Bob Dylan: “Glad to see you’re still alive you’re looking like a saint”.
The Bob Dylan concert was everything I wanted it to be. I mean I got everything I wanted to get out of that night but what I thought I wanted him to do wasn’t what he did.
There was no guitar and for the few minutes he stood up it looked like he would fall down. He spent almost the entire time sitting at the piano. I was glad I bought the least expensive seats because even if you had the most expensive seats you still would not have been able to see him under his fedora hat looking down at the keyboard.
I realize this doesn’t sound exciting or powerful. What was exciting and powerful about that night was that this man is 81 and still writing poetry and still singing it loud and strong and raspy. I felt like it was an honor just to be in the room with him. I felt like it was an honor that he didn’t give a flying fuck about what any of us wanted him to sing. Instead he was the example he always has been of doing exactly what he wants to do. What he wanted was to sing his last album. Will it be his very last album? How long can this guy go on? This timeless man sings his “Rough and Rowdy” album with a picture that looks like it’s from the early 1960s of people dancing. Tight dresses showing tight asses.
Before the concert there was a guy outside selling a book he printed of the lyrics. Seemed ridiculous. After the concert I wish I had bought it. I had already bought four of my favorite songs from the new album. I had been listening to them over and over and over again. Some of them it seems are about dying or are singing about thinking about dying.
We went especially wild after some songs and he said, “Why thank you very much” which is the only time he said anything. He said it in an Appalachian gentlemanly way that seemed precious. The evening was in the Fox Theatre which is the most beautiful theater I’ve ever been in. We bought beers in the theater before he went on and took them to our seats. Loved that. We could have beers but we couldn’t have our phones. Loved that. Because I didn’t have a phone I had a hard time finding my concert buddy whose ticket I had. I wondered how we did things in the past.
The audience screamed with wild abandon the few moments he played the harmonica. Who else plays the harmonica? In thinking about the concert before I went I thought he probably will not play the harmonica because I’m guessing that takes more breath than to sing but he did play it and we went wild.
In the middle of the concert he introduced his three guitarists, one keyboarder and the drummer. After he played all the songs on the album, he left the stage with the introduced guys. We clapped & shouted & clapped. The audience of all ages stood up and cheered. However it was clear that this guy was not gonna get back on stage; this guy that only does what he wants to do. This 81 year old guy who plays night after night in different cities close to each other in small venues: Oakland, San Jose, Sunnyvale. And then off to LA. No encore here. Just as well with me. I am satisfied.