Bob Dylan Fall Tour 2017

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Radio, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. RockRoom

    RockRoom Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Rochester, NY 1994 at the Auditorium Theatre it happened. Was voted as one of the best shows in Rochester history. I can attest!
     
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  2. sbeaupre

    sbeaupre Active Member

    Location:
    MDI, ME
    That Chicago review is fairly typical. It's pretty much a template at this point. Start with how long he's been touring; include a warning that he doesn't play hardly any popular songs from early in his career; cite the baffling, and not always successful, reinterpretation of what he does include from his catalog; note that he doesn't play any guitar or much harmonica these days; and finally, cite the stellar musicianship of his band. Oh, and his voice. In effect, "It's not what you think it is, and you probably shouldn't like it, but somehow you just might, to a point." These reviews are mostly written by, and for, people who haven't heard a new Dylan song in 40 years.
     
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  3. Scott6

    Scott6 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    UK
    I saw Bob in Belgium in 1990 where the 4 song acoustic set halfway through was all of side 2 of BIABH.
     
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  4. ranasakawa

    ranasakawa Forum Resident

    Saw Bob in 1992 in Melbourne and it still is probably the worst concert I ever attended.
    He was bored, possibly drunk and the songs were uninspiring.

    I still have most of his CDs
     
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  5. SolitaryMan

    SolitaryMan Forum Resident

    Which one of them? He did six shows in Melbourne 1992. Four of the six shows included a performance of "Idiot Wind". It was usually a highlight at the time. I guess you must have attended one of the concerts where it wasn't performed.
    Anyway, that was 25 years ago and of little relevance when talking about Dylan's Fall 2017 performances.
     
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  6. Dave Gilmour's Cat

    Dave Gilmour's Cat Forum Resident

    One of the Melbourne shows had an excellent "Golden Vanity".
     
  7. keithdylan

    keithdylan Well-Known Member

    Is it just me, or does the new arrangement of Honest With Me have the music of Dance, Dance, Dance?
     
  8. Jimmy B.

    Jimmy B. Forum Resident

    I went with a so-called big fan of his to a show of his back in 2013 who was like that, she proceeded to vocally ruin it for me and another person with us. She expected him to sound like he did in the '70s. Gimme a break.
     
  9. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC USA
    I've heard some radio advertisements for Dylan shows this decade that do give the impression that they're presenting 'Bob Dylan' in his 60s and 70s guise and voice. They play the studio versions of LARS and TUIB during the advertisement!

    I just think to myself, 'Boy, some people are going to be in for a shock'...
     
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  10. JoeRockhead

    JoeRockhead Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    You'll have to do better than that in attempting to attack the credibility of the writer of that Chicago review, Greg Kot.
     
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  11. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Forum Resident

    I was at that show and it was the first stage rush I ever witnessed at a Bob Dylan show. There were stage rushes with regularity through 1996. The last one I saw was in Clarkston MI in 1997 and someone stole a harmonica and Bob was livid.
     
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  12. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC USA
    I don't know if that will fly in today's extra-paranoid entertainment venue culture. One could lead a stage charge and be the only one to make it up there - only to get tasered. Might work for a summer show, but for a fall/winter show, some will be hard-pressed to leave their seats/jackets to rush to the front. Maybe it's fallen out of the concert culture? - at least in Dylan's realm. I'd like to see it happen again, though.
     
  13. sbeaupre

    sbeaupre Active Member

    Location:
    MDI, ME
    Point taken. Kot is a beyond-respected rock critic and author. I haven't read a lot of his writing, but I greatly enjoy the Sound Opinions podcast he does with Jim DeRogatis. What I was reacting to was the formulaic approach that most critics take when reviewing a Dylan show, with Kot's review as a jumping off point. But lumping Kot in with the average local entertainment reporter or uninformed concert-goer was dumb. Mea culpa. I just wish there was another way to review Dylan at this point in his career. Maybe it's not possible to escape the weight of expectation. Here's a snippet of a fan review of a recent Ames, Iowa show, posted by "Jim B." on the Bob Links site. I really like how the author is trying to get inside what's going on during the show, and how the overall experience might be difficult to wrangle with a more typical concert review.

