Friday, April 21, 2006

The Musicians They Are A-Aging

Interesting email today from long-time TEH friend SG about last night’s Bob Dylan concert in St. Louis.
Hey Dave,

Well, Dylan was Dylan. We had decent seats in the upper mezzanine on our right of the stage second row. Dylan played keyboards and harmonica only. His keyboard was set up angled in such a way that we had a great frontal view of him, but we could hardly hear him playing over the band. He sang some songs well, others not so well. He butchered his really well known songs. He forgot lyrics at times and was incomprehensible at other times. But it was good to see him live…

I pulled the following play list of the show from a website following his current tour:
  1. Maggie's Farm
  2. Lonesome Day Blues
  3. Queen Jane Approximately
  4. ‘Til I Fell In Love With You
  5. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
  6. Make You Feel My Love
  7. Highway 61 Revisited
  8. Positively 4th Street
  9. Honest With Me
  10. Girl Of The North Country
  11. High Water (For Charley Patton)
  12. (encore) Like A Rolling Stone
  13. (encore) All Along The Watchtower
He seemed very unemotional and unconnected with the audience. After Watchtower, he just stood there at the far back of the stage with his band like a statue. Hardly any movement or emotion accepting the standing ovation he was receiving from the crowd. Oh well, at least we can say we saw him live in the same room for 90 minutes.
I can't imagine Dylan without a guitar. He can't (regularly) play guitar anymore because he has arthritis. He's getting older. We all are.

I can't decide if it’s better this way or if musicians should bow out when they start failing, like in professional sports. I remember seeing footage of one of Sinatra's last performances and I just felt sorry for him. He couldn't sing, and if Sinatra can't sing he ain't got nothin'.

This all just serves to reminds me that I was a complete idiot for not seeing Dylan my first semester at SIU Carbondale when he played the Arena in the Fall of 1978. What was I thinking?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Isn't Bob Dylan always incomprehensible?