Like any good mom, I wanted to give my 15-year-old daughter something she really wanted for her birthday.
So what did she want to do more than anything else this weekend to celebrate? Maybe a Broadway show? A Knicks game? A day at a spa? A trip to the beach?
She wanted to go to the beach all right - to Bamboozle, the three-day music festival at Asbury Park that is expected to draw 90,000 concertgoers down the shore over the weekend.
A few months ago, a concert on the beach sounded like a fun and reasonable thing to do – at least one day of it – so I let her pick a day, and I offered to drive and chaperone.
I didn’t really think too much about what I was getting myself into.
Now it’s here, and I’m getting bulletins about traffic and how to navigate the throngs of heavy metal, rock, rap and pop fans who will be jammin’ at the beach festival this weekend. (Do they still say “jammin’”?) I guess when you have to ask...
There will be seven stages going all at once and over the eight or nine hours of music on Saturday, some 63 bands of various genres will play. (I was recently told by an veteran parent chaperone that I should avoid standing in the middle, where all the music from all the stages meld together in what can be a jarring cacophony of sound.)
So now I’m stuck not wanting to be too lame but also wanting to find a really good set of earplugs, a strong sunscreen and a shady place to read if/when it gets to be just a little too much. (OK, I admit that does sound really lame – especially to a teenager, I’m sure.)
So, in an effort to be a little more ... chill, I’m doing my homework, trying to find out who some of these bands are. And, yes, I know you’re thinking that it's a little late for research now, and I’ll be paying for that tomorrow.
Believe it or not (my teen does not) I have heard of some of the bands like Jimmy Eat World and The Foo Fighters. I might even like a few of their songs. And I’m curious to see A Great Big Pile of Leaves. They sound fun.
But first, I’m off to buy some earplugs - just in case.
Laura Griffin is a Patch editor