Quote from my teenage daughter: You can’t get mad anyone at one of these things (the concert). You’re in a room with 500 or more people, you all like the same things and obviously have the same interests or you wouldn’t be there. You’re surrounded by 500 potential friends. You can’t be in a bad mood knowing that.
I usually write tales of modern Vampire life and parenting articles. This post is about parenting and music and being yourself and feeling good about yourself. It is about courage and talent and inspiration. And it is about fun. It is about being inspired. It is about sharing with your teens.
Never give in, (hey, hey)
Never back down, (hey, hey)
Never give in, (hey, hey)
Never back down, (hey, hey)
When your life feels lost,
(Fight against all odds!)
Never give in,
(Never back down!)
~ Black Veil Brides
Part One: A brief concert review
Black Veil Brides with William Control and Overwatch- Ace of Spades, Sacramento, California, March 6, 2013
I hope these guys will still be doing music when they’re as old as Jeff Beck. Since I am not a professional music reviewer I will keep this brief. If you want to see more go online and look them up.
The young Sacramento band Overwatch opened with a tight set and good rock and roll! They were fun to watch and listen to. I think we’ll all be hearing about these guys in the future. I can’t wait to hear of one more Sacramento band making us proud! Good job guys! Hope to see you again in the future.
William Control a concept project formed by Wil Francis (correct me if I’m wrong) was great! Their stage presence was pure class. It was black classic as a little black dress with pearls but guys in good shirts and black. It was smart and classy and grown up. The songs were dark and interesting. The music was good – really good. But it was the voice of Will Francis – rich and masculine – the kind of voice that draws in the listener and won’t let go. I can see William Control or any spin off of this group going big and strong. What a wonderful style. Wow. And I didn’t catch the name of the guy in the red shirt who was playing with Wil. Red shirt guy – you’re awesome!
This is the first time I’ve seen Black Veil Brides live. My kids have been listening to them for a few years. The first time I saw the name I think was on the sign on the Boardwalk a few years ago out in Orangevale, CA. I thought “That is an interesting name.” I asked the kids, they said the band was good and their friends listened to them.
They came on stage without most of the make-up and extreme clothing (so we were able to see their handsome faces) but they lit up the room – even without all the great lighting. They immediately connected to the audience of mostly young people.
The Black Veil Band fans are sort of a tribe, not of blind fans of celebrity worshipers (something lead singer Andy encourages them not to do) but a community of like minds.
Aside from the music the band members told the audience members that they needed to make their own mark on the world and not be followers. They were important. He also said “Start your own band.” My daughter just started learning the guitar so you never know…she might be opening for you guys in about 10 years.
Black Veil Brides romances the audience with a dazzling show of highly skilled musicians who know how to capture the hearts and souls of their listeners.
- Andy Biersack – lead vocals
- Jake Pitts – lead guitar
- Ashley Purdy – bass, backing vocals
- Jeremy “Jinxx” Ferguson – rhythm guitar, violin, backing vocals
- Christian “CC” Coma – drums, percussion
I was trying to come up with the message of the band but Ashley Purdy said it best “We carry a message of believing in yourself and letting no one tell you otherwise. We stand up for the underdog and the disenfranchised. Anything strange, odd, or unique… we embrace that. So basically standing up for yourself; have fun and live your life how you choose. You only have one life, make the most of it.”
It is fun to see a band where the musicians are so connected to each other as well. That spread out over the hall to everyone.
My own girl child, who was right up front, said “Jinxx looked at me right in the eye and mouthed I love you.” That was sweet. I know he is a lot older than her but in the fantasy land of the concert it is ok. I have to admit that he was darling. I think she said she touched his hair too. Sigh.
All of the songs played were wonderful. I was singing along. I loved their version of Rebel Yell! Wow guys. You did it better than the original! You had the old folks who were doing this stuff in the early 80’s were rocking out!
It was so much fun. Wow. I’m so glad I went (and that my friends is a good review.)
Like I said before I hope these guys will still be playing when they’re as old as Jeff Beck! They’re as good as anyone out there and better than most. All are exceptionally talented and good at what they do. All could be stand-alone musicians.
Wil came on in the end and sang with the group. Andy and Wil could sing anything. The two men have beautiful voices and looks to match. They could sing any kind of music. It is a true gift and I’m glad they are sharing it. I can imagine they’d do a killer Les Misérables. Can you imagine? Wow. They’ll be around for a long long time with their talent and heart.
Thank you Black Veil Brides – you’re amazing!
Black Veil Brides Church of the Wild Ones Tour – Sacramento, CA
Part 2: What I learned by taking my teen to concerts
I learned that I still love the excitement of going to a rock concert. I learned that I love it that there are still rock concerts. I love it that people my age can still have fun with young people. I love new bands.
I learned that a cute guy on stage is still cute no matter how old I am. Only now I see them as cute like kittens are cute, because they are so young.
Part 2b: What the parents were talking about
A portion of the audience was under aged and needed to have their parents along. My daughter and her friends are 13, on the younger end of the fan base. The parents were in the back and in the bars. I was in a bar overlooking the concert hall. My daughter and her friends were right up front.
I was leaning against the balcony bar listening to the band but I was also listening to the other parents. Everyone talked about concerts they’ve been to when they were younger. Just list all of the rockers from the 70’s and 80’s. Everyone then talked about other rock concerts they’ve attended with their kids.
Then they, the other parents, talked about bullies. Everyone talked about it. It broke my heart.
I looked down at all of the excited kids at the concert having a good time and realized that for some of these kids this was one night that they could be free of fear.
Parents shared story after story about school bullies who picked on their kids.
And a common comment was that NOTHING is being done in most schools (according to the parents). Oh sure, there are rules but nobody follows them. Nobody does anything about it.