    "This was my 8th show and different from any I’ve experienced before. Folks looking for a raucous Dylan-fest will be disappointed. Truth is, it’s hard to describe what the show was like. Best word I can come up with is Faustian. It’s like Bob’s putting on an apocalyptic lounge show in the bar at the top of the Empire State Building. On one side here are four songs from Tempest (Pay in Blood, Early Roman Kings, Soon After Midnight, and Long and Wasted Years) – all apocalyptic and dark. On the other side you get crooner songs (Why Try to Change Me Now, Melancholy Mood, Once Upon a Time, September of My Years, and Autumn Leaves) – all filled with heartache and loss. Interspersed are new and totally unrecognizable arrangements of concert standbys (Highway 61 Summer Days, Honest With Me, Trying to Get to Heaven, Desolation, Tangled, Thunder on the Mountain). What happens is the unfamiliar arrangements push the standbys into the crooner/tempest songs that come before or after. It’s really strange but once you’re in, it becomes more and more seductive. It feels like Steven Sondheim and the Ventures are collaborating to great effect while you are standing between the two and pulled toward each at the same time."
     
  14. JoeRockhead

    JoeRockhead Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I hear you but that is pretty much what you are going to get for any review of Dylan, McCartney, Neil Young etc from a big company. They're not writing for us, thankfully there are other outlets like what you have posted above.
     
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  15. John Rhett Thomas

    John Rhett Thomas Forum Resident

    Location:
    Macon, GA, USA
    Hmmm...that kind of thing seemed to end about that time, so I wonder if that incident brought the fun and games to a halt? I never rushed the stage but I know people who did. One of my best friends stuck his hand out and Bob took it for a big shake. Birmingham 96 if anyone has video of it. :)
     
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  16. Radio

    Radio Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Just back from the show at the Fox in Detroit. Loved it! He and the band sounded great. If you like the Dylan of the past 20 years you will dig this show.
     
  17. Pierino

    Pierino Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Canonsburg
    At the last five shows over the last five years that I've attended, I've seen people walking out, maybe not in droves, but I would say consistently. It usually started about a third of the way through the concert. I figured it was a combination of the setlist and Dylan's voice. I can understand; I'm a fan and I get frustrated, too. Near the end of the show there was a noticeable amount of empty seats. I do think most of the fans who walked out were absolutely expecting to see and hear a Dylan who sang like it was 1966 and who performed his "greatest hits". Obviously it was neither. It does crack me up when I hear radio spots advertising the concert because I know the show ain't gonna sound anything like that. I think a significant mount of people aren't aware of that, unfortunately, and find out the hard way.
     
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  18. Champagne Boot

    Champagne Boot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    Just got back from the Detroit show as well. Seen Bob a bunch over the years since the early 2000s, but it'd been few years since the last time for the Americanarama, which I disliked so much I stayed away for the next few tours. Seeing Bob get blown off the stage by My Morning Jacket and Wilco was enough for me. Decided to give it one last shot, enjoy one last show, and call it a day.

    Mavis Staples was terrific. A bit of a short set, a lot of banter, didn't cover all of the hits, but that's fine.. Also would have liked to know who's in her band--they're great. Also wish she'd played the single off the new record, her new material is wonderful and I was looking forward to hearing it live. No big complaints, though first time seeing her, glad I did. People were loving it.

    As for the main act. I think Bob's singing marvelously well right now. The standards are downright spirited, and it's clear he loves the material, even if it's a bit much after a while. His piano playing is interesting and present, as opposed to the clunky Casio sound or those godawful fake organ years. The rest of it... Incredibly uneven, and it's 100% with the arrangements. Nothing lingers or breaths--20 songs just flew by at the speed of light. George got a nice drum solo, but gosh, what a waste of Charlie Sexton. Tryin' to Get to Heaven and Pay in Blood have been essentially neutered, with the musical nuance and interesting chord changes sanded down to a pretty sanitized, standard fare that sounded no different from any other tune he's been peddling for the past fifteen years. Summer Days has gone from an instant highlight to a country-by-numbers snoozefest. I really enjoyed this turn on Tangled, It Ain't Me, Babe was pretty good, and Love Sick was as interesting as usual. But in between we had to endure the drudgery of the new-look Early Roman Kings and Thunder on the Mountain, two kind of ho-hum tunes to begin with. This band is as good as ever (and it's amazing how stable it's become, this is the same crew now for 10 years or so since Sexton's return, right?), but it felt like those shows in 2004 where it was painfully obvious that Larry Campbell was bored out of his mind and nothing moved. It lacked any kind of emotion or interest--just "here's another night, let's go do the show." Totally rote. My mind wandered constantly. I found myself thinking about other things, only to snap back into the realization that Bob was onstage. Doesn't help that it's all dimly lit, with Bob either behind a grand piano or hopelessly far back on the stage so that he melds into the scenery.

