Earlier this week, I went to see Harry Connick, Jr. in concert on Broadway. I learned that you don’t want to look at the faces of the string section when the brass players get to get up and dance New Orleans-style — they just look defeated — and that teenage me was right to adore Connick when he introduced her to the world of standards and jazz 20 years ago. He kept the show loose enough that he could jump down into the audience to meet a man who turned out to be an 80-year-old with a Super Bowl ring. (They talked long enough that Harry invited him to sing a number, and he did “All of Me” at the edge of the stage and sold it so well that he received a standing ovation).
Harry also repeatedly addressed the two tweens in the front row who were brought to the show by their Italian parents. He told them he knew that they had no idea who he was, but he was going to win them over. He had to. If not by lying on his stomach on-stage to enact what it would look like if his teen daughter Georgia were to try to kiss the pocket-sized Justin Bieber, then by how much fun he was having playing with/off of trombonist Lucien Barbarin, who he assured the girls they would remember even if they forgot him.
This got me thinking: What concert did your parents drag you to when you were young, and were you won over? Here’s one from my colleague Darren Franich to get you started: “I don’t know if they ‘dragged me’… more like ‘subtle indoctrination.’ For most of my youth, my parents took me Jimmy Buffett’s annual tour (it was usually billed as Jimmy’s Last Tour Ever.) Since this was the only musical act my parents ever took me to see, and since Buffett’s music was played religiously in our household, I got it in my head that Jimmy Buffett was the greatest musician on the face of the Earth. And unfortunately, I still kind of think that. Darn you, parental brainwashing!”