Monday, August 4, 2008

Dolly Parton At the Greek Theatre

Even though my mother fiercely denies it, I fully blame her for my country music addiction. She was born in Texas, after all!
I honestly think my mother is just paranoid, because unlike her, I tend to fiercely obsess when I get involved in something, and if I fully embrace her country roots I might play that music all the time, and then I might drive her to full annoyance and hatred of all things country, much like what I did to her Abba love. Apparently she can no longer even tolerate the opening strains to 'Fernando' without bursting into hives.

Fight it as she must, she can never deny her love for Dolly Parton. So when the opportunity came up to buy tickets to see the legendary boobtacular legend at the Greek Theatre, Mom could hardly say no to the opportunity to see a living legend. Even if she had to risk me over playing Dolly to within an inch of her life afterwards.

At the Theatre, the crowd was buzzing, and boy, what a crowd! It was the most eclectic bunch I've ever seen at a country concert. I remember going with my aunt a few years back to see Lee Ann Womack, and we were literally the only people in the room without gray hair. And afterwards, as we were leaving, we heard a little old lady complaining to a security guard that the music was 'JUST TOO LOUD!'. At the concert. Right. Not so much a problem with this crowd. There were the cowboys, and the cowgirls, and the dapper men and woman. And then there were the kids (who cooed 'Aunt Dolly' thanks to her Hannah Montana appearances), and the gay couples (who shrieked with laughter when she mentioned all the men in dresses and sighed, 'It is LA after all!'), and the rabid fans who would not stop screaming 'Dolly For President!' 'We Love you Dolly!' 'You're so BEAUTIFUL, DOLLY!'

Quite a mix, and it made for quite an awesome and receptive crowd when, unexpectedly on time and without an opening act, Miss Parton herself came out and started the concert with a snappy 'Two Doors Down', then went straight into 'Why You Come In Here'. The evening never slowed down. What's great about Dolly is that she is a natural born comedianne and storyteller, and so the laughter never stopped, and the great music just kept coming. Her boobs were of course big points of reference, as well as her smoky mountain roots, but it was self-aware and insightful enough to create just a living texture of the woman on stage.

A lot of her numbers came from her new album, Backwoods Barbie (definately worth getting, in my opinion), but she was unafraid to play the classics, and she played them with ablomb. My absolute favorite number, however, just after her 'Coat of Many Colors' rendition, was when she decided to 'rock out'. Her words, not mine. Apparently, she heard the Fine Young Cannibals song 'She Drives Me Crazy' and decided, "I could really mess that up."
And so she did. With an electric guitar and a huge house band and that great voice of hers. And of course, she killed it.

Why wouldn't she? She's Dolly.

Check out her cover version from a recent concert below:

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