Do you recall the moment you knew you were too old to go to a rock concert? I do. It happened one evening in the comfort of my home while watching Lyle Lovett on “Austin City Limits.” When the camera panned the audience, I was shocked to discover that the real audience had been abducted and replaced with their grandparents.

I remember the sinking feeling that I had reached the expiration date of a concert-goer. That was 20 years ago.

Last weekend we went to the Beatles tribute at the State Theatre, hosted by impresario and local music hero Spencer Albee. If you haven’t experienced this two-hour love fest, you must. Mr. Albee and his expandable band nailed every song. I’m still singing “Dear Prudence.”

It was the Sunday show starting at 4 p.m. – a start time that will always attract a more mature audience. But, again, I was confronted by the thought that I no longer belong at a rock concert.

Being seated while you are listening to dance music is just wrong. There is no way around looking like a dork when you are bobbing and weaving next to your teen – or next to anyone, for that matter.

“I’m sorry, I’m old,” you plead. The alternative is to dance in the aisles or head down front.

A few months ago, Tom and I went to a Greg Brown concert at the Chocolate Church in Bath – another sit-down venue.

“Raw” is how most people describe Greg Brown’s voice. I would like to add that he’s a guy in his mid-60s with outdated sunglasses, matching hoop earrings and a bad back.

He’s a guy who exists in a place between giving in to his aging body and fighting to keep it upright – or at least that’s how I judged him from my hard seat.

He wore a camo-print hat flipped backward and an unbuttoned cowboy shirt opened over his 20 extra pounds of gut. When he stood, he hunched slightly.

“Butter” is how I would describe his voice. “Cool” is how I would describe him.

The next night – I wasn’t even sure we were allowed to go out two nights in a row – we saw Patty Griffin at the State.

Ms. Griffin, a 50-year-old waif from Old Town, wore 4-inch heels. She talked about living in Portland and writing songs that no one wanted. She talked about getting back to the pure sound of her voice and her guitar. She talked about leaving behind the slick musical productions of Nashville.

“Divine” is how I would describe her voice. “Inspirational” is how I would describe her.

Last Saturday (are you following me?), we went to the jazz club Blue on Congress Street to see a young band called Oble Varnum, which apparently doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a name.

I discovered them on the Internet while looking for something to do in Portland. Led by a 20-something Mainer named Seth Gallant, the four-piece band took up most of the room in this small sit-down venue.

Oble Varnum describes their sound as “fringe country,” featuring songs like “King of the Road” and a few originals. I loved a song called “Freedom and Unity,” written by Mr. Gallant, but admit that I have a soft spot for all central Maine references (except if they’re related to old friends getting arrested).

One Monday in the fall of 2013 – this is how old people track their fun – we landed at Otto Pizza. As we ordered our food we noticed tables being moved to make room for a trio including a fiddle player, a stand-up bass player and a guitar player. They played Western swing, a la Bob Wills.

With just enough room to dance, I did.

Cool always trumps age when juxtaposed, but the same cool kids who shun their parents’ bobbing and weaving at concerts grow up to give credit to their parents for exposing them to music, art and performances.

“We were a cross between our parents and hippies in a tent,” said Greg Brown.

“Dance like a dork so the rest of us dare,” said I.

Jolene McGowan lives and works in Portland with her husband, daughter and dog and has no plans to leave, ever. She can be contacted at:

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