    I get what Bob's trying to do--this is a coherent idea, an intentional show with a very intentional meaning (as much as one can read into Bob). He's clearly very interested in what he's doing, and it fits with his constant desire to reinvent and reinterpret. There's nothing wrong with that. This variant is just not the kind of experience that got me buying all those tickets, checking setlists every night, tracking down every recording, playing the DylanPool and all that during the 2000s. It's a bit boring. Overall I enjoyed myself tonight, but only out of the knowledge that the only way to go into a Bob show in the 21st century is to enter with absolutely no expectations, knowing it will be either purely transcendent or merely average, and most likely merely average. You get what you get. Haven't seen transcendent in almost a decade, and I'm sick of chasing it. Glad he's still on the road, glad I went for one last go-round, but I'm ready to be off the bus.
     
  19. mpayan

    mpayan Forum Resident

    "Stage Rushes...And Past Concert Memories..."

    If I might be allowed to ramble..

    My first Dylan concerts were in November of '95. Two starkly different atmospheres to say the least. The first was in Houston. At a fairly old hall. In fact, it was destroyed in '98, I believe. From the get go the concert had a different vibe than any other concert Ive been to. I was a fairly newish Dylan fan since maybe '89. I did know the more ravaged voice though, so the concert was not a surprise in that regard. I also had about 30 or so boots/audience cassettes so I also knew he liked to rejuvinate the songs by reworking them. Was cool with that also. Being all of 19-20 yrs old I guess I was a pretty hardcore fan for my age. Scored 12th row seats. Not bad for my first Dylan concert.

    As I was saying though, the vibe was really quirky in that hall. It couldnt have held more than a few thousand people at the most and the crowd was varied. So rather packed and a motley crew of folks.

    There were people on the front row decked out in near ballroom dance attire. Then there was this lady that had a leopardskin pillbox hat, a book of poetry and a wooden cross. Yes Im serious. Later during the concert, she bummed rushed the stage kind of during the concert. Bob played a bizzare game of "Well baby, what are you going to give me for my autograph" that the obviously inebriated poetry book lady was trying to give Bob. It was hillarious. Looked like a Marx Brothers skit for about a minute as Bob did this little "Ill let you touch me, no I wont" shuffle game with the lady. Damnedest thing I ever saw. Then there was the rather obese lady sitting next to me that kept clapping and bouncy like a giddy girl at a Beatles concert in her seat next to me. I thought Id be tipped over out of my seat from the jiggling of my chair as she jumped up and down. Or shed headlock me in ecstasy at any moment. Then a few scattered hippies. Felt like I was in the basement tape picture at big pink.

    Now here is the thing about the stage rushing. During the pre concert flim flam the security guys at the front were explaining something to the first few rows of concert goers. I had a hunch something special was planned for those folks and I wanted to be in on it. I was there with my gf. She was 5'11" and pretty damn hot in her red leather skirt and black top to be honest. So I devised a plan. I told her I knew something was up, but wasnt sure what. That she should go and flirt with the security guard and find out. Being game, she did just that.

    Apparently what was up was the following: Bob played an electric set and then an accoustic set. He had requested that during the acoustic set the first couple of rows would be allowed to come up and stand near the stage. Add to the excitement I guess. Bob doing his best carnie bidding to generate more excitement. Remember, this was pre-TOOM comeback of legend Bob. Before '97. Well, I wasnt about to be left out of getting close to my hero. And nor were the other people that overheard us talking about the secret stage rush. Word spread like wildfire and by the time the acoustic set hit the first 10 rows were ready lol.

    The signal was given to the first few rows when the acoustic set began and then all hell broke loose...!

