Saturday, July 03, 2010

Hot and Haunting

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?

12 comments:

deborah said...

I would love to go and listen to Mariza. The first love of my life was Fado as I went to Portugal when I was 20 and was bowled over.
Whenever I hear Mariza I am spell-bound ... so I would be very happy to commune and cry over her voice with a crowd before I die.
This reminds me of my mother-in-law, she once said to me See Rhodes and die. (which I did, well saw Rhodes).

Lesley said...

Deborah: We were just talking this evening about braving Billi and taking a cheap flight to Porto in August. Hmmmmm.

Betty C. said...

I saw him the concert before in Carcassonne. You might be interested in the review:

http://franceprofonde.blogspot.com/2010/07/while-my-conscience-explodes-bob-dylan.html

You apparently were in a great audience but heat was the price. Being outdoors in Carcassonne for a 21:30 concert meant not suffering from the heat, but a moribund audience may have been the price.

This pretty much completes my list of who I want to see in concert (I've been to a lot) although I think I would like to see Bryan Ferry in his current solo form (I did see him with Roxy Music.)

Lesley said...

Betty: What a pity the audience was so plodding in Carcassonne because the setting sounds absolutely ideal. And you got Blowing in the Wind as a bonus!

blueskyscotland said...

I fulfilled my ambition by seeing Leonard Cohen at Edinburgh Castle last year.It`s hard to believe he`s in his mid 70`s.!
Alex.

Lesley said...

Leonard Cohen! Another one on my list.

nmj said...

I saw Leonard in the mid-90s in San Francisco. It was fabulous. That voice. Just hearing him speak is enough.

When I was on a school trip to Paris our teachers were dead excited cos they discovered Bob Dylan was playing and they took those of us who wanted to go - I was only 14 and not a fan then, but I still kick myself that I didn't take the opportunity.

Betty C. said...

I have wondered about Leonard Cohen too. Isn't he playing France this summer -- or didn't he recently?

meredic said...

LC is ticked off my list but I am envious...

BeefKing said...

I saw Dylan in the states in the early 90s. He was so drunk he literally needed to cling to the mic stand for support. not the best showing, glad yours was better.

Lesley said...

BK: Sound like when we saw the Pogues. Shane MacGowan could hardly stand never mind sing.

Teuchter said...

Bob Dylan's on the list - along with James Taylor and David Bowie - cue reminiscences of teenage years.
Also Supertramp, Earth Wind and Fire (student years) and Paul Weller (child-rearing years)

Isn't it great how a piece of music can take you right back to a specific point in time?