Of course I’m talking about our Saturday night enjoying the ZZ Top concert. But first I must throw out a mention to an amazing guitarist Tyler Bryant. I must confess, however, that I have never heard of him, I’m still kicking my self for having a deaf ear to him in the past. But, no longer, no way, now I see the error in my ways. In our particular show, this pasty white man waltzes out onto the stage, introduces himself over the noise of the crowd, so we could barely hear what he said. Without flash and fanfare he began to play, the crowd became calmed, and he amazed us all with the way he played the guitar and with no back up nothing, all solo, just the Tyler Bryant show, I was pretty impressed to say the least. So, if I were y’all, and you like great guitar music, check out Tyler Bryant, y’all won’t be one bit disappointed. Then we witnessed Jeff Beck, again not someone I was exactly up to speed with his music, definitely my loss for sure, an oversight that I can assure you is been corrected since Saturday night. For 70 years young, he deserves his world ranking in guitar playing, his hands show no sign of slowing down in my opinion. The show wasn’t that flashy, but it was good to set my head back and just let the music flow through me. Nevertheless, he is another skilled musician which opened my ears and eyes, fully had my attention.
Then there was our headliner, ZZ Top, who blew the roof off of the house, to put it very mildly. I was looking forward to this part of the show for two reasons, one because this was 4th time seeing ZZ Top live and the second reason was it was my son’s rock n’ roll live concert christening. He can no longer be teased by his older sisters as being the concert virgin. He has been a “fan” of ZZ Top for a few years, being guilty by association through me and the music I listen to, since I’m not always bang my head ’til I bleed metal as many like to think. I like what is referred to as classic rock as well, this so called classic rock is what I grew up on, it is my generation, it was our contribution to musical history. Too much? Too dramatic? My son has always heard music in his headphones or on the stereo speakers, never live and in his face. I really didn’t know what to expect taking him to this show. Soon after the show began initially I knew the birthday present was a grand slam. If I may, to set the mood, take y’all to the end of the show, after the lights came up, when my son turned to me and said “dad, I have a new found respect for ZZ Top, they made me feel like dancing”. I’m not an emotional man, I don’t wear my feelings on my sleeve in no way, but those words, those simple words, made my day, made me smile in the grandest of ways, I was extremely proud of my son, I think he now understands what I have always told him, one feels good music beyond just listening to it. He said he thought about that the whole concert, an excerpt from a conversation years ago, when I was asked why I listen to my music so loud. No, it’s not because I’m deaf boy, it’s because I want it to enter my soul through the vibrations, I want to feel the music, not just listen to it.
So, this was a good concert for him, in many ways. As well, my future son in law attended the concert with us and reacted in much the same way, even though he is now 21. But, in his defense, and this was not his first concert, he mentioned he always wanted to be able to see one of his all time favorite bands live, mission complete. He was all giddy like a 12 year old girl as well. But, as I explained to both of them, because I had a life before they knew me, that when the lights go down what they had in store for them. As I looked out over the sea of silver haired men and women, I mentioned that before long the party would start, beyond the concert, beyond the music, because these people came prepared to party. I just mentioned that as they smell things beyond the cigarette smoke and beer, that they will smell the skunk, but not to look for it, don’t point, and definitely don’t talk or saying anything about it. And, it didn’t take long, and it was purple haze time! Not for me personally, all I had was two 32oz bottles of water. And then, even though my son was aware of the fact that there are other sexual cultures beyond heterosexual, he had never witnessed anything up close and personal. At least both of them waited until we were in the car, yes in the mustang, to ask me if I saw the three lesbian couples sitting in front of us “making out”. Yes, I saw it. So what? That stifled the entire conversation, it was over before it started, its not my place to have an opinion about someone else’s relationship. One thing I will point out, however, is that the three couple were of different age groups, one was in their early twenties, the other I would guess thirtyish, and the other couple was in there fifties. My only opinion is that if it feels good for you then do it. Really too bad people get stuck in their judgmental bullshit all of the time. Plus, there was allot of making out everywhere around us, why do y’all think people bring the big blankets. Anyway, makes no matter to me, I came for the show, I came because I wanted to witness my son get his concert cherry popped. The only reason I brought up the female couples in this post is because I was asked about it later. Why do I need to care?
The only real stumbling point my son had with the concept of the live rock and roll concert, beyond the drinking, toking, and sex, was the fact that it is okay to sing along, it’s almost a requirement. As well, yelling, screaming, cheering, and clapping are our way of showing our unbridled appreciation for fantastic shows. Where I lost him was when ZZ Top was signing, then they go silent, music and all, waiting for the crowd to scream out the finish to the lyric. He knows the words, just didn’t know this was his time to scream them out louder than when he is in the shower. I will have y’all know, I went home hoarse, barely able to talk, my voice was toast, and I could feel it. For what its worth, I’m not shy when it comes to signing out load, yes I suck, but so does everyone else, but we all do it just the same. The night was fantastic all the way around, we all had fun, we all got to put a notch in our belt, for me, I’m my 25th belt or so, but who’s counting anyway. Sunday morning I laid in bed, my wife on one arm, and I found myself thinking how I was the one that each one of my kids saw their first live rock concert with. Many would say this isn’t good parenting, I disagree, I enjoy the company of family, I like being there for their “first times” in life. I’m an involved parent, guilty as charged. I’m lucky, my kids like music, and I’m lucky to live in a huge city where the opportunities to witness live music are everywhere. Most of the people I know don’t know what their kids are up too, nor do they care. No, I do not think I know what they do 24/7, but I have a pretty good idea I won’t see them on the news looting anytime soon. Sorry, my kids are important to me, I care to be in their lives, and for them to want to be in mine.
Sorry, got a little sidetracked, but then I never actually said I would be doing a song by song concert review, y’all should know better than that by now. I was deeply impressed by this little ‘ol band from Texas, I always am. I was disappointed in others attending the concert, a giant shame on you goes out to them, I could count the kids I saw on one hand. First concert I have ever been to that there wasn’t a cross section of three to four generations of the people. How do we share our music with the up and coming generations if we don’t take our kids to concerts? ZZ Top has been playing since 1969, you cant tell me that the only people that want to see them live are the 40-60 crowd. Maybe next time right, maybe the next band right, maybe the next concert right? This is exactly how bands just fade away, we all know it. Anyway, just wanted to mention that, to each his/her own, because it was an outstanding show, one I know my son and future son in law will not soon forget, and nor will I. My son told me this morning he gets it now, music wasn’t meant to be heard through earbuds, its meant to be heard live and loud. Funny how one’s first concert can make one appreciate the efforts of great musicians. I could go on and on about music, but that’s not why you came today. See, just because I’m not writing much lately doesn’t mean I’m dead, just means I’m out living life to the fullest. So, no, my blog isn’t up for grabs, not yet at least. Thanks for all the great emails, texts, and comments, I plan on getting caught up real soon with some fantastic stories, some are even true. Remember everyone, take the earbuds out once in a while and enjoy this concert we call life.