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Ratdog Allman Brothers at Jones Beach with My Girl

On Wednesday August 13th I brought my seven year old daughter to her first real concert, Ratdog and The Allman Brothers at Jones Beach Theatre, a classic lineup and a wonderful introduction to Live Rock and Roll! Sure she's been to other live music before; she's seen The Zen Tricksters a number of times, but she's never been to anything close to this scale. I debated back and forth whether to take her or not. It's a big responsibility on allot of different levels. My wife was lobbying for me to take her. I kept thinking "what if she doesn't like it", "what if it's too loud" (I had 5th row center tickets), "what if it rains" (it didn't), "what happens when she or I have to go to the bathroom" (my sister also came so she brought her). I also know that bringing anyone new to something like that means you're partially responsible for their experience as well as your own. This in itself distracts you to some extent, and dilutes YOUR overall experience. Even so, I was able to enjoy this show immensely because of her presence (and the presence of my sister, brother-in-law, nephews, niece, brother, sister-in-law, and numerous friends). It proved to be a very emotional experience for me and one in which I'll cherish for many years to come (God willing).

My final decision was made about a week before the show when I simply asked her if she wanted to go. Her answer was a definitive YES! I explained to her that it would be LOUD, Crowded, and LONG! She wasn't fazed. So I put some live Allman Brothers on when we were driving in my car and turned the volume up high. I asked her if it was too loud. "No" she replied. "It'll be ten times louder" I told her. "Okay Daddy" she said. Decision final. I did put cotton in her ears at the show to protect her though.

All in all it was a success. She says she enjoyed it. I might have her write about her experience for a future post as a guest blogger. It's hard for me to tell what her true feelings are about the show. My first concert was Crosby, Stills, and Nash at the Nassau Colliseum at the age of 12. I went with my older sister, who took me because I loved the music and chose to go (I think I begged my parents for weeks for permission and funds to go, as was usual for the following 6 years or so). This, on the other hand, was different; as a seven year old she didn't choose to go to this, I chose to take her. I wanted her to experience this before it's too late. Let's face it, The Icon Greg Allman is no spring chicken. Neither is Bob Weir. God knows how long this kind of scene will be going on. I want her to have some kind of understanding of what the scene is all about, and nothing can compare to this kind of match up. Maybe next year we'll go to The Gathering Of The Vibes if we can swing it. What an experience that would be for her and me (and potentially my wife). I think that she was somewhat impressed by the fact that I know so many people at these shows. She asked a few times "who was that?" I had to respond that I know the person, but I don't know their name. This is a result of following The Grateful Dead around for so many years. People you know come out of the woodwork.

It was a real strong show for Ratdog, and average for The Allman's. Maybe I'll write a seperate post about the music soon. For now I'll say that the musician swapping, for me, were the high points. Notably Warren Haynes joining Ratdog on two songs, New Speedway Boogie and Mississippi Halfstep. And Ratdog members joining The Allman Bros on their home stretch down the line. Notably Mark Karan on Good Morning Little Schoolgirl played a very soulful and tasteful solo (only to be eclipsed by the Immortal Derek Trucks slide solo following, in which Karan acted out fanning him with an invisible fan; putting out the fire). Oddly enough almost all of Ratdog came out to jam with the Allmans EXCEPT for Bobby Weir. Strange! My explanation, not to knock Bobby, is that the other members of Ratdog have more to offer in spotlights than Bob himself. That said, he most certainly could have come out and played or sung on Schoolgirl or some other blues song. Whatever. I just wonder who's decision it was, or whether an invitation was extended to him at all, as well as how much interfacing, back stage, goes on between the two bands all together.

If you have an experience you'd like to share about bringing your child, or anyone else to a show please feel free to share it with me in a comment. Thanks! See Ya at the next show.

Download the Ratdog set here.


Anonymous said...

