Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bob Dylan Live and in Concert!

It hadn't rained for months. For the better part of the summer not a drop had fallen, but of course, on the night when I was going to see Bob Dylan live and in concert, outdoors there was forecasts for severe thunderstorms.

"We'll just be prepared," my amazingly reasonable mom reasoned. "We'll bring jackets and umbrellas and we'll be all right,"

"We'll be struck by lightening!" My unbelievable unreasonable Father surmised, "We will die,"

"Shut up both of you!" said me, the daughter who wished that her parents could just relax and be cool.

We drove down to Park City some two hours early, hoping that we could get a good spot. Dad thought that we were leaving too early and nobody would be there, because nobody would want to go to a concert in the rain, but upon arriving we saw that he was obviously wrong.
The line extended through half of the parking lot. And the smattering of people! There were hippies, punks, goths, yuppies, granola's, all manner of people that you could imagine, at every conceivable age all brought together by love of Bob Dylan and his general excellence.

I wished I could have found someone to go with other than my parents. They are yuppies.

We took our place in line and waited, settling down for the hour and half wait before the gates opened. In front of us there was a group of middle aged teachers who had come up from Nevada to see Dylan. They had brought a cooler of booze, and were playing bartender in the parking lot, mixing up margaritas, and martini's in red plastic cups. Behind us was a man who had attended Woodstock. "I feel like a teenager again," he said, "Waiting for a concert in the rain," At that point it was only a light drizzle and the general feeling was optimistic that maybe the storm would pass.

Some people were oblivious to the fact that rain was coming at all, judging form the clothes they chose to wear. Sandals, flip flops, shorts, white pants, mini skirts, bare feet, entire groups of people without a jacket between them. and because I worry for other people when they don't take the time to worry about themselves, I took a few moment to worry for the unprepared.

I was also worried about Bob. The stage was covered but it was supposed to be rather chilly, and he's an old man now. I was worried that he would get cold and not be able to play or sing well for us.

It began to really rain while everyone was looking for seats. The sheets of rain were taken by most as a personal challenge and was answered by a series of scattered "Woo's!" Hail was greeted in much the same way, and the simultaneous thunder and lightening that crackled above our heads just elicited a more unified "Woo!" it was like Mother Nature was opening for Bob Dylan.

The weather was truly torrential as we waited for the show. My parents and I huddled under a tarp and ate pasta salad, and sipped Diet Coke, and I began to be afraid.

I had heard a lot of different things about Bob Dylan in concert: He's boring, he's lost his voice (was it all that good to begin with?) you can't recognize his songs, you can't hear the words.

What if it was terrible? What if I waited in the pouring rain to be dissapointed, was it worth it?

I decided that regardless, I wanted a souvenirs, and sometime during the time that I spent buying t-shirts and posters the rain slowed, and then at 7:28 the rain stopped, and a shock of blue sky began to make it's way over the dusky green mountain tops.

At 7:30 Bob came out. I couldn't hear anything the announcer said because of feedback , but then all of the sudden there he was, walking out of the backstage darkness dressed like a Civil War general, wearing a tidy tan hat decorated with a delicate feather in the band.

I jumped up and down, I cheered, I felt my heart thrill, and I basked in the glow of my fellow Dylan fans. Without saying a word he launched into Rainy Day Woman #12 and 35, and everyone sang along with the chorus.

"Everybody must get stoned!"

and some people did. There was a magnificent aroma that was a mix of Marijuana, booze, nag champa incense (thank you for the heads up Kim!), pine trees, and fresh air. It's how I imagine the 60's smelled.

We weren't as close as I would have like, but I looked through my Dad's binoculars and I could see perfectly that iconic profile and I died a little inside because it was so amazing. Bob and the band rocked harder than anything on any of the albums and the set list was especially wonderful.

Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35
When I Paint My Masterpiece
Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
Not Dark Yet
Don't Thin Twice, It's All Right
Million Miles
Desolation Row
The Levee's Gonna Break
Honest With Me
Simple Twist of Fate
Highway 61 Revisited
Queen Jane Approximately
Thunder on the Mountain
Like a Rolling Stone

I squealed and cheered. Everyone was dancing and singing along. It sounds corny, but you could really feel the love all around. There were so many great moments. When Bob Dylan wandered over and quietly selected a harmonica, the frequent wry smiles towards the audience, and when he came out to play "Like a Rolling Stone" for the encore, and everyone sang along, and it was awesome because I saw Bob Dylan perform "Like A Rolling Stone" live.

It was a great great concert. I know I sound like a gushing school-girl, but that's how I feel. It was the coolest thing that has ever happened to me, and I wish that I could run away from my current life and follow Bob Dylan and his band around for the next few months. There aren't enough positive adjectives. Love! Love! Love!


Roving Gambler said...

Hi Jenna,
Nice review. I have followed Bob around a couple of times in Europe and I can highly recommend it. I am now in Germany with a lady I met at a Dylan show here last year. It has changed my life. I am glad you got to go, stuck it out through the rain and had a great time. Gotta hand it to Bob. Bill

Lilly said...

Hi Jenna,

Your review mirrors many of my same feelings seeing Mr. Dylan in concert the past three years, last night in Santa Monica, and tonight I will see him in Temecula. I was right up front in Santa Monica..and still used my binoculars to scan the subtle ..and not so subtle...body expressions of Bob and his Band. I also have the very strong desire to pack up and go wherever he goes..a tremendous attraction and appreciation. But I can't! Only because I couldn't afford it, however. (I can play his music everyday..and I do).
Thank you! Lilly