When I tell people that I almost exclusively go to shows with my mom, I usually get one of two reactions. The first, from someone who doesn’t attend concerts or isn’t really in the scene, is usually something along the lines of, “Wow! Your mom must be so cool!” I’ve received this reaction from some regular show goers, but more often than not, I get a more negative reaction, like, “That must suck,” or, “Isn’t that annoying?” or, “Aww, little baby.”
Now, I’m definitely used to this. I’ve been going to shows with my mom since I was thirteen, if you don’t count that awesome Jonas Brothers concert when I was nine. For the first year, I was a little uncomfortable with it. I didn’t want to seem like a little kid in a room of tatted adults, but my love for the music overshadowed my worry for my image. My mom has grown to love the same music I love; her most jammed artist on her daily commute is William Beckett. In all honesty, music has united my mom and I throughout my teenage years in a way that I don’t believe would have ever happened if I hadn’t made her watch My Chemical Romance interviews when I was twelve.
Younger fans seem to overlook the benefits of bringing their parent, if said parent is accepting of the music, to shows. I don’t have to worry about setting up a ride to and from the show if my most reliable transportation is there too. In a way, having my mom with me has made the music scene more accessible. Because I’m a minor, I can’t go to shows with age restrictions like 18 or 21+ unless I’m with a legal guardian. I have yet to find a venue that doesn’t allow my admission to these shows if my mom is with me. Learning this fact literally changed my life. Though, there’s a price to needing a ride and a companion to go to shows, when that companion is your fifty-plus-year-old mother.
That aforementioned price is an obvious lack of respect for her by our fellow concert-goers. Show experiences have been dampened by blatant rudeness, and often times feelings get seriously hurt. The first incident I recall was at Warped Tour 2013, when a tall man in his early twenties purposely stood in front of Mom so she couldn’t see, and when she politely asked him if he could move over a bit, he responded with a snappy, “Why are you here anyway?” A few months later at a Pierce The Veil show, a security guard asked, “Aren’t you a little old to be watching this band?” I’d say the worst experience was at a Mayday Parade show, when a teenage boy in the crowd behind us repeatedly pushed and hit my mom’s back, trying to get her to leave the crowd. This infuriated headstrong fourteen-year-old me, and I eventually fled my great spot in the crowd with my mother in tow just to keep her safe. Another incident was just this last year, when a girl around thirteen years old told my mother that she didn’t deserve to be at the show, and later on in the night, dumped a jar of glitter on our heads, all because we had arrived before her and, apparently, got a spot on the balcony that the girl wanted. (Who brings a jar of glitter to a show???) Our bathroom looked like the set of a Ke$ha music video that night.
I can’t quite pinpoint the cause of this blatant disrespect to older concert attendees. If it’s an all-ages scene, why is everyone 40+ being pushed out? The parents, and even those attendees without children, deserve to watch energizing, live music as much as the rest of us. I’m sixteen now but still without a driver’s license, so you’ll definitely still catch me at shows with my mom. Even with the acquisition of my license, I’ll continue to bring my mom to any shows she wants to attend. Younger fans such as myself definitely tend to forget that older adults love music too, and it’s something that should bring the generations together. So next time you’re at a show, please keep in mind that everyone deserves to be there and have a good time. Or, if you’re cooler than most and you see some major shading going on at a show, stand up for the older attendees!