Last weekend I took my 14 y/o to SPAC to see the Dave Matthews Band. Being the glutton I am, we went both cruelly cold nights. These were his 2nd and 3rd DMB shows respectively, but his prior show had been at the Times Union Center, a much different experience than a venue like SPAC.
I’ve seriously lost count of the number of Dave shows I’ve been to, and I’m done apologizing for the fact that I’ve enjoyed all of them. There’s something almost combustible though about combining the letters SPAC and DMB which has made me hesitant to bring Griffin to this nearly annual show in the past. Maybe it’s my memories of watching the security force being completely overwhelmed by fence jumpers at the extreme back of the lawn. Or it could be the recollection of a bunch of entitled jerks rushing the amphitheater despite their lack of appropriate tickets. Either way, until this year it wasn’t an option for me – or Griffin.
Now that he’s a strapping tall (5’10”!) nearly high school student, I decided that a show perfumed with marijuana and patchouli was in order. Better that he be exposed to these things with a parent, right? I think it was the right call, too. He didn’t seem overly phased by the odd frat boy asking to touch his hair, nor did the completely passed out, hefty looking guy freak him out, despite the fact that he was being carried by medics. Whether he uttered them out loud or simply used his eyes to express his curiosity, he did have some questions, though. To help him out, I’ll attempt to break it down in a couple of letters…
Attire – Don’t be an idiot, wear clothing which is appropriate for the venue and the weather. It really only takes a moment to fire up that app on your smart phone to see what the weather folks have predicted and dress accordingly. Yes, I know meteorologists are often wrong, but they can usually come pretty close on temperature and when they say 45 degrees and wet, flip-flops and Daisy Dukes might not be your best choices. Speaking of choices, Griffin has been strongly advised to choose to never bring one of those ill-dressed girls home to meet his ‘rents. He can do better than that.
Behavior – Between his Dad and myself, we’ve probably taken in a few hundred concerts and we’ve had our share of less than perfect public behavior, but I can say that we’ve never been arrested for our actions. Witnessing that girl on Sunday being taken by security away from her friends and led to some mysterious place beyond the back fence, made me uncomfortable and hopefully made an equally alarming impression upon my boy. Don’t be an ass, try to be respectful and always stick together with your friends. Unless, of course, they’re being disrespectful asses. In that case, call your parents.
Consumption – We saw a number of people who were falling down drunk or stoned or something. They did not look cool, in fact, they looked kind of sad and scary. I don’t have enough fingers to add up the number of times I said to Griffin, “you don’t want to be that guy.” It isn’t a matter of having a good time when you are staggering around and nearly landing on innocent bystanders – not for those who witness it, nor for you or your liver. Get a grip, moderate yourself and try to be in a position to remember the show that you just took in.