I have always been somewhat of a social bee. From the moment I could figure out how to get myself to a party or a game, I went. Once I started to drive, the ability to be places and see people was tantamount to freedom. I started to explore the world on my terms.
In high school, one thing my friends I loved to do was go to concerts. I saw my first concert, U2 “Unforgettable Fire Tour” in March of 1985. I was hooked. The cheers of the crowd, the booming of the base, the electricity of the venue– I knew I would go to hundreds of concerts in my life. To experience music live was very different from turning ont he radio or popping in a cassette tape.
From that point on, I wanted to go to concerts: Depeche Mode, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure, The B52s, Indigo Girls, Chris Isaak (I got pulled on stage and danced with him!), Barenaked Ladies (18 times…. yeah, I was kind of a groupie for a while), just to name a few. Each concert was a unique experience that solidified my love for music.
Fast forward to August of 2003. Carson is three years old, and she is in love with The Wiggles, the Australian children’s band. She has every video, she knows every song, and it is her favorite television show on Disney. My first concert might have been at the age of fifteen, but my daughter’s was going to be at three.
Tom and I and our friends Gary and Amy decided we would each take our daughter and buy tickets to the concert and go together.
August 17, 2003 it was a sunny Sunday afternoon. Whenever we watched a video and say kids in the live audience, I would say to Carson, “See those kids dancing, Honey. That will be you. We are going to go see them.”
Her face would light up, but I don’t know if she understood. We were watching them now. We were yelling, “Wake up, Jeff!” at the T.V.
When we finally got into the CSU Convocation Center, the arena was a buzz of children and adults. We immediately went and bought her a t-shirt: everyone should buy a t-shirt at their first concert! We grabbed some popcorn and sodas, and we found our seats. Tom and I sat together, Carson and Lexi sat in the middle, and Amy and Gary sat on the other side of the girls. Amy and I were so excited to be at this concert with our children, she and I had been to countless concerts over the past ten years, but this concert was going to be our favorite, we knew it.
The stage was decorated much like the set of their television show: big bold colors and a giant Wiggles sign. The bright giant plants in front of a giant, bright sunrise was part of the theme of “The Wiggle Safari.”
Right on time, at 5:00 PM Jeff Fatt, Murray Cook, Anthony Field, and Greg Page ran onto the stage. The crowd erupted with screams and cheers. They waved at the kids, and then the music started. They started to sing Rock A Bye Bear. I did not look at Carson and Lexi to see if they were enjoying it. I did not pay attention to the excitement that was on their faces. I was flabbergasted myself. Five seconds into the song, I grabbed Tom’s leg with my hand and proclaimed, “Oh my God, I cannot believe they are opening with this one; it’s my favorite!”
It took a second for me to realize what I had just said. I turned to look at Tom. “You’ve lost it. It’s The Wiggles.”