Tonight was an absolutely life changing
night. Today I took my seven (almost eight) year old son to his
first concert, of any type. I debated on it, but I really believed
that he was ready to have this experience, to have it and hold it,
and appreciate it for the rest of his life. He was ready. We got
Backspacer in the mail Friday, and spent the weekend getting
familiarized with it. He already is very in touch with the rest of
the catalog, definitely has his favorites. But he is a new fan and,
he really, really digs the newer stuff, mostly from the last
We got down to the arena about 5:30, we were going to check out
Easy Street, and the pre party at TS McHugh’s, but I couldn’t
resist, so we went to the 10c ticket window. And we got good news.
Row seven. Dead center.Unbelievable. The greatest part of these
seats was the fact that there was a wide aisle (maybe five feet
wide?) directly to our left, we were on the aisle. And there were
about three rows of people in front of us, so my son was able to
just rock out, and see everything totally unobstructed. This could
not have worked out better, it was meant to be.
Not one security guard said one thing about it. People were
coming up left and right, high fiving him, jokingly asking if he
wanted to trade seats with them. We both decided we wouldn’t have
sold our seats for a million dollars. And that was before the first
note was played.
We sit, and revel in these gifts from the heavens for awhile.
What he said next really cracked me up. He said, “Dad, I’m just so
excited. I feel like I can’t hold my feet still! And I have this
feeling inside my stomach!” I was able to look at him and say that
I felt the exact same way. I always do before a show. Now some
people will say it was a waste of a five digit 10c numbered seat to
bring a child, but this is a kid who somehow knows he is going to
experience something special.
Ben Harper’s set was great, nice warmup. We play with the
earplugs for the first couple songs, get them just right. Opener is
Long Road, not something he’s really familiar with. I always dig
it, though I’ve had it as an opener at least a couple times
previously. Corduroy, and he is jacked. I made a point to
familiarize him with the staples I guessed he would hear, and this
was one. He’s totally smiling, and trying to figure out how to move
somewhat rhythmically. Very entertaining. For the first time in my
life, after 21 shows, I’m more entertained at the show by someone
other than the five guys on stage!
Gonna See My Friend, again he is into it. One he said repeatedly
he wanted to hear before the show. Singing along, I’m loving it.
Got Some is another winner, same thing. Around this time, I notice
Ed distinctly pointing at him, and connecting somehow. It seemed
like he tried to throw him a guitar pick, but it went astray. It’s
a thing I think it takes a parent to relate to. But there was just
a lot of joy in that room, and my boy was immersed in goodness.
Hail Hail / Amongst The Waves / Daughter. After daughter, he says
“That’s it? What’s up with that?” There was no tag. That made me
Evenflow and he gives me that look that any parent knows, like
on their birthday when they open a gift that they really wanted,
but really had no expectation of it actually showing up. Johnny
guitar /Unthought Known / WWS. He was probably the only one there
that didn’t notice the gaffes in WWS. He dug the avocado album,
especially the upbeat stuff, so he’s happy. He got that look I see
a lot of Tenclubbers get when they hear a song they almost somehow
forgot about,but wanted to hear, and forgot they wanted to hear
Small Town. He is belting out the “I just want to scream hello,”
and that was a special moment. I pull him close, and kinda just
love on him like parents have to do at times. What happens next I
still am having a hard time believing actually happened. My whole
body just gets covered in goosebumps and I get the chills. Eddie
goes down to one knee and says to the people in the first row,
“Hey, could you do me a favor? I see there is a little boy up here
in about the sixth or seventh row, could you hand this back to
I can’t believe this is happening. He walks up the aisle, and it
gets passed back. Ed asks, “What is he, about six or seven?” Seven,
I yell back at him. Matthew is holding this guitar pick like it is
a piece of gold. I hold him up, face to face with Ed, and my son
tells him thank you. “What is this, about your fourteenth show?” Ed
asks, jokingly. Whatever else happens tonight, this day is just
unbelievable. There are no words to describe.