Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Well, close, but no cigar.

I had all the pictures from the Tennessee/Missouri leg of the road trip done and almost in the can this morning. I was gonna get them resized and load them onto my thumb drive so I could post them from the library here in Saba. But the resizer was still chuggin' along when I had to get up and go to work this morning. So, I'll probably start posting stuff tomorrow morning. Maybe tonight. I still haven't worked on all the shots from Kentucky and the Air Force Museum. They're all dark, so it's gonna take FOREVER. I'll probably just pick the best shots and do them. Maybe by this weekend I'll have everything done.

Anyway, yesterday turned out to be pretty busy. I drove out here to Saba to teach my noon class. About mid way through one of the guards, John Hoenow, who's become a good friend in the last year, told me about a concert that was set to happen later that day in Round Rock, about 45 minutes from my home. Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Bob Dylan, all at the Dell Diamond, a minor league baseball field in Round Rock that was built by the local computer billionaire. He told me about it and then printed off a page from the web site telling me more details. he wanted to go, along with several others there at the jail, but they all had to work.

John sparked the idea in me, telling me that the show still wasn't sold out. By the time I was leaving I'd decided to see if Denise wanted to go. Otherwise I was gonna go without her. As I walked out the door, Hoenow said "Now if you go, you have to bring back two t-shirts"... one for him and one for another lady there who wanted to go but couldn't. I asked him what size, and he said "Extra large!" I knew from the big grin on his face that he was just shittin' me, but I decided then that if I did get to go I'd have to pay him back for tellin' me about the whole thing by investing in some shirts. No big deal. It's only money.

I told Denise about it over the phone, and for a brief time I was gonna go by myself because there was no way she could get out of work in time. The show started at 5:30. Well, I got home at about 4Pm and checked the web site for the Diamond and found out that the real show didn't start till 6PM. It was gonna be a gamble on who started the show. We'd end up missing something, but we'd still end up seeing at least two of the three headlining acts.

I changed into my concert attire... shorts, Teva sandals and recently purchased souvenir t-shirt from Beale Street, and used the time waiting for Denise to get home to work on pictures. By the time she got home it was almost 6PM. We sped down 195 to where it connects to I-35 and were within' spitting distance of the Diamond in no time. As we drove up, having to park WAY back in the field west of the Diamond, we could hear Willie finishing his set. By the time we got our tickets (mine from a scalper for $50 and Denise from the window for $63), or beers and were down on the lawn in front of the stage, John Mellencamp was coming on and the show commenced.

I have to admit, I wasn't really interested in seein' the old "Cougar". I like most of his music, but I was really bummed that we'd missed Willie. I've seen him before, in a small little honky tonk dive in Temple, so it wasn't THAT much of a tragedy that we missed him. But I would have traded up in a heart beat. As it turned out though, Mellencamp put on one hell of a good show. I was diggin' one tune after another, but Denise was really lovin' it. She's a huge fan of his. Which is why she was really pissed when his show ended without them playing Jack and Diane. She looked up at me with a scowl as the roadies began to disassemble their gear and all I could do was shrug my shoulders and plead my own innocence. "Honey, I have NO control over this thing. Damn!"

Anyway, by the time the sun was goin' down, the lights were turned off and Bob Dylan's band took the stage. There was a huge roar as he walked up, his white hat giving away his identity among the other band members. They went right into Everybody Must Get Stoned, and I started to laugh as I realized that nothing Dylan said was in any way legible. It was all the stories I'd ever heard about him coming true. A few of the younger people around us were saying that their parents were huge Dylan fans, but they just didn't get it.

I think that's why it was all so funny to me. I'd look at them (and Denise too) and see them smiling and saying "What the hell is he saying?" Or they'd say "I just don't get it," and I'd bend back over with a huge belly laugh. Meanwhile, the rest of us are singing the lyrics to the song along with the music, keeping better time than Dylan. It was... it was a magical evening. I don't think I've had as much fun at a gig in a long time.

About half way through Dylan's set a guy standing next to me, dreadlocks bundled back in a bandanna, handed Denise and I a cold beer and smiled. It was like a big family reunion. Denise looked up at me and told me to never say anything in future about her accent (referring to Dylan's illegibility, and my jokes about how she should "speak English") She said it'd be nice to have subtitles scrolling across the screen so we could know what the hell he was saying. It was all hilarious. In the end, after playing lots of new stuff from his most recent CD, they finished with Like a Rolling Stone and All Along The Watchtower, which blew everyone away.

A few tunes into the set, Charlie Sexton came up on stage and played the rest of the evening with Dylan's band. he lives in Austin and apparently he's been playing with Dylan ever since he was about 12. It was cool to see him up there. At the same time, there was some hippie kid, and I do mean kid, doing a wild hippie dance just in front and to our left. He looked to be about ten. As he jumped and spun around, his below-the-shoulder length hair spinning and his arms waving, I joked to Denise that he looked like some wild feral child who'd been raised by wolves. It was all wonderful. A wild mixture of people and music.

In the end, despite the illegibility of most of the lyrics, Dylan's music was a wonderful groove. I haven't danced and boogied that much in ages. I wanted more. Maybe to hear something like Forever Young, but it wasn't to be. the lights went up and I took Denise up so she could watch me buy t-shirts. I got myself a Dylan, Denise a Mellencamp, and then got three more for the folks at work. When I came in there today they all got very excited and I had to retell the whole story for them. Of course, I didn't make them pay me for the shirts. I was just grateful that they'd told me about the concert. That was enough. I was paying them back. maybe next time we'll all get to go together. On the walk to the car I saw about five of the kids from my class in Florence. It was hilarious to see them there. We stopped at a McDonald's for dinner on the way home and were in bed by 1:30. It was a long, good day.

Oh, and you might be wondering, why no pictures? Well, I'd never been to the Diamond before and everything i read said NO CAMERAS! So, when i saw how far out in the field I'd had to park, and how far I'd have to walk back to put the camera away if they really wouldn't let me in with it, I decided to leave it in the car. Of course, they didn't check pockets alt all, and with the daylight shining till 8;30, I could have gotten some good shots. We were really close too. But, what the hell. I've got enough friggin' vacation pictures to deal with now.

I took a few with my phone, but those are all a waste of time. Thank goodness for Youtube. Dig this. If you turned the camera around and look at the stage from the right you'd a been standing on my toes.

Uh, what the hell did he say? I dunno, but I don't care. I loved it. Here's the one I wanted to hear last night, but it wasn't to be. I hope you like it. Cheers!


BRUNO said...

And it doesn't help a damned-bit to attempt lip-reading Dylan, either---he STILL mumbles it! Must be his own private language, or somethin'---his own little Enigma, decipherable only with at least ONE joint...!!!

PRH....... said...

Dylan sings like he just tossed down a couple of Razor Blades....Willie is good, Mellonhead is OK if he shuts the Hell up and signs, and keeps his assclown political views out of the act.

But hey, it's all good, and you got to see 3 ledgends.

Suldog said...

Way cool concert to catch! I'm kind of surprised that Mellencamp didn't open, with Willie second. Maybe Willie wanted the first slot so he could have an early evening?

GUYK said...

Hey, how about putting Port Lavaca on your schedule for the first weekend in October. Sweetthing and I plan to be in an RV park there for a few days visiting to see ya