Kid puts a sign up for a front-yard piano concert, hundreds show up in the rain (including me)

By Joey


Last week, an 8-year-old boy in Minneapolis put a simple sign in his yard about a piano concert he wanted to put on…

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Dylan worked hard to promote his concert, standing in his front yard to tell any passerby who would listen to come. His neighbor thought it would be fun to get a few of his friends to come surprise Dylan with a bigger crowd and started a Facebook page for the event.

Word quickly spread beyond Thomas’s friends and eventually, a photo of Dylan’s sign found its way onto Reddit. That’s where I found out about it.

Browsing Reddit aimlessly on Friday night, I stumbled across a post at the top of /r/pics that said,

A kid near me put this sign up. Hundreds of people on facebook now plan to attend. We hope to blow his mind.

I clicked on the post to read the comments, hoping for more information about the concert so I could follow up later to see how it went. I was surprised to find that Dylan’s little front yard concert would be happening just minutes from my house.

I had to go.

My wife was with a friend for most of the day Saturday, which left me on my own with my three kids, a 2-year-old and 4-year-old twins. My kids love music and there were reports of free cookies and ice cream anyway, so it seemed like a great idea.

Then the rain started.

A dreary morning turned into a wet afternoon as steady rain hammered Minneapolis. It began to fall several hours before Dylan’s concert and when I showed up 30 minutes before the show was set to begin, there were just ten people in the front yard, umbrellas in hand.

I don’t even know if I own an umbrella. I certainly didn’t bring one. The playground across the street from Dylan’s house, which I’d counted on to entertain my kids if we arrived early, was soaking wet. So, I unbuckled the kids from their car seats and we headed to Dylan’s yard.

After several minutes of standing in the rain making small talk with people we’d never met, a photojournalist from a local TV station handed me his umbrella. A couple with a dog let my kids play with it. Dylan’s family put out chairs for us to sit in. Dylan let my inquisitive 4-year-old come up on the porch and check out his keyboard

And then…

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People started lining the sidewalk.

In a steady rain that occasionally qualified as a downpour, people showed up to listen to an 8-year-old kid play his keyboard…

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Some of them even brought signs…

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At 2:30 sharp, the young man of the hour took the stage — the top step of his front porch…

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The hilarious 3rd-grader entertained the crowd as much with what he said as with the songs he played on his keyboard. The event was an amusing combination of elementary school piano recital, rock concert, and standup comedy routine.

Five minutes into Dylan’s first song, his yard was at capacity and newcomers had to listen from across the street…

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As if the musical entertainment wasn’t enough, Dylan’s 45-minute show even included an intermission in which he and his buddies passed around Oreos and homemade cookies…

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Panoramic photos of people rarely turn out great, but I tried to capture the 180-degree view from where I stood with my kids…

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The rain didn’t let up much throughout the show, but that didn’t stop Dylan from playing or people from showing up…

After the concert, Dylan invited everyone to the park across the street for his neighborhood association’s ice cream social. My kids couldn’t stop talking about the 8-year-old, excitedly pointing him out when they saw him at the park 20 minutes later.

With cookies eaten, ice cream on the way, and the conclusion of the best event any of us had been to in a long time, we all walked away with big smiles on our faces and a renewed appreciation for the power of community…

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(Images via Imgur, @alexinthecity, and me)