Last night was the long-awaited Taylor Swift concert. The Teen adores her and last winter, when she indicated she might be willing to brave the noise and crowds to try a concert, we obtained tickets for the one concert in our area. At Miss C's request , it was a girls only night, so our party consisted of Miss C, me, and our dear friend Beth.
Beth and I were in college together and are both in our 50s now. So although we attended many a concert in our young and adventurous days, it has been some time since each of us had been to a concert other than the reunion tour of some middle-aged guys singing to a nostalgic middle aged audience. So, that explains why last night was surprising and fun for us -- ahem -- more mature ladies, too.
The Teen knew what to expect. She's been working for the past week on a heavily glittered sign to wave at key moments. Unlike us, she was not at all astounded by the masses of pre- teen and teenaged girls with their hair artfully ringleted like Taylor Swift's and wearing country girl dresses and cowboy boots. Beth and I, however, were amazed at the number of girls dressed alike and/or adorned with Taylor- inspired sayings and images and glitter. Lots and lots of glitter. Were we just not sufficiently motivated groupies back when we went to see Kenny Loggins and Neil Young and John Denver? Dressing alike and waving signs just didn't occur to us back then.
Of course, part of Taylor Swift's appeal is the ordinary-girl-who- created-a-fairy-tale-for-herself thing. She sings about being outside of the popular crowd in high school, the importance of being true to yourself, of finding a love who will love you for who you are. They are messages any mom would approve of and messages, it is heartening to see, that many girls seem to heart. The fact that Taylor sings them while dressed like Cinderella doesn't hurt either.
The most surprising thing, to me and Beth, at least, was how for the 12,000 teens in attendance anyway, being at the concert seemed to be less about listening to Taylor Swift sing and more about screaming and shrieking and singing along with every song. Really, we could hardly hear Taylor. It made me wonder if that's what those early Beatles concerts were like, with so much screaming that you couldn't hear the actual music.
As far as Miss C was concerned , the event surpassed every expectation and she came out with a beaming smile and eyes glowing and talking a mile a minute. For me, seeing Miss C happy and singing along and clearly enthralled was truly wonderful. (And, I couldn't help thinking, it was a testament to the power of willing participation and focus, for if surely there was ever an event designed to bring on a migraine or Aspie brain overload, it would be an arena full of screaming teenagers, loud music, and bright flashing lights.)
So, it was a success all around. But it did make me feel old, or certainly rather sedate. Maybe I need more glitter in my life.