Last Tuesday I got to tick an item off my "things to do before I die" list. I saw Bob Dylan in concert.
I was exceptionally excited but there were several considerations dampening my enthusisam. First the heatwave: it was absolutely boiling hot outside and a bit like a steamy pit of writhing animals inside the Patinoire de Mérideck, especially in the standing area where we were. (Aside - remember that post about Charles Edward Stuart's daughter's lover the Archbishop of Bordeaux? Well, one of his names was Mériadeck). Then there was the fact that Z was still running a high temperature and that I'd had to take him to see the doctor at the end of the afternoon - but luckily we had enlisted the services of a responsible adult babysitter (in other words, one of our televisionless friends was interested in coming round to our house to watch a match). Finally, there was the fact that Bob Dylan's recent concerts haven't really had a great press. He is accused of perfunctory performances and a lack of engagement with his audience.
I needn't have feared - it was everything I had hoped for. It was loud and raw; a reminder of the power of his lyrics (although the acoustics at the Patinoire are appalling), and a chance to commune (honestly, it was a quasi-spiritual experience) with the voice. That voice. And all of its associations.
If you're a Dylan fan, you might be interested in the set list. My favourites were Leopard-skin Pill-box Hat, Just Like a Woman and Like a Rolling Stone.
Who do you want to see in concert before you (or they) die?