This past Sunday's concert at the Tower featuring bluegrass legend Del McCoury was something that I had been looking forward to all winter.Bend rarely gets such a performer in town, and as Del mentioned, he had to "cross about 16 mountains to get here.
While Del and the boys put on a fantastic show Sunday, I have to say I was extremely embarrassed for our "vocal" Bend crowd. As Del usually does, he asked for requests halfway through his show. Immediately there were requests for songs as audacious as "Rocky Top" and Bill Monroe's "Uncle Pen," among others. And even when Del mentioned that he had played "Uncle Pen" every night that he played with Bill Monroe and was kinda tired of it, he was challenged with a comment that he has had "50 years to get over it."
While it is not unreasonable to request songs that people may find a favorite, to challenge and quite frankly be disrespectful to a man with more than 23 bluegrass albums to his name since the 1960s made me downright cringe in my seat. Bend represented itself as a ignorant and apathetic to the Del McCoury band's long success and the fact that they might have any of their own music to play.
As Del is ever the consummate gentleman performer, he turned most comments into a joke. But I'd be surprised if he ever "crosses those 16 mountains" again to reach a town that only wants to see a dog-and-pony-show band.
All I'm saying is do a little research before shows. It's few and far between that we get such a band with members who are true masters at playing and performing.