So, as part of a birthday weekend extravaganza--which included a camping trip, I'll have you know--I took Mike to his first Bob Dylan concert. I warned him ahead of time that it was likely he wouldn't be able to understand a word Bob Dylan said. As always, I was right. But that's the appeal of Bob Dylan. He's myserious...enigmatic...incomprehensible. He had Merle Haggard and the Strangers open for him. He had the "Beef-It's-What's-For-Dinner" Theme Song play right before he came on stage. He wore what may or may not have been a puffy shirt. (Mike thinks it was just a white scraf slung loosely across his neck, but I thought I detected a hint of cravat-ness there. So I guess the jury's still out on that one.) For those casual fans out there--you know who you are, you who only know a few of the words to"Blowin in the Wind" and who occasionally like to rock out to "Like a Rolling Stone"--I recommend NOT attending a Bob Dylan concert. Not because he isn't fabulous, but because the experience will be puzzling for you. Bob likes to change the melody of all his songs when he sings live. So, the familiar lyrics to "The Times They Are A-Changing" will be burried in a totally different "riff." Couple that with the impossibility of ever being able to understand a word he's saying, and you can imagine the problem. Even I, a die-hard fan, am still not exactly sure what I heard that night. I know for a fact that he sang "She Belongs to Me" and "To Make You Feel My Love." Our highlight was "All Along the Watchtower," which was mercifully done to the normal tune. In all, it was good. He's still "got it."
The best parts of the evening were watching the freaky people come out of the woodwork, and sharing hilarious, "oh-my-goodness-look-at-that-lady's-shoes" kind of looks with Mike.
1. Most people there could be found at some stage in the following series of events: find seat, get thirsty, find beer, find seat, drink beer, need the bathroom, find the bathroom, get back to seat, get thirsty, buy beer, drink beer... and so on. We must have seen the same 30 people walk back and forth with a beer in their hand over a dozen times throughout the evening.
2. The man sitting next to us seemed quite jovial when we first sat down,for he exclaimed, "I don't mind rubbing shoulders with you, big guy" to Mike. As the evening progressed, however, we discovered that he had some serious anger problems and loved to yell "sit down...yeah, YOU!" really loud to anyone who was standing up in the front seats. Every time that happened, we sank down a little lower in our chairs.
3. We were shocked by the amount of country dancing we witnessed.
4. A boy, wearing what can only be described as patched leggings got on the floor to do some serious kickin' break dancing, because the only thing that goes better with Bob Dylan than country swing is eighties hip hop break dancing. Am I right? But back to the leggings...I am sure he made them himself and patched them with all kinds of weird fabric, which included a denim back pocket. The leggings looked like they used to be stretchy, but had long since worn out in some strategic areas. On his feet were white high tops, and he decided to keep it simple with a plain white t shirt and purple neckerchief on top. Really, the leggings needed to speak for themselves. Mike and I never spoke of him, but sat in our seats shaking with silent laughter. We thought that the angry man sitting next to us might yell if we were to make a peep.
5. When the security guards weren't frantically trying to break up the country and break dancing, they were obsessively attempting to keep people from standing up. During the encore, however, "the man" lost control and, in a spirit of true sixties rebellion, some people rushed to the floor and began sitting on each other's shoulders, line dancing, and twirling around. Way to tune in, turn on, and drop out, people! Boo-yah!
We had a great time, and our kids were good for the babysitters. It was hard to leave them
I mean, look at this face
Then again, look at THIS face