“Will you marry me?” pleads a kid who may or may not be old enough to drive.
“I think I’m a little too old,” answers Ministry of Love vocalist Meg Vitale.
“I just turned 15!” he tells her.
So goes an average night for Vitale, singer for a Vegas alt-rock band whose fanbase is, largely, still in high school. “It’s funny, a lot of times they don’t even tell me, they just tell the [other] band members, ‘I’m gonna marry your singer, I love her,’” Vitale laughs
This impromptu Saturday-night show at Area 702 Skatepark—thrown together “like, 17 hours” beforehand (Vitale’s words), after the original outdoor venue, Bunker Skatepark, got rained out—is a testament to the perks, and drawbacks, of all-ages shows. On the upside: Having just toured 30 stops in 30 days, Ministry of Love returned to an enthusiastic welcome from its young fans. Those who turn out to support the six-piece group (despite the rainy weather) have none of the typical bar-scene reserve, one reason the band prefers to play to those below the legal drinking age. “We try to play all-ages as much as possible,” guitarist Patrick Trout says. “When you’re at that age, that excitement level’s still there. You haven’t gotten jaded.”
On the downside: Kids’ pockets aren’t deep enough to provide much financial support to their favorite bands. “The kid throws down $10 [to get in], and he doesn’t even have money to buy a soda, let alone a shirt if he likes you,” Trout says. Reinforcing that point, a waist-high fan approaches and asks to borrow 50 cents for the video-game machine in the corner.
As Ministry of Love begins packing its equipment, Vitale’s former courter approaches, popping the question a second time. “Are you gonna marry me?” he persists.
This time she gives in. “Sure, I’ll marry you.”
“Yes!” he exclaims, not realizing he’s only acquired a spot on her waiting list.