Taking our daughter to the Jonas Brothers concert this past weekend transported me back 43 years to an August day in 1965 — when I was a tween, and was screaming, crying and jumping up and down in response to the band. But instead of listening to three boys from Wyckoff New Jersey, my hysteria was directed at four fabulous lads from Liverpool, namely John, Paul, George and Ringo.
The Jonas Brothers (Joe, Nick and Kevin) performed in front of 30,000-plus tween and teen fans at Hershey Stadium in Hershey Pa., and just like their predecessor boy bands they inspired the same manic hysteria and fascination as those other lads way back in 1965.
The stadium is a big rectangle with bleachers ringing the sides and a big empty bowl in the middle; the stage is located at the far end of the outdoor complex, and is flanked by huge Jumbotron TV screens. Which was a good thing, because our hard plastic bleacher seats were located somewhere between the nosebleed section and you’ve got to be kidding. But the screens let us see the boys bigger than life where otherwise they would have seemed about an inch tall.
My daughter is not a big fan of concerts. She likes bands and enjoys music, but she has never pushed to go and see anyone, not even the Jonas Brothers. But my niece Victoria is one of those fans that has everything Jonas — CDs, shirts, you name it, she has it. So to keep Vicky company, we combined the Jonas concert with a family reunion mini vacation.
Thanks to Vicky’s mom Debbie, bless her, she booked us all into a Country Inn and Suites hotel in Manheim, Pa., about 45 minutes away from the stadium. Debbie planned the whole outing: we would take her dad’s van as it was bigger than our Jeep. Debbie said she was comfortable driving country roads at night so she was elected to take the wheel. But when my husband heard that two defenseless woman and children would ride all the way there and back alone, he decided he would drive, the chivalrous gent that he is,
Now my husband does not let anyone drive his Jeep. After our daughter, the Jeep comes in second in his affections, and I stroll in at third. Unfortunately, the Jeep only seats five and we were six — so I picked the short straw and got to sit in the back flat bed part.
Normally the back is very comfortable, I take a pillow and some blankets and am able to stretch out my legs and enjoy the ride for short hops here and there. However I never counted on the fact that I would be in the back for a lot longer than 45 minutes.
There was so much traffic — the roads were jammed full of all the many fans going to the concert — that the usual 45-minute trip, the hotel lady assured us it would take, took well over an hour and a half, and that’s not counting the time it took to get into the parking lot. For as far as the eye could see, there were vans filled with screaming teens carrying posters proclaiming their love for these four very cute boys, driven by parents who would rather be getting root canals.
So cramped was I that when I exited the Jeep, the whole left side of my cheek (and I ain’t talking face here) was numb. The numbness eventually wore off and I was able to trek the miles upon miles from the parking spot to the stadium.
But it was all worth it. The concert was a great success. My daughter was up there singing along with all the other girls, Vicky was as close to Nirvana as you can get when your seats are that far up and my husband and I got to enjoy the concert and relive our youth through their eyes.
The fans were all screaming, some were calling out the names of their favorite brother, some were waving their hands in the air and some were throwing a beach ball around. There was even a little girl, no more than five years old, who became so excited to hear her favorite band that at one point she began to cry. We all thought she was crying because she couldn’t see over the crowds, but her mom later discovered it was because Joe, Kevin and Nick were singing her very favorite song and she was overcome with tears.
Not for nuthin', but my daughter, who said she really didn’t care one way or the other who was on stage, was up there singing along with the crowd, waving her own glowing cell phone in the dark.
A big shout out goes to Alan Rosenfeld. He found all 21 of the pop references from the column of two weeks ago. He knew the Phil Ochs song! His prize: this shout out. In honor of your extensive trivia knowledge, Alan, I bestow upon you the Golden Bippy award! Congratulations.
E-mail “Not for Nuthin’” at JoannaD@courierlife.net. All letters become the property of Courier-Life Publications and are subject to publication unless otherwise specified; please include your name, address and daytime telephone number for verification.
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