All Time Low – All Time High (taking your teen to a rock concert)


All Time Low Ace of Spades, Sacramento, California April 15, 2014


The most wonderful words a parent can hear from their teen is “You’d never embarrass me mom.”

That is what I heard as we walked up and way to the back of the line that ran around the block before the All Time Low concert with Man Overboard and Handguns at the Ace of Spades in Sacramento, California on Tuesday night (April 15, 2014.)

This isn’t the first time I’ve taken my teens to concerts. I wrote a now popular article last year “What I learned from going to a metal concert with my teen.” Before you take your teen to a rock concert for the first time please read the article. Click here for the link.

And the key as a parent is to relax, do your research ahead of time and have fun – and let your kids have fun.

I enjoy the music my teens have introduced me to. Going to concerts with them has been a blast and a truly great bonding experience. Think about it. Music is something that we should SHARE with out kids. Not to the point where you (the parent) act like a fool going nuts and dressing like an idiot (too sexy, tight, weird for your age), but you know, just share. Have fun. Talk, discuss, sing, enjoy and treasure that time with your teens. It isn’t going to ever be like this again so enjoy it. Savor it.

Over the past three years we’ve been to a lot of concerts, including most recently, seeing Fall Out Boys, Panic! at the Disco and Twenty One Pilots in San Francisco at the America’s Cup Pavillion. Wow, that was amazing.


View from the Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco concert in San Francisco. A perfect night and a perfect view!


Fall Out Boy San Francisco

So you can imagine that I was more than happy to go with the teens to see All Time Low.

All Time Low

All Time Low

All Time Low
Alex Gaskarth – rhythm guitar, lead vocals, keyboards
Jack Barakat – lead guitar, backing vocals
Zack Merrick – bass guitar, backing vocals
Rian Dawson – drums, percussion
Additional musicians
Cassadee Pope – additional vocals
and she was absolutely darling. All the girls adore Cassadee. You can see her singing with Alex in the last photo on the post (the blue one.)

The April 15 show was at a sold out venue at The Ace of Spades in Sacramento, California. I can’t start to tell you how much I love going to a concert in a smaller hall (under 1,000 people.) Everywhere you stand or sit is a good view. It is intimate and personal. You can see faces. And you can see your kids. I was on the balcony (in a bar) that overlooks the floor. A great place for parents. You can enjoy the show with a great view and see everything in the club. Everyone up top with me was having a good time. It was a friendly group of parents mixed with other over 21 year olds.

Handguns opened the show. They are a Pop Punk band from Pennsylvania. Loud and young but with a lot of potential to grow and refine. The sound seemed off on their set which was too bad. That said, the audience loved them and they loved back. Fun band with a great future.

Man Overboard is a fun experienced Pop Punk band from New Jersey. They were loud and had the crowd dancing and clapping and jumping. And that is exactly why we go to these concerts! I’m sure with their loyal fan base that they’ll be around for a while.


All Time Low

All Time Low was as tight and together as any band I’ve ever seen – ever. That includes big well known mega bands from the 60’s – 80’s. Yes, they’re THAT GOOD.

Just a bit of trivia before we start…

All Time Low holds the record for most bras on stage. If you throw them a bra they’ll donate to a breast cancer charity. The top of their truck (and it is a BIG truck) is covered with bras of every color and size.

They’re from Maryland and tour full time. They’ve been together since high school. They’re so happy and fun. Click here for the official All Time Low web site.

I’m not a professional music critic. I’m a parent, an artist, a parenting blogger, writer of Vampire tales and stories – so I’ll make this short and sweet.

Thank you ALL TIME LOW for a great night full of some of the best live music I’ve ever heard. Thanks for staying together all these years. Thanks for making music that my kids love and will love for years to come. And guys, I want to see you still playing 20 years from now, 30 years from now, 40 years from now. You have what it takes to be one of those great bands that just keeps going and creating for a long long time. You’re classic and smart and you inspire a generation of young people. And people your parents age like you too (THAT is SUCCESS.)

At the Sacramento show they performed an impressive long set with the following songs.

Do You Want Me (Dead?)
So Long Soldier
The Irony of Choking on a Lifesaver
For Baltimore
Break Your Little Heart
Lost in Stereo
Stay Awake (Dreams Only Last for a Night)
Remembering Sunday (with Cassadee Pope)
Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t)
When I Come Around
Somewhere in Neverland
Backseat Serenade
Oh, Calamity!
The Reckless and the Brave
A Love Like War
Dear Maria, Count Me In

It was great. If you have the opportunity – go see them. If you don’t know their music check it out on Pandora, Youtube or your favorite online music site.

And if this isn’t your style, find out something that is and enjoy it with your teen. You’ll be glad you did.


~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman



A Special Note to ALL Parents:

When I arrived home I found this message on my phone (on Facebook, sent twice): “I’m  all alone I’m really scared and I can’t find you guys can you please send someone into the bathroom to get me?”

This was from a girl we know who came alone. Not good planning. Especially since her mother was posting on Facebook all night about dancing and drinking with her friends. What the fuck is wrong with people? While she was out with her besties or boos or whatever the crap she calls her friends, her over sensitive daughter, who didn’t plan with friends ahead of time, was alone and scared and reaching out to other adults.

