We were sitting by a dirt road, shading ourselves with umbrellas and sipping beer, when that voice came over the PA: "Can I have the acoustic guitars? Sorry, I started that out in C. I'm trying to find my groove."
That voice belonged to Bonnie Raitt, one of my all-time favorite singers for going on 40 years. She was the headliner at a Red Butte Garden concert Tuesday, fronted by the legendary Mavis Staples. It was the second concert I'd attended this year; the first was in April when Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band took the stage in San Jose, Calif., and tore that house down.
As a woman nearing my 60th birthday, those concerts got me to thinking about how so many of our musical icons have barreled into their third acts with as much energy, creativity and mastery as they've ever had. How they have funneled a lifetime of joyous work into a few hours of pure joy for the crowds, many as gray-haired as the performers. And how both audiences were heavily weighted with far younger fans, dancing and calling out the songs they wanted to hear.