I’ve been able to see some iconic musicians this summer – Bad Religion (apparently making their first apperance in Madison) and Alice Cooper (who stops in Wisconsin on a regular basis). The people at the show tended to be on the more mature side, tending to be older than myself. It was nice to not feel like the oldest person at the show as has typically been the situation.

But among those of us who grew up needing to purchase physical copies of music, were a few children. And when I say children, I mean younger than 10.

I’ve been to a handful of shows where you see people bringing in their children, but those shows are typically for bands who are regularly played on most commercial radio stations. I wasn’t surprised to see kids when Weezer played in Madison because no one could seemingly escape their cover version of “Africa” last summer. But a group of aging punks and a man whose stage show involves a guillotine? Not sure how many people would bring their children.

During the Bad Religion show, a couple had their two sons with them. The young boys had their hair styled into spiked fauxhawks and the man I assumed who was their father would hold the boys one at a time and walk them around the periphery of the mosh pit. The children would bang their heads as they did a few laps before standing on the boundary of the pit.

For those who’ve never experienced a pit, you should know that despite all of the thrashing and bodies hitting one another, if someone falls, people will help them up.

I assume some people would be shocked that an adult would have their child involved in a pit, but everyone seemed to be conscious to not mosh too closely to the man and child as they walked pit’s periphery. The boys and the man looked absolutely delighted to witness the pit action up close.

While I was standing in line after the show I noticed a girl, about 8 or 9 years old, with her parents. She had the slightly sweaty sheen of someone who spent most of the show moving around.

“Was this your first show?” I inquired.

She said no; her dad said the girl’s first concert was One Direction. But this was the show her parents wanted to see and wanted her to experience it, her mom said.

As for Alice Cooper, there was a girl (maybe 7 years old) sitting on her dad’s shoulders during the concert. After the show, I gave the girl a high-five and told her this would certainly be a great “What I did during summer” story for when she went back to school. The man said his daughter had been counting down the days until she would see her first concert. She liked the creepy atmosphere created on the stage.

It was great to see families enjoying the shows together and having fun; the parents getting to share their favorite music with their children and to create memories. I know I can remember most of my first concert – I was in middle school and went to see KISS. With my parents, my brother, and my sister. It was at the Dane County coliseum and the opening band was called Outhouse.

I’m sure I sang along with almost every song and was excited by the entire spectacle of the show. And I also thought it was amazing to have my parents take us to a real concert, much like the kids I saw at the Bad Religion and Alice Cooper concerts may have felt.

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