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First concert

I took Charlie to his first concert on Friday night:

Styx at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut.

Charlie and I fell in love with the song “Come Sail Away” last summer, and it began his journey into loving Styx. Soon, songs like “Mr. Roboto,” “Renegade,” “Lady,” and “Babe” entered frequent rotation on our playlist.

“Our Wonderful Lives” is a new and fantastic Styx song that I can’t recommend enough.

So when I saw that Styx was touring, we bought him tickets to the concert for Christmas.

He loved the concert so much.

He was the only child in the theater of nearly 5,000 on Friday night. We did not see another person even close to his age, and I asked two of the ushers checking tickets at the door if they had seen any kids pass through.

One responded, “I think the youngest person in this place, other than your son, is 35 years old.”

As a result, Charlie got a lot of attention. People high-fived him, asked if it was his first concert, and cheered him on. One person asked, “Do you know any of the songs you’ll hear tonight?”

“Of course,” Charlie said and then started rattling off titles.

Everyone was impressed.

Another person pointed to his Pepsi, mistook it for a Bud Light, and asked, “Is that your first beer?”

Apparently, if I had given my eleven-year-old son a beer, at least one person in the theater would’ve thought this cool.

I also got a lot of credit from people for ensuring my son’s first concert was one he wouldn’t ever forget.

Clara’s first concert was Taylor Swift at Gillette Stadium with Elysha, so we’re doing it right.

Styx put on a great show, and Charlie loved every minute. He plays the electric guitar, so he loved watching the guitarists play, and their lead singer, who also plays the keyboard and replaced founding member Dennis DeYoung in 1999, puts on quite a show.

To their credit, the songs sounded almost exactly how they sounded when recorded, absent any endless guitar solos or extended riffs that can make a show slow and long.

Charlie was standing from the first song, singing, cheering, and screaming throughout. We had a set list from a previous show, so we were following along as they played. With about four songs to go, after nearly two hours of music, he said to me, “I can’t believe it’s almost over. It feels like it just started.”

A good sign that he had a great time.

As we left the building, Charlie said, “That was amazing. When are we doing it again?”

My friend Jeni often complains that I’m constantly looking ahead to the next moment instead of reveling in the present one. In a recent text message exchange, she wrote:

“Okay. Don’t ruin this nice moment.”

My response:

“The only nice moment is the next one.”

Charlie, I think, gets it.

I’ve already started planning our next concert together.