Friends Help Parents Struggle Through Son's Rock Band's First Concert
The Hubert family was mercilessly subjected Friday to the first gig by the band lead by their youngest son, Josh Hubert Jr., but the elder Huberts say what could have been overwhelming shame and despair was offset by the gracious help and support of friends and loved ones.
"Sure, we're all a little hurt by the incident, and we may never quite look at our son the same way again, but through it all, our friends have been very supportive," said Stacy Hubert. "After all, he's still our son, I guess."
The band in question, Smegma Volcano, held its debut concert at the local community center to an audience comprised mostly of friends and family, and none were spared the agony of the experience. Throughout the 45-minute set, which consisted mostly of Ramones covers and puerile rants against authority figures, the government and girls who date jocks, the parents of lead singer and guitarist Josh clung to friends for support as song after song caused them to doubt their success as parents.
"Thank God Brian [Norton] was there to watch his son play the drums in Josh's band," said the senior Hubert, Josh Sr. "He, I could tell, was a little troubled by the whole thing, but his son's performance really wasn't that bad, and was probably the highlight of the whole show. But his support for Stacy and me was critical for the times when Josh realized that he just sang the first song with the microphone turned off, or when they forgot the lyrics to 'I Wanna Be Sedated'."
"It was a harrowing experience to consider that the child you once held in your arms, raised to be a good citizen and hoped to someday see play varsity football could be a spotty, angst-ridden, awkward geek-a-saurus, but Brian kept reminding me that we were all once young and all made mistakes," continued the devastated father. "It really helped me to minimize the feelings I had of kind of wanting to kick my own kid's ass."
Hubert said he will use his clearer head to work on finding tenous excuses to ground his son for the immediate future, in order to prevent him from playing any music anywhere.
The effects of the sorry, albeit earnest performance have reverberated beyond the immediate families of the band members, as evidenced by the stunned reactions of fellow students of Bayview High, Smegma Volcano's homebase.
"I want to kick his ass," said junior Daryl Broadside, left tackle for the Bayview Rockets football team, who appeared to be as affected by the band's performance as the elder Hubert. "I heard that they mentioned me personally in one of their songs, so if I ever see any of them in the halls, especially that punk-ass Josh 'Fuckface' Hubert, they're dead. I hope they got what they wanted from singing that gay song."
As is the case in so many traumatic experiences, those directly affected by the experience tend to have different, and often less severe, reactions than those who are only tangentially connected. Josh Hubert and band members Greg Norton (drums) and Steve Sully (bass) appear to be surprisingly unaffected by the experience, and have even described it as a "good experience" and a "rocking show".
"It's a relief that those at the core of this disastrous, wretched event don't seem harmed, though our hearts still go out to their loved ones who had to listen to that slog," said high school guidance counselor Heidi Johnston. "However, it's common amongst those experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder to intentionally ignore the severity of their feelings, which may explain why Josh and his bandmates have expressed satisfaction at the outcome of their gig, and are even posting a bootleg video of the whole thing on YouTube. I've cautioned all parents involved about what could happen psychologically when the video inevitably gates an aggregate rating of only one star."
Even if they withstand the critique and suicide encouragement of their online peers, Johnston says years from now, the band members may still wake up in the middle of the night screaming when they remember their version of "Last Caress".
"For now, all we can do is to have a support team to buoy those affected by the gig," she said. "With a bit of luck and help from friends and loved ones, the families of the juveniles involved in this tragically comedic event can someday put it behind them."