My kid went to her first concert! She loves country like her momma and when I saw Jon Pardi/Dierks Bentley tickets a few months ago I decided this was it. I ordered a “This Is My First Concert” T-shirt for her and I am not ashamed to admit that I fully expected and hoped this would get her something cool from someone. Boy did it!
We had great seats on the floor which is the closest I have by far ever gotten at a show. We were stoked! After the first warm up band – which was actually Dierks Bentley and his band dressed as 90’s throwbacks doing goofy fun stuff – and then the up and coming new artist sang, my daughter started drooping. She kept asking me what time it was. I gave her a granola snack and she was ready for Jon Pardi. We sang along and then he previewed some new music. My daughter was ready to go home.
What?! No way! “I’m just really tired, mom.” To which I replied like any responsible, sympathetic parent, “Nope. We are not leaving. Not even close.” Thankfully that’s when JP closed out with his 2 big hits and we sang and laughed and danced while my daughter stood on a chair possibly blocking the view of the shorties behind us.
We headed for a bathroom and water break and that’s when it happened. The shirt payed off. A young lady in front of us saw the shirt and asked if we wanted to get up to the pit. The pit!! I was like, “Uh yea. … how, exactly?” We used her phone to get past security, they gave us wrist bands and then I gave the phone back. Turns out mobile tickets have a small glitch. If you don’t have a paper ticket to be taken, whose to say you haven’t already redeemed it?
So we were AT the stage. Unfortunately the draw back of that is my daughter got to witness a LOT of drunk people, spilled beer, and colorful language. We wriggled our way to one side of the stage where there was space towards the front. When the drunken men and women saw her and her shirt, her ear protectors and concert hat, they caved. “Come up here, hon. Get as close as you can. If you put your hands up, I bet Dierks will high 5 you!”
The headliner came out. My kid was right up at the stage. I was right behind her and as soon as Dierks started singing, a drunken wave pushed against me. I turn and see a woman just ramming into the crowd to get to the front where her people were – the same people next to us who let my kid up front. Unfortunately in her drunken rhino-ramming of the crowd she pissed off some other drunk people and a fight broke out. These grown ass women were tearing and punching and scratching at each other! There was a protective barrier of burly guys around my kid, but I had to fight not to get shoved back four spots. At one point I had to yank one lady off of the other to move her so I didn’t get pushed further away. At this point her friends intervened, parted, and shoved me towards my kid.
At one point Dierks Bentley came over to our side of the stage, everyone was shouting at him and pointing down at my daughter who was reaching all of her mighty 4’6″ reach towards him to no avail. The amount of drunken protectiveness and effort to make this special for her really touched me. Also, the drunken mess behind me kept touching me. She kept grabbing at my purse strap, my jean pockets, my back. Every time I turned around her friend – who was the only thing keeping her vertical – kept mouthing, “I’m so sorry.”
It was a fun, exciting, crazy mess of alcohol, music, and future memories. I was getting smacked in the head by exuberant fans swaying and singing along to the music. It was intense. Then I felt a cold wet splash across the back of my legs and my boots.”Please don’t be vomit. Please don’t be vomit.” I looked down and saw a beer can and all it’s contents on the ground at my feet. Whew!
Not long after this my daughter turns and shouts, “I wanna go. I’m tired.” At this point we had seen most of the show. I had beer on my jeans and possibly down my boots. I had witnessed a fight, helped separate grown ass drunk women, been humbled and incredibly thankful for the experience so many people wanted to help my daughter enjoy. The woman next to us kept slurring down to my kid how much she loved that she was there and how my daughter was her favorite person at the whole show. It doesn’t matter that no one will even remember the evening, but my kid and I will. My daughter saw mostly the backs of checkered and flannel shirts, she saw the edge of the stage and the huge speaker in front of her. She heard the most F-bombs of her heretofore life, smelled and stepped in the most beer, and was inches from a major country star she hears on the radio every day.
I really hope she remembers this as much as I do. By the time we got to the car and waited the hour + it took for the venue and traffic and pedestrians to clear so we could get on the road, sit in traffic, stop for gas, and head home for an hour drive we were both pretty pooped.
We both woke up and put on our concert loot. She wore her concert hat all day, all throughout the rollerskating birthday party she went to and currently is waiting to eat dinner with it on.
I think this experience might stick.