There is one important part of becoming a parent for which no book prepared me: just how invested I would become in my children’s television shows. It makes sense, I suppose, given how rarely Mr. Candy and I have the opportunity to enjoy entertainment aimed at people above the age of five. We sing the shows’ theme songs waiting in line at the grocery store. We are obsessed with uncovering the secret to Maria and Gordon’s age-defying skin on Sesame Street. (A trip or two to Botox-Me Elmo, perhaps?) We make Skye watch the Imagination Movers help Warehouse Mouse find his cheese, even when she’d prefer to do something else, like read an educational book. (Poor, misguided child.)
But nothing comes close to our “strong interest” in Fresh Beat Band on Nick Jr., an interest that continues long after our children are in bed. After a couple glasses of wine, we spiritedly debate the ages of the hyper-actively peppy music and dance group’s cast members; a vigorous googling session confirms our suspicions: most of the actors are closer to 30 than 20 — especially Twist, the tall and gangly rapper who could very well have been the inspiration for Malibu’s Most Wanted. And, apparently, for Early Bird Specials.
And don’t even get us started on New Marina. (Seriously. Don’t. Unless you REALLY want us to show you the not-at-all-creepy vigil we keep for Old Marina, in which case… by all means, get us started!)
So when we heard Kiki, Twist, Shout and New Marina were bringing their concert to L.A., Mr. Candy and I immediately put down our wine and jumped on the computer — only to learn the concert was sold out. All four days, with two performances each day. Seems we are not the only parents with an unhealthy interest in this show. At that point, I did what any reasonable parent who knows her toddler can certainly live without seeing a Fresh Beat Band concert would do: forked over an obscene amount of money for tickets from an on-line scalper. Tickets in The Pit, just feet away from the stage, no less.
Hey, I said the kid could live without seeing them. Not me. I would just DIE if I didn’t get to this concert.
FRESH! BEAT! BAND! FRESH! BEAT! BAND!
Mr. Candy kindly offered to stay behind and watch the baby — if Old Marina were still around, I’m guessing a nail-biting game of Rock, Paper, Scissors would have ensued — while Miss Skye and I hit the Nickelodeon concert scene. You may question the sanity of a parent who takes a two-year-old to a concert — well, to anywhere in public, really. However, Skye already sat through her first movie in the theater, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, without making so much as a squeak (ha, haaaa!), so I was confident she was ready to take things to the next level. I mean, if the Chipmunks could hold her attention, Shout’s smooth moves surely would mesmerize her, I rationalized.
For once, I was right.
Oh yes, we had a great daaaay. It was a supeeeerrrr waaaay… to speeeeeend… some time together. (Good luck getting THAT out of your head, my fellow Fresh Beat Band-watching parents!)
After being ten minutes late — never a wise idea with a stadium full of restless kids — the Fresh Beats finally took to the stage. Skye was indeed mesmerized from start to finish, dancing and clapping and asking “MORE?” and “AGAIN?” after every song — yes, even after the bananas one. It was awesome. I, on the other hand, experienced the show with a more critical eye, raising an eyebrow when Kiki conveniently skipped her famous high note (I expect more from her, I really do), acting indignant when they suggested that us parents have outdated dance moves (as if you’re in ANY position to make fun of the Running Man, Twist…hmpf) and grudgingly deciding New Marina isn’t the WORST thing in the world after observing her energetic on-stage performance. Not that I’m taking our vigil down or anything, but… maybe I’ll refrain from throwing Drew’s pacifier at the TV screen every time she appears on it from now on.
And as the audience chanted FRESH! BEAT! BAND! in hopes of an encore, as if we were at a U2 concert, I couldn’t help but think: Bono only wishes he had Twist’s mad beat-boxing skills.
CANDY’S REVIEW: (4/5 Smoothies)
SKYE’S REVIEW: (5/5 Smoothies)