This morning’s newspaper (thin, thin, thin) had an article on why young women concert-goers scream.That phenomenon goes back to the days of Elvis and the Ed Sullivan show, where the cameras would pan the shrieking audience of twin-set and circle-skirt clad teens with page boy haircuts and scrubbed-clan faces. They’d be weeping, clutching their hands to their chests, jumping up in down and fainting. I never got into the Elvis-Eddie Fisher-Beach Boys-Beatles-Donny Osmond-Dion adoration thing. I found them all to be too pretty – too coiffed and syrupy to be anything more than manufactured acts with as much staying power as a shooting star.
The ‘boy band’ One Direction is coming to Toronto next month. Their ages range from 20-22 so I’d hardly call them ‘boys’, but they’ve established themselves as wholesome young lads who resonate with their young fans. My 14-year old granddaughter got tickets for herself and a friend for Christmas. The damned things costs several hundred dollars for the pair – more than a good meal at a 5 star restaurant. The Air Canada Centre will be crammed with screaming tweens and teens and the music will be lost in the din. Ah, but they’ll be able to say that they were there.
The only concert I ever went to was with my best friend – let’s call her Maggie, because I named the BFF in my novel after her. A decade ago, we went to see Tina Turner on her farewell tour visit to the Molson Centre in downtown Montreal. Our seats were high in the rafters but we came prepared with binoculars. All of the best seats had been scooped by the gaggles of gay guys who were her biggest fans. They leapt up and down, crushing the barriers by the stage, tearing their hair, crying and screaming louder than anyone else I’ve ever seen. The thing is, the excitement was contagious. Tina put on a spectacular show – the music, the costume changes, the pyrotechnics and her massive energy propelled us out of our seats. Soon, we too were yelling our heads off and jumping up and down as we sang along at the top of our lungs.
By the time the concert was over and the stage went dark, our ears were ringing and we were temporarily deafened. We stumbled on to the street and a CBC reporter stuck a microphone in our faces ( I suppose because two middle-aged women were not the usual TT concert demographic). We were still vibrating with excitement and listening to the tape of that interview, we were shouting and hoarse and, dammit, we could have been mistaken for teenagers. Then again, teenagers don’t go back to their hotel room and crack open a bottle of wine to celebrate the evening! Ah, those were the days.