Being a music-loving parent can often lead to some strange places. There will be plenty of parents out there who know exactly what I’m talking about. There are many occasions when the taste-filter has to be switched off, because young children like to dance to anything that is catchy and fun, and we want to dance with them. Some of the people that create music for very young children do so with a certain amount of beautifully innocent style, and that’s what led me to interview and then take my son to go see the Wiggles a couple of months ago.
Similarly, I just recently spoke with Kiki of the Fresh Beat Band prior to this Sunday evening show at the Fox. Much like the Wiggles, the Fresh Beaters had the venue packed, and the line for merch stretched to the doors. Nobody wants to be the dad who says, “No, you can’t have a $45 ‘rock star’ jacket.” Fortunately, my two-year-old is still too little to be able to see that far up, and therefore didn’t want one.
Even at two, he was able to get a real kick out of a thoroughly professional and well put together, if totally garish, show. The songs are actually quite clever; there’s a sweet simplicity to “Just Like a Rockstar” that, with the aid of a whole ton of polish, sounds almost Gaga-esque. You know the drill – verse, bridge, chorus, verse, bridge, key change, big finish. Bon Jovi has made a career out of the same thing. Of course, the list of things that the band says the kids should do “just like a rockstar” doesn’t include real rock star antics like avoiding child support, recreational groupies, etc. Thankfully, this is all about “playing loud,” “shouting out” and putting that rockstar jacket on.
By the end of the show, and the “Another Perfect Day” closer, the faces on the four peeps in the band must ache from all the smiling. And man, they have one hell of a dentist. Teeth this white don’t exist in nature. They deserve their rest before the next night though. The Fresh Beat Band put in a tough, never-stop-moving shift, and they entertained a lot of Detroit kids. We can poke fun and tweak their cherubic noses a little but, at the end of the day, they do their job very, very well.