January 20, 2019

Winnipeg
-23° C, Clear

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Parton pure, simple, perfect

Music legend's stripped-down stage show brings intimacy, power to MTS Centre

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Dolly Parton performs at the MTS Centre Monday night.</p>

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Dolly Parton performs at the MTS Centre Monday night.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/9/2016 (860 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It had been been eight years since music icon Dolly Parton last graced Winnipeg with her rhinestone-emblazoned presence. Monday night at the MTS Centre, it seemed she was almost as excited to be back as Winnipeg was to have her.

“Helloooooo Manitoba!” she roared in the way only Dolly Parton can, strutting on stage in a multicoloured, sparkly dress (a dress of many colours, one could say) paired with big heels and equally big hair. A few robust thank yous and some high-pitched giggles and the arena was officially enamoured.

The Pure and Simple tour, in support of Parton’s album of the same name, stripped things back to basics. Parton was joined on stage by just three musicians; plain panels of white cloth, occasionally dotted with lights, flowed down around her, which, other than a few small sets used to represent snippets of her youth spent in Tennessee, were the only design elements on stage.

But pure-and-simple Dolly is the best Dolly, as the format allowed for a rare feeling of intimacy not present in other large tours.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 30 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/9/2016 (860 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It had been been eight years since music icon Dolly Parton last graced Winnipeg with her rhinestone-emblazoned presence. Monday night at the MTS Centre, it seemed she was almost as excited to be back as Winnipeg was to have her.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Dolly Parton performs at the MTS Centre Monday night.</p></p>

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Dolly Parton performs at the MTS Centre Monday night.

"Helloooooo Manitoba!" she roared in the way only Dolly Parton can, strutting on stage in a multicoloured, sparkly dress (a dress of many colours, one could say) paired with big heels and equally big hair. A few robust thank yous and some high-pitched giggles and the arena was officially enamoured.

The Pure and Simple tour, in support of Parton’s album of the same name, stripped things back to basics. Parton was joined on stage by just three musicians; plain panels of white cloth, occasionally dotted with lights, flowed down around her, which, other than a few small sets used to represent snippets of her youth spent in Tennessee, were the only design elements on stage.

But pure-and-simple Dolly is the best Dolly, as the format allowed for a rare feeling of intimacy not present in other large tours.

She told stories — about her family, about her husband, about the sniffles she got from the air conditioning on the tour bus — and she told jokes — about sex, about her fashion sense and her larger than life personality.

She made a performance to 8,500 fans in an arena seem more like a one-on-one conversation in her home.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Dolly Parton performs in Winnipeg Monday.</p>

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Dolly Parton performs in Winnipeg Monday.

As charming as her Southern stories were, it was the music that truly had jaws dropping. At 70 years old, and with more than five decades as a performer to her name, Parton’s voice has not aged.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Dolly Parton performs in Winnipeg Monday.</p>

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Dolly Parton performs in Winnipeg Monday.

As she launched into one of her first big singles, Jolene, the escalation of the chorus was stunning in its perfection; her control, full-bodied power and delicate manipulation throughout her deceptively detailed songs time and time again were truly astounding.

Though fans were most invested in her older material, her new songs, including the title track Pure and Simple and, later, Outside Your Door (among others), held their own — sounding like vintage Parton and fitting seamlessly into her set.

Parton is most recognizable as a singer, but she is also a talented multi-instrumentalist, cracking out a bedazzled collection of instruments, including a guitar (acoustic and electric), dulcimer, autoharp, recorder, harmonica, piano, saxophone (on which she blew everyone away with an mind-boggling rendition of Yakety Sax), as well as a fiddle she played while she had her banjo hanging around her neck.

During the first half of her set, Parton threw in a lovely medley of classic country hits — surrounded by her three-piece band (now in acoustic mode with a standup base, tambourine and guitar), she worked her way through sections of American Pie, If I Had a Hammer, Blowin’ in the Wind, Dust in the Wind, and a particularly captivating version of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Dolly Parton performs Monday at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. The 70-year-old singer seamlessly mixed her greatest hits with new material and left the crowd of 8,500 in awe.</p></p>

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Dolly Parton performs Monday at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. The 70-year-old singer seamlessly mixed her greatest hits with new material and left the crowd of 8,500 in awe.

After a 20-minute intermission, Parton was back (this time in a pristine white, but still sparkly, outfit), and wasted no time as she charged through Baby I’m Burning before the house lights had even come up, and rounded the song out by integrating a piece of Alicia Keys’ smash single Girl on Fire.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Dolly Parton performs in Winnipeg Monday.</p>

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Dolly Parton performs in Winnipeg Monday.

Near the end of the night, Parton worked her way through tear-jerker and "sad-ass song," Little Sparrow, her stellar performance bringing the raucous crowd to complete silence.

She promised the party would start after that song, and she delivered — the final tunes of the night included staples Islands in the Stream and 9 to 5. The more-than-two-hour performance ended with an encore that consisted of her most famous song, I Will Always Love You.

Parton would be impressive at any age, but at 70, there is something extra inspiring about the amount of energy she expends on stage.

Each story was told with as much enthusiasm as if she were telling it for the first time instead of the thousandth, every power note at the top of her register blasted through the arena with ease and every laugh and joke and off-the-cuff riff felt unquestionably genuine.

It takes a lot of effort to be that good, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

Many of Parton’s stories carried with them a moral — and more than once that moral was: be true to who you are, you’re all you’ve got.

It’s a lesson Parton lives as hard as she preaches, and her authenticity pours out of her in a way impossible to ignore or be skeptical of.

There is no way for Parton to be better than what and who she is; she is perfect, pure and simple.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Dolly Parton performs in Winnipeg Monday.</p>

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Dolly Parton performs in Winnipeg Monday.

erin.lebar@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @NireRabel

Erin Lebar

Erin Lebar
Multimedia producer

Erin Lebar is a multimedia producer who spends most of her time writing music- and culture-related stories for the Arts & Life section. She also co-hosts the Winnipeg Free Press's weekly pop-culture podcast, Bury the Lede.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Monday, September 12, 2016 at 11:13 PM CDT: updated story

11:42 PM: added more photos

11:52 PM: fixed cutlines

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us