My kids have been going with me to shows for years. My now 25 year old saw the KLOL Rock & Roll Charity Auction when she was 8. John Bon Jovi made a guest appearnce that night, along with King's X, the Arc Angels, the annual Nightranger reunion, and various solo artists. My youngest daughter, now 21, saw ZZ Top just before entering 4th grade. She has seen Bob Dylan, Gregg Allman & Friends (twice), the Allman Brothers (four times), and two weeks ago got to watch Dickey Betts from backstage. She also got Dickey & three of the band members to sign the set list her brother got off the stage. My oldest son has seen the ABB five times,Dickey Betts and Great Southern, Marshall Tucker, Molly Hatchet, and Johnny Winter. (He didn't care for Hot Tuna when they opened for his second ABB show, said they were too loud). My youngest son is 16. He has seen the ABB eight times, next week will be number nine. He has also seen The Eagles (his favorite band), Pure Prairie League, POCO, Firefall, Buddy Guy, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Marshall Tucker Band, Molly Hatchet, four Dickey Betts & Great Southern shows (the last time from back stage), and the Outlaws. I laso took him to see Govt. Mule when he was 11, he was easily the youngest person in the building. Both boys saw Ratdog open for the ABB last year at Darien. The younger one enjoyed them, he's more of a Deadhead than his brother. Older one did not like them much. I was a Dead fan as long as I've been a Peach Head, and I really miss Jerry. There are a few "Jerry" songs I'd rather not hear Bob sing, and I swear if he ever tries to do "Must Have Been the Roses" I'll climb a tower with a high powered rifle. I'm thrilled my kids love good music and I enjoy taking them to shows with me.

dave@davesjoint said...

Very cool anonymous. Where will you see Allman's next week? I've seen most of the bands mentioned, except maybe Molly Hatchet, ZZ Top, POCO, and Firefall. Who are Firefall? Thanks for the comment. Tell your kids to "Keep On Keepin' It On". Let's try to keep these kids hip and keep the world cool. Peace, Dave.

Anonymous said...

Dave, we saw the Allmans and Ratdog last night in Canandaigua. Best Ratdog show, hands down. I don't remember the last time I heard Catfish John played. Warren joined them for their encore, a slow, funky, almost reggae version of "Revolution". ABB put on the best show of this year's tour so far. From the opening with Don't Want You No More/Ain't My Cross to Bear (my personal favorite opening number) to the very funky, jam-filled Revival encore (youngest son Derek's favorite ABB song) they just killed it. Add to that Bobby joining them for a long, killer Franklin's Tower, and it was a magical night. I've already DLed the Ratdog show, I'll be buying the ABB recording from HTN when it's available. We were also lucky enough to have Kirk West, the ABB's manager, give us backstage passes for after the show. Unfortunately, none of the band came by before boarding the bus for tonight's show in NJ, but we spent an hour on the patio with Kirk, a good time as it was. We have The Outlaws up next tomorrow at the NY State Fair. Looks like Derek & me again, oldest son got called into work. Funny thing about the venue, they had huge signs outside the parking lot about "Tailgating Strictly Prohibited". Guess they never did a Dead related band before. We had two grills going by 4 p.m., coolers full of ice-coldies, and a very fun vibe going. If you stop by the ABB website, ( I post there as PhotoRon286.

dave@davesjoint said...

Hey Now Ron, Thanks for the comment. I can't wait to download that RD set now and give it a listen. Gotta Love Bobby coming out with the Allmans on Franklins. Hope you enjoy the Outlaws. It's really cool that they're playing shows again. Peace Man!

Anonymous said...

i made it here from mog and was enthralled by your on long island and my kids are same age..have been wondering about lots of the things you mentioned. like you, if they give a resounding yes, we go with many parents don't actually check in the the little tikes.

and, would have definitely chosen same flavor line-up as you. so thanks and peace. kaluss@mog.

dave@davesjoint said...

Thanks Kaluss, I'll check out your mog profile. Did you bring your kids to Ratdog/Allmans at Jones Beach? What shows have you brought them to?