Last week I saw Beck was adding tour dates in October. I didn’t previously realize he was touring so I decided to check out his schedule on the off chance that, y’know, Salt Lake would be the very next stop on his tour and tickets would be $5. Because that was a real thing that could happen. So $25 dollars later (and some surcharges, of course) we had five tickets to see Beck. My four year old and I sang Devil’s Haircut for the 9 or so days we were waiting.
A little before 6 on Thursday they let ticket holders into the park venue. I beelined for the stage and established a pivot foot for the night. Show starts at 7.
Future Islands were not bad. Samuel Herring has a lot of energy and put on a nice show. But we were there for Beck.
Well, I was at least. Isaac was not handling it and at intermission Kevin decided to take the older kids and bail. Angel stuck with me because I really wanted to enjoy at least some of the show with him and he kept promising he was enjoying the experience. We were about 8 people away from the stage, just off of center. When Beck started he opened with Devil’s Haircut. I mean, let’s be real here. This has been absolutely too perfect at this point. Way, way too perfect. The place exploded and it was amazing. You know the kind of amazing I mean. I snapped a quick picture. Angel and I sang along, dancing. With my little guy on my shoulders I was being careful-, it was dark, just the two of us in a massive crowd, WE were right where EVERYONE wanted to be and they had already been drinking for hours.
As Devil’s Haircut worked its way through we began getting shoved. Knocked around. A complete stranger beside me jumped to our defense and began shoving people back, screaming at them. She put herself between us and chaos with the most sincere ‘I’ve got you’. A couple more people, all total strangers to us, got shoulder-to-shoulder and made a little wall around us. As the song was winding down it started getting rougher by the second. I acknowledged that we’d had enough of an experience to satisfy our $5 and shoved my way to the front still holding my baby above the crowd. I waved to security and they rushed over, right in the middle of the stage, the show, the amazing. I explained, put Angel over the barricade and started up myself. Two of the security guys helped me over. I’d lost a shoe and grabbed one last just-feet-away glimpse of Beck while other concert-goers fished it from the crowd for me. Loser started and I wasn’t quite sure how to take that at first, but as I stepped inches from the speaker I decided I liked it just fine. It’s a total favorite.
Shaking with nerves we walked the length of the stage and around the barricades. As we tried to work our way out further from the crowds someone came up from behind me to shout in my ear that this wasn’t a good place to have kids, there are lots of pot smokers here. I relayed what we were trying to do and he gave me a stupid, smug, ‘Well, now you know.’ (No, really, those were his words). Because unsolicited parenting advice from TOTAL STRANGERS is absolutely no one’s pet peeve, right? (side note, I was under the impression that the twilight concert series was supposed to be well managed and family-friendly, I didn’t expect people to try to get moshing underway and Beck himself asked during the show, ‘What’s going on here? I haven’t seen this much activity since 1996’)
We stopped in a safer location (I thought) to watch from a distance and regroup while I texted with Kevin trying to find him in the masses. A woman started freaking out and shoved us because she needed some ‘fucking space!’ I’m pretty sure she bumped into us, but I just gave her a sneer and pushed past her and further into the further. We kept winding our way through utterly rude assholes (even though there were an abundance of these, I CANNOT stop being in awe of the people who took notice and helped me and my son earlier in the set) until we found a clearing where we could stop and finish trembling as the rest of the adrenaline processed.
With some land marks, texts and open eyes we finally found the rest of the guys and enjoyed the rest of the show much further from the stage. I was very pleased to be able to listen to Lost Cause with Kevin beside me. It was on a very short list of ‘please plays’ that I had. And when they broke down ‘Where it’s At’ and somehow incorporated some Rollling Stones (Miss You) into it I LOST MY FREAKIN’ MIND.
There’s a little list of experiences I would really like to share with my son, and this was one great big tick mark. I feel confident that due to his age (nearly 5!) and the craziness he will remember it, and that pleases me deeply.
Now to scour the Jazz schedule for the upcoming season and grab us tickets to a Spurs game.
In the meantime I’ll just keep polishing up that Mother of the Year award ; )