I've started reading "Cash," the autobiography by Johnny Cash, and I can't put the thing down. I've been meaning to read it for years (it came out in 1997, three years after Rick Ruben first started working with him), but I probably thought it might be too heavy, which it is. He exposes every flaw.
So I got to the part where he talks about his 1968 Folsom prison gig. There's a passage he writes that really captures this particular moment in the concert...
"I've always thought it ironic [that "Folsom Prison Blues"] was a prison concert, with me and the convicts getting along as fellow rebels, outsiders, and miscreants should."
I know that Folsom audience was filled with unsavory types who robbed, cheated, and killed, but Cash's line about how he and the convicts were on equal ground is a testament to how strong his music, performance, and interaction was that day. Again, these cons were forgotten guys who made horrible choices in life, but it's remarkable how Cash's performance turned them into a bunch of regular guys just enjoying a Cash show.