This summer, I attended Camper Van Beethoven’s 25th anniversary concert at the Fillmore in San Francisco – and I was one of the younger ones in the crowd. Plenty of gray hair and gray beards in the crowd. I did the math and realized that while I discovered the band in college, they formed when I was in junior high, meaning their core audience is older than me. So I scanned the people around me again, and thought, “Yeah, that’s about right.”

A few Sundays ago, I was in a small Scottsdale club to catch Kate Voegele, and the crowd was dominated by teens and twentysomethings. There were some thirtysomethings, people in my age group. So it was a nice mix. But as two opening acts came and went, and Voegele was halfway through her set, I noticed that the people my age hung back. They seemed incredibly bored. Some paced. Some sat on bar stools in the corner. I couldn’t figure them out. And then I realized, with a bit of horror, that these people were parents and were simply there to chaperone their kids.


I can’t win.