Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mr Dylan and Mr White, together for the first time outside of Petstarr's twisted fantasies

Long time BC readers and friends will know that I have what could be called a rather unhealthy obssession with Bob Dylan (folk and rock music superstar of four decades) and Jack White (of the White Stripes, Raconteurs, Saboteurs, and my fantasies). Others can catch up on my sad musings on both men here and here.

That being said, scoring a ticket to see Bob Dylan and The Raconteurs live, TOGETHER, in Boston on Saturday, November 11 was akin to my personal nirvana. It could only have been bettered if the concert promoters had decided to reschedule the event in my hotel room, and limit the number of tickets to one.

Oh. Yeah.

Given my level of excitement approaching the concert date, I was all prepared for one of the following to occur:

1. For my flight into Boston to be cancelled.
2. For the concert to be cancelled.
3. For my ticket to be lost/counterfeit/accidentally eaten.
4. For me to collapse of heart failure in one of the few places in America without a defribulator on hand.

Fortunately, none of these things happened and yes, dear reader, I spent a glorious 2.5 hours in some of the finest musical company a girl could ask for, high as a kite on rock-god lust and pure rock and roll joy.

At first I didn't think such happiness would be possible, given that my ticket had placed me next to the two fattest Dylan fans in the entire country, who were wedged into their (by comparison) tiny seats like two giant marshmallows. "Sod this" thought I, and began devising ways of sneaking into the centre section where people were allowed to stand right at the front of the stage.

Unfortunately the security nazis manning each of my potential escape portals were far too diligent and purposeful to let me through, so I had to settle for standing at the front of my section, about 20 metres from the stage.

Apparently America doesn't know who The Raconteurs are yet (that's The Saboteurs for us Aussies), as most of the audience remained seated for their blistering half hour opening set. Seated, that is, apart from the mingling masses going back and forth from the kiosk with drinks, hotdogs and popcorn. Um, HELLO? THIS IS A ROCK CONCERT, NOT A BASEBALL GAME. WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU EATING A HOT DOG?

This of course meant that all of about 10 people lucky enough to be seated in the centre section were bothering to take advantage of the front-of-stage privilege, which allowed anyone to stand and cheer and dance about six metres away from the band. THAT'S ONLY SIX METRES OF SEPARATION FROM JACK WHITE, LADIES AND GENTLEMAN. AND PEOPLE REMAINED SEATED. 'Flabbergasted' is probably a good word to describe my mood at this point. 'Pissed off' is also an apt descriptor. While Jack and his band were ripping Store Bought Bones to shreds, slowing it down to a funky blues jam and then tearing it up with an out of control guitar solo and tooth-shattering organ riffs, most of the audience were chowing down on nachos and looking impatiently at their watches. One kid was even playing his PSP. Yes, a KID. AND he had a better seat than me. If I had been able to take my eyes off of Jack for half a second I would have slapped him, but as it was I was otherwise occupied.

Simply put, The Raconteurs rocked my fucking world. They basically did every song off Broken Boy Soldiers (well, what else are they going to do?) as well as a bit of Bowie and even did a thrashed out version of Nancy Sinatra's Bang Bang. I only wish I could have beaten those security guard nazis and gotten closer to the stage - I doubt I'll ever have another chance to see the band that close with only 10 people to fight for standing room.

And then...the lights dimmed, some portentous voice said "MR BOB DYLAN", the audience roared, and THE MAN walked out. THE man. The man resposible for me losing my mind almost completely from the age of 15 onwards whenever I hear the opening bars to Don't Think Twice It's Alright or Ballad of a Thin Man. Surrounded by his five band members, all dressed in identical suits, it was hard at first to tell which one even WAS Dylan, but soon my eyes adjusted and I saw he was in black, while the others were in grey. Seated at the organ, he launched into Maggie's Farm and it was away. She Belongs To Me was next, and then my absolute favourite, Don't Think Twice. Reader, I cried. I lost it. I'm not ashamed to admit it.

The set was full of oldies, even The Ballad of Hollis Brown and It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding, You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine and Tangled Up in Blue and Highway 61. Oh. My. God. Forget the defribulators, I can happily die right here, right now.

No chatter, no banter, just music. And then it was all over. Except...the lights stayed down, the audience kept cheering, an encore was imminent. Most importantly, however - the security nazi was looking the other way. And so, dear reader, I did what all true rock chicks should do at least once in their gig-going career - the bolt. Past the nazis, past the fatties, into the expensive seats and through to the front. Another nazi almost stopped me but I ducked and weaved and OH MY GOD I'M SIX METRES AWAY FROM DYLAN. BOB DYLAN. THAT'S HIM RIGHT THERE.

And he played Like A Rolling Stone. And All Along the Watchtower. I couldn't have been happier.


  1. wow... i did not think anyone else had even heard 'Ballad of a Thin Man' ... let alone blissed out when it was played... if you like that song you should have a listen to 'Lost in the Flood' by Mr Springsteen

  2. sounds brilliant.

    re the audience - i remember seeing elvis costello in canberra at some stuffy (and i don't mean unventilated) venue in 2002, and almost wetting myself with excitement while all around me daft canberrans sat and clapped politely. some people even got up and left, as if elvis was behind a movie screen and couldn't see them. at the end, a few of us hardcore fans jumped the barrier and he treated us to some old classics and got the respect he deserved.

  3. Nachos? Hotdogs? What about the drugs and booze?

  4. Sounds like you were trying to get to heaven before they close(d) the door! Honestly, being in The Man's presence is akin to life's best: the most magical sunset, the most mellow red wine, the softest kiss, the cutest puppy, the fastest car, the most perfect flower...
    Miss you kid x

  5. Ok, ok, I am sufficiently jealous! Nice work on the bolt too. I would've done the same if only to be four metres away from Meg's jugs. Oh well, guess I'll have to settle for that broken drum stick of hers I scored at the Big Day Out.

  6. Don't be flippant about that drumstick I scored for you Mr Duke - there was a lot of ugly wrestling with an ugly teen to get you that memento while you were happily standing up the back.

    Petstarr, why you got a problem with hot dogs at a rock show? It was all that was available to me at U2 on Sunday night and it did the trick while I awaited those Dublin demigods to again appear before me.

    PS Don't worry about the teary bit. I've also experienced that feeling this week watching my favourite band of all time - TWICE!