Rock festival venue design has improved since I was a kid. I think so, anyway. The festival this weekend was my first so I can’t be sure. They have this security fence around the mosh pit, see, and then an eight foot wide security lane full of bouncers and then another security fence. The advantages of this are the main crowd can’t rush the stage and squish those in the mosh pit, and it’s easier for bouncers to keep an eye on things and evacuate people who pass out, and 10 year old girls attending with their dads can lean up against the second fence and sort of see the stage when their dads are taking a break from carrying them on their shoulders.

This system is better than what I gather it was 20-30 years ago, mostly involving mud.

Gamma and her friend also enjoyed watching the bungee-jump crane and razzing chickens who rode back down in the platform instead of jumping.

Before we went back the second day, I explained to Gamma: I have a slipped disc. I cannot carry you on my shoulders all the time, so please don’t ask me to, because if you ask I can’t say no. When I am able to, I will offer and then it’s okay.

And you know what? She went along with that. The first evening had totally been a study in the economics of love and pain, i.e. “I will carry her for one more song, just one more song, and then put her down before nerve damage renders my leg entirely numb; just one more song, one more after this. Or after the next one.”

She is an understanding and loving person.

She also enjoyed winding up the big kids. I asked her what she and her friend were doing up on their fathers’ shoulders and she said aping the kids in back of them. Doing the same dances and stuff. Some people at the festival thought, hey, cool little kids. Others were obviously miffed, because they thought they were cool, with their dreadlocks etc, and little kids taking the piss out of them made it harder for them to maintain that illusion.

Gamma was illustrating to her big sister various dance styles she had observed at the festival. “One of the people they let up on stage was dancing like this:” (headbanging/hairswinging dance). “And the girls behind us were dancing like this:” (Shakira-hipswinging). She nailed each style. Beta was infused with mirth.

Gamma was great the whole time. Her little friend got tired and whiny and demanding, and Gamma tried to cheer her up. We left when the aggressive bands came on at night, due to the squishing danger. Gamma was cool about it.

She liked different music than I did, but was nice about it. We both liked Kosheen. Calexico was great. Lambchop was good. Tinariwen was a surprise – Tuareg rock. The Roots (from Philadelphia) were a surprise. Gamma liked Senor Coconut, which I thought was lame because Latin lounge type music? Two marimbas? Horns? But no percussion section (that is, percussion from a computer?). Gamma liked Silbermond more than I did. We both sort of liked Wir Sind Helden (I like the singer’s enunciation).

And so on.

5 responses to “Progress

  1. zeynep

    You are undeniably the coolest father in the world who has two amazing daughters!!! For 32 years, I thought my dad was the best, and now sadly you are rocking his crown :) thanks for writing..Zeynep

  2. k

    calecixo!!!! are great!


  3. Bauke

    I love Kosheen. Although their first CD was better than their second.

  4. Ah, Calexico! Lucky you.