April Fool’s in Providence
For my eleventh birthday my parents got me concert tickets to my first show to see a band called Awol Nation. My Mom and Dad are frequently going to see shows so I was thrilled to have them be able to bring me along. It was a cold drizzly day and night, and it happened to snow a little the night before. My Mom is a big Blind Melon fan, so she was excited that this band has the same guitar player, and is how she found out about this band and introduced it to me. Their music is so great. I rushed home from school and was excited to get to go to my first show! The afternoon went by so slowly. Finally, my Mom and Dad were getting ready so I went upstairs and got changed while we waited for my Grandmama to get home so she could baby sit my sister. When she got here, we all got into the car and picked up some fast food before hitting the road to drive to Providence.
We parked down the street from the Ruins where we were going to see the show. We got in really early because my Dad said he wanted to beat the traffic so that we would get there at a decent time and we ended up not getting stuck in any so we had some time to kill. As we walked down the street, I heard some music coming out of the back door- a Clash song, I want to learn how to play it on my bass, along with some other songs. We went over to Starbucks to sit for a little while since it was a bit too cold to stand around outside the club. So we all had warm drinks and finally decided it was time to get going to stand in line. When we got there, there were only a few people standing around. And then we saw that the line got really long. I’m glad we were able to get there so early. After what seemed like an eternity, this guy came out from inside and said they’d open the doors soon. I stood looking at the posters outside and me and my dad made up funny sayings for the people in them to pass the time. We were the first people in line. The doorman was asking for the people who were old enough for their id cards, he asked me if I was old enough too- we all laughed. Eventually they let us in.
The three of us took our coats off & we sat around waiting for the band that was opening to start. My parents forgot to bring earplugs so my Dad & I went and got some tissue to try to make our own ones. It was a good idea. One that my Mom does often when she goes to shows. We should all invest in some, especially if I continue going to concerts with them.
The first band that came on, Psycho Circus, was pretty good. They were a three-piece band of what looked like high school kids all playing together. The crowd was pretty energetic and they did a variety of original songs and some cover songs. There was that Clash song that we heard when we were walking by and a Weezer song. They finished up their set and then the guy from the radio station that was there came out to say Awol Nation was coming out. I was getting really excited. And so were the people around us.
My Mom made a spot for the three of us right in front of the stage on the left side. The keyboard player came out and was doing something on his laptop. It looked like maybe he was setting something up. The group around us got a bit more crowded and we were right up against the stage. The music started. It was so incredibly loud, our homemade earplugs only worked a little bit. My Mom loves to take pictures at concerts so she was going over to the other side of the stage to get some different pictures. I stayed over with my dad while she was busy taking them. She came back over to our spot and asked if I wanted to come with her to the other side of the stage, I said no, but oh how I wished that I had. Because as soon as my mom went back over this girl with flailing arms had completely taken over our spot and I was pushed up against my Dad and pretty much on top of him for the rest of the show to get away from her. Even though she kept bumping into me it was so great that I was inches away from the stage- so loud & great watching these musicians so close & in front of me.
The band said it was the bass player’s birthday, so we all sang to him. They played a lot of songs from their new c.d., in fact they may just have done all of them. When they finished playing, we got our stuff and me and my Dad headed to the bathroom. My Mom had stayed out in the club area waiting for us. My dad said he saw the drummer in the hallway and she said the rest of the band was probably back there too and suggested we head out back to see if we could meet them and get pictures taken. I was tired but I am so glad that she said to do that.
I got to meet the keyboard player, Kenny, and the bassist Rhino (his real name is David but I think Rhino is a better name). I wished him a Happy Birthday. I told them this was my first show, one of the guys said it was way cooler than his first show. Then we got to meet the lead singer, Aaron, and the guitar player, Christopher. My mom handed the camera to Rhino and he took a picture of me and my Mom & Dad with Aaron & Christopher. Then she took one of me & Rhino. He & I were talking about bass, and music stuff. I think I might’ve told him about the song I learned, I don’t really remember exactly what we talked about. Then I went over with my Mom & Dad to talk with Christopher. He asked me if I was up past my bed time and when I said yes he did a high five with me. We stood around in this hallway for a long time talking with Christopher. He & I also talked about music and again that this was my first show. And when he asked me how old I was I said ten. My mom corrected me, but I’d only been eleven for a couple days so it was still new to me. I think the rest of the band went into the club where there was more room but for some reason we continued to stand in this small narrow hallway.
So that was my most memorable event of the year, going to see Awol Nation and getting to hang out after the show with the band. I hope that they will play another all ages show so that I can see them again. It was one of the best birthday presents my parents ever got me.