Well, the volume at Joan's show was just fine. My wife and I had a great time. After 50 years, Joan seems to know her audience perfectly. It was like being in folk revival church on Pete Seeger's birthday. At the risk of getting slammed, I'd suggest that her ability to sustain notes is not QUITE what it was at her peak. But she's 68-years-old. Her voice was astonishingly beautiful and has held up far better than that of most of her contemporaries. Virtually perfect.
There was far less overt politics than at the concert I attended 5 years ago. But back then, we were deep into the frustrating and depressing W years. We needed Joan to be political. Today, despite the dire economy and world situation, Obama's made many of us more hopeful. Joan's humorous patter was mostly about her own musical history--our history. She even told an off color joke--a funny one--just for the hell of it.
The music spanned the decades. I can't recall everything but there was Silver Dagger from her first album, several Dylan pieces, her "greatest hits" (Honest Lullaby, Diamonds and Rust, There but for Fortune, Night they Drove Old Dixie Down, Love Song to a Stranger, Long Black Veil, Gracias a la Vida, maybe some more that you know), a Carter Family tune, Sam Cooke's Wonderful World, Donovan's Catch the Wind, songs from Steve Earle, Eliza Gilkyson, and some others. The band took its closing bow right at the 90 minute mark, performed a two-song encore, and punched out after 100 minutes. I could have gone another 20 minutes, but it satisfied and she wasn't charging rock legend prices. Much fun--a good memory. On to Saturday and Judy Collins.