Wednesday, July 24, 2013

It's Only Rock and Roll

July 24th; it's finally here. Finally, finally. My teenage daughter has been counting the days. 

I mean, really, she's been counting them. 

You see, her iPhone has a countdown app and months ago, she put today's date into it. While she finished up freshman year, studied for finals, wrote her last term papers, she would check it over and over. And over and over. As though time would somehow fast-forward more quickly if she obsessively stared at that little screen.

What is it they say about a "watched pot?" No matter, today's finally the day ...

Imagine. Dragons. In. Concert.


This is the second time my daughter will see them live. (She is a very dedicated fan.) And, I don't mind this particular pastime. Not as expert as my offspring by any stretch, I have to say that I like the Imagine Dragons lyrics I do know ...

It's time to begin, isn't it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then I'll admit
I'm just the same as I was
Now don't you understand
That I'm never changing who I am

We could do worse.

Yesterday, I had back-to-back-to-back meetings in Boston. When I finally got home, I found my daughter and one of her besties knee-deep in poster boards, markers and cut paper. They were making "fan art." If you're about my age, you may remember attending concerts and bringing (or seeing) large banners that praised the band or made some sort of pun based on one of their songs or simply said "I love you, Jon Bon Jovi!" (In my case, it was Elton John — now that was a realistic crush!)

The idea, I guess, was that the rockstar in question would see your banner, realize that you were the love of his life, find you, marry you, take you on the road. (Then, he'd drop acid with you, drop out, drop into rehab, drop you for a younger groupie ... you get the idea.)

Well fan art today is totally like that. Except it's totally different.

Today's concert audience creates fan art and posts it online rather than off the first row of the balcony blue seats at Madison Square Garden. You create something brilliant, send it out into the cyberinternetosphere and hope that a member of the band will "Like" it or "Tweet" it, link it, re-post it or share it.

Despite millions of fans posting millions of examples of fan art, the chance of getting noticed is actually much higher today than it was for us. My daughter is Facebook friends with some of the members of Imagine Dragons. This may not mean they actually know each other, of course, at least not in the analog world. But she's a lot closer to her idols than I was with my $16 ticket in 1975.

And what better way to get their attention than through art? It's been a lot of years since my daughter chose a craft project over a YouTube video. Can't say that I mind this particular pastime one bit.

The girls worked hard on their fan art, took a quick break for dinner, and continued on their masterpiece long after yours truly went to bed. This morning, my daughter brought her phone to show me ...

"They didn't re-post it," she pouted with a tiny gleam in her eye. "But, look at this!"

There, on her wall, was a comment from one of the Dragons himself. "lol love it"


Was it really him? Was it an assistant? A roadie? Some girl he picked up two shows ago? Who cares! It was good. 

Sometimes, when you're almost sixteen, life can be very good indeed.

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