Joan Baez shows she still has it at Arts & Lectures concert

by Kyle Crocco, Writing Peer
Tuesday, November 08, 2016 10:39 AM

On Thursday, November 3, Joan Baez merged her folk songs with her strong political views at the UCSB Arts & Lectures concert at the Arlington Theatre to entertain and politically engage her audience in a way that only she can do – and has been doing since the 60s.

Working with a small band, featuring only a percussionist, a multi-instrumentalist bass player (who also filled in on violin, lead guitar, and banjo), and her personal assistant stepping on for occasional vocal duties, Joan Baez went through a selection of her well-known recordings.

Each fan favorite was greeted with a cheer and applause as the familiar chords of Diamonds and Rust, or choice covers such as Do Right Woman and Do Right Man and House of The Rising Sun, filled the Arlington Theatre.

She was at times humorous, going into nasal tones on a cover of Bob Dylan, or changing the final lyric of Diamonds and Rust to say, “And if you're offering me diamonds and rust, I’ll take the diamonds.” At other times, she was deadly serious. She introduced a song inspired by her husband’s imprisonment as part of resistance to the draft (called Prison Trilogy), stating, “We should ra​ze the prisons to the ground. They are useless.”

She played for an hour and a half to a hushed, respectful audience, who showed their appreciation with a standing ovation at the end. Coming back for her encore, Joan teased the audience that they shouldn’t be so excited, as she had only been gone for a few minutes.

If you get a chance to see this legend in concert, do so. You won’t be disappointed, unless you happen to disagree with her political views, which were decidedly anti-Trump as evidenced by the “Nasty Woman” and the “Bad Hombre” t-shirts worn by her and the rest of her ​crew.

Melissa Rapp also contributed to this article.