The teenage years are fueled by music. When no one seems to get their angst, teens turn to music to get the emotional support they need. Music is also a way to connect with friends and have fun.

Back in my youth, music was only on the radio. I would wait with baited breath until my favorite song came on before I would quickly push the record button on the cassette tape. This way I would have the song to listen to forever. CD’s quickly came out in my teen years, as well as a CD walkman.

Nowadays, every kid has earbuds peaking out of their shirt with an iPod tucked inside. Even though MySpace is practically defunct, it helped propel music into the forefront of the teen mind. New bands were discovered, as well as new genres and avenues of self expression.

Even with how plugged in music is these days, there is nothing compared to seeing a band or musician live. You cannot capture that excitement, energy and talent into a little mP3. Seeing a band live will forever change how you listen and connect to a band.

I adore live music. Live performances separate the true artists from the posers. When in front of a live audience, the musician cannot hide behind synthesizers and voice manipulators. The imposters are always exposed. It is through a concert that you can find those who are truly talented.

Going to a concert is a rite of passage for many teens. But as a parent, that can be nerve-wracking. How old is old enough to go to a concert?

A lot of that depends on what kind of concert the teen wants to go to. The seating plays a big part on what experience the concert-goer will experience. There are generally two seating options: assigned seats and open area. With assigned seats, think like a stadium. When you purchase your ticket, you are given an assigned seat. The better the seat, the more expensive the ticket. You can arrive shortly beforehand to find your seat and you stay there the entire time.

A general admission ticket can be a much different experience. If there are actual seats to be had, it is first come, first serve. However, there are generally not any seats. The general admission is for an open area where the crowd stands below. This, my friends, is a mosh pit. It is first come, first serve and a bit dog eat dog. The bigger you are and the more willing you are to shove, the closer you will make it to the front.

The musician or band will also greatly affect the type of crowd you will find. A good rule of thumb is, the heavier the music, the crazier the crowd. For a mellow artist like Ingrid Michaelson, even general admission will be low key. A heavier artist will attract a more aggressive crowd.

Weighing these factors and the maturity of your teen will help you decide if it is age appropriate. If anything, tag along for some adult supervision.

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