Jeremiah approached the concessions stand at Variety Playhouse at 2:30 in the afternoon and said "Hi, I'd like one beer, a Rice Krispy Treat and two juice boxes please", thus beginning Kate & Sarah's very first rock concert - the They Might Be Giants Kids' Show. Kate, of course, wore her princess dress. When we walked in the venue and handed our tickets to the security guy he said to Kate "oh my, don't you look beautiful!" and she, to my unbridled delight, actually curtsied and sweetly said "thank-you!". He looked at me with that tight-lipped, raised eyebrow expression of impression and I wasn't even able to be cool, I just beamed back at him. The man standing just behind him handed Kate a giant foam "we're number one!" hand on which the band's name had been printed. He handed one to Sarah, too. We were ready.
We found some seats and saved spots for Jeremiah's friend Kenny and his family - they have a daughter about Kate's age named Ella. Right away, Sarah over-did it on the apple juice and puked all over my jeans (lightweight). In true rocker fashion, she went straight back to partying. Ella and Kate shared a seat while we waited for the band to begin. The place was filled with 30-something parents and their kids, it was the most amusing pre-show gathering I'd ever seen. I told Kate, pointing to the area in the front, "when the show starts, I'll take you down there to dance if you'd like". She nodded and I couldn't be sure she was getting it; she had a very deer-in-the-headlights look about her. Sure enough, though, the house lights dimmed and the band took the stage...the crowd went wild. As they started to play the Famous Polka, Kate stood up, grabbed my hand and squealed "come on! I wanna go dance!" I walked down the aisle to the front with her and she found a spot and immediately began to dance, like she'd been to 100 concerts (all of them jam bands, this kid has danced like a deadhead since she had even the slightest control over her own movements.)Eventually, we had our entire family and Kenny, his wife Christie and Ella all down there dancing. Suddenly, Sarah discovered her friend from her daycare class, Alexia. They greeted each other like old friends and danced together for nearly the entire show. I can't recall at exactly what point the mounds of confetti dropped from the ceiling, but it really made the show complete. The kids all went nuts. They spent the remainder of the concert scooping the fallen confetti up in their tiny hands and throwing it at each other while giggling gleefully.
Prior to the show I'd said I expected puppets. It seemed there would be no puppet until (!) they brought out Atlanta's own Homestarrunner! He bandied a few jokes about with the Johns and then sang "I am not your broom" with them. Kate loved him. I prefer his nemesis, Strongbad, but it was still a great bit.
The show ended and the band left the stage to thunderous applause. I was fearful for a moment that Kate was a little overwhelmed by all the clapping. I knelt down beside her and explained that if we clapped loud and long enough they might come back and play more songs, and she immediately joined in the cacophony. And out they came, expecting, it seemed, to play just 2 more songs, but they ended up playing 5 or 6 because a storm rolled in with another tornado warning for Decatur and it was hailing and lightning again. Just our luck! We were trapped in a cinderblock building with no windows and a fabulous band to entertain us, not even aware of the potential doom all around us. It passed without major incident and we left. When we left it was still raining quite a lot but Kate and Sarah both thought it was hilarious that they were getting soaked so that worked out well, too.
I've been to a lot of concerts in my time, but I think I can safely say, excluding some pretty hazy memories, that the They Might Be Giants Kids' Show was the most fun I've ever had at a show. For one thing, with the bulk of the audience being under the age of 8, no Tall Concert Guy! But really, TMBG was awesome. I am still aglow with the warm affection for those guys for coming to our town and making my little girls so very happy.