Cap'n Noise posted recently on concert attendance for a band from his past. Have not had the same reaction to seeing live music from youthful influences or enthusiasms. For me, these events incur positive nostalgia.
CarolinaMom and I saw Johnny Mathis at Chastain Amphitheater a couple o'years back here in Atlanta. Wow. That man's voice is still buttah: late in "Misty" when he sings "On my own" an octave higher than the rest of the melody gave me goose bumps. I cried a bit with "The Twelfth of Never," as it's one of my Mom's favorites. We sat next to two women my Mom's age, and the 3 of them waxed on about their teenage crushes, other popular music at the time, etc.
I've seen James Taylor many, many times. His music framed my childhood, and I shoved countless quarters into the jukebox at Anna's Pizzeria in Hampton to play "Handyman".
But these music tastes were my parents' and became mine by osmosis. The ones I sought out myself as Noise did, in 'tween and teen years, and seen recently? Many still bring it. But they weren't as frantic or punk or alternative as Noise's B52s. My sister and I saw Peter Frampton, and I heard no tales from her about feelin' old 'n'stuff, or that Frampton was any less intense as a balding older white dood. He still showed the way (just watch Almost Famous - he and Nancy Wilson wrote the original music, and the movie brings that time's feel back in spades.)
Crowded House last fall at The Tabernacle was one of my top 5 concerts, ever, and their musical chops had only improved with time. More subtlety and complexity. Neil Finn's age couldn't have shown more, what with his son opening the show and all. But it didn't have me finding Neil an old fart, nor did it make me feel similarly old-farted with being closer to Neil's age than his son's.
How much NEW live music do you witness, Cap'n? Vampire Weekend at Variety Playhouse in June drew a multi-generational audience vividly engaged to each of the 75 minutes played. Why only 75? Well, they've only the one album, dontcha know. Fans from age 10 to age 60 in the demographic spread, with density in the college-age. Plenty of boozing and dancing in the crowd. I was transported to 1983 and Coyote having me listen to the Violent Femmes.
Feist at Masquerade this Spring blew me away. No Kate or Cindy or alt punk feel, but I felt no age distance between myself and the teenage urchins I chaperoned. Neither did my concert consort, Kimplicated. The sound harkened be effortelessly back to Boone introducing me to "new" chick music during college: The Cocteau Twins, The Sundays, The Innocence Mission, Sarah McLachlan.
Sheena baptized me with The Legendary Shack Shakers in Tallahassee in 2005, and Cap'n, they done did bring zany. And let's not forget my aforementioned serendipitous newish crush.
Speaking of Kimplicated, another of my top 5 concerts is seeing 311 with her at Lakewood Amphitheater. They brung it hard, but my fondness for the event was witnessing Kimplicated's unmitigated joy and thrash dancing so hard that her specs went flying a few rows in front of us (rescued with a mad dash forward). The dancing was contagious. I bounced up and down and happily remembered the ghosts of shows past: A Flock of Seagulls, R.E.M., Oingo Boingo, The Cure, U2.
And then there's Eddie From Ohio. My passion for their music fully integrates my parent's osmossissing, my teenage discoveries, and my adult acoustic penchants. In their harmonies I'm back on a long trip in the station wagon, the 8-track player booming Peter Paul & Mary, The Kingston Trio, John Denver, and my folks and us urchins singing 5 part harmony. In their joy for entertaining I'm transported to meeting Robbie Schaefer in high school at a variety show audition, and seeing his band Knightly Jest whip teenagers into frenzied (albeit mostly sober) dancing to The Stray Cats and The Who. In their wit I'm hanging out with Robbie in college at JMU, meeting Michael Clem, and am in the thick of late night banter and Jellyfish Blues Band gigs. In their soulfulness and Julie's passionate voice, I'm back in Mr. Boren's choir at Cocoa Beach High School, singing 8 part a capella harmony with my brother and Otter and Coyote. And then I'm in The Swede's kitchen after an EFO gig at Variety Playhouse, drinking beers with the band and reading our names on the back of a high school regional chorus competition album: me, Robbie, Julie, Chad of Knightly Jest, and Robbie's peep Vern.
Mayhap it's my frequency of live music worship, but Cap'n my Cap'n, I'm not taken where you go. I lose myself in appreciation of the sound, the shared enjoyment, and a bevvie or two. The experience connects me philotically to youthful show going joy. It's a communion. It's part mind-, part heartf*ck. It's social object enthusiasm enjoyed best when shared, not solo'd, and always connects me with my peep music influencers.
Getting old does not *completely* suck, Cap'n Noise. It may *mostly* suck. But it does not *completely* suck.