Apr 062017


Chooch in 2013, when he was known to wear a wolf hat just like his idol, Christofer Drew.

On Sunday, I got to do one of my favorite things in the whole entire world: go to a show with Chooch.

We hadn’t gone to a show together since last fall when we saw the Summer Set in Columbus! So when Never Shout Never announced a throwback tour, there was definitely no question that we were going. Henry bought two tickets and cheerfully said, “Have fun!” as he mentally planned all the things he was going to do without us that night, such as: eat meat, read the circulars, chip away at his tunnel to freedom, and sleep?

I actually have no idea what he did after he dropped off at Stage AE. I tried to get out of the car as quickly as possible, before too many people in line saw me and thought that my DAD was dropping me off. Ugh, the horror.

Except that Chooch was with me, immediately marking me as a mom. Oh well. That and my gray hair.

The line wasn’t terribly long, but long enough to make Chooch grumble. These whippersnappers and their instant gratification! They don’t know the satisfaction of good things and waiting, or whatever that fucking bullshit adage is.

I’ll tell you one thing though: there were a lot of girls there with flower chains all up in their unwashed hair. Oh, that neo-hippie couture. I was just wearing jeans and a striped shirt. You know, my uniform.

Meanwhile, an ice cream truck rolled up! What smart marketing. Too bad Papa H didn’t give us any cash, so we had to stand there like peasants and watch all of the other kids rush over to grab a Push-Up.

And by “all of the other kids,” I mean four of them.

“Wow, their prices are high!” Chooch scoffed.

“Are they? Those ones over there are like, a dollar….”

But he didn’t hear me because he was too busy mentally comparing the prices with other ice cream trucks he’s seen around town, like he’s suddenly into the economics of ice cream on the go.

I was like, “OMG stop sounding like such a nerd right now, we’re in line for a fucking concert, ugh, STFU.”

Meanwhile, some Stage AE broad was pacing back and forth like a drill sergeant, yelling for all the guys to move over to the line on the right where they could proceed to the obligatory pat down from a male security person, while us girls got felt up by fellow women because that makes it better.

I had to send Chooch into the man line and I acted like I was sending him off to war.

“Are you sure you’re going to be alright?” I called after him like a smothering mother. “Wait for me inside!” That last part may have been muffled by the sound of me drowning on my tears.

But then Chooch came back because I forgot to give him his ticket, lol. This allowed some of the girls ahead of us in line to notice him, and once he got his ticket and went back to the Man Line, they started gushing loudly.

“DId you see that kid?! He was wearing a Dance Gavin Dance shirt!”

“He’s the coolest person here by far.”

“I want to take a picture of him!”

“How old do you think he is, like 13?”

OMG I was dying to holler, “Hi! Hello! It’s me! It’s me, his mom! And he’s only 10, btw!” But I didn’t want to be all High-Strung Mother so I just kept my mouth shut.

“That’s the kind of mom I’m going to be,” one of the girls said and I took a leisurely lap around Validation Bay.

Chooch was waiting for me, unscathed and un-abducted, after I emptied my jacket pockets to show the security broads that there was no room for drugs or switchblades next to all the ramping, lipgloss, and plastic toy capsules. They seemed satisfied that I wasn’t a terrorist or just your standard American delinquent with a sinister cherry bomb agenda.

Chooch and I claimed a prime spot against the railing, which I knew would be good for him since he’s a shortie with a predilection for resting on his laurels; our spot was sparsely populated so he was able to sit down without being tripped over.

There was only one opening band: Me Like Bees. I thought they were ok, definitely inoffensive to the ears, but I had listened to them before and they just didn’t stick with me. Seeing them live didn’t really change that—I was kind of bored. They reminded me a bit of Modest Mouse, calmer and less musical, and just kind of boring to me. IM SORRY.

I did enjoy their cover of Beastie Boys’ Sabotage though.

After Me Like Bees’ set, the couple next to us asked how we heard about Never Shout Never. I told them that Chooch was the one who actually got me into them, leaving out the part where I had already known who NSN was but refused to give them a chance because in my mind, it was just some lame kid who got YouTube famous for singing whiny songs. I’m glad that I let Chooch change my mind, because Christofer Drew is actually a talented song-writer and let’s be honest, he can jam that ukulele. His music just makes me really happy, and I love that it gave Chooch and I something to share.

Anyway, they were shocked that Chooch has seen NSN five times already in his young age (and met them once!), and the guy part of the couple (I think they were actually just friends, but whatever) said that when he’s a dad, he hopes he can do the same thing with his kids. That was the second time that night that my parenting style was commended by a stranger – I can’t even describe the awesome feeling it gave me.  I love getting to share these experiences with Chooch: going to shows, falling in love with new bands, fighting over who which member of BIGBANG is the best — this is my favorite part of being a parent!

Never Shout Never put on a fantastic show as always. Chris’s banter was fiery as usual, but Taylor wasn’t there to volley it back, so that was sad. But they sure busted out the throwback jams, that’s for sure!

  • Big City Dreams
  • Trouble
  • Your Biggest Fan
  • On the Brightside
  • California
  • Piggy Bank
  • Cheatercheaterbestfriendeater
  • I Love You 5
  • Coffee and Cigarettes
  • Happy
  • Love is our Weapon
  • Sellout
  • First Dance
  • Harmony

During Harmony, Chooch shouted in my ear, “He should sing this song to Donald Trump!”

Indeed, my little friend.

Two of my favorites were played: “On the Brightside” and “Cheatercheaterbestfriendeater” so I was happy. Chooch sang along to every single song, and in between screamed, “Jane Doe!”

Sadly, Chris did not grant Chooch’s wish.

“Ugh, I feel like I’m in middle school again! This is great!” I heard the girl next to us yell to her friend at one point, and that made me happy because nostalgia can be such a precious thing.

It also made me feel REALLY OLD because I was already in my late 20s when Christofer Drew debuted in the scene.


“All of it,” Chooch said just now when I asked him what his favorite part of the night was. What a perfect way to end the weekend!


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