As a parent you take great delight in many “firsts” in your children’s lives – first smile, first tooth, first steps, first words, first day at school. Each and every moment to be treasured and held in a special place in your heart. As they grow up the “firsts” become rarer occurrences but remain every bit as precious.
Saturday night saw me share in one of Girl Child’s “firsts”.
I took her to her first rock concert.
The tickets had been purchased months ago and knowing her unease at being in strange places with strange folk and her dislike of crowds, I was understandably a slightly anxious “rock mum” as the big day dawned.
So who were the lucky headline act who had been carefully selected for this “first”?
Halestorm, one of my favourite rock bands, who hail from Red Lion, Pennsylvania and are fronted by the incredibly talented Lzzy Hale. I’d had the pleasure of seeing them play twice before as a support act but never as the headliners.
Accompanied by two friends (thanks for coming along, ladies) we queued on one of the steepest streets I’ve ever had to walk up before finally entering the O2 ABC in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street. It’s a small , intimate venue and proved to be the perfect choice for Girl Child’s first gig. With our trip to the merchandising stall under our belts and my purse empty, we positioned ourselves near the front but far enough off the barrier to avoid being crushed.
I watched Girl Child with bated breath.
During the two support acts (The Smoking Hearts, who played a good set, and Day Shell, who did their best with a poorly front man) she stood there gazing up at the stage not giving me any clues or hints as to how she was feeling.
Had I done the right thing? Was she scared in among so many strangers? Was she going to be mentally scarred for life by the whole experience? Was I being a bad mother?
Shortly before nine o’clock Halestorm took to the stage, launching straight into “I Miss the Misery”. Almost instantly Girl Child was transformed! By half way through that first song, she was singing her heart out (badly!), bouncing up and down with the crowd, horns up, and drinking in every word, every movement and every note.
The smile on her face said it all. She was in her element, as my gran would’ve said.
The Glasgow show was the fourth stop on the current Halestorm tour and they didn’t disappoint. Lzzy thanked the fans profusely for giving them a “sold out” show so far from home. The set was made up of favourite numbers from their first two studio albums, cover EPs plus one new song. The late great Ronnie James Dio would have been proud of Lzzy’s rendition of “Straight Through The Heart”. One of my personal favourites remains “Familiar Taste of Poison” and who couldn’t fail to love Arejay Hale’s drum solo? Memories of Arejay’s “big sticks” will live with me for a while (that and the sight of him stripped to the waist for the encore….swoon….)
All too soon the “Rock Show” was drawing to a close as the band left the audience with “Here’s To Us” and promises to be back soon.
Hot, sweaty, tired and hoarse – it’s a long time since I’ve seen Girl Child so happy.
photos courtesy of yours truly