Friday, November 1, 2013

The Music, The People, The Scene: My First Indy Concert

Despite my age, which I'm not about to share, before yesterday I had never actually been to an indy concert. In fact, I'd only been to four concerts in my life-- Damn Yankees, Whitney Houston, Steve Matthews and Fleetwood Mac. My new book, however, features a teen band playing their first two gigs. I needed an education and my 13-year-old daughter was just the person to make it happen.

Her friend's mom scored tickets for three-mother-daughter couples to see the indy band Echo Smith. The girls discovered the band when they gave a free song away on i-tunes. I have admit I'd gotten so used to hearing Cool Kids around the house and in the car I didn't realize the band wasn't world famous.



My daughter was over the moon. The girls donned shirts made by a talented member of the group designed to match the band's album cover. They matched their jeans and converse shoes. We Mom's threatened to wear everything from matching "Me and my daughter are BFF" shirts featuring their pictures to leopard print with matching sparkle boas. But we're not that mean. We piled into the mini-van and headed to the concert.

The Scene: A and R Bar is a small club and music venue on Neil Avenue in Columbus, Ohio. Dark with a concrete floor and long bar leading to a few lone tables the place screams for dancing, energy and music that bounces off the walls and into your soul.

The People: When we arrived the band, which was the opening act, hadn't started yet. The girls made a bee-line for the t-shirt/poster sales table only to find it was manned by the actual band members. The band, who turn out to be a very sweet family of siblings from the ages of 14 to 20, took pictures of the girls' shirts and even signed them. They also signed posters that the girls bought and gave them free Echo Smith bags with the t-shirts we bought. They gave the girls tons of hugs and let them tell them they adored them countless times. Sidney, the lead singer, showed patience, kindness and maturity and seemed to really love the girls. This made their year. Maybe even their lives to date.

The Music: The band piled up on stage and sang their hearts out to crowd of maybe 50 people. The kids piled in to see them were captivated, swaying, putting their hands up and jumping to the music. Except my daughter who video taped the entire concert on her i-phone, mesmerized by the presence of her idols. Their sound is upbeat and fun, with different types of percussion in each song inspiring you to move and keep up with the beat.

What I loved about this experience was the intimacy of it. Next week we're headed to see Macklemore at the arena and I suspect we'll have a very different experience. At the Echo Smith concert we shared something special with the band and each other. The music, the people, the scene, they all came together into a magical spell that won't soon be broken.

I can't wait to weave this all into my story!