Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Wiggles: Live in Concert!

Way back on January 30, 2004, I wrote the following words that appeared in my old Friday Music Bootleg column:

As with all child parties these days, there's a theme. For this kid's first birthday, the entire shindig will revolve around something called The Wiggles. Click on that link and suffer right along with me.

Eight days later, my son Shabazz Jalen was born and it wouldn't be long before The Wiggles exacted their revenge for my dismissive mocking.

Today, these aging Aussies invade my home daily, accompanied by the tag team power of The Disney Channel and DVR. Mrs. Bootleg dresses the boy in overpriced Wiggles pajamas before shoving him into criminally expensive Wiggles bed sheets, where she then reads from the $6.99 set of Wiggles books I bought for the boy on clearance at Barnes & Noble.

Don't look at me like that. After the kindly book barista made change for my $10, I was certain that the Bootleg Family owned everything related to The Wiggles.

All that was left was to spend exorbitant amounts of cash and have nothing tangible to show for it.

So, for the boy's 3rd birthday, I sprung for three seats to Racing to the Rainbow: The Wiggles – Live in Concert! And, for the record, that ostentatious exclamation point was my exact reaction in the aftermath of spending $37.50/ticket, plus another $8.00/ticket in service and handling fees. Do the math for yourselves. I'm sure it'll make your projectile shame for me that much more palpable.

Yesterday, we attended the first of a two-show performance at the Cox Arena on the campus my alma mater, San Diego State University.

The arena and adjacent parking structure are literally right next door to "sorority row". And, I have no doubt that all of the gorgeous, academically-committed future administrative assistants of America were scared straight after seeing what childbirth does to one's body.

Good luck with that psychology degree, Sarah.

Ditto for yours in dance, Cindy.

Infants, toddlers and parents were everywhere. This surprised me since I assumed the 3:00 PM show would create an inherent nap time conflict with most of the kids. And, yes, I discussed this theory at length with my wife before deciding on which show to see. Great use of her MBA, don't you think?

Anyways, we scaled our way down the side-of-the-cliff incline (or is it "decline"?) to our seats and I immediately discovered what the most expensive tickets in the arena are worth.

We were 15 rows back and to the right of the stage.

Wait, that doesn't quite do it justice.

We were 15 rows back and to the extreme right of the stage.

OK, this'll help…stand up at your computer. Now, take one step sideways to your right. Then, take one step forward, so that you're now essentially parallel to your screen. If you're doing this correctly, you shouldn't be able to see your screen at this point.

Now, turn 90 degrees to your left and sit down. You'll notice that if you crane your neck, you might be able to see 50% of your screen.

Good times.

Credit it where it's due, though…for the next 90 minutes, The Wiggles and their deliciously leggy dancers (just right for daddy) kept the kiddies entertained.

Some of the highlights:

-The show started about 15 minutes late, which was fine by me. I mean, we might as well teach the children about this ubiquitous characteristic of concerts while they're still young. But, when the show finally began, there was a five-minute speech on "safety". Y'know…don't lose your kids, don't let 'em climb up on stage, etc. Then, there was the 10-minute translation of this speech in Spanish.

-Why do I think that the espaƱol warnings weren't included on the Toledo tour stop, though?

-Speaking of Spanish, The Wiggles made a point of thanking everyone who came to the show "all the way from Mexico". For those of you who don't find that funny, I'd like to offer up this helpful link to illustrate the hilarity. I'm pretty sure that we drove farther to get there.

-Jalen spent the first 45 minutes trying to figure out if this was a live show or one hell of an HD TV. He's only known The Wiggles inside of the idiot box. And, now they were right in front of him. He refused to dance, sing or acknowledge their presence until he could confirm their existence. This doesn't bode well for bible study, someday.

-Shockingly, I wasn't the only Black father in attendance. Was I the only one who had a job to take the day off from? Oh, of course not. I think.

-There were lots of requests from The Wiggles for audience participation. Most notably, we were asked to flip open our cell phones while the house lights were turned down for "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". Y'see, here's the thing…after spending as much as I did for the tickets, I already feel like a tool. Now, they want me to be a prop? F*ck that noise.

-You know what I discovered, yesterday? Kettle corn! Mrs. Bootleg bought a bag that was nearly as big as the boy. I always assumed it was part of the Cracker Jack and Crunch n' Munch family of sickeningly sweet, sticky popcorn products. But, oh, how wrong I was. It's sweet, but not too sweet. Think of it as the Jack & Coke of confections.

-The lead singer of The Wiggles used to be a guy named Greg Page. Last year, he was diagnosed with a very serious illness and was forced to leave the group. Before the show, a pre-taped message was shown where he thanked fans for their support and expressed how much he enjoyed his career. He was actually tugging a few heartstrings in the audience (not mine, though…just allergies). At the end, he made a point of handing over his yellow Wiggles shirt to his replacement. This lightened the mood for me, because he called his long-sleeved mock turtleneck shirt a skivvie. Doesn't he know what that means in America? He was handing over his underwear!. Eww! (I'm 33-years-old.)

-At the end of the show, it was time to spend even more of next month's mortgage payment on Wiggles merchandise. This made Jalen even more hyper-excited, so he took off running down the concourse. As I handed over an Andrew Jackson for a plastic Wiggles lightstick, the boy's mother was in low-speed pursuit. Understandable, considering the crowd of people and how easily a small child can disappear. A few minutes later, the two of them came back. Jalen had split open his bottom lip from taking a fall while crowd surfing. Jalen's mother had the refreshed look of a woman who didn't want to run too fast after her son for fear of scuffing her new shoes or sweating out her hairdo.

"I gotta say it was a good day."


ron mexico said...

Classic Cam moments.

Wait till Jalen goes to his first rap concert (and likely gets his first contact high) and waits around for some untalented flavor of the minute to come on stage 90 minutes late with 75 hype men screaming over the 1 verse he stumbles through from each song before asking "insert; city, state, etc." to make some fuckin noise!!!

Yeah I wish it could be back then, too.

gomez said...

Now, whenever anyone asks what was the last concert you attended, you'll have to tell them "The Wiggles". You'd better hope you catch Daz and Kurupt rappin' for nickels on a street corner real soon or else that "Wiggles Concert" stigma will follow you around until you see another show by someone else.

mathan said...

You'd better hope you catch Daz and Kurupt rappin' for nickels on a street corner real soon

Why doesn't this guy have a blog? So funny on so many different levels.

I could see the Dogg Pound performing from their day the dog pound.