A couple Fridays ago, the day after the La Estancia hip-hop/capoeria date actually, I took Graham out to a free punk concert. Just outside the same Altamira metro stop, there is a medium-sized amphitheater where there are concerts fairly regularly. I’m not usually one for punk rock, but Graham took to it quite well, and for me it was awesome to witness the contrast to the urban vibe the night before. Instead of crisp hats and shiny, colorful urban duds, we sat and danced among black, grey, piercings and grit. From home to here, the cultural styles of each subculture seem to translate seamlessly.
Many people with whom we work and live fear going out at night, native Caraqueños included. As a result, they rarely see that Caracas is a living city with real culture. They’re missing out.
We were late and missed the first band of the night and during the second Graham wanted a hot dog, so we walked down to the nearest street food cart. On the way back to the concert I found a hole-in-the wall shawarma place and a liquor store. A wrap and a 6-pack to go (plus a chocolate milk for the boy) got us back to the concert just as the third band was setting up. The two teachers who came with us appreciated the beer; it’s great to be able to drink a couple beers in public without a second thought.
We were ready to rock at this concert for I had brought Graham’s red leaf-blower-man earphones and a pair of drumsticks. You can see him in action below in our low light, low quality video. All the young folks surrounding us loved seeing this little kid rocking out. Several of them took pictures and video and surprisingly G didn’t mind the extra attention. What is more, if Graham in his frenzied dance started to stray even a little bit, a friendly hand would come out to redirect him back to me. (This has happened to us in various places. Kids are so thoroughly adored in Venezuela that I actually feel more safe going out with Graham than I would by myself.)
During the concert, Graham saw his first mosh pit and asked if he could join. A bit ballsy I thought. In actuality, I think he just wanted to go closer to the drummer, but he eventually understood that it’d be pretty dangerous for him to go down there. At the end of the concert though, we went down to the stage for an up-close look at the drummer breaking down his set.
Graham was tired, but didn’t want to go home, which is the mark of a successful night in my book. It’ll be interesting to see what music he ends up favoring later in life, but for now I’m happy to take him to whatever is available. And recently, it’s been quite a lot.