“I’m crying, again. She is the shit,” a teary-eyed co-ed exclaimed behind me in between Dolly Parton’s “Precious Memories” and “Coat of Many Colors.” But perhaps the most enlightening moment of the night happened when a 20-something audience member two rows in front of me stood up and pulled his jeans down to show everyone a 10-inch tattoo of Parton’s face on his hip. There couldn’t be a more literal testament to the imprint of the singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, author, actress and philanthropist on pretty much every generation alive.

Having just released her a critically acclaimed album, Better Day, the musical icon embarked on a world tour, including two nights at the Hollywood Bowl, her debut at the venue. While performing several tracks from the new album, such as “In the Meantime,” “The Sacrifice” and “Holding Everything,” she also made sure to showcase favorites like “Jolene,” “My Tennessee Mountain Home” and the breathtaking “Little Sparrow.”

Parton gave show a modern edge with mash-ups of Collective Soul’s “Shine,” “Walking on Sunshine,” “Help” and “Stairway to Heaven.” She shared stories and photos from the set of her upcoming film with Queen Latifah, Joyful Noise, before attempting to … rap! Then, she kicked off a section of her biggest hits, beginning with her first million-seller, “Here You Come Again” (1977), followed by “Islands in the Stream,” “9 to 5” and, of course, “I Will Always Love You.”

One of my earliest memories is my parents taking me to see Parton on tour with Kenny Rogers, and I must say that Parton lived up to the bigger-than-life image that she had imbedded in my memory all those years ago. She is the consummate performer, just as energetic as I remember, her voice is strong as ever and she can still play a mean guitar, fiddle, saxophone, harmonica, banjo, piano, etc. etc. – the list really does go on.