Saturday, July 09, 2005

See that His Grave Is Kept Clean

The black dude working the counter at the lottery-liquor store in Sauget drew us a map, a zig-zagging, curvacious series of lines on a piece of blue scrap paper. Following the cryptic directions, we meandered by the old chemical plants, past the new industrial park into the Illinois farm fields, where the bush league baseball park was located. After Willie Nelson performed as the sun set, Bob Dylan took command of the stage, singing songs from his forty-plus year career to a crowd of young and old. With darkness falling and marijuana smoke wafting through the air, Dylan, on keyboards and harmonica, and his back up band cast a spell on the crowd, the pounding beat moving seamlessly from one American musical genre to another, Dylan's gravel voice spitting out stacatto lines of lyrics. Dylan captured the audience early in the performance with a trance-inducing rendition of Highway 61. By the middle of the set, fully grooved, sweat dripped from his hawk nose. Mr. Zimmerman didn't bother to wipe it off.