March 14, 2022
Review by Susan Phillips
Sunday night, many fans concurred, Bob's singing was the best we have ever
heard him sing. The Band was rocking in between verses to the point that
Charlie's drumstick flew up in the air, it was so hot, and the entire band
was on fire. As I entered the Historic Majestic Theater the next day for
the Monday concert, I thought how could it ever be better than last night?
Bob, with a master stroke, pulled out his harmonica for "When I Paint My
Masterpiece" to be followed by another brilliant harmonica intro to "I'll
Be Your Baby Tonight." "Gotta Serve Someone" got two people in the crowd
dancing below the stage, which the ushers quickly put a stop to, but then
the guy raised his hands to the audience to stand up and dance and in true
"Don't mess with Texas" style everyone in the audience got up and danced,
I believe I heard Dylan chuckle. Monday's crowd gave every new song he
played standing ovations and their hats were waving in the air after the
final number. Austin is next.
Austin, TX and Northern Minnesota
Review by Laurette Maillet
San Antonio March 14th
It's lucky that Bob plays two nights in San Antonio. It's time to relax and
enjoy a nice city. I walk the river bank all morning.
Gabriel who is Latino for generations discourages me to visit Alamo. Never
did, never will! Texas was Mexican property :(
The downtown area is packed but outskirts is fine. I get my cappuccino at
I take the doggies out .
I am invited for dinner at Gabriel's friend house, Richard.
He made a Cassoulet and Soufflé. He's a real Chef! And fun to be with.
Gabriel drops me at the Majestic by 6.20pm. I need a ticket tonight.
I check the buses parked behind the theater. Bob is probably inside his
forteresse. The 3 fans waiting won't have any chance :(
So far I haven't seen Bob except on stage.
So I put my sign out. I got lucky almost right away. A gentleman has an
extra but expensive. I tell him to try to sell but if not to think about me.
He comes back 10 minutes later. We try to transfer via Ticket master but
it doesn't work , so I go in with him.
To my surprise the seat is 4th row center. Woah!
I chat with Richard. He is into music business and almost forgot he had
bought 4 tickets for the BD show. He received a message at the last
minute and flew straight from LA. :) He sold two to two guys who will
arrive after the fifth song :( Shame on you!
In that splendid theater Bob takes his position, behind the piano.
My view is perfect. Bob looks alright.
The public around me is enthusiastic so Bob can certainly feels it. He
will move center stage after almost each song. Posing and looking at
the first rows. He looks satisfied.
Playing harp on " When I paint my masterpiece" and "I'll be your baby
The show is great. Somebody made the remark that he changed
some lyrics. Need to hear the recordings, show after show :)
"Save somebody" provokes a 'riot' :).
A super enthusiastic fan moves towards the stage and stays there
dancing few seconds before Roger (Bob's security guy) and two big
guys ask him to retrieve to his seat. But few seconds later he is back,
encouraging the public to stand up. And the entire floor will be up.
To the surprise of Bob, a bit concerned.
But all is well with "I've made up my mind...". All patrons are seated.
Roger is sharp at people with mobile. Even opening your phone is a
"Jimmy Reed" and Bob will present the Band. He smiles at Donnie
for few seconds then "Thank you friends, I'll present my Band ,
on the drums Charlie Sexton". Then an embarrassed laugh ""of
course not. Charley Dayton. On guitar Doug Landon on....other
guitar Bob Britt. On steel guitar Donnie Heron. Ah ah ! On bass
Tony Garnier." Then turning to Charley " I'm sorry Charley!"
What a mistake !!!
An excellent show , in a Majestic theater, with an enthusiastic
audience. A happy Bobby!
I had such a great time!
I sell a print to youngsters out and Gabriel will pick me up.
Thank you the two Richards. Thank you Gabriel.
Thank you all the good people.
See you in Austin.
Review by John Cap
Taking my seat in the theater and chatting with those nearby, it was clear
word had gotten around at the special night before. Those that had been
there were still riding the high and sharing the excitement while also
trying to avoid giving too much away or giving those that had not been
there the previous night a feeling of missing out. I'll try to avoid
repetitive comments from my review of the previous night. To draw broad
comparisons, the band felt better entwined with Bob on the energy numbers,
and Bob was in better form with extended playing on both piano and harp
than the previous night. An early highlight for me was When I Paint My
Masterpiece, with an extended lead in on Harp that pulled the audience in,
Bob sang it with a bit more energy and expression than the night before.
