was so tiny. That didn't stop them from some major bragging on the school yard today, however.
Even after taking my kids to the show, I feel ambivalent about kids going to rock concerts. Is it a great idea because they get to see and feel the passion for music? Or is it an inappropriate place for kids under a certain age?
What do you think?
Image credit: Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com
Want more chaos? Last year, I wondered if Hunger Games and YA fiction was too dark for kids. If you read my post you will see that the answer is no, but I still got slammed in the comments. And I still haven't read Twilight either.