It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll

Have you spotted the trend in how I title these posts?

Music is my jam.

I listen to it, dance to it and sing to it any chance I get. (That last part has a few restrictions, though – like not being within 100 feet of any other living thing.)

It helps that I don’t discriminate in terms of genre. For the most part.

Country has never really been my thing. Drew is slowly converting me, but it wasn’t a part of my childhood like alt-rock, classic rock and pop.

That’s all thanks to my dad.

Joe Pane knows his music. Anytime he was in charge of toting Teddy and I around town, his radio was tuned to some form of rock – 89.7 The River, The City 106.9 (RIP), even Sweet 98.

None of this is meant to discredit my mom. She was all about the oldies, which I also love! But when it comes to really rocking out, the lyrics, tempo and overall tune of my dad’s radio was hard to beat.

Since then, I’ve come to know and appreciate the big names like Springsteen, Jagger and Mercury, while also blasting trendier bands like Fastball, The Cranberries and 10,000 Maniacs.

Natalie Merchant eventually went on to become one of his favorite solo artists.

And that’s the thing! His impeccable taste has never once failed my ears.

So it only makes sense for him to serve as my go-to concert buddy.


I’ve never been great at listing my favorite concerts, because each one has its own redeeming qualities:

  • Justin Timberlake’s sliding platform spanning the width of CenturyLink.
  • The Killers’ Brandon Flowers holding court from atop his graffitied upright piano.
  • Every one of the eight (nine?) Faint shows I’ve attended, only to leave covered in everyone else’s sweat because you can’t not dance at a Faint show.

Not to mention Beyoncé, Something Corporate, Maroon 5, Coldplay, John Mayer, and so on and so forth.

But I’ve seen my fair share of live shows, and can confidently say the quality of each depends heavily on who accompanies you.

Friday marked the third concert my dad and I have hit up as a pair – fifth if you count the couple we attended as a whole family.

Our first father-daughter outing was a Springsteen show in Kansas City. As soon as Bruce took the stage, my dad kindly requested I keep track of the setlist. He didn’t want to forget a thing. (It still lives on my old iPhone.)

Not even a month later, he was driving through KC for work, listening to the local rock station, and called in at just the right time to win two tickets to the Black Keys.

Of course I tagged along.

But it wasn’t until recently that I looked back and realized those shows were nearly four years ago. We were due for another jam sesh.

So when the Red Hot Chili Peppers announced they were coming to Lincoln, I made sure to email my mom, brother and aunts to call dibs on tickets as a birthday present for Dad.

It was worth every penny.

There were honestly too many highlights to keep track.

He didn’t say it outright, but during dinner it was obvious he was anxious to arrive in time for the opener. I’m never one to be there as the doors open, but he mentioned a handful of times that he’d found some of his favorite artists as openers. So we showed up about 20 minutes late, and Trombone Shorty did not disappoint.

As soon as we sat down, we spotted hundreds of cylinders hanging from the rafters, directly above the floor seats. Come to find out, they would rise and drop and change colors in time with every song. The crowd lost it.

My dad loves flea. Every few songs, he’d point out whatever wacky thing the bass player was doing – walking on his hands, taking the mic to recite Dr. Seuss, shaking his head like a mad man. I pray I have that kind of energy at 54.

And of course, one of my favorite things about attending any concert: trying to guess what they’ll play for the encore. We totally whiffed the first time they left the stage – anticipating Under the BridgeDani California and Scar Tissue – so it only made sense for them to come out a second time. They couldn’t not play those songs, right? Wrong. But we both took solace in knowing the other was just as distraught.

So, if there’s even one artist you and a parent both love, go to that show together.

Because what’s more awesome than two generations taking equal joy in hearing their best hits live?

Knowing one generation probably has the other to thank.


Title Credit: The Rolling Stones

3 thoughts on “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll

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