In the Land of Teenage Girls

Wednesday night, I found myself at a place I would never have expected to end up as a 37-year old man: in the middle of a screaming crowd of enraptured teenage girls at a Fall Out Boy concert.

How did this strange circumstance come to pass? It all starts with having a teenage daughter. Emily is a big fan of the band, and I had been casting about for something to do with her for our summer day out. (Each summer, I take a day off of work to spend individually with each of the kids, and try to arrange something that will be fun and memorable to do together.) I stumbled across the concert on the Internet, and quickly booked tickets from the usurious Ticketmaster, thinking it would be an ideal thing to do together. Judging by Emily’s post on her MySpace blog, it was a good choice:


Current mood: bouncy

OMYGAWDIMGUNNAGOTOTHEFALLOUTBOYCONSERT!!!! *gasp* I Found The Tickets In My Dads Bag! We Have Seat 50 And 49 Out On The Lawn! BUTIMGUNNASEEPATRICKANDPETE!!!! *gasp* I Was Right!! ^_^

We started off the day with a trip to Half-Price Books to pick out a few volumes for Emily’s summer reading: To Kill a Mockingbird and Orson Scott Card’s Seventh Son, which I hoped would fit the bill of a “coming-of-age story” — her only guidance for selecting a second tome in addition to the mandatory Harper Lee novel. (We also looked for To Kill a Mockingbird II: Mockingbird’s Revenge, but they were all out.)

We then went on to have a Chinese buffet for lunch, where Emily tried sushi for the first time, decided she liked it, and smuggled a couple pieces out to bring to her friend Aranda. (Yes, I’m aware that Sushi isn’t Chinese, but it seemed a less egregious violation of the federal culinary genre regulations than the enchiladas that also inexplicably graced the buffet.) From there, we visited PetSmart, admired the critters for a bit, and then proceeded on to the local movie theater to see Surf’s Up, which turned out to be better than I’d expected.

At last we drove down to Verizon Wireless Amphitheater for the show. After navigating the backroads of Selma and the parking lot attendants who were initially strangely reluctant to actually let people park, we made it in and assumed our seats. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that, though we had paid for lawn tickets, we actually got to sit under cover and in chairs. The show included a whole slew of opening bands:

  • Cobra Starship: Energetic rock with some synth thrown in for fun. Lively front man, decent music, Emily’s second-favorite of the evening. Used the F-Bomb instead of commas, which I thought an odd grammatical affectation.
  • Paul Wall: Houston rapper who was not doing anything that hadn’t been done first and better by others.
  • The Academy Is: These guys were my favorite. Driving music, interesting arrangements.
  • +44: Some blink-182 expats. Decent music, good lighting design for their portion of the show.

And then finally Fall Out Boy were launched on stage. They had a really kinetic, entertaining show, with lots of video, pyrotechnics, lighting wizardry, and craziness. I didn’t know much of their music, and what few songs were familiar were actually musically better in their studio versions, but they were still solid musically, with Patrick Stump doing an especially credible job with the vocals — not always a strong point in live performances. Emily screamed herself hoarse and danced herself silly and generally enjoyed the heck out of it.

I had a great time running around with Emily for the day, and am thoroughly grateful that our life allows for this sort of fun break from our daily routines.