There I stand, in misty rain in the muddy outfield listening to the Poet Laureate of Rock and Roll. This night’s arrangements are remarkably recognizable, not that it’s important, just…unusual. The band is pure genius. Pure and simple. He’s rearranged his songs so often that even he has lost track. He and the band keep the structures intact to some degree, not that it matters to us. He is who he is ~ our poet; we are who we are ~ his audience; and we are together: with his music. That’s all that matters to either of us. We are hypnotized by the rhythms and the soul; by the art. His music has stood the test of time, as brilliant tonight as it was too many years ago.
Rolling Stone magazine says of him, “For over 40 years, Bob Dylan has remained, along with James Brown, the most influential American musician rock and roll has ever produced and the most important of the ’60s.
“Inscrutable and unpredictable, Dylan has been both deified and denounced for every shift of interest, while whole schools of musicians took up his ideas. His lyrics ~ the first in rock to be seriously regarded as literature ~ became so well known that politicians from Jimmy Carter to Vaclav Havel have cited them as an influence. By personalizing folk songs, Dylan reinvented the singer-songwriter genre; by performing his allusive, poetic songs in his nasal, spontaneous vocal style with an electric band, he enlarged pop’s range and vocabulary while creating a widely imitated sound….”
An icon in our midst with raindrops falling from the sky above.
Then I stand, the very next night, in imitation fog, Floor Section 3, Row 20, listening to the reigning Kings of Teen Pop.
This night’s staging is remarkable and the music catchy and adequate, not that it’s important. The band is rockin’ good…all 11 of them; 4 horns, 2 violins, 3 guitars, a drummer and a keyboard. Add the JoBros themselves, and round it out to …well, 11 musicians on stage (sorry, I couldn’t resist). Not that anyone is keeping track, we are all too busy enjoying the show.
They are who they are ~ Disney’s Boys, and Disney knows how to showcase its heart throb boys. We are who we are ~ teens having a blast. And we are together: with a hell of a terrific show. That’s all that matters to either of us. We are mesmerized by the smoke and the fog, the spray foam and the trampoline, the rotating stage and the lasers, the rising stage and the falling screen-in-the-round,… and the rain that falls from the ceiling.
At first, it is just ordinary rain falling in a circle from the steel above, then when we think it can’t get any better, it becomes Disney-rain falling as hearts and then as the words “Love Bug.” Oh yeah, and music stands at the center of the spectacle. Will this music stand the test of time? Will we be standing in rain in 45 years, heart-shaped or otherwise?
Rolling Stone magazine put them on the cover twice, (Nick reminds us).
A phenomenon in our midst with heart-shaped rain falling from the steel above.
There is a cavern between artists like Dylan and performers like the JoBros. Where along the spectrum will David be allowed to fall?
“My music wasn’t made to take me from one place to another so I can retire early… To me, I don’t have a ‘career.’ … This isn’t my career; this is my life, and it’s still vital to me. … I just want to do whatever it is I do. … Besides, anything you want to do for posterity’s sake, you can just sing into a tape recorder and give it to your mother, you know? … This is all I want to do — it’s all I can do. I mean, you don’t have to be a 19- or 20-year-old to play this stuff. That’s the vanity of that youth-culture ideal. To me that’s never been the thing. I’ve never really aimed myself at any so-called youth culture. I directed it at people who I imagined, maybe falsely so, had the same experiences that I’ve had, who have been through what I’d been through. …If I’ve been about anything, it’s probably that, and to let some people know that it’s possible to do the impossible.” [Dylan From Rolling Stone, July 17, 1986]