I feel bad for people who don't take their children to live music events.
Specifically, those who start with adult acts.
I know one unnamed lady who skipped over music festivals and local shows and took her kids directly to see Coldplay when they were 9 and 7, respectively. That does a disservice to the children. What do they get from the performance except bombast? Do they understand the lyrics? Do they get any symbolism from the staging? Talk about a waste of money.
Which brings me back to Kidstock in North Hempstead Beach Park. I mentioned one coincidental run-in in Part 1. Well, about 10 minutes after we sat down, a woman walked over and hugged my wife. Turns out, it was the (departed) psychologist from my older son's school. She lives locally and her family came for a short time to see at least some of the music (they left at the first raindrops). But by at least exposing her son to a live performance – of something he could understand and relate to – she did him a service. And that's why she's missed at the school.
We've seen Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could multiple times, going back to our first multi-band show at Jalopy. He captains a solid ship and the band has never disappointed. A couple of unexpected surprises occurred, and luckily I captured both on video.
The Big Apple Circus sent a rope-spinner (think lariat tricks) and a stilt-walker who donned a cape and fake accent. Brady noticed the stilt-walker and asked him to approach the stage and help with a song. Eager to comply, he did and it made for an entertaining "blink once and it's gone" moment.
There was a small group of senior citizens who were line-dancing a short distance from the stage. Brady noticed them as well and called them onstage for the finale. As the band launched into the song, I saw the "leader's" face scrunch up a little, as he attempted to find a place to groove. I held my breath and he found it. The crowd went wild.
Afterwards, I mentioned to Brady that I captured the spontaneity. He laughed and congratulated me on being "the documentarian" for the band's experience at the show.
The final act was the pride of Baltimore, Milkshake. In reviewing the band's most recent CD, it sounded like they were getting ready to throw in the towel with children's music. But you wouldn't guess that in seeing their performance in the light rain.
Three-plus hours into the event, people were still arriving (for the DJ party and late drive-in movie) and for the chance to see an out-of-town band. Milkshake interacted, sang old favorites (well, we knew the songs), and seemed to be having a good time.
We could not stay for the end of the set (courtesy of a cranky toddler) but it's a worthwhile event and a credit to the Nassau County legislators who support it. Ironically, some of these same politicians are the ones who let the Islanders slip away to Brooklyn, but that's another column altogether!