Saturday, November 04, 2006

Parade of Dylans | UPDATE

Being a big Bob Dylan fan, I was disappointed that I had missed the first two Dylan WannaBe Contests. So, I was glad when my son agreed to stop by the contest on the way home from one of his friend's birthday parties. We got there a little late but wound up in the front row when I went in the wrong door which put us backstage.

It was kind of intimidating when we poked our heads out of the door next to the stage and saw a few hundred faces staring back at us. Even weirder was the fact that there was a few empty seats in the front row; dead center. So, despite being two of the last people to arrive, we had the best seats in the house (or church to be specific).

We stayed until the intermission which was right around my son's bedtime but while we were there, we caught eight Bob Dylans. Here they are and the song they performed.

"I Threw It All Away" | My son didn't realize this was a lady with a beard and moustache drawn on to look like Dylan. Once I explained to him though, he thought it was very funny. She seemed to be new to playing the guitar so I give her big props for having the courage to get up there.

"Girl From the North Country" | Back-to-Back tunes from Nashville Skyline. Of the Bob Dylans I saw, this guy was one of the Top Two.

"Subterranean Homesick Blues" | I'm not sure if this guy was actually playing the right chords from the song. However, he knew all of the words and had the strumming rhythm down.

"Song to Woody" | An a capella version. Kind of a weird choice. Of the entire Dylan catalog, I never would have thought of "Song to Woody" as a song that would translate into an a capella tune. However, to the lady's credit, she pulled it off. She has a nice voice.

"It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" | Another a cappela Bob Dylan. However, this guy was comedic. He made up a story about how its a little known fact that Dylan released an album of Gregorian chants during his post-crash hiatus. He then proceeded to do a Gregorian chant version of "It's Alright Ma". I thought it was kind of amusing but my son and the rest of the crowd was laughing hysterically.

"He Was a Friend of Mine" | This Bob Dylan dedicated his song to his friend who died in Iraq. Big applause at the end.

"My Back Pages" | Big guy who plays softly.

"Tomorrow Is a Long Time" | Besides being easy on the eyes, she was the other Bob Dylan I'd put in my Top Two. Very pretty version.

The guy on the left provided most of the funny moments of the night. As "Bob's roadie", he would use a flashlight to guide each performer onto the stage. Then he'd attack the sagging mic stand with zeal and duct tape as he asked the Bob Dylan of the moment various questions such as "Still doing those underwear ads?" He was my son's favorite by far. The whole car ride home, he kept talking about how funny he was.

As you may be able to tell from this ridiculously blurry photo, it was a big crowd. Usually, I pack a post like this with a bunch of silly nasty snarky comments. However, I don't really have too much to rip into. The performers were good and nobody took themselves too seriously. And the crowd seemed to be having a great time. For a free event, it was a fun time.

My only disappointment was that I didn't have enough cash on me to get a t-shirt. They had designed a nice shirt for the show. Perhaps, I'll send Patrick an email and see if he has any extras for sale.

UPDATE: The Times Argus has an article about the contest in today's edition. To toot my own horn, the two people who I thought were the best that I saw took first and third. First place went to Ethan Gilbert who sang "Girl From the North Country" and third place went to Anna Beerworth who sand "Tomorrow Is a Long Time". I didn't see the second place winner, Dave Halberg, sing "All I Really Want to Do".


Bob said...

Roadie schtick is always funny!

I'm not much of a Dylan fan, but that looks like it was a riot.

casey said...

I'm so glad you got to see some of this thing. Having attended (and judged) the previous two, I can say it's the most hillarious and harrowing music event around. It damn near killed me last time, which is why I chose to sit this one out.

Uniquely bizarre, and uniquely Vermont — kind of like it's organizer!