We saw Bob Dylan last night. For the third time in ten years. He was amazing!
Caveat, though. Josh and I are Dylan fiends. I mean, this is how we sounded after the show:
Me (sweaty, flush-faced, happy happy): He is adorable! Oh my god, he’s so cute! Why is he so cute? Why?!
Josh (flush-faced, happy happy, maybe not sweaty): Yeah, he’s pretty cute. He’s the cutest old guy in the world.
Then I talked about all of the adorable mannerisms and moves he displayed throughout the show. And we went home and googled things pertinent to our thoughts about how cute and happy Bob Dylan was at the show until we went to sleep.
Josh was like “Look at me! I can rock two keys on this keyboard and kick my leg to the side!’
And I kept going on and on about his boots and where did he get them and how this was by far the best show because we could see his face the whole time and he was happy. The last time we went, we were technically in the front row, but the stage was very high and he was dirgelike and grumpy. He threw a harmonica at one of the stagehand people. This time, we were in the second row, right next to the stage and he was joyful and had moves. He like, bent back with the microphone and sang low. He actually sang some beautiful parts. The secret Dylan voice, like from Nashville Skyline. The one where he is singing.
“What does Dylan do all day?”
“He sleeps? He plays a lot of shows.”
Josh showed me this article.
Bob Dylan is seventy years old. He is on a neverending tour and he can kick your ass. He is not a has-been and he is not just marching out old material to amuse people. He is an almost mystical presence… he reinterprets his songs so that you are not just swaying there, singing along, eating nachos, getting nostalgic. You have to watch him. Everything is different every time. I felt so incredibly blessed to be where I was. I could see the expressions on his face and the kick he was getting out of making his voice echo on “Ballad of a Thin Man”. He delivers each line like a Shakespearean actor. He flourishes his hands. If he changes a lyric, he looks at us… did you get that? I’m laughing, are you?
So I’m watching this clip in the kitchen and it is very much like what Bob looked like last night and I go “look, Jonah! It’s Bob Dylan! That’s the show we were at the other night, isn’t he adorable?”
“Really?” He perfectly inflects. “Adorable?”
“Well, he’s seventy years old.”
“I wish he were fifty-three.”
I know Bob Dylan’s “voice is blown”. “Oh god, his voice is blown. It’s just blown.” I don’t care. Young people can not sing a song like “Forgetful Heart” the way he has this year. I don’t get all of these fair weather Dylan fans. I mean, we all can listen to “Desolation Row” over and over again in our twenties, but we are getting on, too. I can’t fathom how you could hear the songs “Standing in the Doorway”, “Summer Days” or the whole album of “Modern Times” and not be impressed.
Plus, you know, this totally adorable video: