Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bob Dylan and Imogen Heap

This past weekend I went to Rock and Roots, a festival put on by Timbre, the same group that had me play shows in late January. It was a pretty fabulous concert. The two performers I most wanted to see were Bob Dylan and Imogen Heap.

Bob Dylan played all his well-known songs and had a fabulous band. Seeing him at this age made me wish I had seen him when he was younger - he could barely sing, and his speaking voice was actually more comprehensible. When he spoke verses instead of trying to sing them, I could here the words and tell which song he was singing. And then I could sing along. Fortunately his backing band really did support him (such as when he coudn't quite play that guitar solo). He just went from one song to the next - no chitchat, no interaction.

Imogen Heap, on the other hand, was much more interactive. You could tell she was working the crowd and we all loved it. From the beginning she made it clear that we were part of the show, not just spectators but people who were there because we liked her music, and she respected that. And she talked to us as such.

In a way, you could say that these two performers represented different generations. Bob Dylan more an older generation for whom there was a pretty clear divide between the performer and the audience, and Imogen Heap the younger generation which acknowledges the similarities between performer and audience. But maybe good performers have always been the latter - maybe Bob Dylan was more like that 20 years ago. I wish I had seen him then.

Here's some video of the shows:

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