Kidrockers! DIIV and Widowspeak perform for kids at Brooklyn Bowl
I didn’t know exactly what to expect when I took the mini-2bitMonkeys (quarter-bitMonkeys?) to Brooklyn Bowl this past Sunday for Kidrockers, a kid-friendly concert in the afternoon featuring Brooklyn-based indie rockers DIIV and Widowspeak. My children are, not surprisingly, music lovers, so I wasn’t worried about whether they’d enjoy the show; I simply had no idea what “the show” was. Would Widowspeak be singing the “A, B, C’s”? Would DIIV put on the world’s most rocking rendition of “Old McDonald”? There was no way of knowing, but it was exciting all the same to tell my kids that they were going to their first ever “real” live concert.
We arrived and sat on the large Twister mat near the front of the stage, light up tambourines in hand, ready for the first act, which was a 6-year old girl plucked from the crowd who wanted to sing Adele’s “Someone Like You.” I don’t know this little girl’s name, but you will be hearing from her in the future – she was that good. I imagine this is what it was like hearing Florence Welch sing when she was in first grade. This unexpected but pleasant surprise put the crowd was in good spirits and ready for Widowspeak.
The band came out and played a few of their original songs (no “A, B, C’s”) while the kids sat and clapped along. It was cute, and got even cuter when the kids were encouraged to ask the band questions. The singer (Molly Hamilton) was actually a bit shy and seemed embarrassed to talk to the children, which was refreshingly sweet. The highlight of the Kids Q&A was a boy who guessed the band members’ ages. (Molly: 18? Michael: 40? Both way off.) After the show I bumped into Molly and told her what a good performance she put on. You could tell she was excited and a bit overwhelmed by what went down. “I never did this before. I wish they had this when I was a kid.” The entire band came off as generally good-natured people who enjoyed the performance.
While the stage was turned over from Widowspeak to DIIV, the kids were asked questions about songs with colors by show hosts Seth Herzog and Craig Baldo, who also handed out Kidrockers bracelets and balloons. Free stuff makes both parents and kids happy! Another child sang a song and then turned it over to DIIV, who blew the doors off the place (well, as best you can at a children’s show). The band played 2 or 3 super-lively songs while the kids jumped and danced in what must have looked like “Honey, I Shrunk the Mosh Pit.” After some Kids Q&A for DIIV (Child: “Did you guys finish school?” Host: “Please say yes.” Band: “Umm, no.”), the children were invited on stage for the last few songs of the set. The band members really let loose, bashing around on stage to their biggest hit “How Long Have You Known” in a manner similar to what they’d do at a “real” show. Somehow they didn’t trample any children. The music was loud, the kids were dancing, the balloons were flying, everyone had a great time.
Kidrockers is a great idea and this particular show was likely as good as it gets. One band broke the ice and started off the kids’ afternoon in an easy friendly manner, and the second band raised the ante once the kids were ready for it. Brooklyn Bowl is also a perfect venue as the kids were able to run around and let loose their limitless energy over the large concert space. All the 5-year olds out there reading this blog please ask you moms and dads to take you to a show. You won’t regret it.
PS I got some great photos but even better (i.e. professional) ones are over at Brooklyn Vegan and well worth checking out, unless of course you hate all things cute.
 Actually, I took my son to a They Might Be Giants all-ages show which was incredible for our entire family … but he doesn’t remember it. So this was technically his second first-ever concert experience!
 I also got into conversation with Dylan Treleven, normally of Oberhofer but playing this day with Widowspeak for the first time. Like Molly, he was very friendly and seemed genuinely pleased to talk to a fan. I walked away feeling very happy about the state of Brooklyn music and the people making it.
 Another really funny question: “What are the Japandroids like?” Host’s response (in good humor): “Sorry kid that we didn’t get the Japandroids.”