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    Bob DylanA Bob Dylan concert is like seeing the Mona Lisa: I was glad I watched him perform but wished I could have turned around and had a little more fun watching the musical equivalent of Veronese's The Wedding at Cana. I am a Dylan fan, with 10 of his albums. Only one of those releases however, is from after 1976 (the year I was born). So while I wasn't expecting--or hoping--to recognize every song Dylan played in the evening's final performance, I didn't think it'd take hum 45 minutes to play a song with which I was familiar either. Those songs I did recognize (including "Like a Rolling Stone," "Highway 61 Revisited" and "All Along the Watchtower") though were played in brilliant new-to-me arrangements, with Dylan spending the final 11 songs of his 14-song show on the keyboard rather than the guitar. And while I don't begrudge Dylan for not playing a more fan-friendly show (many concertgoers were concertwenters by the middle of his set) a "Masters of War" dedicated to Robert McNamara's still-festering corpse would have been nice. On the way out of Louisville Slugger Field, my concert companion, a rheumatologist who's cut a few music tracks under the moniker Princess Peach Basket, said he'd like to get a copy of the show and give it a few more listens. I agree: even at 68 years old, Dylan's performance was too innovative to process on one listen. Yes, that's a good thing.John MellencampAnd it was not the case with John Mellencamp's set, which oscillated between strong, but not innovative, performances of his greatest hits with some newer material that I hadn't heard previously and don't plan on listening to again. Highlights were
    • "Check It Out," my favorite song of his
    • "Authority Song," which sums up my relationship with The Man and featured a guy in the crowd waving his cane in the air
    • "Little Pink Houses," during which I witnessed a 250-pound woman in jean shorts in the snack line singing along to the "Ain't that America" chorus--amen sister
    I was thankful that one of Mellencamp's hits that he left out was perhaps his most famous single, "Jack and Diane." There's something unbecoming about a grandfather singing about manual stimulation of the genitals.Willie NelsonAs I was still on my front porch drinking Becks for most of Willie's set, I have no choice to concur with The Courier-Journal's Jeffrey Lee Puckett:

    And then there was Willie, country music's ultimate comfort food, whose set offered zero surprises but was still plenty entertaining. Nelson shredded on Trigger, his guitar, all night while cherry-picking his immense catalog for classics such as "Me and Paul," "Bloody Mary Morning" and "The Troublemaker," which, and this is odd, he dedicated to the late Michael Jackson.

    Like a student caught daydreaming by his teacher, I'll just say "I agree" and leave it at that.For more information: Interested in a concert with a more diverse lineup than three old white guys? Check out's special section on the Forecastle Festival.(Photo: Flickr/Akuppa)

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    Zach Everson's picture

    About Zach Everson

    I'm a freelance writer, focusing on travel, food, and A&E. I've contributed to Condé Nast Traveler, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, Air Canada's enRoute, Gawker Media's Gridskipper and Deadspin, USA Today, BlackBook, and Curbed. Previously I was a senior editor at Aol Travel and MapQuest. And, before that, director of content and editorial strategy for I also was the founding editor of Eater Louisville. Washington, DC based. Boston born. Kentucky Colonel.

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