Prentiss Riddle: Kids

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Families rock, but 80's hair bands suck

It sounded like such a great thing: an outfit called had organized a family show by Guy Forsyth at Antone's at the kid-friendly hour of 5:30 PM.

So we get there and families with kids are lined up around the block. The doors open and we pay our $5/kid admission (parents are free!) and get free glowsticks and other fun paraphenalia. Guy Forsyth's band is doing a sound check and we think this is going to be very cool.

Then it suddenly turns uncool. Guy and band leave the stage and the organizers introduce a video which they say will teach first-timers how to rock (with a flash of devil hand signs every time they use the word "rock"). The video consists of badly projected 80's stadium concert footage at ear-shredding volume. For an hour. An hour of making toddlers' eardrums bleed! While some of Austin's most talented musicians are cooling their heels backstage!

The families I was with, parents and kids alike, were bored, in physical discomfort, and ticked off. I think as painful as the noise was the insulting idea that anybody would need to be taught how to listen to rock & roll. After 40 minutes or so a bunch of us started chanting "We want Guy!" but of course we couldn't be heard over the Guns 'n' Roses.

Folks, if you want to organize a kid-friendly show, please do it (a) on time, (b) at a pediatrician-approved volume, and (c) with the focus on live music, not some Wayne's World notion of (devil horns again) rock.

P.S. When Guy Forsyth finally took the stage, he was too loud too. Don't people understand that tinnitus doesn't rock? Good hearing rocks. Tinnitus just sucks.

P.P.S. I'm unlikely to try another official Families Rock show again, but their online guide to the kid-friendliness of upcoming shows in Austin does look like a useful resource.

kids 2006.08.20 link