Bostonista Loves: Kid Rock

There’s nothing that makes us feel the icy grip of old age like seeing a bunch of musicians half our age playing the Middle East. And we’re still on the sunny side of 30.

This past Saturday, we went to the Tribute to Corporate Rock show upstairs at the Middle East to watch the 6- to 17-year-old students who attend Paul Green’s School of Rock in Watertown play the music of rock gods. (For anyone who lacks the vocab, “corporate rock” means anthem rock—the slick singles by bands we all know and love and can get for just $9.99 from late-night TV infomercials: Journey, Foreigner, Styx, Queen…) Fifteen kids play through fifteen songs with rotating lineups.

This is serious stuff: Each Paul Green student takes one 45-minute private lesson per week with an instructor (most are Berklee-affiliated), but the kids who performed practiced an additional three hours per week for 16 weeks in preparation for the show.

All that practice must have paid off, because these kids are consummate musicians. They all manhandle their axes with a swagger we possess only while singing in the privacy of the shower. But come on, weren’t there any pre-show jitters? “Oh, I was [nervous],” says 10-year-old vocalist and keyboard player Elijah Berk-Silverman, “I just don’t show it. I love getting up there and showing people what you can do.”

Well, okay then. Similarly impressive displays of confidence were all around.

We can honestly say we’ve never been as jealous of a 14-year-old girl as we were when we saw Maisie Kaiser rip into the lead vocals of Heart’s “Barracuda.” Asked what it’s like to be the only female here today onstage with a bunch of dudes, she says, “I like it. I’ve always been friends with a lot of guys.” (Uh, Kaiser is our idol: What kind of 9th grader is a sick bass player/singer and totally comfortable hanging out with a bunch of boys?)

And then there was 13-year-old singer and keyboardist Chris Dagostino, a first-time performer. Despite a case of nerves, he delivered, exhibiting a sweet set of pipes, an equally sweet Led Zeppelin t-shirt, and an even sweeter attitude: “I love learning to cooperate with people…it really will help me if I want to be in a band someday,” he says.

We can’t tell you how much we wish we could go back in time and beg our parents to please, please, PLEASE let us go to school to learn how to rock. But since the past has passed, we will just have to settle for another round of Guitar Hero…and the next School of Rock concert.

The students’ next performance is a Beatles tribute Feb. 28 and March 1. For more info, visit

(Paul Green School of Rock, 120 Elm St., Watertown, 617-923-3434,