Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Willie, John & Bob play Corpus

(Editor's note: our some-time correspondent and always-time friend Mike went down to Corpus Christi yesterday to see Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Bob Dylan play at the local ballpark. Mike's supposed to do some Zebco fishin' off a pier today, but he filed this concert report beforehand at our request, so here it is ...)

Willie - good, predictable set. He looked very well and tan and had large biceps for a 76-year-old man. He threw gimme hats to the crowd like Elvis threw scarves. E looked a lot more stoned though, which is kind of ironic, if you think about it. Three Kristofferson songs. High point: One for Waylon - Good-Hearted Woman.

Mellencamp - very good. Very rock with an intense, wildass woman on violin. (JM called it a violin not a fiddle, so I will too.) Crowd freaks at how good he is. I knew he was good. I'd seen him with Fogerty years ago at the Summit, where he encored with a medley containing Fortunate Son and Papa's Got a Brand New Bag. Nothing that righteously weird this night but he did do Cherry Bomb acapella. By shows end, he had won over a contingent of old-school stoned bikers in my section. In retrospect, that was probably a good thing. High point: Out-Bobbing Bob with the lyric change - "my wife was 13 when I wrote this song and that's small town enough for me ..."

Bob - other-worldly. In strangely good voice most of the night. Opened with guitar on Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat and unrecognizable, but cool It Ain't Me Babe. Bob wears an upgraded cowboy outfit, losing the tiny hat. Bob switches to keyboard, plays more harmonica than usual. Bob even grins occasionally and dances some, in a Bob sort of way. The lighting is trippy. The Oscar is nearby too. Something kicks in with the cycle gang during If You Ever Go to Houston. Howling and erratic dancing ensues. Brief fear of a geriatric Altamont sweeps over me. But they seem happy and I see no pool sticks, so this passes. Unrecognizable It's All Right, Ma kicks butt as does very recognizable Highway 61. Bob encores Like a Rolling Stone, Jolene and Watchtower. High point: Delivering the line "They say the whiskey will kill you, but I don't believe it wiiiilllll." Followed by a grin and a wave to the fiddle player to back off and listen to some harmonica.

Thanks, Mike

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