This song is a particular favorite for me and I was grateful for this
performance as it was a level above and worth the second visit. Likewise,
I'll Be Your Baby Tonight was fluid and he sang it with a wry tone that
lifted the performance along with a Harp solo and tight work from Donnie
Herron. Bob's delivery remained powerful on the Rough and Rowdy Ways
tracks, perhaps with a bit less emotional energy on Key West and Made Up
My Mind, just more straightforward. I can't quite put my finger on what
set Key West apart the night before, possibly my experience of it in that
form for the first time vs the second, perhaps that unknowable energy of
the room, but it seemed to drag slightly after the revelatory (for me)
experience with it the night before. Gotta Serve Somebody appears to be a
never-fail song for this tour as I felt the same joy and and truth and
flat out ENERGY as the previous night, and it brought the crowd to its
feet yet again. Incredible that a song about how we ultimately all lack
freedom can provide such a collective feeling of freedom to the crowd, as
if the recognition of the truth of it releases the fear. Where Goodbye
Jimmy Reed fell a little under for me on Sunday, I felt like the driving
nature really came thru on Monday. Bob was really performing vocally here,
brought some range and channeled a variety of vocal expression that
reminded me of the best of the Isis Rolling Thunder performances. He was
sinking his teeth in this go round. Band intros brought some
unintentionally comedy, as Bob introduced Charley Drayton as Charlie
Sexton, caught himself, laughed, apologized, introduced the rest of the
band, then circled back again with another apology and mentioned Charlie
Sexton is from San Antonio. Haven't seen Bob laugh on stage for a bit,
even that minor human moment was a treat. As Bob closed to a rapt audience
with Every Grain of Sand, I absorbed the wisdom, closed my eyes and
thought of the ancient footsteps, sitting grateful for every performance
I've been so fortunate to witness over the years, always knowing there's a
chance it could be the last, always hopeful that part of the plan will
allow for at least one more.
Review by Alex Sherman
Night two in San Antonio is my 2nd show of the Rough and Rowdy Ways Tour,
my first being opening night in Milwaukee last year. I flew out to both
shows from Los Angeles, which Bob has managed to avoid the last few years
(except for the Hollywood Bowl gig cancelled by the pandemic). I don’t
get out much since work went remote two years ago, so these little
excursions to see Bob are what my doctor ordered.
The Rough and Rowdy Ways Tour has given us close watchers an unchanging
set list and a steady beat of bootleg recordings which circulate almost
immediately after the curtains fall. Now, night after night, the fandom of
Bob — now including a proliferation of podcasters and other social media
entrepreneurs - churn out hair-splitting comparisons that track
performances like the weather. And I’m as guilty as anyone indulging in
that. But the fact remains, you don’t need a weatherman to know which
way the wind blows, and when you head for another joint, it’s all good,
trying to discern the slightest tonal shifts can be a little tedious and
distracting from the joy of concerts as live performances. And anyway,
Bob’s been pretty clear, he doesn’t want those recordings made, he can
play or he can pose. That implies he doesn’t them listened to — he
wants you, me, us, to be in the here and now, there with yourself and with
him, to receive whatever it is you are taking from whatever it is he is
offering, today, tomorrow…. and OK sometimes yesterday, too. That’s
what I think, anyway.
So with that said, we got a disciplined Bob working hard to prove himself
yet again to a tough and attentive audience. Two (count ‘em two!) harp
intros! I heard the count was zero the night before. And a countrified
Masterpiece played with Britt on an acoustic and Donnie on a violin and a
gust of celestial wind from the ghost of Jimmie Rodgers, who once graced
the Majestic stage, which is nearly 100 years old. A big wave of cheers
delivered by the hometown crowd for the San Antone reading in “Made up
my mind.” The band cooked on “Serve somebody,” got the orchestra
seats on their feet. What do we make of this new “Key Wes”
arrangement? I was prepared for a change so I listened closely. Sounds
like the philosopher pirate has gone done and absconded with that most
hypnotic and sublime melody and in its place dropped something spooky and
weird. Dosed, maybe. Or satanic. Haunted and woozy. And also a little bit
over complicated, containing multitudes, but like early Genesis prog rock.
