I’ll admit that part of me hoped that first concert experience with the kid would be front row center at the inevitable Phish reunion show; barring that, I would have settled for obstructed view seats at the Blue Oyster Cult dinner show at the Barona Casino buffet. But reality set in; I realized that the most likely scenario would involve a long-haired guy with wire-rimmed spectacles and an acoustic guitar singing a goofy-ass song about a happy bear or some such.
So when I got a note from the Sippy Cups’ PR guy saying that the band would be doing a show at the House of Blues, I was actually excited. We have a copy of the band’s latest, Electric Storyland (get it?), and it’s actually a hell of a lot of fun – comparisons to anything by The Flaming Lips are not unwarranted. Beth and I were pretty excited to take Lucas to the show, but he seemed to need a bit of convincing; the concept of live music was still a bit foreign to him.
As it turned out, we all had a great time. The band tore through much of Electric Storyland – my personal favorite was “I Am A Robot”, which brought me back to the days of hotboxing in the Balboa Park Planetarium parking lot, there to see the Pink Floyd laser show (seems like only yesterday – my, how quickly those three months have gone by). The kids were issued plastic tambourines and maracas, and balloon artists were on hand to pass out balloon hats and animals. Between songs, band member Sippy Doug assumed the role of various characters (Major Minor, Hair Professor); the show was fast-paced, fun, and kept the kids enthralled (Lucas had a rapt expression on his face for the entire 45 minute set, wearing the same look that Richard Dreyfuss wore when he was led up the ramp of the mothership at the end of Close Encounters). The band also exuberantly covered the Velvet Underground’s “Rock and Roll”, the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated” (sanitized a bit; the Sippys wanna be “elated”) and for the encore, the Stones’ “She’s A Rainbow”. (The lack of BOC covers was a bit of a disappointment; I think the kids would have really dug “Veteran of The Psychic Wars”, or perhaps “The Siege and Investiture of Baron von Frankenstein’s Castle at Weisseria”.)
So the Sippy Cups can add us to their growing fan base. Let’s face it – most kids’ music is just that, but the Sippy Cups put on a show that’s as fun for the grown-ups as it is for the little ones. Definitely check them out if they come to your town.
(ETA: Amy, aka The Lovely Mrs. Davis, sent along a nice link highlighting some additional “kids” music; check it out here. Remember – friends don’t let friends listen to Raffi.)