Old Guy Coachella Is a 'Desert Trip' for Stumbling Greats
These ancient icons still want to rock your world, for a price.
In a few weeks, I’m going to see Bob Dylan live. I’ve seen him many times. This time, like all the others, I don’t know what to expect. Sometimes he’s great, and others, well, he’s experimenting with new arrangements and lineups. This time he’s touring for his latest moderately good jazz album Fallen Angels. His voice on these tracks sounds like what I call Dying Bob Dylan.
Yes, I know this is mean and morbid, but Dylan will be 75 in a few weeks. Still, despite his vocal ups and downs and that one county fair show he did where he wore a ruffled pirate-like shirt and looked more like Keith Richards or Johnny Depp, he's still my favorite.
I didn’t hesitate to buy tickets. Though I’m not exactly in love with the new album, it’s Bob. I respect and love him. I’ll pay to see his show. Even if it’s bad. To me, it’s still worth it.
I feel this way about a lot of aged artists I’ve seen over the past ten years. I always try to see my favorites, or the greats, or really, the guys who aren’t going to be around forever. But aside from the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney, the rest of them seem to teeter back and forth between an amazing show and a pretty mediocre show. Neil Young, Roger Waters, the Who, and Bob Dylan have all given me the highest of highs and lowest of lows—sometimes all in one show.
So will I buy tickets to the latest mega show with all the old guys that the Indio Polo Fields is calling Desert Trip?
I don’t know.
First, it’s really expensive. It’s 399 bucks for the three-day event.
It falls in the most desirable time for the Coachella Valley, on October 7 through 9. I can’t help but think, since the concert takes place in October, that these old guys aren’t down with insanely hot weather (because they are old and refuse to be uncomfortable at any time). But, hey, relatively cool temperatures are a big plus for me too.
Some idiots are even comparing this to Woodstock.
The crowd might end up being just a whole bunch of rich, white, old people stumbling around. Exactly what I imagine will be happening on the stage too.
(I just saw Bruce Springsteen in Oakland. Not only was I one of the youngest white girls among a sea of white patrons, but it felt like one big father-daughter dance.)
It seems everyone is freaking out that Desert Trip is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the most famous rockstars on earth play together for a weekend. Some idiots are even comparing this to Woodstock. But if I’m paying for quality, it might not be worth the money.
It feels like one last hurrah, one good one for the good old boys, to make some extra cash and play the hits. For that, well, that sounds kinda fun. Even if a squeaky Neil Young only gets the oldies in the audience on their feet for “Rockin’ In the Free World,” or we all share a joint when Bob Dylan stumbles through “Hurricane.”
Perhaps adhering to the promise of the greatest rock and roll show of all time might be a setup for a big let down. Maybe, if I have the cash, it’s a way to pay my respects to the men (really, the festival is literally all men) who have made a lasting impact on my life. Kind of like how I wanted to see Kobe one last time, even though the Lakers were failing miserably at basketball.
At least we know McCartney and Mick, those touring, health-nut machines, can still bring it! Or at least, I still hope so.