Unlike most fancy urban-dwellers my age, I was married during the first decade of this brave new century we’re in, and therefore I missed every great indie band that came along. The White Stripes, Modest Mouse, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Death Cab for Cutie – don’t know a single song. But finally, in 2009, when I found my freedom, I started to plug in to the music that had passed me by. Thanks to a download from a friend’s iTunes library, I listened to She and Him, Stars, The New Pornographers – and I realized how excellent they all are. (A far cry from the chicks at Lilth Fair, I might add, though the Indigo Girls will always have a piece of my heart.)
One of the voices that healed me most while I was recovering from my breakup belongs to Caleb Followill, the lead singer of Kings of Leon. Their single Use Somebody was all over the place last year, followed by their Springsteen-esque hit Sex on Fire, both of which I’m nuts for, so when I saw that they’re headlining Coachella 2011 along with Arcade Fire, Kanye West and The Strokes, I honestly thought for a second, maybe I should go! Then when I went to the Coachella website, I saw something that totally shocked me. All ages are welcome and kids 5 and under get in for free. So that begs the question: is it irresponsible to bring a pre-schooler to a rock concert?
If you’re Gwyneth Paltrow, the answer is no. A few years ago, images of Gwyn holding her daughter Apple (wearing huge noise-cancelling headphones) backstage at a Coldplay concert were quite common. But if you’re not the child of a rock star, should you be hanging out in a booze- (and possibly drug-) filled environment? Probably not. Still, the VIP pass sounds compelling for someone coming with a kid. According to the Coachella site, “The main VIP area is located immediately adjacent to the main stage and consists of shaded areas, picnic tables, couches, extra restrooms, food & beverage vendors and a full cash bar. The second VIP area is located directly next to the Sahara tent in the beautiful Rose Garden complete with full bar, spectacular views and 1000′s of roses.” Ooh, a rose garden! I wonder if they have a toddler play area and changing tables…
Obviously I’m not going to bring my 5-year-old to Coachella, if for no other reason than the fact that the VIP pass costs $699, and my daughter refuses to roll with the plebs. Even if I decided to slum it with a regular pass at only $269, who would babysit while I was on the Kings of Leon tour bus? You have to consider these things. Plus, my daughter thinks listening to Rihanna on the car stereo is too loud. I can’t imagine the face she’d make with Kanye’s Monster blaring in her ear. I guess Nicole Richie’s kids will have the rose garden all to themselves this year.