What we refer to now as "The Moment".
On Saturday I loaded down my Jeep and began my journey northward. My bags were packed and my destination was circled. I would be driving four hours to Lisle, IL to attend the Eyes to the Skies balloon festival, but not for myself but for my oldest daughter.
My oldest daughter is an avid watcher of "Drake and Josh" on Nickelodeon, so we were making the trek to Lisle to watch Drake Bell in concert.
I enjoy watching the show and also have enjoyed his two albums but I wasn't sure what to expect. Would it be a lawn full of tweens jumping and shouting or would there be fans of his music (like myself) peppering the crowd? I was actually a little shocked to say the least. There were large amounts of fan that were much older than I and had not a little one in sight.
My little one has been anticipating this concert since I got tickets and the day had finally arrived. When we arrived at the festival, we hit a face-painting booth and she was instantly transformed into Hello Kitty. After getting her new face, we went to check out the line for the show. We rounded the corner and saw there were about 150 people already in line and this was 2 ½ hours before the show. After one lemon shake-up, two Kool-Aid bursts and an hour in the sun, the line began to move. We made our way in, found a seat and got ready for the show.
The little one and I made a trip to the merchandise booth where we got a shirt, a button and a few stickers. I spent the rest of the time trying to get my kid backstage to see her Drake. I even resorted to the "cute kid" tactic, but to no avail. Then it was time for the show.
Most might think of Mr. Bell as a pop act that has music as sweet as Pop-Tarts, but I found out different. This was probably one of the best concerts I've attended -- period. Great music and an even better crowd environment added up to a wonderful night of music under the stars. He tore through most of the songs on his CDs, showcased a new song "Alone at the Disco" and performed "She's On Her Own", which I hope is on his upcoming third CD.
Also, his band was great. I really expected a more subdued and light show but that notion was put aside as soon as they jammed into "Up Periscope" to begin the show. Simply put, if they come close, spend the money and check them out, you won't be disappointed.
The concert ran about 90 minutes and left my little one and the crowd wanting more. Drake took the stage, performed one last song and called it a night.
I had wanted my little one to be able to see Drake and hopefully get an autograph but with the show over and the masses filing out to check out the fireworks, something hit me. A little voice said, "stick around," so we wandered up toward the stage and then up a small fenced area that leads away from the stage. As the crew was tearing down the stage, Drake reappeared on stage to sign autograph and then proceeded to come down the fence line. Here was her chance.
After putting in 90 minutes of performing, Bell was understandably trying to sign and get done as quickly as possible. He was grabbing things and throwing down his signature, keeping his head down the entire time. That is until he reached us. My wife said how old our little one was and how she was a big fan. Drake looked up at my daughter, signed her item and gave her an "Awe" as her rubbed her hair. Needless to say, I had a supercharged almost three-year-old on my hands for the rest of the night.