Never was the generation gap more evident to me after I chauffeured a group of nine 14 and 15 year olds to a rock concert last week.

How I agreed to lead this mission escapes me. A brief moment of insanity, no doubt.

I'm sure my father didn't understand the attraction to the music I grew up with -- The Beatles, The Four Seasons, The Association, The Grass Roots and such. But I would argue that you could at least call what those groups produced “music.”

What I heard Thursday night from the likes of Fall Out Boy, All-American Rejects and Hawthorne Heights in no way resembled music.

I use “heard” figuratively,” because after about 10 minutes of listening to today's rock you can't hear a damn thing.

It is louder than anything you can imagine.

The seats in OU's Lloyd Noble Center were literally vibrating as the sounds pulsated and pounded for four and one-half hours.

If nothing else, the kids got their money's worth.

The highlight of the evening for my group of concert-goers was something called the “mosh pit.” I best describe it as a contained riot.

Thousands of kids pack the floor in front of the stage and spend the evening pushing and shoving and bumping each other - as hard as they can.

Then there is “crowd surfing.”

That is when they lift one of their ranks above the crowd and toss him or her toward the front like a beach ball.

If you're lucky, you make it all the way to the front and are eased down by a team of security goons.

The less fortunate crash to the floor in the sea of people.

The kids reported that several of the “moshers” were overcome by heat exhaustion and others suffered minor scrapes and bruises.

As we were leaving Lloyd Noble, two people were being hauled out on stretchers to nearby ambulances.

But perhaps the most disturbing thing of the evening to this dad, was the language used by one of the guys in the main attraction, Fall Out Boy.

Every other word out of his mouth was an “expletive deleted.”

Why he felt that was necessary is beyond me.

I'm proud that my daughter and her friends found it alarming as well. “Shocked” is how one of them put it.

They assured me that the lyrics to their music were clean, however.

I have to trust them on that one because I couldn't understand one word of any of the songs.

Enough, already.

Forgive my rant and forgive me if I respond with a “huh” for the next few days.

My ears are still ringing.

Jerry Pittman is publisher of The Express-Star. You can e-mail him at

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