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The Top 10 Signs You're at a Dad Rock Concert

Steel Panther only wish they were a dad rock band.
Steel Panther only wish they were a dad rock band.
Roger Caldwell

If you were a dad, you'd probably have circled a certain date on your calendar months ago. (And no, it wasn't Mother's Day, you big silly.) What date is that, you might ask? Why, this coming Saturday, May 17. That's the night that the whole goddamn universe is going to explode because Foreigner is coming to the Verizon Theatre with not just Styx but also Don-fricking-Felder. Yeah, from the Eagles. So put the kids to bed early because Dad's coming home wasted. Or better yet, bring 'em with so they learn a little bit about real music, class-of-1978 style.

In honor of this momentous occasion for dads of North Texas, and to help clarify any potential confusion for concertgoers who missed the Glory Days, we've compiled this handy list of telltale signs that you're attending a dad rock concert.

10. Everyone got to the concert on time. Because it's punk to be punctual. Dad might have even been a couple minutes early, because his time-management skills are fucking on point. He definitely found the venue with the help of Siri or some other manner of expensive GPS, which Dad constantly uses in a town he's lived in for more than 30 years. (Honestly, have you ever driven around Plano?) Alice Laussade

9. The smell of dip spit overpowers the smell of weed. Dad snuck in his own spit cup. And so did 5,000 of his dad friends. Your dad isn't against smoking pot, but he does have to party responsibly tonight so that he nails his big presentation tomorrow. Wouldn't want to puke all over his power tie. Of course, if Dad is still living the rebel lifestyle, he wouldn't want to puke on his Sturgis T-shirt either. AL

8. Beer comes in plastic bottles (and that's all anyone's drinking) They're picnic-, pool- and barbecue-friendly, and in the summertime, they'll fly off gas station shelves faster than you can say, "No, wait, just get cans!" Plastic beer bottles are a cumbersome edition to any party or event, combining the thrill of domestic beer drinking with the look and feel of a soft drink. For some reason, you always look just a little more drunk with one in your hand, but you'll feel like you're at a Rangers game. Vanessa Quilantan

7. Drunken cougar dancing. Like a voodoo-cursed corpse of an embezzler, older women at concerts become infected by the rhythm and booze around them. And lo, they rise and move their limbs in a herky-jerky fashion that's best described as a cross between being electrocuted and a toddler learning to walk. Unfortunately for you, there's no escaping these ladies' gravitational pull, and you are quickly surrounded by a sea of arms slowly waving in the air, and asses slowly shaking. Jaime-Paul Falcon

6. Everything is about "the troops." Since the tragedy of 9/11, and the U.S.'s ongoing fight for Freedom, it's become the go-to remedy to erase all memory of "Mission Accomplished." That's why acts past their prime to dedicate everything from a song to the troops, to a special bit of merch where the proceeds go to the troops. You'll also see various troops pulled on stage, stories about special troops, and occasionally moments of silence. Nothing can extend the life of an act like doubling down on the patriotism, and/or going fully nuts. It's called the "Ted Nugent Rule of Staying Relevant." JPF

 

5. Children with mullets. There isn't really any shame in this one. We've all been there, especially if we were born between 1980 and, oh, 1995. Every once in a while Mom can't make it to the haircut appointment, so Dad has to go instead. And then: mullet. The kid has no grasp for the virtues of balancing the business with the party, but he's never too young to start instilling certain virtues. Of course, sometimes the mullet has Mom's approval, in which case someone's got an awfully long road ahead of him. Jeff Gage

4. Dads visibly fight the urge to be attracted to girls the same age as their own daughters. First thought: "Nice ass." Immediate second thought: "Jesus Christ, put some clothes on, you're gonna get dry humped by this bunch of heathens." (Runs over to the girl and offers her his suit coat. Which he's obviously wearing, because he came here straight from his Dad Job.) AL

3. Non-ironic goatees. It's not that Heisenberg is a fashion icon and that explains why every third dad you see is walking around with a shaved head and a goatee. It's that they actually have decided that the best look is not a full beard, or the patented dadstache, it's the goatee. They do this because it provides the illusion of youth, that they're still hip and keeping it fresh with the most fashionable facial accessory of 1993. JPF

2. Tommy Bahama, bro Want to totally give up on your appearance, but still maintain the slightest illusion that you give a shit? Tommy Bahama Hawaiian shirts are like a pair of sweatpants your wear on your top half. The loose and billowy fabric turns the human dad-body into a lumpy, shapeless form beneath linen flower motifs. But hey, they're comfortable, and it's all he wanted for Father's Day. Give the guy a break. Maybe when it's 150 degrees here in the Texas summer, he just wants to imagine he's in Oahu. VQ

1. The lead singer is actually from the band's own cover band We're looking at you on this one, Journey. But really, this rule is versatile enough to extend to most any dad rock band, and it goes for more than just recruiting from your own imitators. Sometimes the circumstances are tragic, as with Lynyrd Skynyrd. Other times, your name is Van Halen. Whatever it takes to keep playing for the dads of the world, regardless of original members. A close runner-up: Mark Knopfler. Because we all know that what all dads want is their money for nothing and their chicks for free. JG


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