Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Sight to See: The Kings of Leon (with Band of Horses) live at the Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Texas, Tuesday, April 12, 2011

“Once the show gets started, it’s bound to be a sight to see.”

-- Caleb Followill, Kings of Leon, from Pyro on the Come Around Sundown album

Not our average Tuesday yesterday, that’s for sure. I even had a costume change, like all good (wannabe) celebrities.

After a rather routine day at the office, Jeanette and I dropped the kids off at the Treetops Learning Center and headed for the Highball club for Austin Voices for Education and Youth’s annual fundraiser, the “Shout Out Awards.” It was great to see Jeanette in her professional milieu. I’m proud to be associated with such a capable, accomplished person who has done so much for kids and their families in two different states.

Plus, she’s so darn sexy!

Then came the costume change – from respectful, preppy jacket and tie to ripped jeans, novelty t-shirt, and hiker sneaks for the Kings of Leon at the Frank Erwin Center. We made our way to the “Will Call” window where our tickets were waiting for us. I purchased them through a friend who works with the band, so they were good seats, as expected. In fact, they were the best seats I’ve ever had for a show of that magnitude. As I said to Jeanette, “These seats have ruined me for all future concerts.”

I’m sentimental at heart, in case you hadn’t noticed already, and being at this show brought me back to my college days. Our seats were the ones I used to look over at, as I was panting and sweating from being crushed on the General Admission floor by other young rock grunts, and wonder how those older people scored such sweet seats.

From this new vantage point I could look down into the pit, where the 20-somethings reveled, singing every word and pumping their arms in that way that can’t help but make you think of Nazi propaganda films from the 1930’s.

At one point I watched a young girl who was on her boyfriend’s shoulders, a few feet above the crowd. If this were a movie, this would be the moment the slow motion kicks in, and the camera zooms in on her face, which holds an expression of pure joy.

I want to make my way over to her, just so I can take her aside and make sure she understands that this moment is one she will never forget, that she will carry it with her always, through the complex landscape her life will eventually become. She’ll need to secure this memory in a safe place, like a treasure, so that she can find it when she needs it. When she’s feeling alone, or overwhelmed, she’ll be able to take out this remembrance, turn it over in her hand and recall the shimmering beauty of this moment.

Of course I don’t do that. I’m too old for the General Admission floor and have the sense those young people would render me limb from limb like rock-and-roll-crazed jackals were I to venture down there. Besides, Jeanette would have smacked me, and the girl’s boyfriend would likely have knocked me out, as well.

So I stayed in my seat and watched her, recalling my own concert memories from years gone by.

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