In fact, if it hadn't been for Sting, who clocked in at the relatively spritely ol' age of 60, it would've been 69.5.
As you probably have guessed by now, we didn't see Mumford & Sons, The Civil Wars, Adele or even U2, which would've all been incredible...
Instead, we saw Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan and the aforementioned artist formerly known as Gordon Sumner—who aren't exactly lacking in talent. :)
Given my love all of things Beatles, Paul McCartney was always near the top of my list of "Artists I Absolutely, Positively Must See Before I Die."
Sidenote: I don't know why, but I simply refuse to call it a "bucket list." My thought is if a movie's that bad, even with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman involved, it doesn't deserve a catchphrase. Or at least one I'd bother using.
Ok, quasi-rant over.
So when Will and I saw that Sir Paul was playing in Vegas this past summer, well, we knew we simply must go. My only mild concern was the state of Paul's voice—and whether he'd still sound good now that he's pushing 70. All I could think of was that Super Bowl halftime show in 2005, and how disappointing it was, but then again, maybe the setting wasn't all that inspiring (the Packers weren't there, after all). Thankfully, he totally killed it, whether he was belting out a great mix of Beatles songs or his best solo tracks.
To wit, I'd even venture to say it was one of my favorite concerts of all time, and anyone who knows me well, knows that's a big deal. After all, I used to frequent shows the way I frequent movies today.
After seeing Paul, Will and I were naturally jonesing for another unforgettable show. And lucky enough for Will, his favorite artist of all time, one Robert Zimmerman, was scheduled to play a casino only an hour from our house.
Now I'll be honest, when I bought Will fifth row tickets to see Dylan back when we lived in St. Paul, I thought that would be the one—and only—time we'd see him. After all, I can only understand about one out of every 40 words the man says, and last time around, I lucked out because the Foo Fighters opened for him (score!).
But Dylan had a pretty important birthday this year—his 70th—so I was willing to see him again, you know for the historical significance, but mostly because I adore my husband. While the venue itself was a little strange, mostly because of the uncomfortable folding chairs normally used for church picnics, it was a pretty great show. Per usual, Bob didn't address the crowd until the very end, sort of a welcome change from the likes of John Mayer who tend to blather on and on about, well, nothing between songs.
Really, my only criticism aside from the seating was a few of the fans. While I love modern technology as much as the next person, do you ever find it annoying when people feel the need to record an entire concert with their Smartphones?
Maybe I'm sounding pretty old and crotchety at the moment, but there's nothing worse than having a small gathering of iPhones impairing your view while you're trying to enjoy the music. It's not that I don't enjoy seeing snippets of things I normally wouldn't get to see (thank you, YouTube), but it just seems like some people are more concerned with documenting the experience than actually experiencing it, and that makes me grumpy.
Ok, first official rant over.
Last but certainly not least, we saw Sting this past Wednesday at the Verizon theater. Not nearly as big as a stadium but still larger than your favorite hole-in-the-wall club, it was the perfect relaxed environment to hear some truly great songs. In addition to his bevy of hits, he dug a bit deeper into his catalog, and Will and I were able to hear tracks we hadn't heard in years.
One obseveration about the Sting crowd: While there are definitely fans of all ages, they are m-e-l-l-o-w with a capital "m," which is actually pretty nice after years and years of standing near mosh pits and dealing with people elbowing you for position. It was the sort of show that everyone enjoyed with a nice glass of wine, which allowed for the focus to be where it belonged—the music.
Now that 2011 has unexpectedly been the year when the old-timers rule, it should be interesting to see what 2012 will bring musically speaking. But I'm guessing we might skew a little bit younger than we did this time around...