It meant staying up way past this mom’s bedtime, but taking her daughter to an Alex G concert at The Showbox in Seattle was worth it. (Jennifer Bardsley)

It meant staying up way past this mom’s bedtime, but taking her daughter to an Alex G concert at The Showbox in Seattle was worth it. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Middle-aged mom braves a school-night concert

Jennifer Bardsley accompanies her daughter and a friend to an Alex G concert in downtown Seattle. What could go wrong?

My daughter has talked me into taking her and a friend to an Alex G concert at The Showbox in downtown Seattle. I said yes, even though the concert starts at 8 p.m. on a school night, because this experience is a reward for my daughter completing 20 hours of algebra practice this summer.

We leave for Seattle around 6:15. I turn on the ’90s music station to ease my GenX nerves. My daughter and her friend are in the backseat texting each other so I can’t hear what they talk about.

A half-hour later, I find a parking garage that’s close to The Showbox. “Put away your cellphones,” I tell the girls. “Stick together and pay attention to your surroundings.” As we leave the parking garage I notice that this garage closes at 10 p.m., meaning my car might be trapped inside. I curse, apologize for swearing and lead the girls back to the car.

After driving around in circles, I find a new parking garage that’s further away from the venue but has 24-hour access. We re-park and walk downhill to the venue.

The security line stretches around the block towards infinity. The sidewalk smells but the glowing Public Market sign looks like a postcard.

We finally make it through the security checkpoint, right before the doors open at 8 p.m. Inside is a lovely mix of art deco decor and happy people. I’m the oldest person by at least a decade. “Do not drink anything anyone gives you,” I tell the girls. “Stay together and if someone grabs you kick them.” My daughter rolls her eyes and she and her friend dart off to find standing-room-only spots up front.

I buy a Diet Coke and find a seat in the 21-and-over section. Everyone else has a wristband but me. I’m so old that the bouncer didn’t bother giving me one. Grateful for a seat, I decide that I will nurse this Diet Coke forever so I don’t have to stand.

Forty-five minutes later, the concert still hasn’t started. I notice that I’m the only person not wearing “cool people going to a concert” clothes, which makes sense since I haven’t owned any since 1999.

At long last, Alex G comes on stage and the crowd goes wild. They know every word to songs I’m hearing for the first time. Before I felt old; now I feel ancient.

An hour and a half later, I have new admiration for the audience around me. It’s a fun, happy crowd. I’ve lost sight of my daughter and her friend but know that they are most likely safe in this group of indie-rock aficionados.

After the concert ends, we walk four blocks uphill through a part of downtown I’d rather not be this late at night. “Keep up,” I tell my teens. We see three police cars with flashing lights. “Walk faster,” I say. Then, when we reach the parking garage — disaster! A gate has blocked the driveway! I call the help number and they direct me to an unlocked entrance. We snake through various levels of the garage, with me looking over my shoulder at every turn, until we finally find our car. “Did you have fun?” I ask as we climb inside.

“Yes,” they tell me. “Thanks for taking us.”

“You’re welcome,” I say as I lock the doors. “I had fun too.” Then I yawn so hard that I can’t say anything else.

Jennifer Bardsley is the author of “Sweet Bliss,” “Good Catch” and more. Find her online on Instagram @jenniferbardsleyauthor, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as Jennifer Bardsley Author. Email her at

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