By DAWN BRANDVOLD-GRAY
As any former high school nerdy girl could tell you, life wasn’t easy for those of us who missed the memo on hair, clothes, and lip gloss. But after attending the Bob Segar concert last weekend, I can firmly attest that age is the great equalizer.
Sure, there are the freakishly youthful like Helen Mirren and Jennifer Aniston, but for the mere mortals among us, hitting 50 sort of levels the playing field. And in some cases, desperately hanging on to the vestiges of the teenage years can look downright foolish.
At the concert, there were women who still wore the “Farrah” hairdo popular in the seventies, and the “Flashdance” peek-a-boo tops from the eighties. We are not talking retro chic, but the misguided judgement that what worked for them as the coolest girl in school still works for the grandma of six.
So there I was on Friday night...clean, pressed and presentable. Stylish but not outlandish, my “concert outfit” not much different than my “going to dinner and a movie” outfit. And you know what? This nerdy girl felt just fine. Looking around I realized that after a certain age, as far as appearance goes, the ground levels.
The things that really matter — generosity, curiosity, and kindness — are what make us great. Not hairspray, bedazzled jeans, or stiletto heels. And there is nothing like a healthy dose of enthusiasm to keep us young. There was enthusiasm in abundance for Bob Segar.
By MARK GRAY
Unlike my wife, I have never combined “being cool” with attending a rock concert. However, I agree that concerts featuring aging rock stars are a great source for people watching.
Last week’s Bob Segar concert in downtown Salt Lake attracted an interesting and diverse crowd. Some 11,000 people spent more than $900,000 worth of tickets to see a 71-year old graybeard gruffly remind them what old time rock-and-roll is supposed to sound like. In contrast to Bob Dylan who is now croaking the music of Frank Sinatra, Segar stayed true to his hits. He owned the stage unlike many old rockers who have difficulty standing on it without pitching over.
While my wife was intrigued by the looks, dress, and hairstyles of the crowd, I was surprised by how many young people had purchased tickets. Granted, there were many older fans reliving their youth while refusing to accept that they looked like an old covered wagon or out-of-date Roquefort cheese; a poster boy for this group was Harley Davidson aficionado escorted in with a walker and oxygen.
But there was also a fair number of men and women who were not yet born when Segar was breaking out of Detroit with “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man”; in fact, a few might well have been conceived when their parents were practicing the lyrics of “Night Moves.”
And that’s a positive thing, especially after meeting a girl several weeks ago who had never heard of the Beatles. American culture should be passed down to subsequent generations. I still buy music my parents listened to (Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee) and expect my son and daughter can appreciate “Fever” and “Hey There” as much as I do. Similarly, I hope today’s artists will remind young listeners of the artistry of Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Led Zepplin, etc. Joan Baez was writing songs about ex-lovers while Taylor Swift wasn’t even born.
My wife and I attend some 20 concerts each year. We have our favorites and admittedly some concerts are disappointing. The upcoming Davis Arts Council concerts in Layton are sure to feature some of the biggest names in music. I will only smile if I see an assortment of ages enjoying the immediacy only “live music” offers.