Crocodile Tears- Little Hurricane
Better Than- John Butler Trio
Unbelievable. While I have been fortunate enough to have attended a handful of shows with my parents in the past years, I had never heard my mom ‘woop’ before tonight. The headliner, the esteemed and glorious John Butler Trio, warranted quite a flock of ‘woops’ from Mrs. Jean Mill, however those are not the ‘woops’ I am writing about now. The ‘woop’ in particular was the first I’d ever heard from my mother, and that note of endorsement, that vote of confidence, that whistle of approval occurred during Little Hurricane’s opening set this Sunday evening at The Commodore in Vancouver.
As risky as it can be taking your parents (or grandparents!) to a show, it will also be the most rewarding. Of all of the things I am intrinsically indebted to my parents for, my appreciation for the skilled execution of live music and for the tireless commitment to one’s art (whatever that may be), is what plucks a chord in my heart tonight. Having just returned from this incredible evening, my mind is racing with highlights.
An endless ‘Ocean’ set (during communal retrospect we could not agree upon a duration for this song, as time had lost meaning to each one of us…), the infinite marvels of an acoustic guitar, and a balcony table overlooking a sea of heads swaying to whatever they connect with while smoking to the good health of their neighbour… all fall to the wayside of the memories I have of my mother and father and each of my siblings connecting to the music in their own personal ways.
To discover the way a person connects to music is a beautiful way to get to know someone. We each sink into music by our own means. Tonight I realized my Dad and I share the same habit of expelling a burst of laughter when overcome with awe. My mom smiles as if her face could not bear any more happiness, and it’s much too contagious to not join in. My sister drifts off and thinks, as do I, and comes back to meet my smile and share in my exclamation of admiration. My brother, with his intuitive beat, drums along on the table, or wildly about mid air when the table proves too limiting.
After too great a stint of compacted ‘catch ups’ with my family every few months, looking around the around the table tonight and seeing how each of them connected to the music was an incredible way for me to reconnect with them. While I’ve always known this, tonight I was reminded that my appreciation for art and live performance comes from them. I know this because in their connection to live music, I see the root of mine.
During the first few songs of Little Hurricane’s set, I was apprehensive. The lights were sporadic, the drums were relentless (side note- LH, you had me at female drummer), and the vocals were indecipherable. I wasn’t worried about my brother or father; both generally game to see a live show out, nor my sister upon whose agreeable nature I can always rely. And I know I shouldn’t be worried about my mother, from whom I learned to test new waters and to always seek the positive. However, when I heard that ‘woop-’ that spontaneous exclamation of enjoyment- I was indescribably delighted, and silently relieved.
During the remainder of the set, I swear I heard at least two more ‘woops,’ and throughout the remainder of the show I witnessed a variety of expressions of joy from all members of my family. Among those expressions of joy were my own of course, a bulk of which was derived directly from John Butler and his incredible craft. However a significant bulk was also derived indirectly from those exclamations of connections from the one and only Mill Famn Damily.
So, if there were only one reason to bring your parents to a concert (and I promise you there are a million!), it would be to reconnect with them. Learn about how they respond to art, experience a common ground and observe your common reaction. And if there are a million reasons to bring your parents to a concert (and there are), I implore you to discover them yourselves.
Many, many cheers tonight folks,
Ps. When you do take your parents to a concert, feel free to write about it and send it to us at email@example.com. Lets get some parents groovin!