From this spot, in front of this stage, I have watched my favorite band play music that inspired me to the point that it brought me to tears. I have sung along with my eyes closed to lyrics that have touched me at my core. I have discovered new artists that instantly made me optimistic about the future of Austin’s live music scene.
Now, I’m standing in the same spot, waiting on a giant cartoon pig to take the stage. Because kids.
I am here with my 4-year-old daughter, Mirielle, who is dressed proudly in her favorite Peppa Pig T-shirt, clutching her just-purchased $20(!) Peppa Pig light stick and eagerly scanning the stage for Peppa.
For the uninitiated, Peppa Pig is a British cartoon that features the daily life of the main character, Peppa, her family (Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig and little brother George) and various friends who come in a multitude of species. When I heard that Peppa Pig Live! was coming, I knew what to expect:
annoying catchy songs, creepy giant puppets and an insane enthusiastic preschool audience eager to see the cartoon play out on a live stage.
On Wednesday night, when the tour visited ACL Live for one night only, we, along with much of Austin’s 2- to 4-year-old set, were excited. As I stood watching a gyrating carrot in a grass skirt sing about the health benefits of smoothies (“Smoothies, smoothies, soft and fruiiiiittty”), I realized it wasn’t that different from an adults-only concert (particularly if you’re a KISS fan). Here are five ways seeing Peppa Pig Live! is just like seeing your favorite band.
1. Lines. Lines. Lines. There are always lines. In most cases, the lines are for alcohol. At Peppa Pig, the lines are for mac and cheese and hot dogs. (The lines for alcohol at Peppa were blessedly short.)
2. There’s always a point where things get weird. Remember when your favorite singer turned his latest hit into a meandering 23-minute mash-up of “Free Bird,” “Uptown Girl” and spoken-word poetry? Parts of Peppa Pig Live! felt weird and meandering as well, from the black-clad puppeteers who couldn’t decide if they were supposed to be invisible or obvious to the crowd to set changes that instantly swept the audience from the schoolhouse to the fair with little explanation.
3. Someone’s going to spill a drink and lose a shoe. Usually it’s your tipsy friend with rum and Cokes and high heels. At Peppa, it’s your kid with orange juice and flip-flops.
4. The night will end with fast food and a random bathroom stop. Remember those lines? No one wants to stand in them, which means there will most certainly be a stop at Whataburger on the way home. Oh, and thanks to the lines for the bathroom, there will likely be an emergency bathroom stop as well. (Side note: Huge thanks to Alex at LACQUER nail salon for the emergency bathroom assist. We couldn’t have done Peppa Pig Live! without you.)
5. You’ll never forget it. Even if the guy standing in front of you partially obstructs your view, even if they don’t play your favorite song, even if it seems like there’s some lip syncing going on (Mirielle’s complaint about Mr. Potato), you’ll always remember that time you saw your very favorite act in the flesh (or felt).