Thursday, August 27, 2009

Helloo Colummbuss!

So I took my eleven year-old goddaughter to see the Jonas Brothers Wednesday night.

While I was never the biggest boy-band follower, I find it difficult to pass up opportunities to be "the cool 'aunt'." Okay, now that I think about it, I might have to take that back. I did see Rick Springfield two years in a row, when I was twelve and thirteen, and appropriately swooned (albeit quietly in the awkward-girl manner... just because I wasn't a screamer doesn't mean I didn't know all the lyrics to every song and totally understand his pain when wrote that song about his Dad dying.)


What I loved most about the evening was observing the blend of how some things have changed tremendously, and other things remain exactly the same. The main difference, it should be no surprise, was the difference in technology. Verizon had this texting "station" set up in the lobby where you could send a text that would be displayed, one after another after another, on a big screen up in the arena. We got there early so we saw, perhaps, 1400 individual texts, most variations on the same theme - Scream if you love the Jonas Brothers... scream if you wanna marry Joe... Scream if you're from Upper Arlington... Despite the predictability of the message, it was impossible not to look away. My personal favorite was Scream if UR not here.

Kid after my own heart.

Another difference was the complexity of the staging. When I was twelve, it was a stage, a banner in the background, and some pyrotechnics that shot up from the floor. Any "special effects" were performed by the artists themselves (usually reduced to scaling their own equipment.) In the past several years, live shows have been taken to a whole other level. The Jonas Bros stage was a sprawling feat of set-design that took up a good chunk of the arena floor. The center stage also revolved in two directions (which, honestly, made me a bit nauseous, but I'm sure didn't bother the little girls at all.)

What remained the same, I was pleased to experience, was the genuine excitement of seeing a live show. I love the impractical enthusiasm that still exists only in the young or the profoundly naive. I played along, standing in the throng near the backstage door - certain that the Brothers were long inside the building - happy to relish in the optimism of what might happen. We rarely experience that emotion as adults and I kind of miss it. So, when asked, "Where do you think Nick should sign my t-shirt?" I took an earnest look and pointed to a space that looked good and said, "Here." "I thought so too," she said with a satisfied grin.

Another thing that remains unchanged is crowds still eat it up when you say their name. Doesn't matter the context - "Hello Columbus!" or "We love Columbus!" or even a chatty, "When we arrived in Columbus..." - we can't help ourselves.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the Rick Springfield memory..."ask those girls if they're from China"...LOL