After I posted the video for the song "Animal" by Neon Trees last Friday, Current Husband had one of those rare moments when he surprises me. In a pleasant way, even, which is a double bonus, because the unpleasant surprises exceed the pleasant ones. I give you his penchant for jalapenos. Unpleasant surprises. But I digress.
CH came into our room with his laptop and made an announcement.
CH: "Hey, you know that band you like, Neon Trees? They're playing at Ribco Tuesday night. Wanna go?"
ME: "Um, yeah! But why do you want to go, CH? You get annoyed in packed bars."
CH: "Because it would be a fun date night."
ME: "Whoa there, padre! Oldest Daughter would kill me in my sleep if I did this show without her."
CH: (sighs.) "Okay, get three tickets."
ME: "You're all full of crazy if you think we can take OD and not take The Son. They're both into music."
CH: "I suppose now you're going to say we have to take Youngest Daughter because we can't take the other two and leave her."
ME: "What's wrong with you?!!? I'm not taking my 7-year-old to a bar!"
CH: Walking away shaking head. "You do what you want."
And this, my friends, is the line that ends most of our conversations.
We found one of those perfect solutions for the night - we have some friends who have three children who are the same gender and general ages, so the mom came with us and her OD and Son, and their dad stayed home with our YD and theirs. We got to the bar and got our Over-21 bands, bought the girls concert t-shirts, and found our first round of beer for the adults and water for the kids. The place was pretty packed, and there were two opening acts - one with the word "Giants" in the name, and they were pretty good, and then New Politics, which I have to say I hadn't heard of because I'm 41 and listen to NPR when the kids aren't in the car. New Politics was like a blend of Nirvana and The Sex Pistols, and I couldn't believe they could get as much sound out of a guitar and drums and a singer as they did.
The lead singer, David, was very theatrical and animated on stage, and can stand on his head for long periods of time without hands. The Son was a little fascinated with him. After their act, The Son and I went to talk to David, and he was super surprisingly nice to my son, considering he's a punk rocker, and then David signed this memento for The Son, which is now hanging in his room:
Violators will not be asked to leave.
They will be ejected.
Do two wrongs make a right, people?
Our viewing position at the show was toward the back and to the side, against a brick wall. The two teenagers had already broken away from us and were angling their way up to the stage where all of the other potential groupies were gathering.
We kept lifting up the two boys so they could see, and then one extremely nice guy in front of us got a barstool so the boys could stand up on a rung to see the bands. Earlier, I noticed there was a couple in their 50's sitting at the table near us, and there were two unused barstools under their table. It was between bands, and the boys were sick of standing, so I asked if they could sit on the two barstools. The woman said, "Sure, but don't move them, and we have people coming so we'll need them back when our people come." Fine. I have saved a seat before in my time. The boys sat, but the SECOND one of them stood up, her husband threw his jacket across the chair. Um, don't worry, my 11-year-old isn't going to pee on it OR fistfight you for it.
Two hours later, NOT ONE PERSON had sat on those barstools. It was about 10 p.m., and Neon Trees had just taken the stage. We had one barstool that the nice man got for one of the boys. I leaned over and asked the woman, "Can I use one of these barstools?" She looked at me, all exasperated, and said, "I guess, but don't move them from this table." By this time, Mommy had finished her third Blue Moon, and manners were taking a nosedive on the list of priorities. So I said, "REALLY!?! Because I haven't seen ANYONE sitting on these barstools, and you've been reserving them all night." And she said, "The people they are for are right there!" and pointed off to the huge sweaty crowd. I gave her my BITCH look and said, "Whatever. That's pathetic." and walked off. OOOOHHHH. I showed her! "Whatever" is always the best comeback. However, I did get have CH get a picture of her to humiliate her on my blog, so the three people who read it could get as outraged as I was.
See all of the barstools around her?
This is during the headlining act,
three hours after they sat down.
I wish early incontinence and thick
black facial hair upon this woman.
After Neon Trees finished, the other mom, I'll call her Neen, and I decided to use the bathroom while waiting for the band to come out. We were in the stalls when this group of drunk bottle blondes came stumbling into the bathroom, talking about ass-grabbing Tyler from Neon Trees and singing Animal at each other's weddings. Then one of them said this:
"Oh.My.Gawd. did you see the KIDS out there? A couple of those kids are my students! I mean, like, what kind of parents bring their kids to a BAR? Like, why are there KIDS in here?"
Oops. Perhaps, Ms. Student Teacher, it was the sign that said "ALL AGES WELCOME" on the poster? Maybe I brought my children because they play piano, cello, and drums, and they are way into music and I thought it would inspire them as musicians? Nah. It was totally so the girls could have tequila shooters and the boys could fantasize about the two goth girls making out right next to them, and I could get out of the house. I also take them to my meth dealer's lab when I'm low on product. SO, when I walked out of the stall the same time as Neen, and we looked at each other and laughed a little bit, I turned to Blondie and said, "WE are the parents who bring their 11-year-olds to concerts! We are the bad parents! Who-hoo!" and fist pumped as we walked out of the bathroom.
With the guitarist from Neon Trees,
doing our rock star hands.
See you at conferences, teachers!
(NOTE: The teachers were NOT from our school.
I love our teachers, really, I do.)
We got home at about 11:30, tired, hoarse, a little hard of hearing, but happy. It was a great night out at the bars with the kids, stalking musicians. I'm so proud. The torch has been passed.