Do you ever feel like you’re left out of the whole pop culture scene? That perhaps you have something missing in your DNA sequence that prohibits you from having the desire to ever see a live concert?
This lack of passion for once upon a time “Top 40” music can leave you feeling like an outsider. When everyone under the age of 65 was having mini-strokes over the Rolling Stones playing at Arrowhead Stadium, I was pretending to be bummed out I couldn’t go when in reality I was mentally high-fiving myself that I wouldn’t be sweating off my SPF and bug spray while surrounded by a collection of folks double fisting Lipitor and Bud Light.
I think my anti-concert stance started with John Denver. He was my first. I was maybe 17 and was taken to the concert by a young man that ended up becoming a minister. (Back story: The best advice my mom ever gave me was, “Sherry, please know that the good Lord never wants you to become a minister’s wife. No church is ready for that and probably won’t ever be.” I will confess that when she said this, it hurt my feelings. Now, years later, I realize the tremendous wisdom in her words.)
This sweet, devout boy was a huge John Denver fan and loudly belted out the lyrics to every song. I, being more of a Bee Gee’s girl, barely knew who John Denver was and found the whole singalong to “West Virginia mountain mama” a little uncool. I mean, come on, I was rocking big ’80s hair. I needed a song that matched my do.
My next concert was Billy Joel. It sounded great, but I couldn’t see the stage due to the thick wall of smoke from all the various forms of incendiary devices being lit up and inhaled. All I could think about was how bad my hair must smell. (Yes, again it’s all about my hair.)
Then, as we got into the ’90s, all the concerts become multi-media extravaganzas. This is when I had to start a mantra. It was “don’t look at the screen, look at the stage.” I did this because I wound find myself staring at the Jumbotron all night and I would harshly scold myself that I paid all this money to see a performance on stage not gape at the mother of all TV screens.
But, I think what really put the final nail in my concert coffin was my daughter, Isabella. I totally enjoyed all the Disney Princesses on Ice events and nothing says family bonding like an evening spent at My Little Pony Live! You would have to be a gigantic grump not to be visibly moved by Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash finding the true meaning of friendship by sharing bedazzled accessories.
It’s when Isabella entered the boy band period of her life that my desire to ever experience a huge concert again was killed. The 2008 Jonas Brothers concert in Sacramento was her gateway drug.
The event was held outside in an amphitheatre and the Jo Bros were wearing leather pants. All I could think about was why would their mother let them get on stage in leather. It had to be close to 100 degrees out. They should have been in some nifty cargo shorts or something.
After that I endured a slew of concerts. I was doing alright there for a while. I could still muster up what it took to get through what was essentially a couple of hours of elementary school girls screaming nonstop. Earplugs helped a lot. Then in July 2010, Justin Bieber came to the Sprint Center and my life was forever changed.
I have no doubt that one of the circles of hell is a Justin Bieber concert. For hours, even before the “Beebs” came on stage, females were screaming, sobbing and in one case passing out. It felt more like I was at the largest revival in the history of mankind than a concert. I even had a middle age-ish woman sitting next to me who was weeping because she was so excited.
When I saw the tears, I turned to her and screamed, “Yeah, I totally get it! I want to cry too! This is crazy! The things we do for our kids, right?”
She looked at me and yelled so viciously that I feared for my safety, “I don’t have kids! I’m here because I loooooove Justin!”
I considered for a second whether my $20 commemorative Justin Bieber program would make an adequate self-defense weapon and then I put my earplugs back in, scooted as far away from her as I could and made a solemn vow to never, ever attend another concert again.
Freelancer Sherry Kuehl of Leawood writes Snarky in the Suburbs in 913 each week. You can follow her on Facebook at Snarky in the Suburbs, on Twitter at @snarkynsuburbs and read her blog at snarkyinthesuburbs .com. Her new book is “Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble in Texas.”