Believe it or not my very first concert was The Monkees and Weird Al Yankovic. I know, kind of weird, except I’ll put good money on the fact that at least a few of you will read this and say “Me too!” Because it was a pretty popular tour that year. I was in the third grade and a pretty avid Monkees fan (thanks Nick at Night) so when they came around my parents took us. This would be the beginning of a very passionate and life-long love for live music. I have entire photo album of ticket stubs from concerts and live shows I’ve been to in the many years since that Monkees concert. Last week I added another stub to the album, Chris Isaak. But what made this concert extra special was that it was my daughter’s first concert.
She’s no stranger to live music, considering my husband is a musician and we go to see him play pretty regularly. She’s also been to a number of Broadway shows with me, but never a real live big name rock concert. Not only was I excited to be talking her to see one of my all time favorite artists, Chris Isaak, but also it was at my absolute favorite venue, Wente Winery, which is located right in our very own town.
Last year I was able to take my son to his first concert–Huey Lewis–at the same venue and now here I was taking my little soon-to-be first grader to her first concert.
Because music is such a very important part of my life and live music and concerts have been a huge part in shaping who I am, I really wanted this evening to be fun and special for her. Because we all know she’ll be telling people the story of her first concert for the rest of her life.
And that story will start with the gorgeous sunset drive through the Livermore hills into the gorgeous Sycamore trees that lead into Wente. The breeze that forever wisps through the foothills was kicking into high gear as we made our way to our seats. Then, as the sun sunk further into the horizon, the lights on the trees surrounding us came on, the stage lit up and Chris Isaak took the stage.
The best part of attending the concerts at Wente with a little one is sitting in the terrace section where, when the mood suits you, you can move to the back wall and hop up to watch the show with a perfectly unobstructed view. Plus you have plenty of room to dance around when Chris Isaak starts crooning out your favorite haunting ballads.
Have you ever sat beneath a summer night sky with a light breeze in your face as Chris Isaak sings Wicked Game right in front of you? I highly recommend trying it if you ever get the chance.
My daughter watched intently, dozed quietly and when Chris went into a set of songs that had been recorded at Sun Records she danced until she was breathless (yes, my daughter can recognize an Elvis and Jerry Lee song on occasion).
I was in music heaven and watching the lights of the stage reflecting in my daughter’s eyes and dancing around with her on my hip, I knew that I was giving her the right first concert experience. I was giving her the story she will someday write about, like me.
And I got to see Chris Isaak, which always makes for a fabulous night.
Thanks as always to Wente Winery for another amazing evening beneath the stars and to Chris Isaak for being as dreamy and amazing in person as he is on my radio.
Thanks to Wente for the use of some amazing photos for the show. Photos by Eli Photographer