Slowly at First Then Faster and Faster

I’m a good enough dad that I’ll go to a concert even when I’m tired. I’m a good enough photographer that I’ll keep the camera straight when I’m asleep. Mostly.

Today was a special concert for our oldest’s brass band club. It was the final performance for all the 3rd year (9th grade members) and took place in a large auditorium with professional lighting.

As always, it was a good performance but there were two problems:

1) last night was the final (probably) farewell party for a departing colleague and I didn’t get home until the next to last train. (I actually wrote yesterday’s post early because I knew I wouldn’t be home until late). (More on “last trains” and “first trains” in another post.)

2) The band front-loaded all the serious slow songs. The songs were so serious the students actually wore their uniforms and sat seriously.

I was using a monopod and had situated it with one hand more or less strapped to it as an anchor and the other holding it straight. Several times during the performance I caught myself waking up but subsequent check of the video showed little drift. Luckily I didn’t experience a Hypnic Jerk (which would make a great band name) or the film might have been more exciting.

Only once did I catch myself falling to the side, but on video it looks more like a clumsy adjustment.

After the five slow songs and, as it turned out, the accompanying nap, there was a ten minute intermission.

During that break the band changed to jeans and t-shirts and came out for the real performance: theme songs from movies and a couple of the girls acting like Ariel from Little Mermaid (who suddenly went blonde) and another girl dressed like Captain Jack Sparrow. We then listened to “Under the Sea” and the theme from Pirates of the Caribbean and medleys of various Studio Ghibli tunes.

During the third phase (Japan Pop Tunes) the graduating 9th graders put on funny hats and sunglasses and tried to induce the audience to join in a popular dance to the song “Gera Gera Po (Yokai Watch)”. The effect was something like this. (You don’t need to understand Japanese; it might be worth watching a minute or two.)

At some point there was the obligatory random standing, but at times there was also actual dancing, which is one step away from marching, but not as annoying.

It ended with one parent encouraging the audience to shout “Thank you” to the graduates, which led to lots of tears.

Next year, I’ll have to go again for our oldest’s graduation performance. I’ll try to be more awake then, but I make no promises.


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