It certainly begs more questions than it answers. Not so much, “Do you
like me?” More, “Do you hear me?” Is he trying to make it ugly,
destroy the balmy, soothing, alluring, trance-like death incantation? Is
this transmogrification a way of raging against the dying of the light?
Did he get tired of trying to capture the beauty of the master take or is
this an intentional and unholy rejection of one of the most pleasurable
aesthetic experiences of RRW? All of the above?
Tony and Charley are holding the band together - Bob said Charley was his
San Antonio Rose during his intro, energizing! Giving “Grain of sand”
extra pep and uplift right out of the gate. I hang onto every word of this
song, it is the reason I flew out. (He didn’t play it in Milwaukee).
When Bob almost flubbed “perfect finished plan” my heart nearly sank,
but then he grabbed the phrase out of thin air and placed right after the
beat, a minor miracle, my heart soared. It’s why I do this, some of you
A penultimate word about the strings. I feel for Doug Lancio. Britt and
Herron have many years with Bob under their belts, they understand the
job, but they’re not lead players and Lancio is not getting it. It would
be one thing if Bob seemed happy about it, but last night it sounded like
he paid both Doug and Britt a muted backhanded compliment that each of
them played “the other guitar.” Lancio isn’t shining and my
suspicion is this is not entirely his fault. I assume Bob would help get
the fire in him going if he could. But the effect right now is a lack of
patience for and investment in Doug’s growth as a member of the group.
If I do listen to future bootlegs, that’s what I’ll be looking out
And a final word about Bob’s voice. While the renaissance is undeniable,
the passage of time is also undeniable, and the hoarse rasp of the Tempest
era is starting to re-emerge. This is just the impression I have comparing
to Milwaukee 2021, which was like honey, but memory is a tricky thing.
I’m glad I flew out to San Antonio and caught the RRW tour again, and if
rumors of a West Coast tour are true, I’ll be happy to see him bring it
all back home.
Review by Nancy Cobb
This venue is one of the "atmospheric theatres" built in the 1920's
designed for films and live performances and to transport the audience to
another time and place ... it was the 2nd largest in the US at the time
and the first to be air-conditioned. You feel like you are in the
courtyard of a fairyland castle on a starry night surrounded by birds and
animals - and in fact there are various stuffed creatures all around the
stage including doves suspended from the ceiling and a huge albino peacock
with a 10 foot wingspan looking down from the left of the stage.
The band had a different configuration on this 2nd night with Tony and Bob
Britt so close together that Tony's bow seemed to come within an inch of
Bob's guitar during the opening song and Doug standing at close proximity
to Dylan and his piano instead of walking about. Since I am attending one
more show, I will comment on just a few songs here and save the rest for
I'll Be Your Baby Tonight, a song of few words, really didn't need the
words as the music and rhythm said it all ... It reminded me of an old
time recording called Copulatin' Blues with a 1922 song by Trixie Smith
called My Man Rocks me, with a steady Roll. The only other Dylan song that
has given me the impression of being in the middle of it like this
performance is "New Pony" and I have never heard that one live. It was a
far cry from the relatively chaste versions on John Wesley Harding or even
The next song Key West is in a state of flux. It seems to have been
reworked somewhere on the lonesome road between Albuquerque and Lubbock.
I like where it is going, because I thought it was too much of a call and
response thing between Bob and the band in Albuquerque and a bit draggy.
I loved Tony's bass playing and how the music and Bob's piano flowed
together in San Antonio.
When people first started saying that I've Made up my Mind to give Myself
to You was a tribute to Bob's fans, I thought that was corny, but now I
believe it. He has taken a big risk to not only announce a 4 year
worldwide tour during these times, but also to play his new and lesser
known material which his many fair-weather friends don't appreciate so
much. He has always wanted to reach out to people in all walks of life,
and in San Antonio I saw more young and Latinx than ever before. And this
is a traveling song and he is now doing exactly that. On this tour more
than ever before in my opinion, he shows his appreciation to the many who
have been on the road with him.
