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Boomer Blues Backlash

Robert Plant Headlines Waterfront Blues Fest

What time is it? Blues time.

What time is it? Blues time.

What’s the greatest fear of going to a Classic Rock concert?

Baby boomers face this one all the time.

Is it watching a dream weaver come undone in front of your eyes?

That the singer shows up so out of shape they huff and puff through their set?

That their voice is reduced to a scratchy bark with no range?

Take all three and mix them together and one is still left out.

Watching a faded legend struggle onstage may ruin your memory of their glory days. Hearing their songs the rest of your life will take you back to that poor performance.

Will that happen with Robert Plant? Not if he delivers the goods. But how can he do that without the Zeppelin?

The stage is empty, the grass waiting for the crowds. The blues are on the way.

The stage is empty, the grass waiting for the crowds. The blues are on the way.

Who remembers a late Bachman Turner Overdrive concert where the guys were so hefty it looked like they were playing ukuleles instead of Gibson guitars.

B-b-b-b-baby, we ain’t seen nothing yet, but we’ve still seen too much.

Bruce Springsteen played Portland where he pretended to forget he once married an Oregon girl. From the stage he asked, “What was I thinking?”

This one’s easy. The Jersey man married a beautiful Lake Oswego actress ten years younger than him. Uh huh, what was he thinking? He can always blame Los Angeles.

The Boss has never sounded the same after that.

Pink Floyd took a hit when Roger Waters recycled The Wall a few years ago. Okay, it wasn’t Pink Floyd proper, but Roger still seemed to have too much fun playing the fascist. Go ahead and explain The Wall, but seeing a seventy year old in a tight black t-shirt working the crowd was unnerving.

Roger, it’s not giving back until you give.

That one concert tainted Pink Floyd. The only remedy is seeing David Gilmore.

What effect will Robert Plant have on the Led Zeppelin legacy for Portland baby boomers? Will he croak through Stairway? Ramble through Ramble On? Walk the Black Dog?

It looks big with the Main Stage in the distance, but the blues will fill it up fast.

It looks big with the Main Stage in the distance, but the blues will fill it up fast.

We ought to be ready since Eric Clapton played his slowed down Layla, since Darius Rucker traded his Blowfish for Nashville, but do you want to take the chance of ruining your Led Zeppelin cred?

Here’s the NW Boomer prediction: Whether Robert Plant shines or not, everyone who sees him will tell their friends he was great. It’s a gamble, but like Las Vegas, even if you lose it’s fun.

If you’ve never seen a Rock God, then go to the Waterfront Blues Festival. What’s the worst that can happen? You’ll have a great time listening to music you can’t sit still for.

Baby boomers might hear this, too: “An older audience keeps new music off the stage. There’s no room for the tUnE-yArDs, no Portugal.The Man.”

Little Hurricane won’t be there either, but you should still catch them while you can.

Any music festival will have a few bumps on the ride, as the Woodstock Generation knows so well, but a blues festival smooths it all out.

Take everyone you know down to the river and dive into the music.

A big thanks to Ari from the west side of Saturday Market pouring a cool Ninkasi. The man knows his music and his beers.

Ari, music research assistant.

Ari, music research assistant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About David Gillaspie

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