    My gf and I rushed in a panic mainly not to get trampled from people behind us. We literally got pushed to the center stage. There were chairs flying, people tripping, front row tuxedos ruffled and nightgown fringes stepped on lol. Security guards in a mini panic and Bob with a silly grin on his face watching the bedlam. I watched Bobs face from close enough that I could have reached out and touched his boots or lunged and felt his satin pink plooms on his fancy shirt! Yes, Im accentuating the concert story a little, I admit fully. But, honestly, not by much a stretch. It was a helluva way to experience my musical hero. A night Ill never forget. So thats the thing, or as much as I know about the "stage rush".

    The San Antonio concert two days later was much different. Fith row seats dead center.The Majestic is an amazing place. Beautiful and a time capsule to what inside theatres use to be like. The atmosphere and Bobs mood was an ethereal fog that matched the venue perfectly. Where as the Houston concert was Bob ramshackled off the rails nearly; the San Antonio concert was calm and beautiful. Bob was in great spirits in both venues. At the San Antonio concert he gave these little hip pistol pointed goodbyes to the crowd that was just funny as hell.

    Both great concerts. Bob must have been in a good mood anticipating hed finally redeem himself from a dry spell with TOOM.

    I really hope to see Ol' Bob one more time...
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  20. smoke

    smoke Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    Funny, it didn't seem like a bad review to me ("flashes of brilliance" etc) though it did make clear that those looking for a standard concert experience of the ol' chestnuts would be disappointed. He is correct in stating that it was "fascinating" for those who were into Bob Dylan but frustrating for those who aren't.
     
  21. guidedbyvoices

    guidedbyvoices Forum Resident

    Location:
    Alpine, TX
    Great story. The San Antonio majestic is beautiful great place to see bob
     
  22. mpayan

    mpayan Forum Resident

    Completely get what you are saying. Those two concerts I just mentioned were very good and at times sizzling. Then I got lucky a third time and he was on fire vocally and in spirit with the music in Dallas in the early 2000's. Then came a small venue in downtown Fort Worth in which I was totally puzzled. Bob seemed nearly lost. He was sick I think. I swear at one point he coughed and spit on the stage lol. Bad sound and terrible performance. Ive seen him a handful of times since. None were horrible like that one, but none but one with Merle Haggard as the opening act matched those 95 concerts.

    If I get lucky and see him again, I dont expect much. More to close the chapter on my concert going years seeing Bob Dylan.
     
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  23. mpayan

    mpayan Forum Resident

    Alpine huh? We aint far from each other.
     
  24. Champagne Boot

    Champagne Boot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    First show I saw was in Ann Arbor on that 2002 tour where he was doing Van Morrison, Neil Young, Warren Zevon, and Stones covers, alternating between keyboard and guitar, Sexton out front slinging like a gosh darn rock hero. Dylan told a story ripping on modern country music. I was front row, and it blew my mind. The Summer Days from that one still gets talked about in some geeky Dylan circles. Also got to see all three Detroit shows in '04, the last featuring Jack White. Thus, the bar for greatness has always been pretty high for me, but there were some (Kalamazoo '08, Detroit '09, maybe a Chicago show somewhere) that came close. Only saw a few true stinkers in between (Freddy Koella-need I say more?). Most nights, it's right down the middle. Now, that middle's getting a bit wider.
     
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  25. Champagne Boot

    Champagne Boot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    There was a lady who toured Dylan shows for years who did stuff like this, always wearing a leopardskin pillbox hat. That had to be her. By the time I saw her around, she'd be standing around the doors trying to get someone to give her a free ticket. Haven't seen her in a while, it's been years since I stood in line for GA shows, but for a while she was always there wandering around and being weird. There was something not right about her.

    For that matter, there was a pretty predictable crew of older, slightly strange folks who would be the first in line every show, year after year, with their lawnchairs and everything, and they would just kind of stand in the front rows and stare. I wasn't even sure what they were getting out of the whole thing. It was really quite strange. They were mostly nice, though--I really believe that there are few crowds out there that are as welcoming and interesting as Dylan crowds, if you filter out the people who just want to hear the hits and get mad that he doesn't sound like 1966 anymore. Not sure if it's still that way, but in those years, it was really quite fun. Used to really dig sitting on the floor of a GA show waiting for the fanfare, just for the people-watching and eavesdropping.
     
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