To Rock, Perchance to Dream
In August, my Old Man and I took O. to his first-ever rock show, his favorite band Wilco at Lollapalooza. Last night was his second concert-going experience, Wilco's front man Jeff Tweedy stopping through town on his acoustic solo tour. O. and I went without my Old Man, who had a previous commitment at school to chaperone the film club's showing of "Killer Clowns from Outer Space." (For real.)
Despite his enthusiasm for various other bands, Wilco has remained the pinnacle of O's musical passion. He listens to a CD as he falls asleep each night, and four out of five nights it's Wilco (top request: "the live Wilco with 'Misunderstood'"). Needless to say he was excited about the show. Not yet familiar with the concept of the "opening band," he piped up repeatedly during the Autumn Defense's pleasant and mellow opening set with a loud "When is Jeff Tweedy gonna be on?" The first and second time he asked, the folks seated around us turned and smiled. So cute. The third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh times, we got fewer and fewer smiles and an increasing number of dirty looks. I finally packed up and moved to an unpopulated corner of the balcony, where we enjoyed the rest of the opening set.
Intermission. Lots of waves and awwws from college girls who rarely see small children and think O. is "the cutest little boy!" The buying of various band merchandise in an effort to make the Old Man feel less left out. A pee for both me and O. in the convenient one-person rest room that all the women standing in line at the big bathroom seem to have overlooked. A bizarre conversation between O. and an undergrad couple dressed in one-piece fleecy dinosaur jammies with feet. (It is the Saturday before Halloween, after all. Later I notice these two groping each other and am deeply disturbed. Something about the jammies... I can't go into it.) They tell O. he can get a similar pair at Target. I don't mention that he hates footie jammies and refuses to wear them.
And then it's time for Tweedy's set. It is unbelievably fun being at this show with O. We are both excited. He's sitting on the edge of his seat (if he leans back, it folds up and swallows him) and he's got his little hands folded in his lap and a look of anticipation on his face that can only be described as ... childlike. God, it's adorable.
Tweedy comes onstage, picks up a guitar, and begins to tune up. O. yells out the name of his favorite song. "Misunderstood!" ...I am amazed and amused. What, is it just in the DNA, the yelling-out-a-request thing? (Later my Old Man will reveal to me that he explained the custom of the yelled request to O. earlier that day, but I prefer to focus on that moment at the show when I heard O. call out the song, and my reaction: clearly my son was born to rock.)
O. claps ecstatically after each song. When the first few bars of "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" emerge, the third song or so, O. loudly exclaims "It's the first song off Hotel Foxtrot!" thereby regaining the favor of anyone in our section who'd gotten annoyed with us earlier. Tweedy tells us the whole story of being accosted onstage by a fan several nights earlier in Missouri (complete with the appalling detail that the dude climbed on some woman's wheelchair to in order to get onto the stage), and O. turns to me and says "Mama! Jeff Tweedy's telling us a story!" Very true, my boy. O. asks to climb into my lap, and we continue to enjoy the show, both of us twitching our legs in time to the music.
After awhile, though, O. stops shaking his foot. Then suddenly he feels heavier. I lean in to look at his face and, yes, he's asleep. My first thought is "No way! I paid twenty-three bucks for your ticket! You'll miss like ten dollars worth of the show!" But then I realize: It's 9:40 PM, at least a half hour past O's bedtime. We are in a darkened room. He's nestled cozily on my lap. And we are listening to the very music that he falls asleep to every night. Of course he's asleep. Duh.
I resolve to wake him if Tweedy plays "Misunderstood," but Tweedy does not. Maybe next time.