Bob Dylan at Prospect Park

We got to Prospect Park at 5:15pm. I had worked earlier in the day, before hopping in the car for the drive to NYC. The line to see Bob Dylan in concert was about 1/4 mile long, less than I had anticipated.

But first, let me backtrack a little. About a month or so ago, a friend of mine mentioned that he had bought tickets to see Bob Dylan in Prospect Park on August 12th. When he told me, I said to him, “Oh cool! Yeah, my sister and I were thinking about going and standing outside, just so we could hear him…” Then a few weeks ago, that same friend asked me if I would like his two tickets! Apparently something came up and he wouldn’t be able to attend the concert, so he wanted us to have the tickets. I of course said yes, and so that brings us to waiting in line at Prospect Park for the 8pm show. It was a pretty relaxed feeling, waiting in line. Everyone chilled, read, some guys in front of us busted out their ipod and speakers and proceeded to blast early Dylan… The weather had been threatening to storm for a while, and when a glimpse of lightning flashed and a clap of thunder sounded overhead, a collective groan went up from the crowd. We needn’t have worried though, the storm passed without more than a few drops of rain falling on us. A lot of people brought blankets and packed picnics, but my sister and I didn’t want to carry a lot. We ate on the way, and I had only a notebook to write my thoughts in, a pen (also neccesary for writing my thoughts), a book, and a sweatshirt. All my sister had was the New York Times and a book. It was kind of nice – no frills, just wait in line (and wait, and wait), finally get in, find a decent spot, and sit in the sparsely grassed dirt (there were reserved seats, but we had lawn tickets, which I actually liked better). I was going to bring my camera, but they weren’t allowing any photographs of the concert to be taken, so I left it behind.

We were sitting peacefully, waiting for the concert to start, until one jerk who was a latecomer decided to stand in front of the fence separating the lawn seats from the reserved chairs. Everyone surrounding me (who had been sitting in their spots for almost two hours) grumbled about it, and I was the first person to get up and ask him to sit down. The man was very confrontational and refused to do so, even though a few other people got up to ask him as well. There’s a jerk in every crowd I tell ya, and unfortunately, there’s also one born (or made, depending on how you look at it) every mintute. After a while I decided to ask him again, trying to reason with him, but I swear to God, he was the most obnoxious man I have ever dealt with (and I’ve dealt with some real mean characters where I work…). It stunk that he dampened the mood of the evening temporarily, but I felt sorry for him. He was an unhappy aging man who, as big of a Dylan fan as he may be, does not get in the least what Dylan’s music is about. But enough about that guy. My blog is about music, and this entry is about Bob Dylan!!!

I’m afraid there’s not much to report though, the concert was not that great. Dylan’s voice is shot (um, someone said he sounded like a demon when he sang “Lay Lady Lay”…) and the back-up band was not particularly hot either. Although I’m glad I got to see the living legend at least once in my life, in some ways I’m happier forgetting how Bob Dylan is now (or at least how he was the other night), and just loving his music for what it once was. The best parts of the concert at Prospect Park were when the band quieted down and Dylan played his harmonica, although that was a rarity. And Dylan playing guitar was completely non-existant. All he did was sit at the keyboard – which you couldn’t even hear – and sing in his shot demonic voice. I just couldn’t get excited by the show. My sister, who is a HUGE fan of his, has read every biography about him, and owns every cd, actually fell asleep momentarily during the show, so that’s saying something right there… It wasn’t all bad however. Toward the end of the night the band picked up a little, and there were a couple songs in there that made me want to dance. Overall, I thought it was a great opportunity, but the experience left something to be desired.

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