Posts Tagged ‘Up’


We took my oldest son to his first concert this past Friday. Okay, technically it wasn’t his first if you count The Wiggles when he was 3 (for the record, The Wiggles really work it; obviously it takes more than a little red car and a dinosaur named Dorothy to stay on top of your game as a major act for the preschool set, and The Wiggles delivered . . . But I digress). But on Friday, we took him to The Greek in Berkeley to see Peter Gabriel’s New Blood tour.

This happened to be a perfect first show for my son, Z. First and foremost, the song “Darkness” off of Gabriel’s album Up, is one of his favorite songs at the moment. Second, Gabriel is touring with an orchestra this time around, which means the sound level was bearable, particularly for an 11-year-old who has an aversion to loud noise. And finally, because it was an orchestral show the mood was sedate and even somber at times (and also perhaps because the age of the average audience member was somewhere around 45) everyone stayed seated. Z, being himself, wasn’t particularly excited about going to the concert. However, he was awed by the video projection that accompanied the music, he thankfully did not question the strange smells that wafted through the air, and when Gabriel performed “Darkness” my son was mesmerized.

At first I found it odd that my son was drawn to a song about fear (“I have my fears, they do not have me” goes the refrain). But Gabriel explained that the song was inspired by venturing into the woods near his home as a child. An old woman lived in a caravan in those woods and  he and his friends decided she was a witch, so it was scary to go there and see her house.  In that light, it makes sense that my son is connecting with the theme of childhood fears. I’m not sure he hears the message in the song, but I hope he does.

On the downside, the concert was outside and it was cold; my son is not a night owl and the show started just an hour before his bedtime; Peter Gabriel did not jump inside the big human hamster ball he used on the “Up” tour, which my son has seen on DVD and was hoping to see in person; and “Darkness” came up before the intermission, dousing any desire Z might have had to brave it out for the next half of the show. So yes, we left early and my husband and I missed out on all the songs we had hoped to hear. But we also missed out on the post-concert traffic jam, and that was ok too.

Peter Gabriel in the ball on the Up tour