Twenty-four hours ago, I had really only known Amazing Phil and DanIsNotOnFire as the background noise with a British accent coming from my daughter’s bedroom. I knew that they had co-authored a book, and that were YouTube stars who had become friends and collaborated (this was information I learned after asking, “What could possibly be so funny?” when the peals of laughter echoed down the hall).
A few months ago, Dan and Phil had announced that they were going on tour, and my daughter anxiously awaited their tour schedule. She was thrilled to learn that they would be coming to our area and, when just a few days later, I received my daily text from my favorite performing arts theater with a presale code for The Amazing Tour Is Not On Fire, I knew I had to get tickets.#bestmomever
Fast forward to last night.
After work, my daughter and I headed down to show. I really hadn’t known what to expect. My daughter was a fan, but not one other person that I knew had any clue who these guys were. I half-expected to show up to a partially empty theater, where I would commiserate with a few other confused parents as we watched a couple of guys play video games, or talk about cats or something.
My daughter’s enormous smile would be worth it.
The cat assumption was due to the whiskers my daughter drew on her face before leaving to the show. I actually asked her if she’d rather wait until we got there to decide if she wanted to paint on the whiskers. But, no. This was their thing, I guess. She had also picked out the “perfect outfit” several days before: skinny jeans, her white chucks, a tee shirt we had made at a local custom tee shop, and a red flannel tied around the waist.
When I pulled into the theater parking lot I was shocked to see, not a handful, but hundreds of teenage girls. They were almost all wearing skinny jeans, various licensed and handmade Dan and Phil tee shirts, red flannels, and painted-on whiskers. My girl had found her tribe.
After realizing that the line for Dan and Phil merchandise went around the entire theater, we went inside and took our seats. The theater was blasting Panic! At the Disco, My Chemical Romance, Britney Spears, 5 Seconds of Summer, and even some High School Musical. All the girls sang and danced along. Apparently, these were Dan and Phil’s favorite songs.
When the lights went out and these two skinny, tall, adorable young men stepped on stage, the crowd erupted and my daughter burst into tears–the kind of tears that reminded me of being 13 and seeing New Kids On The Block. I knew exactly how she felt. As I comforted her, I remembered that feeling of seeing, in person, someone you idolize, whose bio you know by heart. You almost feel like it’s a real relationship, and that feeling is emotional and overwhelming.
I understand how celebrities can get overwhelmed by fame. Imagine millions of people knowing almost everything about you, when you could never possibly even meet all of them. It’s overwhelming enough to have an acquaintance who has never “liked” nor commented on any of my writing tell me that a particular piece resonated with them, or that they have been following my work. How many more people “know” me?
Anyway…Dan and Phil put on such an entertaining show! They were funny, they were silly and they are talented. I was so pleasantly surprised at what a great time I had. I definitely don’t want to give anything away. I suspect the ban on phones and cameras while the show was going on is to maintain the surprises for future shows. It was also nice to see a thousand teenage girls enjoying themselves and interacting without a screen in front of their faces.
I had such a great time hanging with my daughter! I loved being part of such a formative teenage experience in her life. She will never forget last night, and neither will I.
P.S. I’ll be milking that “Best Mom Ever” title for awhile.