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!! “Don’t ya’ll just hate the devil?” !!

“I know I do. I just hate him! That’s why I wrote this song…”
Dolly Parton played a show last Thursday at the Continental Arena as part of her “Hello, I’m Dolly” tour {{popup dolly01.jpg So sparkly 407×600}}and I was fortunate enough to attend. I was also fortunate enough to have the company of two lovely friends and my nice boyfriend who came down for the weekend and arrived only hours before. So understandably, I was all smiles even before the concert started.
The opening act was a bluegrass band called The Grascals, and they were on fire (The fiddler and mandolin player were especially good). They also played with Dolly during her part of the show, but their set was fantastic in spite of the maudlin ballad about the three high school buddies who go to war and two of them die, blah blah.
After the opening set, we watched a slide show of Dolly’s childhood photos and then a wacky reel of her posing and making funny faces with a parasol. As the stage went dark and the music started, I tried to reconcile the fact that I was going to see Dolly Parton in the flesh. At the moment she {{popup dolly03.jpg Go to hell! 600×411}}stepped onto the stage in her white, rhinestone-encrusted toreador outfit, I became very excited and my giddiness only increased as the show went on. She did a whirlwind recap of all her pop hits, singing only one verse of each one to make time for her more interesting material. Her rendition of “I Will Always Love You” was better than all her recordings, and she sang “Little Sparrow” with only a fiddle accompanying her, letting it all out Appalachian style. Jeremy was happy that she donned her gospel garment (pictured at right) and sang “Go to Hell,” which is her big kiss-off to Satan himself!
I came away from the concert content that I had seen the musician whom I admire most in the world and also happy to have a pink “Dolly” sweatband to remember her by. During the course of the concert, {{popup dolly02.jpg Her hippie skirt 600×415}}she played guitar, piano, recorder, dulcimer, fiddle, autoharp, harmonica, Jew’s harp, and even her fingernails (she used them to make a typewriter sound for “9 to 5”). Her voice sounds better today than it did twenty years ago, and her bizarre, self-conscious antics just make me love her all the more. She is the freak that overcame, through sheer talent and will, all the naysayers and keepers of the status quo. While I don’t think I can ever be as weird (or as flawless) as Dolly Parton, I do think she is a model for those of us who would like to stay true to ourselves, even after we are wealthy, international superstars.

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    That’s how I felt when I went too! She’s awesome. Love her.

    I am soooo jealous.

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