I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to events where I’m the youngest person by 20 years.
And this wasn’t like when I was 6 and my mom and dad had to tote me around because the sitter called off. I’m 22 years old and I go on my own free will.
Now, my parents normally have something to do with it, because they’re pretty rad (I got lucky to have parents who are my best friends.) Recently, I went to a Crack the Sky reunion concert with my pops in Baltimore.
There are also the bimonthly wine dinners my parents host at their house. Guests include 16 of their friends and then…me. What can I say? I’m an old soul.
Recently, I went to a concert with my mom at the Strand where, of course, I was the youngest person there, but in a way, I wasn’t.
The 71-year-old artist was younger than me.
All I can say is this: When I’m in my 70’s, I can only hope I’m as cool as Tom Rush. I’m a concert junkie; in the past month, I’ve been to six. In the 1970’s, my dad worked for Crack the Sky and my mom followed Tom Rush around Eastern Pennsylvania like it was her job.
And as I’m re-living their past with them, I started noticing how our generation has thoroughly missed out on the era of strictly authentic musical concerts. Nowadays, most of us (not all) need shows to have shiny objects and smoke machines to serve our short attention spans.
I’ve been to concerts with glow sticks and neon balloons. I’ve seen bands enter from the back of the audience. I’ve touched the lead singer of Mute Math as he crowd surfed on a giant LED light air mattress.
But in my 22 years of life, I’ve never been so thoroughly entertained as watching 71-year-old folk singer Tom Rush perform. There was no stage design: the stage had just 4 acoustic guitars and a microphone. There were no antics.
He wore plain white and black and shoes from a thrift store. But the Harvard-educated man put one of the best shows I’ve ever been to because of his snarky humor. I mean, the man has more wit than all late night show hosts (rather writers) combined.
When he spoke about music (all music: his, other folk singers, old blues jams), I felt like he was genuinely trying to have a conversation with me. His humor had a slight sexual innuendo that wasn’t creepy; his guitar playing was beautiful, and his voice sounded rustic and smooth. I remember writing down on my program “Tom Rush sounds like the way things feel,” and nothing could be truer.
I suppose this is a semi concert review. But really, my whole point in relating any of this boils down to this: I may be 20 something, but Tom Rush is 20 something at heart. Sometimes it’s good to be old while you’re 20 and sometimes it’s good to be 20 when you’re old.
Check out this great article by a blogger in Florida who describes a Tom Rush concert perfectly.