Melancholy Mood is interesting because its long intro is the only guitar
solo so far in the program. Not sure if Albuquerque was Doug's first try
at it, but it did not seem to meet with Bob's approval and Doug walked off
the stage briefly and there was not a cohesive bow from the stage after
the show. Bob Britt played it on the first night in San Antone but Doug
did it the 2nd night with Bob sitting on the end of his piano bench
listening intently, almost like it was an audition. Then in the intros,
Bob referred to both guitarists as playing the other guitar and made the
Freudian slip about Charlie Sexton which I believe had more to do with his
guitar anxieties than his drummer whom has more than earned his place in
Bob's new band.
Finally Every Grain of Sand ... it is another work in progress and for me
it keeps getting better and better. Think about what Bob does on the
piano that no one else does. He plays standing up for the whole show. He
can improvise a melodic line as well as do chords while singing. He can
do ragtime, honky-tonk, and gospel as well as blues, and he has the guts
to have experimental riffs high in the mix. As a way of adjusting after
San Antonio, I looked again at my favorite concert film of all, "Jazz on
a Summers Day" which could function as a trailer for Bob's new book "The
Philosophy of Modern Song." When Mahalia Jackson sang The Lord's Prayer
at the end, it reminded me of Bob's Every Grain of Sand.
Review by Peter Hayward
After following the Spring tour from San Antone to Nashville, I just made
it back home the other day and found some time to finish collecting all my
thoughts. I think these serve as a review for these shows and my travels,
as well as an insight into the evolution of the tour and the themes of
Dylan’s newest material.
SAN ANTONE - MAJESTIC THEATER - MARCH 13th and 14th 2022
Amazing shows in San Antone over the past two nights, under the false
starry sky of the beautiful Majestic. Dylan is on top of his game. Sitting
comfortably at his peak, of which he's had so many in his life, but this
seems so special. Especially to his true fans. I met Sue, who follows
Dylan tours as much as she possibly can, after the show which was a lot of
fun. When the question came up of how Sunday compared to Monday, she
shared a sentiment I very much agree with; every night you see Dylan is
the best show you've ever seen because he makes it feel that special every
night. Especially now.
I was 3rd row on the 13th at the Majestic, right in eye-line of the the
microphone at the piano. Second row on the 14th in basically the same
seat. Rowdy crowd the first night, but some of that were inconsiderate
guests who wanted to talk. Specifically the older couple next to me who
arrived late, started filming over their heads -and I gave them a generous
warning that they would be kicked out very swiftly - yet still talked a
lot of the show. I would have rather just flagged down an usher than try
to interact much more, but thankfully some good soul in the row in front
of me gave them a good shush. Great shush, really, but they still kept
just slightly hushed conversation going most of the show *on the opening
of Black Rider and my entire section turned to look at them*… I felt
mortified just being that close to them. The audience, at least where I
was sitting, seemed to be a bit more respectful on Monday night, but still
really digging it.
Sue "identified" me as “fisty" after the show, as I was launching my
fist's into the air at the vocal breaks or key lines in many songs. Hey, I
wasn’t the only one! I will say, when I do that I really try to reserve
it to my own space as not to intrude on others. I will also say that at
every show that I've been up front, people have either said they liked my
energy, and I have even had people behind me tap my shoulder and whisper
me a Dylan fact or a musician I should check out that he was inspired by.
Besides all that, its just appropriate. The Audience needs to interact
with the Artist. Blues almost requires a whoop and a holler from the
audience to really get it going. It’s call and response, plain and
simple. And aside from all the specifics about the shows and his material,
that is really what Dylan's always been aiming for and I think he has
truly conquered; mastery of his live performance and how the artist
interacts with its live audience. Like Sue said, every night you see him
is the best night you've ever seen him, because you just got to see Bob
There's a million miles of bootlegs but they can't fully capture that.
