After forty some odd years, I finally made it to a Dylan concert the other evening. Quite a night to say the least. It had been a long time since I'd been to an outdoor concert. I think the last one was when I took my oldest son, (he was about 14 at the time) and some of his friends to a Hootie and the Blowfish show. He returned the favor by taking me to see Dylan. (I hope he enjoyed seeing Darius as much as I enjoyed seeing Bob.)
A lot has changed since the concert attending days of my youth. For starters, when we walked up to the gate, all of the attendees were being frisked before entering. We were instructed by a guard moving through the crowd to hold the contents of our pockets in our hands as we walked through the gate. As luck would have it, I had my pants on. And since I had my pants on, I also had my pocket knife with me. I wasn't looking forward to creating an incident, and there wasn't time to take the knife back to the car, so I just held it in my closed hand while the crack Homeland Security detail checked my pockets and then waved me on through. I felt all safe and warm. After we found our spot on the lawn, I was pleased to learn that fellow libertarian Jimmie Vaughan
was the opening act. Great job, great blues.
Dylan is a little harder to critique. The man is a legend, and he's one of the mainstays on the sound system in my shop. But in my mind he's mostly a poet, and when I listen to him at home "every one of those words rang true, and glowed like burning coals, pouring off of every page like it was written on my soul". So I was mildly tangled up in blue when the instruments overpowered the vocals.
And I know they are his songs, and he can change the tune and perform them however he likes, but I've listened to Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 at least a 1000 times. Sunday night he was in the third chorus be for I figured out what he was singing. But before the night was over he redeemed himself with a couple of great versions of "I shall be released" and "All along the watchtower". Mixed in with some of his new stuff, and a 2 hour nonstop show, I felt like a kid again, except when I tried to sit down in or get up out of those darn beach chairs!
All in all, a great night and a great concert. I hope I get a chance to see him again before one of us dies. Hopefully in a coffeshop with a few people and an acoustic guitar.
I did make a couple of observations about the way concerts have changed, or remained the same in 40 years.
I noticed that the roadies are a lot older than they used to be, and a lot of the pony tails are gray.
The tie dyed shirts looked suspiciously mass produced.
And I think the no bra look loses some of its appeal on some women when they get close to sixty years old or 350 pounds. Or both.
There's no way I'm paying $40.00 for a T-shirt. I don't care whose picture is on it.
And I'm not sure some of the people at the concert realized we're fighting a war on drugs. Either that or they're on the other side.