Bob Dylan

December 5, 2011

I’ve always considered myself a Bob Dylan fan.

I’m not one of these die-hards that you hear talking about how Dylan was the greatest song writer that ever lived and all the “voice of a generation” stuff. I’ve never really cared for all that.

All I know is that the man can write good songs.

Well, not any more, but he could at some point in his life.

A few years ago, I actually had the chance to see Bob Dylan in concert. He was headlining the second night of a two-day music festival in Pittsburgh called the New American Music Union.

Some smaller bands played in the early afternoon, and as the night grew older, the names of the bands were more recognizable. On the first night, Gnarls Barkley and The Roots were the big names.

Night 2 brought one of my favorites, The Raconteurs. Of course, the band before them, Spoon, played way too long, leaving them only about 40 minutes on stage before the big event.

I still hate Spoon for that.

Either way, I knew I was going to see Bob Dylan on stage, which I had assumed at the time was a bit of a finite opportunity.

I mean… Bob’s pushing 70, and he doesn’t look well. I can’t really say that he looks like the Grim Reaper is near his door, because frankly…

Bob looks like the Reaper himself.

Regardless, I was excited to see Bob Dylan play “Like A Rolling Stone” and “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

Honestly, if Bob had come out with a harmonica and a guitar, sat on a wobbly wooden stool and played “Mr. Tambourine Man,” I would have cried and pooped at the same time. Then, having heard my favorite of his songs, I would have left the concert happier than ever before.

So, Bob and his band rolled out and played “Rainy Day Woman No. 12 & 35,” a fitting opener since pretty much everyone there lit up a doobie as soon as Bob stepped foot on stage.

As for me, well… that’s another 500 words.

Following that, Bob played almost two hours of heinously recent material (READ AS: songs that no one cared about). Between each one, the lights dropped, and the only thing the audience could see from the stage was the orange flicker of lighters and embers.

Between. Every. Song.

Between every song, they had to stop and light up again.

But, by the third or fourth song, every audience member was stoned, whether they put bowl to lips or just breathed the thick fog of pot smoke looming low over the murky, humid crowd.

Finally, after the colored stage lights garnered my attention for two hours, Bob played “Like a Rolling Stone.”

However, like every other song, he didn’t face the audience, acted like he was playing a piano and didn’t put a bit of effort into singing.

It honestly left a bad taste in my mouth.

Well… maybe that was just cotton mouth.


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