It started with a date hours after finding out Michael Jackson died. It’s nearly fourteen years later, and we are now married with two kids, a home, and living in a different city. Through it all, one thing stays constant in our marriage – our love of entertainment, particularly live entertainment. It’s our happy place, our love language. Our first experience was a concert at the Murat Theatre in Indianapolis, Indiana to see India.Arie and John Legend. A month later, we were in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Macy’s Cincinnati Music Festival to see the OJays, Anita Baker, and Robin Thicke.
He’s a musician; a drummer in his college band and a trained pianist. I’m a girl from the Midwest who grew up surrounded by the sounds of R&B. The experience of finding this one thing in common bonds us through the ups and downs of marriage. There’s no convincing needed to buy tickets when there’s an artist in town we both want to see. There’s something to be said for hearing Jill Scott belt out ‘He love me’ at the Cynthia Woods Pavilion or Babyface dance across the rotating stage at the Arena Theater singing songs he’s written for New Edition, Boys II Men, or Brandy. These experiences create lasting memories that make us smile and laugh together.
We’re not fair-weather fans, reserving date night for the weekend. We saw Lauryn Hill and Jazmin Sullivan at the House of Blues on a random weekday night, and recently saw Alicia Keys at the Smart Financial Center on a Tuesday in September last year. We’ve traveled for our music fix. Stevie Wonder for his Christmas concert in Los Angles. We celebrated our ninth anniversary in Las Vegas with Usher.
It doesn’t stop at music for us. We love a good laugh. Our live entertainment interests extend to comedy shows. The Houston Improv is one of favorites. Monique, Gary Owen, Jay Pharaoh, Tony Rock, and others have come through there and we’ve seen them all. We’ve seen Kevin Hart twice – Las Vegas and here in Houston. We prioritize these moments because that’s where our connection happens.
We also love live sports. After our twins were born and we were looking for ways to connect in our marriage, we purchased a winter season package for the Houston Rockets. Out of the house, away from our babies for a couple of hours to see a basketball game reinvigorated us. We used these moments to turn off parenting and enjoy what was happening right in front us. Cheer on the team, stomp our feet as the opposing team made a foul shot, and yell excitedly as a big play was being made.
We’ve seen nearly everyone we’ve wanted to see. Next on our list is seeing our favorite artists in a different city or a different country. Let’s take our love fest on the road and see how an audience in Germany is different than an audience in Texas or Nevada.
What activity is a favorite for you and your partner?