I felt good about sitting with older people at an all-ages show Until I realized...I was in the parents section
On 11/9/11some friends and I headed to see The Airborne Toxic Event at the Riviera. I really like this band because they remind me of the kind of music I liked when I was young. They also write lyrics that leave me reminiscing of my angst riddled teen years where I sat around and obsessed over my high school boyfriend and dreamed of fairytale futures.
I was a little concerned about attending an all ages show at The Riviera Theater, but figured, my friends are all my age and older, I should be fine. We did not have to fight through any crowds, as we had reserved seats in the in the balcony. Once I was seated, I looked around and felt a sense of comfort come over me - everyone in the audience (around me) was at least my age, some were significantly older. Was this partly due to the fact that The Airborne Toxic Event was a WXRT show? I did not know, I was just relieved to be in the company of my peers.
As the band went on to play their songs from their two albums, my friends and I snickered with each other as the band made silly announcements like, "This is an old song..." We jokingly asked each other, "Really? Old? As in 2007?" At one point I tweeted, "I have tattoos older than these kids." There were also moments throughout the show where I felt like a proud, older sister as I watched the kids on stage jump around like pretend rockstars trying to emulate their musical heros of yesteryear. Because I had experienced the place in time they were trying to pattern themselves after, I could not help but feel that I was in some way responsible for their antics.
About half-way though the show, I had to go to the bathroom, I waited for a slow song and headed out. As I headed down the stairs, flashbacks of my former life came at me from all directions. As I walked on to the main floor entry way, I saw 15-16 year old boys and girls flirting with each other by the stairwell. I thought about all the times my mom dropped me and my friends off at "The Riv" and recalled flirting with boys in that very spot. As I headed down to the lower level (where the bathrooms are located), the memory of the all-ages, house music, dance parties I attended in high school came back. I also saw moms and daughters entering the bathrooms together - very much like my mom used to do with me when I was a too young to go alone with friends. I hated it that she wouldn't even let me go to the bathroom alone, but in retrospect, I am happy that she took the time to go with me.
I returned to my seat just in time for the "hits", the band played three of their "hits" in a row and the crowd went wild. The 30+ year olds around me were now standing up, dancing and singing along. Soon after, the band left the stage, we stayed put and waited for the encore. The crowd was excited when they returned - more jumping and dancing.
After the final song, we headed down the stairs to the exit, my friends went to the bathroom and I waited by the front doors... watching the crowd. I noticed the older people coming down from the section I was sitting in, the balcony. I also noticed the kids coming out from the main floor area, the younger kids who had been standing closer to the stage. I then noticed the older people from my section coupling up with the younger people from the main floor, and it became evident.... The older people from my section were meeting up with their kids who were watching from the main floor. I was seated in the Parents Section!