What was your first concert?
For those who follow us on our other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you probably caught that we took JetSet Tot to her very first concert. Sure, she has been front row at Yo Gabba Gabba!, has had an impromptu acoustic jam with G.Love, and rocked out with the Fresh Beat Band, but this was her very first rock and rock concert. Unless of course you are counting that one Foo Fighters gig at the Pantages while in utero. This time, we’re celebrating the last day of our summer with Sir Paul McCartney at Dodger Stadium.
See, Tot has been asking me since she could talk if I would take her to see The Beatles. “Ummmmm, sorry kid. Mama can make a lot of things happen, but this one? No bueno!” Due to the fact there are only two living Beatles, it was impossible. Then it happened, last spring as we were watching the Jack Black classic, School of Rock, a commercial came on announcing Paul McCartney’s return to Dodger Stadium. “Oh, mama! Can we please go?” My heart sunk, but before I could say, “No,” my wallet was out, my AMEX cried, and my husband grabbed his chest, but we did it.
We went to our first concert as a family. At a stadium. On a school night. With 54,000 fans. They don’t valet. Our seats were pretty much in Burbank. Our car was parked in what felt like San Diego. Was I nuts for doing this? I didn’t think so, but when you think about it long enough, it does have the makings to be a disaster. 39 songs, 3 hours, 2 encores, no intermissions, outside…What was I thinking? Everything was so wrong, but oh, so right.
Tips, tricks + survival tactics for bringing children to a concert
Early shmerly. Arrive as close to stage time as humanly possible. The longer you are hanging around a venue with kids who have nothing to do, the more bathroom and snack bar trips you’ll be making. And you know what they say about “Breaking the seal…”
Expensive tickets are always worth it. Remember how I said I was sitting in Burbank? Well those tickets were still well over $100 a pop. With the exception of singing “Hey Jude,” with 54,000 other fans, I didn’t have that religious experience I love to feel during shows because Paul McCartney was not right up IN MY FACE. The good tickets we were eyeballing were $450 / $750 / $1250. We could not justify spending that much on three tickets for an 8 year old’s first concert. What if she really wanted to go home? She didn’t, she loved all 3 hours, but if she didn’t? I’d be force to sell her American Girl dolls.
Check out the Setlist Before You Go
Lil’ rock and rollers can become pretty bored if they do not know every single song. So the moment you get your tickets, head over to Setlist.FM and see what songs the band has recently been performing live. Make a play list to stream on Spotify and play it regularly leading up to the concert.
Hear no evil. See no evil.
Don’t forget to protect tiny ears from loud sounds! Here are my recommendations earphones for kids: when you are up-close and personal, I am a big fan of Ear Muffs by Banz. They provide great hearing protection, come in fantastic colors and don’t take my word for it. During the show, Tom Morello and fam passed by and his kids were rockin’ the muffs. For older children and adults I prefer reusable DownBeats.
This is a concert so you can expect bright flashing lights and even the occasional pyrotechnics show, but there is really nothing you can do to avoid it. Parents can opt to take a recording of that portion of the show with their smartphone so lil’ rocker can look away and enjoy the moment again later at home.
And remember what I said about our seats being in Burbank? Binoculars are your child’s friend. A pair with strings.
You are here
Familiarize yourself with the surroundings. Locate the nearest exit, access to the nearest aisle so you can sprint with child to the restroom on a moment’s notice. I hope you got your cardio in.
Outside of the venue, take a split second to whip out that fancy phone and take a picture of your surroundings or parking area. It’s a long night and the last thing you need is to wait until every car leaves for before you can spot your lone wolf in the distance.
Concerts are so much fun for everyone to enjoy. They can be long and loud, but at the end of the night, they are always filled with great memories. If you are planning to be in the L.A. area, make sure to keep your eye on our Social Diary to see our upcoming concerts.