Jeff Bridges is cashing in on his fame by releasing an album, and he started promoting the album by anchoring the first night of music at the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Fest. “Is that the dude?” was my reaction, and it must have been everyone else’s, too. He didn’t shy away from that expectation.
He asked if people liked the dude before singing some song from The Big Lebowki’s soundtrack. He looked the dude, he sounded like the dude, and he acted like the dude. It was almost as if he was the dude. Was he the dude before the movie, or was he transformed by the iconic character from which the spectacular response from popular culture left no escape.
Or was it that the audience could see nobody except the dude?
Either way, jt was a surreal experience. As usual, he is a celebrity fortunate enough to have had the backing of an amazing band, next to whom he could only shine as the dude and not a performer endowed with any special or extraordinary musical talent.
It was a good performance, nevertheless. The dude gave a good show. I still would have preferred a killer dj house set or a tight jazz band, but this is Santa Barbara, and the least common denominator persists as the dominant factor in guiding musical selection for the masses.