I was taken aback last night when The Man in My Life and I entered the auditorium. There were people using canes, people in walkers, a lady with an oxygen tank, and a sea of greying or balding heads and obviously arthritic limbs. It could have been mistaken for a ‘Heal Me Jesus’ revival meeting.
Only it wasn’t.
It was a rock concert for the geriatric set. A tribute to a well known 70s singing group…bell bottoms all around, flashy lighting, ear-piercing volume for the guitars and electronic keyboard. (But a definite plus for those seniors needing hearing aids.) I felt positively frisky and youthful in the crowd, but I took my hat off to those less spry old fogies who were keeping the dream alive. It takes guts and stamina to groove to the beat when you’re only standing with the help of your walker. The good thing is, since you’re already shaking, you have that much less work to do to gyrate to the music. I’m just grateful there wasn’t a mosh pit…that would have been ugly with the tangle of walker legs and wheels.
I’m sure the younger members of the audience (all three of them) were horrified and thought the behaviour of the old folks undignified, but if you can’t let loose when you’re old, when can you? And if performers like Mick Jagger and Rod Stewart can still sing and prance around the stage, we, the creaky old audience, can do our part to encourage them. A few members of the audience even dressed in 70s fashions. The clothes themselves weren’t nearly as impressive as the fact that the people wearing them could still fit into them. Okay, the hippie tunics probably hid a multitude of beer belly sins, but still…
Gill and her siblings used to go, as teenagers, to rock concerts in Toronto. If I recall, they saw Madonna, Nine Inch Nails, The Black Crows, The Rolling Stones. I don’t know what happened at those events and I don’t want to know. I do seem to recall Gill telling me of her scary drive on icy roads after one concert. She hit black ice and did a 360 on the freeway — in MY car. Much scarier to a mother than the usual tales of drugs or booze or raucous behaviour. I pointed out to her that she should be grateful that our old fogey concert was here in town and that we were driving a fancy car that does everything but burp itself, doing most of the driving for you. She had no cause to worry. We were home and in bed by 10:30 to enjoy our own ‘after party’…
I do find it fascinating that the younger generation still enjoys some of the music of OUR youth. Not surprising on one level, because music with a good beat, played loud, lasts a long time and can reach anyone.
I was still pumped the next day when I learned that Aerosmith is coming here this summer. “OMG…you mean I can get to see Steven Tyler after all these years?” I asked excitedly. “Sign me up…”
Imagine, hearing The Scream in person. I was so excited I almost peed my pants…but they have Depends for just that reason. At least I don’t need a walker yet.
A P.S. to our readers: A variation of this article will appear soon in The Globe and Mail Facts and Arguments section. I personally am waiting with bated breath to see their illustration! I will let you know the exact date when I know.