The next generation of rockers |

The next generation of rockers

Alex MillerVail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyAlex Miller

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado Theres nothing like a rock concert to make you feel young (or, at least, teenager-y) again. The pulsing bass, the writhing bodies, the undercurrent of excitement as you wait to hear what the band will play next it was all a big part of my life from age 14 on.I was fortunate enough to have grown up almost within walking distance of Nassau Coliseum, home of the Islanduhs and also stopping point for every big rock band of the 70s that was playing Madison Square Garden. There, I saw bands like Queen, Yes, Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead, and when my family moved to Colorado in 1980, I picked back up with Red Rocks and the old McNichols as well as cooler smaller venues like the now-defunct Rainbow Music Hall in Denver and, yes, Dobson Ice Arena in Vail.Returning to Dobson last week for the Ziggy Marley show, I tried to remember the last time Id been there for a concert. Probably George Clinton and P-Funk a decade ago, although my favorite Dobson memory is of Bobby & the Midnites a Dead offshoot band that featured guitarist Bob Weir. Back then, for me there was a mandate to see as many Dead and Dead-related shows a possible. I loved the music, loved the scene and my parents were mystified by it all. Perfect.So last week I garnered a good many Cool Dad points by taking my 14-year-old daughter and her friend to see Ziggy. Of the many curious and endearing things I love about Kaylie, its that she embraces old school rock and values the language of peace. If a rock show can remind you of younger days, bringing your teenage daughter to one can definitely make you feel a bit fossilized. After exhorting them to politely decline any burning offerings heading their way, I left the two girls on the floor in front of the stage and found a seat off to the side.Ziggy put on a good show, although hes no Peter Tosh a reggae artist who still occupies one of the slots in the top-five best shows Ive ever seen. Hearing him sing some of his fathers greatest hits, which harkened back to the days when I was most active on the concert scene, the music put me in a pleasantly nostalgic mood. And rather than sit there feeling like the oldster on the sidelines, I enjoyed the show and took satisfaction in being able to provide an experience for our daughter. I was there to oversee, but she was left free to dance in the crowd knowing that I trusted her to behave.Afterwards, the two girls were just as thrilled as they could be and talking non-stop about the show. My presence is often a conversation stopper with my daughter and her friends, so it was refreshing to have something in common to share and talk about and a good lesson for us to find more things like that in the dwindling years shell be at home.I didnt realize it so much at the time, but my passion for live music in my teens and 20s had a purpose beyond just seeing a band perform. They were mini adventures I had with my friends, and even if we didnt always have our halos on straight, I remember many of them fondly. Id been avoiding live shows in the past few years, thinking I wouldnt enjoy them as much. But seeing Ziggy the other night reminded me that leaving behind your fun things as you get older is a bad idea. And seeing the excitement on my daughters face was one of those great moments in parenting the ones where your kids are helping open your eyes to something you either didnt know or forgot along the way.Managing editor Alex Miller can be reached at or 748-2970.

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