Age restrictions are obsolete

Most of my life has been spent waiting to break the chains of age restriction. Whether it is getting a license at 16, seeing rated R movies at 17 or being an adult at 18, it seems age has a stronghold of importance in the American lifestyle. I mostly understand these restrictions until it comes to music. I hate seeing age restrictions on concerts.

I have been seeing bands play in the smallest to the largest of venues in St. Louis since I was fifteen years old, when I saw the Loved Ones open for Less than Jake at Mississippi Nights. I discovered the Gaslight Anthem at a short-lived venue called “2 Cents Plain.” I even heard Streelight Manifesto for the first time at the Pageant. So, why must I miss out on bands like Bomb the Music Industry playing with Andrew Jackson Jihad at the Firebird in the summer of 2008? It was a tragic time for me; I remember it as quite a dramatic event.

The worst part about missing that show was missing Andrew Jackson Jihad. I had never heard of them before, but I wanted to see Bomb the Music Industry pretty badly. Andrew Jackson Jihad became one of my favorite bands a few months later when I found a copy of “Only God Can Judge Me” on vinyl. Though a few months between potential discovery and actual discovery sounds minute, I did not actually get to see Andrew Jackson Jihad live for over a year.

I know it is not the bands’ faults. It is of the venue’s choice, placing emphasis on alcoholic consumption at shows. It is a noble concern, but I find it useless. If the venue has to card everyone at the door anyway, it would make more sense to make the show all ages and just card at the bar. Venues make more money off of minors at the door than non-drinking adults, anyway, with the regular $2 surcharge.

Music is too important to put a restriction on. There is so much to discover that the youth may never hear.