I walk past Bryant Park every day on my way to work, which means that every Friday I catch a little bit of their summer concert series. So far it's been a fairly small turnout for acts like the Counting Crows, Usher, and Chaka Khan, but today was different.
Today was Miley.
Usually the crowd stretches about halfway across the lawn, with a few scattered people who don't care that much staggered along the walkway outside the lawn. Today the crowd filled the lawn and the walkways and parts of the street bordering the park. You couldn't see anything because of all the signs and balloons being held up, and all the children carried on parents' shoulders – mostly girls, but a fair amount of boys, even teenage ones. All the little girls had on Miley and/or Hannah shirts (except one in a Demi Lovato shirt, which, really, little girl? Did you see Camp Rock? Because it was bad).
The main thing I noticed was that about half the girls were crying. And it wasn't happy crying. Look, five-year-old girls are not emotionally or physically equipped to get up at the crack of dawn, travel from suburbia to midtown Manhattan, and stand in the hot sun for hours, unable to see anything, bored and frustrated and filled with anxious anticipation, all for maybe seven minutes of their hero prancing around stage, barely glimpsed from Mommy's shoulders between signs that say "MILEY MAKES US SMILEY." It's an emotionally overwhelming experience on top of all the physical tsuris. I cried the first time I saw the Backstreet Boys in person, and I was 17. I can't imagine what it would have been like to see my musical idol at age seven. (Although it might not have been that exciting, since Shirley Temple wasn't exactly her iconic self at that point.)
The other thing I noticed was that Miley, when she finally appeared, was wearing a purple plaid shirt, denim short shorts, a white fedora, and black high-heeled ankle boots. Snazzy.
The music? Eh, it was okay.
(Check the performance here, here, and here.)