All kids need to STAND UP for the kids being picked on and SAY NO to the BULLIES. Not just a slogan…STAND UP for those who are unable to stand up for themselves.
There is no “let’s shake hands on this and say you’re sorry.” Teens need to be empowered by adults and by each other to STOP the bullies.
They need to stand strong and stand together. They need to listen to the music in their heads that tells them that one day the bullies will be just a bunch of has-been-pukes.
Screw bullies. They don’t count. Bullies don’t matter. Bullies are a bunch of assholes that we can all do without.
Then the parents got back to the music and talked about how their kids were inspired by Black Veil Brides.
Part 2c: To those who sing alone…Remember when you were young.
To those who sing alone, no need to feel this sorrow,
We scream (We scream) we shout whoa,
We are the fallen angels
Don’t get flipped out stodgy middle-aged parent folks.
This is a song that inspires. This is a song that kids listen to and hear the message “You might be different or feel like an outcast but you’re important. You might be bullied but you will overcome it. Scream, Shout, you are not alone. No need to feel this sorrow.”
It was a fun song at the concert. Everyone was singing along and SHOUTING and SCREAMING.
Remember what it was like to be young and that nobody understood? Remember when you were young and what it felt like to have dreams and hopes that you wouldn’t dare tell anyone? Maybe you still feel that way. That’s ok. We all do.
That is why we’re so drawn to music and the poetry of lyrics and the feel of being part of a crowd where everyone is singing, cheering, waving their arms together and feeling the energy.
Remember singing along to a song and being transported? Remember when you were so happy and full of dreams just because the world hadn’t beat it out of you yet?
And don’t get me wrong (as people often do) this isn’t a downer or something for loners. My daughter is an alpha female with more friends than she can count. She is tall, blonde, beautiful and takes no prisoners. She also, at least most of the time, has a zero tolerance when it comes to bullies, bull-shitters, whiners and tattlers. She also loves her music. I always hope that she will be a champion and a role model. She’ll be the ones to tell bullies “Cut it out ASSHOLE” and they’ll listen. Of course she’ll have to use different language at school. She’ll tell them to stop being miserable little pukes and jerks or whatever it takes.
There are other musicians who reach out as well with words of peace. I guess that is why I like the small venues and small bands. They’re right there. They know their fans of all ages. They remember what it is like to be a normal teen just trying to get through it all. And yes, normal is whatever you want it to be for YOU.
Part 3: Other things one learns…
- You must get there early if there is no assigned seating (and there never is…duh)
- Bring money for a shirt
- Bring a Sharpie
- Bring a friend
- Parents – It’s ok to bring ear plugs to buffer things – if you really need it because concerts are still really LOUD. Just like when you saw Metallica and Blue Oyster Cult way back then.
Part 4: Doing the right thing
Talk with your kids. Listen to them. OK that should be enough for any parenting blogger to say. That just about says it all. Just do it – go out on a limb, be uncomfortable, go out of your box, – one day your kids will thank you for it.
Part 5: How to be a cool parent and have FUN at these events.
Rules for parents taking teens to rock concerts: Note: this is a single venue not a big concert with multiple bands outside or a festival (for example…) This is for smaller venues of less than 2,000 and no assigned seating (seating? there were no seats)
- If you kids can’t be in the mosh pit alone in a show like this they might be too young or too timid to be up close.
- Don’t go up front with your teen. Let this be his/her night.
- And it would be too silly if you went up front (Really, you’re 45, everyone else up front is 13-18 years old. The band members are young enough to be your kids. It is like shopping in the junior department. Don’t do it. It will only make you look foolish.) There ARE concerts we go to together (more on that later) and it is exceptionally wonderful that kids and parents go to concerts together but there is a time and place for everything – and sometimes there is a time and place for parents to step back and let your kids fly it alone.
- If you’re going to be offended by the music then don’t go. Just don’t go. Don’t be a pain in the ass complaining and being uncomfortable and being judgmental – just don’t go. Don’t ruin it for yourself, your kid or everyone else around you. It’s ok not to go if you aren’t comfortable with the situation.
- If you are offended by other kids then don’t go.
- There WILL be a lot of F Bombs. Get over it. If you don’t know what an F Bomb is look it up or ask your kids or their teachers.
- Get to know the music before you go. Listen to it with your teen. Look the band up on YouTube, the band web site and Wikipedia. Believe me, it will be fun. You’ll thank me for that piece of advice later.
- Remember the magic you experienced at your first concerts.
- Find out where the other parents hare hanging out and have fun with kids your own age.
- Enjoy yourself!
At smaller venues my husband and I have both talked to musicians who’ve taken breaks at the bar (where the parents are). All of the musicians we’ve talked to have been exceptionally nice, poised and open. We enjoy the opportunity to tell them how good we think they are. Everyone needs to hear that especially when it is true and from and old person who has heard a lot of music both good and awful. Their fan base is young but I have found myself liking their music and admiring their drive and dedication to their art. Good job musicians.
The kids are going to WARPED tour this summer and there will be an adult friend with them. When they are all a little older they can go by themselves. A 13 year old is too young to go alone and the 16 year olds can’t drive everyone anyway (state law).
Part 6: Other musings from this Vampire Maman
We came out of this concert feeling great! It was so much fun. We talked all the way home about music and the message and just stuff. It was great. Best of all I shared it with my daughter.
For more information about the bands and locations click on the links below:
Black Veil Brides
And what did Vampire Maman listen to today? Vivaldi Four Seasons played by the Venice Baroque Orchestra and a little bit of Jimmy Buffet and Buddy Guy. Tomorrow it will be something else I’m sure.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
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