Time: 3 – 4 hours
Recurrence: Once a year
As your daughter ages, her tastes are going to change and like you at this age, she going to want to go to an extremely loud and wild rock concert. This idea might make you be feeling pride (“my rocker-girl is all grown up”) or might have you feeling chest pains. Either way, the rock concert date is going to test your metal (total pun intended) as a parent and also as chaperone. I say chaperone in that you very well might have a portion of this date fending off would-be suitors. Remember, its a Daddy-Daughter Date and that means it’s you and her – that’s it. I’m going to level with you: this is a hard date to pull off because of the age and event. But, you can still do it. If you’ve really put yourself out there and legitimately shown that you’re interested in this time with her, you might just get the opportunity to go with her. Let’s talk through how not to blow it.
BIG DISCLAIMER: Don’t argue about how your music from your generation was better than hers. I didn’t think you were going to go this route, but I really needed to get that out. Let’s face it. The groups you liked have now released a second set of their greatest hits, which were the ones that weren’t even hits to begin with. Most of the original band members have moved on (sometimes to the OTHER SIDE), so the fact of the matter is, your music is probably moot to her. On the off-shot chance you’re going to see a band that you remember and she likes, well, lucky you!
The first task you have is deciding whether this is going to be a single concert or a concert series. I’d suggest for your sanity sake, to avoid the Lollapalooza or the Warped Tour this time, and just focus on something somewhat local that is a single concert. If this is her first one, its going to be an absolute overload on the senses, so going all out probably wouldn’t be the best bet. Unless she’s in her later twenties and can handle a few days hanging with just you and a bunch of mud people; to each her own, I guess. Once you decide on the venue and the actual concert, use whatever your favorite method for procuring tickets. Yes, you could wait in line or start pounding a website at 3 a.m., plan on getting tickets off Craigslist or from a scalper, or just go the standard route and pay TicketMaster face value. As with all tickets, where you sit is going to determine how much you pay. And as with any rock concert, it’s going to be loud in a lot of places. Being close isn’t always the best.
As you’re prepping for the concert, think of some needed equipment. Ear plugs, for instance, are an absolute essential. Unless you’re already sporting the hearing aid, which in that case, just unplug those babies for the evening. But in all honesty, you want your daughter to keep her hearing (man do I sound old) and they make so many options for ear plugs that allow you to hear the music, but not burst an ear drum. Both of you should have a phone, just in case you get separated, and work out where to meet BEFORE entering the venue.
Once in, find your seats, but don’t be expecting to sit in them long. I’d plan on standing the entire concert, given that most people do. You might be able to sit during the opening act, which could be ANYTHING, fyi. You could be watching a lesser known band, a comedian, or a juggler on a unicycle. Aren’t you glad you paid top dollar? I’d save all your enthusiasm for the main act. If this is someone you’re pumped to see, that won’t be hard, but if it’s a band she likes, it might be.
Another fine point: you should know the music you’re about to hear for a couple of different reasons. #1, just to connect with your daughter and be inside her world. #2, to be cognizant of the message that’s within side that song as lyrics can be quite deep, artistic, or in some cases down right scary. #3, to know what you just got yourself in to. Going back to point #2, you need to be sure the lyrics are appropriate for her age and you’re going to have to be willing to talk through some of that dark prose with her. She is a complicated creature, just like her dad, so be ready to discuss that message. At this age, she does understand the deeper root of those lyrics.
Do not be surprised if you’re identifying the smell of a certain medical supplement that gets smoked. You’re at a concert. This shouldn’t be that hard to figure out. But again, part of this date is about spending one on one time with your daughter and part of it is showing her how to have a good time without making detrimental choices. If your daughter is following this band, she’s also following the sub-culture attached to it. She’ll have some of the same interests and thoughts as the group-think that follows wherever the pack leads. You have a chance to show her another path.
At the end of the concert, think about getting a concert shirt. Sure, you could have bought one online, but it’s part of the souvenir, really. Every time she puts on that shirt, she’ll be remembering her dad right next to her. Fifteen years later, when she pulls it out of a closet for something to do yard work in, she’ll remember again. That’s an amazing legacy to leave.
Super-Dad Tip: If you know anyone in the band, it’d be cool to get an autograph. Just saying.
DID IT! by Brian B.
“My older daughter and I, we do a lot of concerts. So, like, she and I went and saw John Mayer in February. She’s been to more concerts, like, under the age of 12 than I went to than when I was through the age of twenty. “
“And they actually hang out with me at the concerts. We haven’t seen any heavy metal bands, but bands like Train, Counting Crows, Goo-Goo Dolls. We went to Summerfest two times this year. My daughter is even starting to collec ticket stubs. She won’t let me buy electronic tickets to concerts. She wants the physical copy, so she can put them all on her board. It’s silly, but I think it’s really neat, because it says something. “
“The bigger thing is not a huge week-long activities like a vacation, that make the difference. It’s little “aha” moments with her that you just say, “That was really cool”. The concerts are great like that. My daughter is like, “Huh. My dad’s not such a jerk.” And we haven’t done a big week long family vacation out to the Grand Canyon or something, because we don’t have to. We’re already connecting.”
Thanks for being a dad….