The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
11 August 2007
5:00 p.m. show (second show)
Hello We’re The Wiggles, Rock-A-Bye Your Bear, Joanie Works With One Hammer, Look Both Ways, Incy Wincy Spider, Here Comes a Bear, Ring The Bells It’s Wiggle Time, Getting Strong, Ooh It’s Captain Feathersword, Romp a Stomp, Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, Shake Your Hips with Wags the Dog, Stairway to Heaven -> Play Your Guitar with Murray, English Country Garden, Can You (Point Your Fingers and Do the Twist?), Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Turn Around; Teddy Bears Big Day Out, Fruit Salad, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Move Your Arms Like Henry, Captain Feathersword Fell Asleep on His Pirate Ship (Quack Quack), Hot Potato, Toot Toot, Chugga Chugga Big Red Car
Wow! Today was the day we went to see The Wiggles in Philadelphia at the Spectrum. Wow!
It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized this show was at the Spectrum; I had thought it was at the Wacovia Center across the parking lot. I have many fond memories of the Spectrum. It appears the last time I saw a concert here was the Grateful Dead in 1992. That’s a long time ago.
We made the familiar drive to the city. Parking was a snap. Beetle was excited! She kept saying she didn’t see The Wiggles. Patience, Little One. Patience.
We got to the doors of the hall just as they opened. As soon as we entered, I was taken aback. Yup, here is where I danced so many times in the concourse. Right around the bend are the bathrooms. Ah, my youth was flooding back to me. As we walked around, we caught a glimpse of the hall. Ah yes, concerts. It’s been a while.
This was our little girl’s day. We were willing to get her anything she wanted from the concession stand. She wanted nothing. At the merchandise stand, all she wanted was a flashing light thing with The Wiggles atop. No Dorothy tail. No hat. No T-shirt. Nope, just a little light. She’s practical, I suppose.
We made it down to the floor to our seats. We were 16th row, slightly left. Things looked good from down here. Yup, just about 40 feet or so from where I saw Jerry for the first time. A row over is where David and I saw Clapton and Roger Waters. Fond memories indeed. Beetle still didn’t see The Wiggles.
The stage was set up about a third of the way up. It was obvious from the flow of the crowd coming in, the hall was not going to fill up. As it was, the floor filled, the first 10 rows or so of the side stands, and then about the first five or so rows of the second level. As I looked up, most of the rafters were covered. No one would sit up there tonight or most nights anymore. Right over there was where I saw Joe Walsh and Stevie Nicks. Memories.
The crowd was a young family crowd. While I was the old one in the venue, we fit in well. There were lots of pregnant women toting their youngsters. Gert was nostalgic. In front of us was a couple and their young son. He cried. Daddy stood him on his lap. And that is where he stood for the balance of the night, right in front of us. Yes, this is why I adopted the “Sit in the front 10 rows” policy way back when. We’ll know better for next time.
Eventually the show commenced. There were announcements that the lights would go out, keep track of your children, etc. We recognized Fernando who sang La Cucaracha on one of the videos we have. Then the dancers hit the stage. Soon enough, The Wiggles!
Cameras flashed as the four mates from Down Under came out. It was quite exciting. Beetle was the model spectator. After the opening number, it was Beetle and my special song, Rock-A-Bye Your Bear. The entire audience sang along. And that would happen all night. The lady next to me squealed each time a new song, character, etc. happened.
Things were warming up and before we knew it, Wags the Dog, Henry the Octopus, Dorothy the Dinosaur, and Captain Feathersword came out on stage. What fun!
The set list was mostly familiar tunes, with a few new ones sprinkled in . . . just like most bands. I was impressed that The Wiggles actually played music live (although there was plenty of piped in music too).
We had read about folks who bring roses for Dorothy and dog bones for Wags. The dancers come out into the audience to collect them. But so do The Wiggles. Murray in particular was very good and coming out and seeing the audience. That created a lot of excitement.
By this time, Beetle got out of her seat and began dancing. She was absolutely adorable! I wish we had video of her splashing about in the aisle. She was all smiles. She enjoyed herself immensely.
Each Wiggle has his own special song. Murray’s is Play Your Guitar with Murray. Original title, eh? The prelude to this was the beginning of Stairway to Heaven. That was very cool and a nod to some of us old geezers in the arena. I recalled the first time I was in the Spectrum. It was circa 1972 for a 76ers game with David and his family. Very few people tonight in the hall were even born in ’72.
The Wiggles put on a great show. I think the adults enjoy it every bit as much as the children. We expect we’ll see them again. We will no longer be novices. We’ll have our signs so the band will read them out. We’ll have roses (a really big homemade one so Beetle gets to go to the stage). Perhaps we’ll don pirate hats like Captain Feathersword. We’ll definitely have Fritz in tow. All the mothers had their infants strapped to them.
I related to Beetle that she was attending her first concert in Philadelphia with her father, just as I had a long time ago. While it wasn’t at the Spectrum, Poppy took her and me to my first concert (Billy Squire opened for Pat Benatar). She didn’t seem to understand the connection. 🙂
We enjoyed all the songs and had fun dancing and singing. Before too long, after Gert’s favorite, Hot Potato, The Wiggles announced the last song of the night. a rousing version of Toot Toot, Chugga Chugga Big Red Car finished off the concert. No encores, the lights came up.
Beetle had just seen her first show. What a great night.
We hit the concourse and once again offered Beetle her choice. She wanted nothing. Until we got outside. Then she melted. She screamed about something or other and we re-entered the hall. It took some time, but we finally deciphered what she wanted: a yellow duckie mouth. You see, there was a number tonight where some of the dancers dressed as ducks. I gather Beetle liked them. She wanted a duck’s mouth (bill) like theirs. It seems reasonable. One can buy a dinosaur tail or a feather sword. Why not a duckie mouth? Alas, there were none. Beetle did not understand. We even offered the dreaded cotton candy to appease her. She wanted nothing but a duckie mouth.
We eventually made it to the car to go home. The Phillies played tonight and all the traffic for that game battled all the traffic of the concert letting out. I offered to take the ladies to the game, but no one was game. Sigh . . . It wasn’t long before we were on the Walt Whitman. Beetle announced she wanted cotton candy. All I could do was smile.
What a wonderful day!