The last two nights have been Assigned Seat shows, which are different animals than General Admission shows — one the one hand, seated theaters sound pretty good — often they’re designed with acoustics in mind — and have fancy ceilings and little muppet show balconies for vibe. On the other hand, at general admission shows the people who are most excited to be at the concert work their way to the front, giving you lots of energy to feed off of during your performance.
For a while, at Assigned Seat shows, the front rows were held for guest list. Which meant that Adam’s Uncle Harris would be at the Beacon Theater in New York City, sitting down in the second row and coughing into a handkerchief. This became a major vibe-killer and we dealt with it by moving the guest list seats back into the middle of the crowd. But we still find at some theater shows that the first few rows will sit down while the rest of the crowd stands up. It’s awkward. It affects Ryan’s game.
The other night in Des Moines it was hard not to notice the 19-month old in the first row. That’s something you don’t usually see, especially at a show that starts at 10:15pm and ends at midnight. I expected to him to be passed out in an ergo a few songs in, or whisked away during a Red Oyster Cult Meltdown mid-show. No. Apparently a big fan, little “Powell” made it up past his bedtime and lasted the whole show, even making it through the aftershow meet and greet without shedding a tear.
And, as he threatened to do early in the set, Ryan brought Powell on stage for the last song, “Hang On” — kids go through various phases of stranger anxiety in their first couple of years, but at no point in her life would my daughter have been okay in the arms of a random singer on stage. She’d have freaked out, kicked her way back into the crowd, and then figured out how to google “Child Protective Services” to call them and find herself a more secure domestic situation.
Little Powell was totally chill. Here’s pictures: