Last week I saw U2 play at the Rose Bowl. It was a special night for us longtime fans, and I had fun celebrating with so many others who obviously love the band as much as I do. I did not, however, love celebrating with the 4-year-olds who were there as well.
Karyn Bryant: I will most likely wait at least eight or nine years to take her to a rock-n-roll concert though. It's one thing to go to a Wiggles show with the munchkins -- if you're not with kids, then you're just plain weird -- but I think it's something entirely different to take kids to see a band with a grown-up fan base.
If you caught the YouTube simulcast of the U2 concert from the Rose Bowl, you saw a reported 96,000 fans singing in unison to what I think is one of the greatest bands ever. It was a special night for us longtime fans, and I had fun celebrating with so many others who obviously love the band as much as I do. I did not, however, love celebrating with the 4-year-olds who were there as well. They were stressing me out because they should have been at home.
The parents in line behind me were selling their children on the fact that they'd get to hear "Vertigo" from the band "in real life! Not on the radio!" From what I saw, their kids couldn't care less. Mind you, this was the hour-long line in the satellite parking lot at 5:30 PM. We weren't even at the Rose Bowl yet! Their slumped shoulders and whining voices were just getting warmed up, and U2 wasn't due to hit the stage till about 8:45 PM. If you are looking for the definition of a long night, there it is.
When we arrived at the stadium, things got a little crazy. More lines without much information, and, oh yeah, 96,000 other confused revelers. I saw people in their forties panicking as they tried to wind their way through in the dark. My husband went into full-on "Man in Charge Mode" as we navigated the unruly mob, and I haven't yet found a crowd I couldn't get through, so we were fine. I'm not so sure about the suburban couple with the little ones, though. I find it hard to believe that they were anything less than freaked the hell out.
There was an 8-year-old seated next to me who actually fared pretty well throughout the night. He didn't really bother me, but I'm not sure how his mom explained the strange, skunky burning smell wafting through the air. (Not from my direction, LOL!) All I know is that kid absolutely threw down on some nachos about halfway through.
I know as parents we want to share our passions with our children, and we also don't want to have to give up things we love just because we have had kids. But taking little ones to an extremely crowded, extremely loud rock-n-roll show may not be a great idea. For us big kids, it was a fantastic night -- I just don't think the stress of getting to and from such a huge event was worth it for the little guys (it was another hour in line to get out of the show -- 12:30 AM and you're still not in your car. On a school night). Honestly, I also find it hard to believe that Mom and Dad really enjoyed themselves with two exhausted children in tow. Perhaps they should have spent the money on two fewer tickets and one more babysitter.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the U2 concert will prove to have been life-changing for those 4-year-olds. But guess what? So was the new toy they just had to have last week. And the new shirt the week before.
|Karyn Bryant is a television personality who's hosted shows on networks such as CNN, TNT, VH1, and MTV. She's currently a reporter for Showtime Championship Boxing and CBS' Saturday Night Fights, and the EVP/Director of MMAheat.com, an online destination for fans of MMA and pop culture. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.|