Top Of The Pops

The day started off with such peaceful serenity

It’s not all Lycra, training plans and travel schedules in the Reeve household.

Yesterday we had a family trip out. Last year I had purchased tickets to go and see a popular pop duo called, Twenty One Pilots. Never heard of them? Well I hadn’t until Robyn took the girls to see them in Sydney last year. Robyn had to chaperone given their ages and they all thoroughly enjoyed a small gig at Sydney Uni. When 21 Pilots announced they would be touring again we bought tickets for their larger arena show.

No lighters allowed these days, just use your phone

A year can be a long time in teenagers music tastes and over the last year the band has achieved some fame. Fortunately I was informed that they haven’t “sold out” and are still cool. I must say that I am thankful that my girls by-passed the Swift, Perry, and Ga Ga phase and seem to have more alternative tastes. If the merch T shirt isn’t black they aren’t interested.

The youngest teenager had made plans to go out to the venue early to queue up. The doors opened at 6pm so she left with her friend at 10am. I did question the sanity but let her get on with it.

The eldest teenager had her own band practicing at our house before they all headed out to watch a free afternoon gig. When Robyn and I arrived home from our morning ride they were in our lounge with their kit set up. Lots of chat, a few chords, the odd song and an hour later they were all out of the door to watch the professionals at work.

A video of Robyn in her Lycra rocking out to “State Transit”:

The eldest said she would meet us afterwards and we could travel out to the venue together. Very kind of her, I think she thought we may not have been able to get there on our own.

Given that Robyn and I had been up at 5am and had actually just cycled 150km we appreciated the peace and quiet and had a little “Disco Nap” to prepare us for the night ahead.

We set off to the venue in good spirits, a quick pit stop in the pub whilst we waited for the eldest was just what we needed to set the tone for the night ahead. If truth be told my evening could have ended there, a few more drinks, the rugby on the TV and home in bed before 10pm. But no, a family commitment needed to be honoured (and the youngest was at the venue so somebody would have had to go out and get her anyway).

According to Wikipedia, 21 Pilots belong to the Alternative hip hop / electropop / Indie pop / rock genre. When we arrived at the venue it was clear that they attract a lot of teenagers to their fan base, a few twenty-something’s and some old folk (probably there because of the teenagers). There also seemed to be more teenage girls than boys all doing their best to look as alternative as the weekend off school will allow.

The youngest fought for her right to party in the pit!

We made it into the venue, texted the youngest who told us she was in “The pit” right near the front and would see us afterwards. By this time the eldest had scoped the joint, gave us one final look up and down and informed us she was off to find the youngest and would catch us later. We had been abandoned.

So Robyn and I were left standing among the teenage throng on the arena floor. We headed for the edge of the arena to take it all in and to question what the hell had we gotten ourselves into. When the only people at a gig that want to share their experiences with you are the security guards then you know you may be a little out of place. One lovely security lady took great delight in making sure we were going to be OK. She even offered us her seat for a little sit down if we got tired! She also pointed out that all the other chaperones were sitting in the seats not standing in the arena, clearly we never got this memo.

And so we stood with the teenagers, not our own, nodding our heads, and waving our arms when instructed to do so. The boys can play, sing and had  produced a multimedia experience and light show that was spectacular. Their music may not have been my type of stuff but it was enjoyable. They even played a few numbers in a stage in the middle of the arena right next to us, and my personal highlight of the evening a cover version of “Jump Around”, that had us both throwing caution to the wind.

What would the teenagers have said if they had seen us?

As the night wore on my legs grew a little weary.

When a giant hamster ball appeared and the lead singer jumped in and set off  around the crowd I knew I had had enough. Rather than scream with excitement like the rest of the tribe, my mind wondered to the type of insurance you would need and what the O,H&S risk assessment would look like to be able to get away with it.

Me and my home boy hanging out. Oh dear lord does it get any worse?

Fortunately the night drew to a punctual close, clearly this band knows how to play to its audience. No need to rock out all night when mum and dad are waiting outside to take the audience home.

As the lights came up we found our teenagers and made the late night trip on public transport across town, to home. As we made our way through the party goers in varying states of disrepair, it reminded me of our previous life and was an insight for the girls of what could lie ahead.

It was with some relief that I fell into my bed with my ears ringing and a lingering question around insurance for dangerous stunts in public arenas.