Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: Dolly Parton at the O2

Dolly Parton is a 65 year old firecracker.

She has a way of shrugging off all the expectations that come with her appearance (shallow, self-obsessed, lazy, a diva, not really talented).

It never occurred to me that she might play her own instruments. And certainly not that she would play ten of her own instruments! Fiddle, piano, saxophone, harmonica, guitar, banjo, Appalachian dulcimer, Autoharp, penny whistle. An overwhelming list!

The concert was an epic three hours, and there was no opening act. She must have done about 40 songs, all high energy. Her voice is still in top shape, and I was left trying to determine whether age has slowed her down at all. Surely most artists anywhere near her age are slowing down (Barbra) cracking up (Whitney) or lip-synching (Liza)?

Perhaps the concert was so long because she's released 58 studio albums, 4 live albums and 24 compilation albums. That's definitely what I call a prolific songwriter.

Favourite songs were Jolene (with her own geetar), The Beatles' Help (in bluegrass style) and Little Sparrow (a reminder that she can write more introspective music too. Son of a Preacher Man, 9 to 5 and I Will Always Love You also deserve honourable mention.

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