Thursday, April 22, 2010

I LOVE THE LAURIE BERKNER BAND (and Two Tomatoes Records, LLC)

On March 10, I wrote a post about taking Rachel and Simon to see the Circus of the Senses put on by the Big Apple Circus. At the end of that post, I mentioned that I was considering taking the 2 of them to see the Laurie Berkner Band concert in Baltimore on May 1. Well, being the crazy person that I am, I decided that we should definitely try to go to this concert figuring we had approximately 6 weeks to prepare Simon for the experience, and unlike the circus, Kevin would be coming with me (as well as Daniel) and if there were problems, we'd have 2 adults (with 3 kids) that could work together to address whatever was to happen.

What the circus proved to me is that Simon's ability to sit through a show hasn't changed over the last year. Not much of a surprise -- we hadn't done anything to make it any better -- but the experience proved that fact to me. So, I started planning out how to prepare him for this concert. Unlike Circus of the Senses, this was not a free concert and we, as a family, would be driving up to Baltimore for the experience, which, although it isn't far, does mean making a bit of a trek. I wanted the experience to be a positive one, for everyone. So, I asked his school (as well as others locally) for some ideas. I started thinking through some social stories since I've seen him respond to those in the past. I also started doing a bit of research on Rachel's and Simon's favorite music artist. And I contacted the Pier 6 Pavilion in Baltimore and ordered 5 tickets on the aisle.

One of the things my research led to was me sporadically reading The Laurie Berkner Band blog ( where it mentioned the band sometimes does a meet-n-greet with special needs fans after the shows. That gave me the idea of contacting Two Tomatoes Records, LLC and asking them who would be eligible for that special meeting. That was probably the smartest decision I've EVER made in my life. I have been corresponding with a member of their staff (over email) since mid-March and she has been UNBELIEVABLY helpful in providing me with information to prepare Simon for this concert. She has not only set us up for a meeting with the band after the show (which was my original intent of that email), but has provided us with a set list for the concert (so we can prepare specific songs) and has sent me some video from another show on the current tour allowing Simon to become familiar with the appearances of the sets, the idea of the spotlights, the noises of a theater, etc. I had already been finding some video clips on YouTube from other concerts to show all 3 kids, but those are all with different sets and are of varying levels of quality.

I don't know how this concert is going to go on May 1. But I do know that I am doing everything in my power to prepare Simon for the experience and I truly hope he enjoys it as much as he possibly can. I'm still prepared to have to take him out of the auditorium for periods of time to recharge a bit, and hope that there is a lobby that we can continue to hear the music (muted). But I knew this when I bought the tickets (which is why I specifically got the tickets on the aisle directly from the theater rather than ordering them online) and am prepared for that eventuality.

So THANK YOU TWO TOMATOES RECORDS, LLC for all of your input and advice!!!!! My children's taste in music will likely change over time, but their mother will NEVER forget all the help you have been, going far above and beyond expectations.


  1. Amazing! I love them too...I can't wait to hear all about the concert.

    (singing) I'm not I'm not.....

  2. Funny you picked that song -- I sing that to Rachel every night as I'm combing the knots out of her hair.....

    (singing)...and you know I love you that way!!!!!!!