The girls were puzzled. How could I turn them down? Who would knock back the chance to see the one and only Miley Cyrus in concert?
They were crowded around the laptop, buying tickets to her first Brisbane show. Four tickets. One for each of us. Quick thinking was needed.
I’ve mentioned the young American songstress on these pages before. She’s very popular in our house. To be able to scream at her from close range was a dream come true, apparently.
The tickets are not cheap. Think of being front row to see Elvis in action. In a comeback spectacular. With Frank Sinatra as his backing singer. The girl’s nickname might be Ned Kelly.
As much as I want to party with my wonderful daughters, I’ve had to take a stand. I’m on a self-imposed ban from tween and teen concerts.
I told them they’d have more fun without me. An all-girl affair. Yell as loud as you want, without Dad shaking his head. Dance crazy. Just don’t tell me later. And it would save us some money. The Treasurer agreed.
The Daughters have form for dragging me to these type of concerts. They enjoy seeing me out of my very limited comfort zone. The last one was Miley’s Nashville buddy, Taylor Swift.
It must be said, I don’t mind her music. She has a catchy, country sound. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
The first thing I noticed was that the crowd was pretty much all female. Maximum age 16. With no intention of sitting down.
I knew the first couple of songs, and tried to join in the fun. Difficult, when you’re not screaming, or crying, or dancing. Or all of the above at the one time.
What troubled me most was the talking. From the stage. The star of the show wanted to chat. Between every song. Long winded, heart-felt yapping. Is that what they do these days?
It was too much. I left early. When I walked outside, I found Dads everywhere. Sitting on lounges. Lying on the floor. Reading books.
No one spoke, but they nodded in appreciation. I’d gone through those doors. They hadn’t. But I couldn’t last the distance. How times had changed.
In the early days, we’d sneak into pubs, to watch some of the legends of Australian rock. Angels. INXS. Australian Crawl. Midnight Oil. Chisel.
They were just kicking off, all of them. And so were we. In grimy places full of smoke and grog and agro.
Truth be told, we shouldn’t have been there. Luckily, ID checks were not the done thing. We’d get in through an open toilet window. Sometimes a friendly bouncer would turn a blind eye. No one seemed to care.
I don’t remember the greats talking between songs. Although Barnsey might have sometimes. We just couldn’t understand what he was saying.
The focus was on the music. Great, rocking tunes. One after the other. Until the bar closed.
Granted, my memory may be a little hampered. And as a card-carrying member of the Our Old Fart Music Was Better Than Yours society, I might be a little biased. But examples remain.
I’ve never heard a sound like The Eagles produced, when they played in Brisbane a few years back, on their (second) farewell tour. Magic. The concert DVD gets a belt here every few months. I never get sick of those good ‘ol boys.
Anyway, none of that will matter to the girls tonight. Miley will talk. They’ll scream. Better that I’m not in the way. They’ve even given me permission to go for a steak and a beer while they’re out. That’s called a win-win.
Don’t worry, I get dragged along to everything else. Wouldn’t have it any other way. A man has to have something to whinge about.
Daughter One turns 13 this weekend. Very special. And I’ll be playing my part. I’ll tell you how it goes next week. We’re staying in a hotel, with some of her friends. She’ll go through the front door, not the toilet window. And they’ll be way better behaved than we ever were.
I haven’t told her yet, but I’ll be looking after the music. I’m sure her friends won’t mind. No talking allowed. Some of my old cassette tapes should work just fine.