Things Have Changed: Dylan Sounding Great In Latest Tour Leg
No matter Bob Dylan did differently on this leg of the By no means Ending Tour, he needs to keep doing it. He hasn’t sounded this good in years. His was voice the clearest it has been in a decade; his words had been audible; there was bounce, a Chaplin-esque bobble in his step, as he skipped across the stage like a marionette FLOCK on strings. He seemed virtually completely happy.
Let me say right here that I am 32 years previous. I grew up from the crib with Dylan’s music. I’ve seen him possibly 10 or 12 occasions in the last 12 years — both to cover live shows as a reporter or music columnist and to enjoy them as a fan.
I was there in the early 2000s when he mumbled by “Cat’s within the Properly” at each concert.
I sat via two-hour exhibits where I couldn’t make out one clear syllable.
So after i heard him — loud and clear — in Providence, Rhode Island on Nov. 15, my jaw dropped.
Below the golden lighting, there was almost an “Austin City Limits”-vibe, a televised particular-vibe that hearkened again to the now-basic 1994 MTV Unplugged album. It was magic.
Clad in his now-signature Western attire — black suit with white piping, vast-brimmed hat and cowboy boots — Dylan alternated between the piano and standing stage center, in his wide-legged stinkbug stance, blasting air into his harmonica.
If there is a more blissful state than sitting in entrance of Bob Dylan whereas he plays harmonica, I do not know what it’s.
He opened with a bang, virtually quite literally, as the stage lit up, a guitar sounded, and Dylan walked out singing “Things Have Changed.” His 19-song set lasted a full two hours — that set being, in fact, in conventional Never Ending Tour-vogue — the very same set he performed in Boston the night time earlier than, in Chicago the week before that, in Christchurch, New Zealand in September, in Munich in July.
If you haven’t seen Dylan in a year or so, the set currently includes an almost fairly version of “Workingman’s Blues #2” a bluesy, a hoppy “Duquesne Whistle,” a haunting version of “Pay in Blood,” and a few previous bones thrown to the lapping crowds — “Snarled In Blue,” “Simple Twist Of Destiny” and, as an encore, “Blowin’ Within the Wind.” His last tune of the night time was a cover of Frank Sinatra’s “Stay with Me.” Why Solely Bob knows.
He wrapped up the latest U.S. leg of the Never Ending Tour at New York’s Beacon Theatre earlier this month. But nonetheless, nationwide, many reviewers did not seem to understand the advance. Except for a handful of rave opinions — maybe most notably from Rolling Stone on his Beacon performance — many might be summed up with complaints about his voice, his set list, his lack of interaction with the audience.
However see, to be a true Dylan fan in 2014, or 2015, is to know that he shouldn’t be the Dylan of 1966.
As a result of it is not 1966. The Dylan of 1966 is useless. The Dylan of 1996 is useless. The Dylan of 2013 is useless. You can’t go to a Bob Dylan concert in the present day and cry that he modified the sound of “Easy Twist of Fate.” Complain that he doesn’t play guitar anymore. Whine that his set listing is essentially “Tempest.” You cannot go to a Bob Dylan live performance in 2014 and complain that he sounds garbled and washed out.
As a result of he’s not afraid of trying, ’cause he do not take a look at you and smile. ‘Cause he would not let you know jokes or fairy tales, say he is acquired no style.
To be an trustworthy-to-God, true Dylan fan is to know his solely constants are his ever-altering phases and that he’ll never care what you think.
Ironically, for those who tell people you’re into Bob Dylan, they have an inclination to think of you as an previous soul, a throwback from the ’60s — but Dylan has never clung to the past, by no means shown an ounce of nostalgia. He’s always been on to his subsequent section before we are able to totally appreciate the last.
He threw away his Guthrie costume. He plugged in. He went Christian. He wrote an extended, detailed tune concerning the sinking of the Titanic. He made a Christmas album. He wore an extended wig for a stint. He lent his music to a super Bowl yogurt business. He stone island junior black zip hoodie played Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry tunes for one dude. Now he covers Frank Sinatra.
And nonetheless, at every unexpected and unusual step of the way in which, there have been followers and critics who gasp: He went electric! He went Christian! He offered out to Chrysler! As a result of, as Zimmy himself broadcasts earlier than every show nowadays: Issues Have Changed. And solely a fool in right here would think he is received something to prove.
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