Hey LISTEN UP – If you have kids  – your kids are your first priority. You don’t just drop off a teenage girl alone at a concert – especially if she has never been to a concert like this before. There is no excuse for bad parenting like this. Mom should have been at the concert with her daughter, not out playing at trying to be hip and young or whatever the fuck she thinks she is. Your kids should come FIRST. PERIOD. Excuse the bad language, but this really really pisses me off.

The mom should have made sure her daughter was meeting at a specific time and place with other people. She should have called the other parents ahead of time to make sure all would be safe and sound. That is what parents do. Let me say that again…THAT IS WHAT PARENTS DO.

My kids and their friends never did see this girl but they called her later, after we got home and I saw the message. I don’t know who she got a ride home with or if she had a good time or not. Bad call on so many levels.



All Time Low


What we’ve been talking about…

What we’re talking about… or What I’m talking about with my kids… or what they’re talking about.

This is aptly named because my teens talk a lot.

From the mouths of babes: Why are there so many school shootings. What will happen to the girl who was shot? Will she be ok? Did you hear about the brat killing four people and not going to jail because he is spoiled rotten? More shootings? Who is Mandela? Have you ever been to Iceland? Why don’t parents trust their kids? Why don’t they raise their kids right because if they did they’d be able to trust them. Why don’t parents talk to their kids? What if I don’t get into any of the colleges I applied for? I’m going to fail math. I’m not going to wear baggy pants EVER but I don’t want to wear super tight or low cut tops all the time either. How about highlights? Why are girls so girl like? It drives me crazy. The cat has been under the wingback chair for the past 12 hours? Is she ok?

Why haven’t any of the bands we like showed up on any of the top 20 of 2013 lists or even the top 100 lists? Because the music is too smart. The artists are against auto-tuned music. Their lyrics don’t degrade women. Their lyrics and music are complex. They write their own songs. They aren’t with big labels. Most music critics have terrible taste in music.

My question is: Why aren’t any of the books we’ve read this year on any of the top lists of 2013? If I could answer that one I’d rule the world.

I can answer all of those questions (but I won’t) except two. The first is about the cat. I have no idea what she does what she does. I opened a new bag of food and she got really excited ran in and out of the house a dozen times and then ate something. Cats are weird.

About girls. At age 17 boys think they have everything figured out. That is everything except girls. Unfortunately for them, they’ll never figure that out. Not ever.

After that they just talked about school and the other kids. A lot of them are selling drugs. One girl is a young Walter White and loves chemistry. She is making and remaking all sorts of drug mixes to sell based on both legal prescription drugs and illegal drugs. As a straight A student she looks forward to going on to college and learning more advanced chemistry. The girl who does piercings in the bathroom is now by appointment only. The kid who does tattoos is getting better at his inking skills. I know it sounds nuts, but at least my children are comfortable enough with me to talk to me about these things.

A friend who has been hanging out with stoners got the ultimatum from his friends (including my kids): If you start smoking pot we’ll tell your mom AND your older siblings. Your life will be over.

Ione, my son’s girlfriend is spending a lot of time talking/skyping/texting another V boy who graduated last year. He is in college. It is a college she applied for. Garrett is worried but at the same time sort of relieved. I think the serious relationship novelty is wearing off and they just want to go back to being friends. Unfortunately the road back to friendship can be a rough back track.

Garrett’s best buddy Randy is still favoring orange pants but has recently acquired a pair of black and purple striped jeans. I’m not even sure if Randy can pull that one off, but if anyone can, it would be him.

They asked me about the Van’s Warped Tour and dates and if I want to go with them. I can get in free as a parent. I can roast in the sun. But I like most of the music so I can get a shirt that says “Best Mom Ever (I took my kid to Van’s Warped Tour). Then the conversation went to more bands that will be in town and if we can get tickets and if I can go with them. Those are indoors at night and in town – more to my liking. And for all of you parents or even aunts, uncles and friends of teens, if you haven’t taken your teen to a concert you should. It is more fun than you can imagine.

What are we doing for Christmas? We aren’t sure yet. Small and quiet I hope, but even the smallest event at my house ends up as a party with many more than we expect.

The Christmas tree fell over twice but it seems to be steady now.

On Sunday afternoon, around dusk, my kids and I took the dog to the bluff overlooking the lake near our home. Ducks skimmed over the water but we didn’t see any other creatures. We talked about school – or more my kids talked and talked and talked telling tales of High School that always sound like something out of a movie. But it isn’t out of a movie. It is their life. Our life.

After a long weekend with so many sights and sounds, I savored the quiet of the oaks and digger pines on the bluffs with my children. I love activity and people and parties and great ceremonies and all the trimmings of the season, but I love most those times when I’m just, well, just savoring the scenery and conversation.

I never know what the news will bring and how the kids will react. They’ll talk about current events in their classes. They’ll talk about it with their parents and try to make sense of it. Then they’ll talk about school and friends and the big wide world.

I’m glad they talk. I’m glad I’m here to listen.

The bluffs near our home.

The bluffs near our home.

~ Have a good week everyone,

Juliette aka Vampire Maman