My big adventure this weekend was going to the Taylor Swift concert in Philadelphia! My eldest and I went to celebrate his 16th birthday.
(Side note: Not so many mom-son pairs in the audience! We joked that they really needed to re-purpose some of the men’s rooms in that football stadium for the evening!)
It was a gorgeous night (75 degrees) and a great show. It was also incredibly long — about 3.5 hours, and 44 songs. It struck me that in an era when you can get individual songs whenever you want, and watch the music videos for those songs whenever you want, one thing live entertainment can provide is to be a real experience. Requiring some serious stamina of the audience could be part of that.
To say nothing of the stamina of the performer. Whoa. She did that show three nights in a row after doing it three nights in a row the previous weekend, and so forth. I really appreciated that Swift acted happy to be there, and you didn’t get the sense that this was just another day on the job, which one could imagine happening somewhere in the middle of dozens of shows. She seemed very aware that some people had waited hours to log on to score their $99 Verified Fan tickets, and others had no doubt spent insane amounts on the secondary market. At one point she said something to the effect of “whatever effort you went through tonight to get here, please know that it is very appreciated.”
As for my effort — it wasn’t that bad on the ticket obtaining front. I bought my tickets on Stubhub six months ago and paid what I felt was a very reasonable price considering what I saw tickets going for later.
The logistics of getting to and from Lincoln Financial Field, on the other hand, felt more intense. We took off at about 4:40 p.m. from my house. In light traffic, you can get there in less than 30 minutes. We didn’t pull into the far parking lot until about 6:10 p.m. (to be fair, this turned out to be more Friday rush hour traffic than Taylor traffic). Then we hiked about 15 minutes to the stadium. And that was better than the departure! We stayed until the end of the concert, because, well, we wanted to hear the Midnights songs. But after arriving at our car at 11:55 p.m., I didn’t even bother starting the car until 12:55 a.m., because no one had left our parking lot in that time. I finally got onto the highway (about a mile away) around 1:15 a.m., at which point it was the 30 minutes home it should be.
So, into bed a little after 2, then up at 6:50 with the toddler, but back to bed a little after 8 and I slept until 11! And now it is a memory that I think will stick with me — more so than many Friday nights. I imagine that is so for lots of people who were in the stadium — something that live entertainment can do that you don’t necessarily get from just listening to an album.
In other news: As for a little adventure…my husband and I wanted to go to a party one of his colleagues was hosting Saturday night. We didn’t manage to get a babysitter, but then I had a realization that some of the young women posting on the babysitter list where I look are 17-year-old students at my son’s high school. (Note: when we hire sitters, they are not generally charged with supervising the older three kids, who tend to hang out in their rooms or watching movies. They are there to watch and entertain the 8- and 3-year-old.)
So I put my two older boys in charge, each splitting the time, an hour and 15 minutes apiece at what I felt was a reasonable rate. And then I left the party early (my husband stayed) to make sure all was good. And it was. When I got home, my 13-year-old was playing a game with his little brothers wherein he dressed up in the inflatable dinosaur costume and chased them and they shot at him with Nerf guns. Good times.
I will be careful not to abuse this (and I pay!) but the prospect of not having to hunt for a sitter for “peak” times when it’s hard to land one really has me giddy…