Sunday, April 19, 2015

The NEW music and the OLDER...


Went to my second Bob Dylan concert the other night.

Not a sell-out crowd at the PAC (North Charleston Performing Arts Center) but an older, attentive and appreciative mix of attendees.

It appears Dylan likes to keep the lights dim with lots of shadows.

Going for an intimate, small club feeling in a place that seats about 2,000.

Had the same experience when I stood on the clay court at Family Circle a few years ago. In a drizzling sporadic rain. Moody.

I like to take a few pictures for possible use in my blog. Dim and back-lighted settings pose a real challenge.

But, the music was good and people all around me were singing along.

Multiple signs warned the concert-goers that NO recording devices were allowed, and no flash (well, DUH).

Cameras and cell phones were specifically banned so we knew going in that memories would be all that could be carried away.

And that's a good thing, I guess.

I quickly was reminded that people using cell phones as cameras did not turn off the multiple harsh flashes that are produced when taking an illegal/illogical image.

They were pretty constant throughout the show but even more intrusive were the high-powered flashlights used by the Security people on both sides of the audience. Guilty parties were bathed in a bright spotlight and, supposedly, they then ceased to disobey the rules.


Ah, but what about the music?

Dylan was backed by a tight 5-piece band and they were flawless.

Dressed in a white suit with a thin black stripe on the pant legs, Dylan either stood, feet apart, at the microphone or, after a further dimming of the lights, ambled over to the Baby Grand piano.

I noticed there were two microphones effectively blocking his face from the audience of his fans, so I waited for a moment when I had a quick glimpse to snap a  photo from my $100 seat.

True fans probably accepted his craggy voice and mumbled lyrics.

I keep my Pandora player at home on the Bob Dylan channel so I hear and enjoy a younger singer with subtle nuances as he delivers clever lyrics about protests, lost love and life in general.

Not at this concert.

Sorry, but I was painfully reminded of the late recording by Johnny Cash that come up on Pandora.

A tired, strained and forced remnants of a former glorious voice.

Sad that I missed seeing and hearing Dylan in his prime. That would have been a terrific evening.

This was less than great.

Obnoxious flashlights being shone on audience members and a ragged voice with just traces of yesteryear music.

However, a few nights earlier, I had enjoyed the Dirty Bourbon River Show at the Pour House on Maybank Highway on James Island.

Recent renovation of the lively night spot has added more space for dancing and easier access to the bar!

A new clever projection system now flashes the band's name on twin screens.

It alternates with random images and flashing lights add to the excitement generated by this lively band on a 4-month tour from its home base in New Orleans.

Get their newest album "Important Things Humans Should Know."

Leader Noah Adams has his full beard again and the new singer Sandra Love adds a sparkling, lilting element.

And, right across the street - in the Terrace Theater strip mall -  I enjoyed a Tuesday evening of Blues at How Art Thou music cafe.

Shrimp City Slim (Gary Erwin) was on keys and Eddie Vaan Shaw played the heck out of a borrowed guitar.

A sight behind the bar caught my eye.

"Put a cork in it," is more than just an expression here.

Actually, these champagne corks are used to keep the pouring spouts clean and ready in all of the bottles of booze. Neat.

Gary tells me he is laying down the Blues on Tuesdays at the music cafe.

This cozy neighborhood spot has really grown and evolved in the few years it has been opened.

Started out as a coffee, wine and juice bar a few doors down from the Terrace Theater.

A refreshing stop before or after a movie.

They soon knocked out walls and added seating and great sight lines for the talented entertainment they started bringing in.

Crafts beer and tapas were added to the mix. Oh yeah!

So, Gary on Tuesdays, Oscar Rivers Jazz on Wednesdays and Americana/folk music Thursdays by Mark Yampolsky and 40 Mile Detour.

Entertainment is in the eye of the beholder.

Go and behold!



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