Photos by Sue Sadzak
Country legend Dolly Parton brought her Tennessee charm to a packed Molson Amphitheatre on Friday night.
The crowd of 15,000 was on their feet as soon as they had their first glimpse of Dolly. Kicking off the evening with her 1989 hit “Why’d You Come in Here Lookin’ Like That”, she shone in a beautiful white dress with rhinestones upon rhinestones. The crowd sang with her, screaming, “I love you Dolly” in between breaths.
This tour was Pure and Simple like her current number one album; not a big production but it had everything needed to make sure we had a good time. Dolly told stories from her childhood to her 50th wedding anniversary and explained the meanings behind each song she performed. Before singing “Precious Memories” she asked the audience to reflect on their childhood, and in that moment I understood just how real Dolly was.
From “Jolene” to “My Tennessee Mountain Home”, the first song she ever wrote, fans from every generation and every walk of life were having the time of their lives. In the middle of the show accompanied by her band she sang a medley of what she called “A Piece of American Pie” covering Don McLean’s “American Pie” and Bob Dylan’s “Blowin in the Wind”.
After a twenty-minute intermission, the Country Music Hall of Famer made an explosive re-appearance rocking out on the electric guitar. What surprised me the most about Dolly Parton was the diversity of instruments she played (guitar, saxophone, piano).
My favourite part of the concert happened in the last few minutes of the show. Dolly began talking about her successful career as an actress, and I knew what song was coming next. There was a moment after “9 to 5” was over that the crowd sang the chorus of the song back to Dolly. It was an incredible experience to hear 15,000 strong sing such a legendary song in unison.
What left chills down my spine was hearing “I Will Always Love You” live; the song of course made iconic by Whitney Houston. Dolly’s version is different, but still has the raw emotional power behind to leave you speechless.
Although she has been touring for over 40 years, Dolly showed no signs of slowing down anytime soon.