Things Have Changed: Dylan Sounding Super In Latest Tour Leg
Whatever Bob Dylan did in a different way on this leg of the Never 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 appeared nearly happy.
Let me say right here that I am 32 years old. I grew up from the crib with Dylan’s music. I’ve seen him perhaps 10 or 12 times in the last 12 years — each to cowl live shows as a reporter or music columnist and to enjoy them as a fan.
I used to be there in the early 2000s when he mumbled by means of “Cat’s within the Properly” at every concert.
I sat by two-hour exhibits where I could not make out one clear syllable.
So once i heard him — loud and clear — in Providence, Rhode Island on Nov. 15, my jaw dropped.
Beneath the golden lighting, there was nearly an “Austin Metropolis Limits”-vibe, a televised particular-vibe that hearkened back to the now-basic 1994 MTV Unplugged album. It was magic.
Clad in his now-signature Western attire — black go well with with white piping, vast-brimmed hat and cowboy boots — Dylan alternated between the piano and standing stage heart, in his wide-legged stinkbug stance, blasting air into his harmonica.
If there’s a extra blissful state than sitting in front of Bob Dylan whereas he plays harmonica, I don’t know what it is.
He opened with a bang, nearly fairly actually, because the stage lit up, a guitar sounded, and Dylan walked out singing “Issues Have Modified.” His 19-song set lasted a full two hours — that set being, stone island technical bomber jacket in fact, in conventional Never Ending Tour-style — the very same set he performed in Boston the evening before, in Chicago the week earlier than that, in Christchurch, New Zealand in September, in Munich in July.
If you haven’t seen Dylan in a 12 months or so, the set currently consists of an virtually fairly model of “Workingman’s Blues #2” a bluesy, a hoppy “Duquesne Whistle,” a haunting version of “Pay in Blood,” and a few outdated bones thrown to the lapping crowds — “Twisted up In Blue,” “Easy Twist Of Destiny” and, as an encore, “Blowin’ Within the Wind.” His final track of the evening was a cover of Frank Sinatra’s “Stick with Me.” Why Solely Bob knows.
He wrapped up the most recent U.S. leg of the Never Ending Tour at New York’s Beacon Theatre earlier this month. However nonetheless, nationwide, many reviewers did not appear to appreciate the improvement. Apart from a handful of rave reviews — perhaps most notably from Rolling Stone on his Beacon efficiency — many may very well 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 isn’t the Dylan of 1966.
As a result of it is not 1966. The Dylan of 1966 is lifeless. The Dylan of 1996 is lifeless. The Dylan of 2013 is lifeless. You can’t go to a Bob Dylan concert right now and cry that he changed the sound of “Simple Twist of Fate.” Complain that he would not play guitar anymore. Whine that his set listing is actually “Tempest.” You cannot go to a Bob Dylan concert in 2014 and complain that he sounds garbled and washed out.
As a result of he’s not afraid of trying, ‘trigger he do not have a look at you and smile. ‘Cause he does not tell you jokes or fairy tales, say he is acquired no model.
To be an honest-to-God, true Dylan fan is to know his only constants are his ever-changing phases and that he’ll never care what you think.
Ironically, in the event you tell folks you’re into Bob Dylan, they tend to think of you as an old soul, a throwback from the ’60s — but Dylan has never clung to the past, by no means shown an ounce of nostalgia. He is always been on to his next part before we are able to absolutely appreciate the last.
He threw away his Guthrie costume. He plugged in. He went Christian. He wrote a long, detailed song about the sinking of the Titanic. He made a Christmas album. He wore a long wig for a stint. He lent his music to a super Bowl yogurt commercial. He played Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry tunes for one dude. Now he covers Frank Sinatra.
And still, at every unexpected and unusual step of the way, there have been fans and critics who gasp: He went electric! He went Christian! He offered out to Chrysler! Because, as Zimmy himself proclaims before each show nowadays: Things Have Changed. And solely a fool in here would think he is obtained something to prove.
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