It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll . . . at 1 p.m. on a Wednesday by Celia Rivenbark

Oh, thank you, Jamie Lee Curtis, for bringing to the nation’s attention a problem that many of us, er, “seasoned citizens” have been too embarrassed to talk about.

No, not bladder control. Honestly, I can’t take you people anywhere. I’m talking about why—oh, why—our favorite bands won’t have concerts at a decent hour.

Like, says Curtis, 1 p.m.

She tossed out the idea during the Oscars but then it took off! Turns out there are a lot of us who would love to see our favorite bands when they come to town but not at 9 p.m. after at least two opening acts we’ve never heard of. We are already sleepy from our 5:30 p.m. Chardonnay and are barely hanging on til bedtime, which has mysteriously moved to 8:45-ish. Not actual sleep time! That would be ridiculous. That’s just the time we look at the clock and ponder just how much longer we can stay up without appearing to need a uniformed attendant.

When people said “Yes!” to JLC’s radical truth-telling rant, she was invited to the Today show where she doubled-down on the need for mid-afternoon rock concerts. There are matinees for movies and plays, she reasoned. What’s the difference?

Yes, but . . . I’m imagining the frustration as employed millennials run into roadblocks for “event traffic” at lunchtime on a weekday. Why are there so many gray-haired men wearing acid washed jeans and socks with Crocs? What is going ON?!?

When my friends who can nap during the day attended a Bruce Springsteen concert recently, I heard so many great stories. The amazing playlist, the band, the encore with SIX songs! And then, finally, the still small voice from my friend who confessed: “Six. I couldn’t believe it. It was great but it was time to go home. He should’ve had some mercy. He’s not a young man.”

Or as the Eagles might have put it: She could check out any time she liked, but she could never leave.

The Boss is seventy-three years old. Why can’t he do a solid for those of us who have loved him since he was in the mail room, so to speak? A nice two-and-a-half-hour daytime concert during which NO ONE STANDS.

Seriously. Sit down. You paid for this nice seat, and so did I and I don’t want to choose between standing up the whole time or having to look at your backside. Oy, my sciatica is flaring at the very thought.

And don’t even think about leaving early to “beat the traffic” because everybody’s going to do that, so no one benefits. Fortunately, your day vision is mostly good, so we don’t have to hear about the halos around the streetlights all the way home.

If concerts start at 1 p.m., and there’s decent crowd control, we’ll be home before the working folks notice, taking off our too-tight jeans and gulping acid reflux meds for those loaded nachos. (What were we THINKING? Sure, the music made us feel young again but our dusty ol’ GI tract didn’t get the memo.)

On the bright side, if the daytime concert is outdoors, you won’t be asked to do something to your phone to “enhance the experience.” Is it cool when you see those synced flashing phones in a dark arena? Sure. But I don’t have the patience to “download the app, split these atoms and ask the troll at the Dippin’ Dots booth four levels down for the password . . .”

Let’s pick up what Jamie Lee Curtis has put down and make this a legit movement. What do we want? MIDDAY CONCERTS! When do we want them? NOW!

Black and white photo of concert audience from the back
Photo by Davide Ragusa on Unsplash

Celia Rivenbark
Celia Rivenbark, a native of Duplin County, N.C., is the New York Times best-selling author of seven Southern humor books, including You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the Morning, You Don’t Sweat Much for a Fat Girl, and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ nonfiction book of the year We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier. Her weekly humor column appears in Gannett newspapers across the country. Rivenbark is an award-winning playwright whose work has been recognized by the James Thurber Society for excellence in the humor genre. Her work has appeared in national and regional publications, including The Bitter Southerner, and she is a frequent guest on comedy and writing podcasts and video series. She lives in Wilmington, N.C., with her husband, Scott Whisnant, a retired hospital executive and true-crime author. They have one daughter, Sophie , a writer in Scottsdale, Ariz. Rivenbark’s obsessions include Tarheel basketball, perfectly cooked collard greens and binging on TV that’s so bad it’s good. Her weekly column is available at

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