Even a good video on a nice camera or phone can't give you the experience
of being there and witnessing him perform before a live audience. The
arrangements are so specific to the live setting, and Dylan’s voice is
so nuanced that there is no comparison between the tapes and the real
thing. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to listen to the bootlegs, and
appreciate the tapers for giving us a document of the night, but its like
trying to see the world in two dimensions instead of three.
One of my favorite moments of the 14th was a point in “Masterpiece" (if
I recall the song correctly) and Sue confirmed with me that she saw this
too. Right after Dylan finished a verse I gave him a holler and a fist
pump, then he looked me dead in the eyes, held his right hand out with his
pointer finger up with the “oh, just hold on a second" gesture, then
absolutely WAILED at his piano like I have never seen. It was his
two-hand-tremolo technique taken to a totally different level. The crowd,
especially up front, went absolutely wild and Dylan smiled as he reveled
in the Rock N' Roll. I am so thankful Sue affirmed this because it was
just an amazing moment, and he was clearly feeling the love.
The sound was excellent. Of course Dylan’s voice is sounding amazing
this tour. I think they have particularly mastered the sound of Dylan’s
piano and he’s only become a better player, often leading the slower
songs. It’s like they’ve tuned it to sound different in different
octaves. Likely how it’s the mics are set up and put through the sound
system, but sometimes the instrumentation to me sounds exactly like how it
was captured on “Tempest,” as an almost aged Thin Wild Mercury sound.
The piano and steel guitar blend together to become one instrument amid
the two other droning guitar parts -droning swells on the slower songs and
keeping tight rhythm on the faster ones- while the bass and drums keep
everything moving along. On many of the slow songs you can tell the guitar
players are really sitting behind supplying swells and soft little licks,
letting Dylan and Donnie do most of the lead work, aside from some
specific guitar solos. God bless Donnie for being such a good musician!
It’s almost like cat and mouse, or a clutching the coattails version of
follow the leader. Donnie’s eyes and ears always focused on Dylan.
I actually had an extra ticket for the 14th and I saw on Expecting Rain
that someone needed one so I reached out and gave him a nicely reduced
price. Some kind folks had done the same for me so it seemed fitting. We
decided to meet up outside the venue and walk in together (my ticket for
him was mobile, and he had cash). I gave him a nice left orchestra row g
seat, which I'd have taken if I didn't nab a second row for a great price.
Nice to pass it on to other good hearted people. Neither of us expected
it, but we were both similar age and on basically the same mission of
following Dylan from Texas to Nashville. He's got an RV, and I'm in my
van. We both said we have specific nights, like when theres a show, that
we’ll splurge and get a hotel to have a little break.
While this was a great chance to meet a new friend and fellow traveler, it
also gave us another harmonica solo from Dylan. He played harp on the
intro to "Masterpiece," and absolutely nailed it to great applause. Then,
after the song ended I heard a "WE LOVE THE HARP BOB...". From my spot in
the second row I saw Dylan smile, and I just knew in my heart that the
person who screamed that was the guy who I sold my ticket to. I was right.
We met up after the show and he said that was him. Guess what; it got us
another harmonica solo later on, I think during I’ll Be Your Baby
Tonight. Don't know if it would have happened if not for him as we
didn’t get any harmonica the previous night, just like I don’t think
we would have gotten the wailing piano solo if it weren’t for my
I gave Charlie Drayton some solid eye contact/love on the first night here
during "To Be Alone With You." I was bopping along and he gave me a tasty
fill as a thank you. Tony heard Charley start getting groovy and he looked
at him and smiled.
..... Speaking of Charley. The 14th contained a great comical mishap that
was waiting to happen. Dylan saying Charlie Sexton on the drums instead of
Charley Drayton.. I have never heard so much remorse from the man!!!
Whatever the transcript is, right as the words came out you could see in
his face that he was thinking “aw, shit man" in his head. Really, it was
sweet. It seemed like he genuinely felt very bad and did not want to
discredit or offend his new, and amazing, drummer (plus likely family
friend). After he got through the guitarists, right before he introduced
Tony, he look over to Charley who said something, then Dylan said
something off mic to the effect of I'm sorry, then spoke clearly into the
microphone directed at Charley, in a little laughing tone, "I know," as if
he's a teacher who mixed up a previous pupil with a current one. To his
credit, the names are very close and it made for a really fun bit! Beauty
in a little humility. It didn’t seem like Charley minded too much
either. Dylan made a joke of how “the Yellow Rose of Texas must have
gotten to me!” which served as the nights shout out - along with the
built in “Salt Lake City to San Antone” to which the crowds erupted in
cheers both nights.
