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My Rocker Baby's First OK Go Show

Hooping at OK Go

Earlier, there were hula hoops. Oh yeah. I said Hula hoops.

We had a really fun “first” this past weekend baby’s first concert!

I’m on this great email list called “Johnny Fun Cheap,” and it’s just what it sounds like: a weekly list of fun, cheap or free events around the Bay Area. I’ve had more weekends saved from boredom by ol’ Johnny than I care to admit.

This past weekend, we saw a listing for a free block party and rooftop concert by OK Go. In case you’re scratching your head and wondering who that is, maybe you remember their hugely viral videos in which they have been known to perform a goofy dance, get artistic with treadmills, pop up out of the ground, or get things done via a huge Rube Goldberg machine. You remember them now, right?

Some might think of these videos as a bit of a gimmick, to which I say, “why not?” If the record company isn’t going to market you properly, you’ve got to take matters into your own hands. The Talking Heads and Peter Gabriel were known for their amazing and artistic videos, too, and OK Go bring a scrappy Maker Faire / DIY vibe to the whole thing.

Anyway, we are just a teeny bit obsessed with these videos around our house, so we made it our business to get ourselves across town to North Beach for this fun outdoor fest. This was no small feat, by the way. Since Abby was born, we no longer all fit in the family car, so when we all want to go somewhere, Randy has to take public transportation and meet us there. (Or we can all take public transportation, but with the threat of a meltdown or nap-emergency, and strict rules about strollers on busses, and some small impulse control issues on the part of the two-year-old… yeah, we’re taking the car whenever we can.)

So Max (the fourteen-year-old) piled into the car with me and Penny and Abby, and Randy and Eli took Muni, and we met up on the looong line that stretched around the block three times. We had to wait for almost an hour to get in, but we were rewarded with purple wristbands and an almost immediate sighting of the bass player the minute we walked in. Because the event was sponsored by a web-search company, we flashed their app on our smart phones and got free food. There were circus performers, which Penny was quite entranced with. And then… the concert!

When the show started, people crowded down to the lower level of the rooftop garden and packed themselves in front of the stage. We had planned to watch from the balcony, but after a few minutes I realized that I cared less about actually seeing the band (who were not dancing or working a giant Rube Goldberg machine, just playing their instruments, YAWN) than about wrangling Penelope, who loooves music. We left the big kids and their dad peering o’er the ramparts; there was plenty more room on the upper level.

I had Abby in the Ergo and began dancing with my toddler, an energetic stomping sort of dance that was both elegant and fierce. Abby laughed and kicked along, and then very quickly fell asleep, and Penny and I kept strutting back and forth and pointing fingers randomly in the air till the band left the stage. Abby woke again toward the end, and I just wonder what she thought of these two females, one slightly bigger and one enormous, balleting through the dark night as the stars and moon whirled over us.

It was the kind of thing I always thought I’d do with my kids, when I had them; it was literally like living in a dream. Abby’s not old enough to remember, but I hope she carries the fun feeling with her. We’re sure to have more crazy festive boogie-ing in our future, anyway.

Thanks, OK Go!

Have you taken your kids to a rock-show yet? What was it? I’m pretty sure mine was Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie. Er, so maybe not a rock show.

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