Working for Mood, I have seen the power of music countless times. We put it to work for our clients every day in a number of ways. My years with Mood have also allowed me to be a part of amazing events where I have seen the power of live music first hand, from walking with a marching band through the streets of New Orleans to seeing Steven Van Zandt play guitar with kids in our “City Center” to office visits from Jason Derulo, The Band Perry, and Chairman of the Board. And recently, our Austin office has been getting to experience it too with their monthly concert series, Mood Live. Simply put, live music is just better…it lets you feel it and experience it in a different way.
As an icebreaker, we often ask new team members about their first concert memories. My first concert was Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. tour with my parents and brothers in the ’80s. I don’t remember much except that it was loud and I loved it. I loved how you could feel the music in your chest, how everyone sang along, and how the entire experience surrounded you. I’m pretty sure my older brothers were the ones that encouraged the family outing, because I was still pretty young and my parents weren’t really music people.
Earlier this month, we had our own family outing. My husband and I drove from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. to take our three boys (ages 10, 9, and 7) to their first concert, Ed Sheeran’s Divide tour. During the two hour drive, we listened to some of the music we’d be hearing that night in anticipation. The kids were really excited and bouncing in their seats. Upon entering the arena, the first thing we did was hit the merchandise table for the required concert tee and wristband. Once the kids were outfitted with their new Ed Sheeran gear, we went to find our seats. Because it was their first concert, they wanted to experience it all from the very start so they wouldn’t miss anything.
The opener, James Blunt, played a 40 minute set to a packed arena. We had to explain the concept of an opening act to the kids. My youngest said, “I came here to see Ed Sheeran, not James Blunt” but once they gave him a chance they ended up thoroughly enjoying his performance. Once James’ set was over there was a slight delay for the breakdown and then “the real show,” as the kids called it, started.
Ed Sheeran didn’t disappoint. He may just be a guy with a guitar, but he’s talented enough to fill an arena without any backup singers, dancers, or musicians. His set up was relatively simple, as he just stood at the front of a small stage with massive video screens displaying creative motion graphics behind him. He even incorporated some baby pictures into the show for the song “Photograph.” This impressed my 10-year-old, who exclaimed “what rock star wants to show his baby pictures?!” There were some other funny observations from my kids during the concert. For instance, my 9-year-old leaned over to me and said “I didn’t know you could scream that loud, Mom!” He was also confused and amazed by all the cell phones glowing in the crowd. I then explained that it used to be done with lighters, which the kids thought was not very safe.
If it’s true that most people remember their first concert experience, I hope my kids will remember theirs as a night full of excitement, discovery, sing-a-longs, and time spent with family. I am sure this won’t be the last concert we go to together…we don’t embarrass them all that much yet. I also hope it builds on their love of live performance, theatrical and music alike. All three of my kids are budding musicians (a drummer, an electric guitarist, and a vocalist). At one point during the concert I asked them if they could imagine themselves standing on that stage, to which my 10-year old-responded, ”No way. I think I’d pass out.” I pointed out that he’d already performed on stage with a band and that every artist starts somewhere. Then he looked out again over the arena and the crowd and said “maybe.”
What was your first concert experience? Let us know in the comments section!
– Submitted by Kimberly Wolff, Marketing