by Ben Shine
Last July, I accompanied my uncomfortably pregnant wife to the Vogue to see Beach House. For the duration of Beach Houses' performance, my wife stood on what she recalls as "cankles," we enjoyed the music, and all signs pointed toward a parenthood full of live music.
Well, maybe we were overestimating our willingness to leave our little one late into the night, or perhaps we didn't realize we'd be so tired that sometimes even going to a concert seemed like torture. Whatever the reasons, the reality is we just don't get out the way we used to.
It's a chore. Shows start really late (I'll address this in a later post, but I have an idea for the live music industry). Grandmas need their sleep, too, and can't live the rock n' roll lifestyle waiting for us to come home. And babies wake you up early anyway, so only the really important shows even get through our baby bubble, if we're lucky.
Save for a few outdoor shows where we can bring along Mr. Baby sporting his Benz headphones, we have to be very strategic about which concerts we can see. Being a new parent requires a lot of advanced planning, strategy and favors for non-baby entertainment. So, here's a list of upcoming shows over the next few months that we think are worth it and will make sure that there's someone to cover parenting duties for an evening.
United States Three/ Vacation Club/Amo Joy - Friday, July 19 at Broad Ripple Park
Maybe this is a cheater pick, because we've taken Mr. Baby to a couple of these concerts in the park, and we'll probably take him to this show, too. The Listen Local series has been a real treat this summer, with great bands, good beer and food - all to support the Indianapolis Parks Foundation. This week, it's the United States Three, local rock n' roll masters, heading up a bill that includes lo-fi energizers Vacation Club and psych-rock locals Amo Joy. The United States Three are like my hometown team, and their frontman, Vess, is a very good friend. It's possible over the last two decades that I've seen them play more than any other band, but I'm still excited to take my son to his second US3 show. With their return to regular action this year, Mr. Baby can start racking up his own count of US3 shows.
Such a Night: Recreating the Music of The Band's Last Waltz - Friday, July 26, 2013
Last year's The Ramble was dreamed up and organized by my friend and Tonic Ball brother, Matt Mays. Matt wanted to put on a different but still really unique concert like Tonic, to support Down Syndrome Indiana. With the recent death of The Band's Levon Helm, Matt put the wheels in motion to put on a concert honoring Helm and giving local musicians a chance to play his music.
He gathered some of Indy's best musicians and magic happened - The Ramble. With the good chemistry and an eagerness to do something great, the group decided that they would not just play music by The Band, they would recreate The Last Waltz, the Scorsese film of The Band's farewell performance. The Ramble was phenomenal, and an amazing homage to one of rock's greatest pieces of theater. My pregnant wife and I not only went last summer, we volunteered to take tickets at the door. They're re-creating it again this year as the aptly named Such a Night, and we plan on going for the show only this year and leaving the baby home this time.
Sigur Ros - Tuesday, September 17, 2013, The Lawn at White River State Park
The Lawn at WRSP often offers concertgoers the chance to be amazed by great music on stage and dazzled by the show put on by an Indiana sunset in late summer.
Sigur Ros might be the best soundtrack for the space between civilization and rugged nature. So, a big park lawn with a view of downtown seems like the ideal place to see them live. While their new album, Kveikur, is a little more aggressive than their ephemeral sounding records of past, I'm pretty sure that makes my anticipation levels grow.
Mission of Burma - Saturday, September 14, Radio Radio
Post-rock icons of the early 1980's who reunited in the reunion-crazed early 2000's but continued to put out some pretty decent albums over the last decade. They're the genuine article. Most of the bands I liked in the 1990's sounded a lot like them. My current favorite overly-intellectual music writers over at The Quietous sum it up way better than I can: "In theory, their brand of loud, jagged, hook laden, rhythmically tighter-than-a-suspension-bridge post punk should feel like old hat after a decade of telecaster wielding indie twits tediously citing Gang Of Four as inspiration, but that couldn't be further from the case."
Shuggie Otis - Tuesday, September 24, 2013, The Vogue.
If you read my last post about life-changing albums, you understand why I've already made plans with both of Mr. Baby's grandmothers, an aunt, a few cousins and 2 or 3 parent-friends to babysit. Oh, and maybe a few friends who've never even held a baby, but know how to dial 911 and felt pressured to say okay in the moment. I know we won't be seeing 1974 Shuggie, but it'll be well worth it.
I know I've missed a bunch. What shows are you excited to see this summer? Help me emerge from my baby bubble.