Big Time [Hearing Loss] Rush, a concert

Guy plugging his ears at concert

This poor guy is rueing the day he bought these tickets.

I took my daughter to see her first concert last night, the band was Big Time Rush. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of acquainting yourself with them (or are pretending you don’t know what I’m talking about) they are a boy band and they have a show on Nickelodeon.

The hearing loss I mention in the title is not from the band, the concert itself was an average loudness. No–it was the legions of squealing girls that made my eardrums bleed.

I wasn’t quite prepared for the obscenely high-pitched decibel level that girls could produce. It was a sound so painful that it induced gleeful visions of turning around in my seat and punching 13-year olds in the throat.

I can’t imagine anything in the world that would excite me enough to cause me to make that noise. It’s a particular girlish enthusiasm that, thankfully for the rest of the human population, we seem to lose as we get older. But I don’t know if I ever had that shriek instinct in me. Maybe? I did go to a New Kids on The Block concert back in the day (don’t you judge me!) but I don’t remember acting insane. This was obviously way before my partying days so most likely I was just uncomfortable in the large crowd.

My friend, who brought her two daughters, and I initially thought that we were being such cool moms to take our young daughters to a fun concert, but once we were there we started to question the lessons our girls were learning.

Girls (at least the ones at this concert) seem to have an innate instinct for stalker-like behavior. Most of them had spent hours making posters proclaiming their love for various members of the band, collaging pictures of the boys’ faces with glitter and hearts, and then writing messages to the boys on their bodies. They screamed, “I LOVE you so-and-so!” with a frightening intensity.

One of the opening acts was a fifteen-year old boy that the young ladies particularly loved. My friend and I cringed as he asked his rapturous audience, “Do you mind if I get a little more comfortable?” and then took off his jacket to reveal his skinny tank-topped torso. This produced another round of ear-piercing screams, of course.

“Oh great” my friend said, “so now they are learning to appreciate a male striptease.” Yes, seven-year-olds, when a male removes clothing, the proper response is to almost faint from sheer delight. My friend’s daughter then turned to her and declared, “That’s my future husband.” Gulp.

Throughout the night the band kept telling the girls to “Make some noise!” They told this section to shriek, then that section, now the back. “You can do better than that…REALLY scream now!” I wished mild cases of gonorrhea on every member of the band with each shrill wave of sound.

The most sadly hilarious thing I witnessed was the herd of girls running to get an autograph from a performer.  A huge tidal wave of girls poured from their seats and ran out of the amphitheater. Then we watched as the entire crowd of lemmings turned and ran the other direction. Then the delirious mass changed direction once again. They had no idea where they were supposed to go but, by god!, they were going to be the first ones there. I was embarrassed for these girls as I watched them lose a little more dignity with every misdirected step.

Girls rocking out

Girls rocking out to boy band tunes

Our girls did love the concert, though. It was great to watch them jumping up and down and dancing their tiny butts off. They were thrilled with the music and that made it all worth it.

I just have to make sure that I quickly expose my daughter to some positive girl-related material to counteract the effects of worshipping at the altar of unattainable boys. Any suggestions?


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8 thoughts on “Big Time [Hearing Loss] Rush, a concert

  1. Suggestion: Continuing what you are doing – being her loving conscientious mom. It is working great!! P.S. I am qualified to state that you never squealed a hideous high-pitched squeal in your life!!

  2. “…visions of turning around in my seat and punching 13-year olds in the throat.” Always go with your gut, Steph.

    Unfortunately, the more we parents express our distaste for this garbage, the deeper they get their talons into our kids. Good for you for taking her, and I’m sure she will remember this event for the rest of her life — long after she has learned to hate the band. I remember my lucky-ass friend who got to go see Kiss on his mom’s shoulders at 11 years old. He’s still stoked about it.

    I have taken to bringing good earplugs almost wherever I go. You can get a good reusable pair for around $15 that lets you hear everything accurately (not muffled) but brings the peak volumes way down.

  3. Crowd noise genuinely is a major cause of hearing damage, sometimes even more so than the bands being watched. I seem to recall a news item a month or so ago where a woman was suing Justin Bieber after suffering hearing loss from his squealing fans – apparently Bieber was at fault for whipping the fans into too much of a frenzy!

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