Item Number One On My Murtaugh List

Or, How a Feminine Hygiene Product Saved My Hearing.

From l-r, Neil Patrick Harris, Cobie Smulders, Josh Radnor, Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan of the CBS series HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission

Do you watch How I Met Your Mother? For those who do, I’m staring a Murtaugh list. For those who don’t, let’s just say, “I’m getting too old for this sh*t.”

I love music. The TV, keeps some people company as they move through their days, for me, it is all about music. The soundtrack to my life is provided by the radio, Pandora or iTunes. I especially love live music. I’ve seen lots of concerts in my life from the super shows like Live Aid or the Human Rights Now Tour, to a cappella groups performing in a college cafe. In recent years, my musical leanings have been more country (much to my husband’s chagrin) and while those types of shows can be loud, typically they lack the pounding base and screeching guitar of heavy metal or rock ‘n roll.

Daughtry is one of the few new rock bands to catch my ear in a long time. I mean REALLY catch my ear. I bought their first, self-titled album and enjoyed every track. I bought their second Leave This Town, on release day. Again, there isn’t bad track in the mix. My husband isn’t a big concert guy and a country concert is out of the question, but he agreed to see Daughtry with me.

Garth Brooks ruined me when it comes to concerts. I saw Brooks on the Fresh Horses tour for $19 per ticket for tenth row seats and later on the same tour, different venue for $23 per ticket for fourteeth row seats. Regardless of your feelings for Garth Brooks, you will be hard pressed to find a performer who gives as much to his audience during a performance. In my mind, it is hard to justify $80 plus per ticket for a band that won’t give me half of the energy that Brooks put out. Thus, we chose the cheaper nosebleed seats straight back from the stage as opposed to the more expensive seats on the side (still on the second level).

My vision isn’t the best, but my hearing is pretty good and I try to be careful about loud noise. About a mile from the house, I realized I’d forgotten my ear plugs. I was running a little late and figured we’d be high enough that I wouldn’t need them. Heh, yeah, not so much.

The show featured three bands, Cavo (which we missed in favor of a quick dinner), Lifehouse and Daughtry. As soon as Lifehouse came on stage, I knew I was in trouble as much from the pounding base and screaming guitars as the screeching teenagers too my right.

Ok, let’s just say it. I’m old. I know it. I’ve never minded when people sing a long with a band, I do (although I try to keep my vocals to a low volume), but screaming not singing, SCREAMING while the band is playing drives me batty. Shriek all you want between songs, but while they are playing, I’d like to hear the band. Thanks.

Two songs in, I broke my cardinal rule of getting up during a band’s set to head for the bathroom. In the ladies room, the bass vibrated the concrete walls. Again, I’m old, but when the structure I’m in is shaking because of the sound, it might be time to turn the levels down just a smidge. I spied a machine on the wall. You know, the ones that NEVER work when you are in desperate need of a pad or a tampon. Fortunately, this arena is fairly new and I was rewarded with a tampon in exchange for my shiny quarter.

There was a gaggle of women crowding the sinks to hear one of their comrades in cleavage relay her latest man trouble, so I headed outside. I can’t imagine what a casual passerby thought of the woman deconstructing a tampon by the ketchup dispensers. When you get down to it. Tampons are cotton, shredded and balled up, it makes an adequate noise dampener.

I headed back to my seat, and waited with the usher for another break in the music. I guess I was gone longer than I thought because A-Man looked a little concerned upon my return. I offered him a set of home made earplugs, but surprisingly, he declined. I managed to survive Lifehouse’s set and by the time Daughtry took the stage, I was able to snag the seat on A-Man’s left putting more distance between me and the screaming meemees. Lifehouse gave a good performance, and while Daughtry wasn’t as good a showman as some acts I’ve seen, he and the band put on a solid performance.

We weren’t the oldest in attendance, but we were in the ahem generational minority. With three bands, the show started at 7:30 and Daughtry finally closed at 11pm. I can’t say I didn’t get my money’s worth but 11pm on a work night is well . . . late. We didn’t get home. Oy, in the immortal words of Lethal Weapon’s Roger Murtaugh, “I’m too old for this sh*t.”

Item number one on my Murtaugh list. I’m too old to attend rock concerts.

Special thanks to Jane Boursaw of Reel Life with Jane and Film Gecko for connecting me to the CBS promo people who kindly sent me the above photo.

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