I think it was during "Serve Somebody" on the 14th that a guy, clearly out
of line and out of his section, came up front facing the crowd, trying to
dance and get everyone to stand up. All I could think was thank god he's
not by me, but "hey good luck to him getting those older folks up". I had
done that *politely and within the limits of my seat* at some shows in the
past after a particularly moving song, but would never dare to walk up
front like that. Security started to hassle him. Somehow, probably to the
credit of the security not wanting an incident, they had a hard time
stifling him. Yah know what, it worked! The whole damn crowd was on there
feet by the end of the song and Dylan let out a chuckle at the sight.
Intentions or not, the guy did succeed in feeding energy into the end of
the show! He might have gotten kicked out right after that, or just
reseated, but I lost him in the sea people and most of my focus is always
on Dylan and the band.
I will say, somethings still happening here and half the people don't have
a clue what it is. Leaving the show, with my new friend who I sold my
ticket too, a guy said he thought the show was “fine” but was
shrugging his shoulders and said wished he could have heard a song he
actually knew.. I just don't get it. Frankly, Dylan did really step in
through the side door. He wasn't given the platform of a true artist of
his generation until he has come to this stage in his life. Sure, he could
make a set easily out of his older hits, and even then there would be a
few that people might not know because a lot of his best work has flown
over the general population during the changing times. I really do think
that sometimes the younger generation of Dylan fans have a better
perspective because they don't come in with all that nostalgia, which
Dylan does not tolerate. Fans who have been around for a long time really
have to let go of the past in ways that newer fans don’t. Maybe thats
why some people don't tolerate a Dylan show. They can't have their
nostalgia blown up in their face in the presence of change. I also find
that there are many older folks who claim to me, a younger person, that
they are long time fans.
One of them tonight (he was actually a very nice older guy who was there
on his own) claimed to be a big fan since from the start, but didn't know
the title or period of "Watching The River Flow” and had to ask me once
the song was over. I whispered him the title of “Most Likely You Go Your
Way” and he said he knew that one. He didn’t ask for any other titles,
though I assumed he wasn’t familiar with Rough and Rowdy Ways, but he
was clearly enjoying it.
Here's where I draw the line. This guy clearly didn't realize what Bob
Dylan he was going to see, but he really loved the show, and in his fairly
restrained older-fellow way, did do some rhythmic hand movements, and even
clapped along on beat with at a few moments on the rockers. I don't think
he would have done that if I had not shown my enthusiasm for the music.
That guy had a great time and was opened up to something he didn't
understand. Then there's the opposite; the guy I mentioned first, at least
25 years our senior, who said, "well, it was fine but I wish he played at
least one song that I knew" My friend who I just met, is around my age and
has only really gotten into Dylan the past few years, quickly retorted
“yeah, maybe next year!" I laughed wishing I had been so quick.
That kinda guy can go screw off. Sure, you can like all the hits and only
the hits. They are hits for a reason. But, if you're going to see Bob
Dylan in 2022.. don't expect Bob Dylan from 1965, ’70, ’75, ’80,
etc. Don’t even expect the same Dylan you saw last year or last night.
Things have changed and they damn sure aren’t what they were. Yet, Dylan
is still confounding expectations by delivering the best shows of his
career at the age of 80 years old and not playing a single well known hit.
What’s most absurd is that it’s the guys own damn fault that he
didn’t know the songs! I certainly knew every song. Do some research.
It’s all free to listen to somewhere on the internet. Dylan named this
whole tour after his new album. It says Rough and Rowdy Ways on every
marquee, ticket, and advertisement for the show. What songs would you
expect to hear?
Speaking of the songs, the Rubicon rewrites the past few night’s have
been particularly powerful. “Feel’s like 10 - maybe twenty years now -
that I’ve been gone..” was possibly the most chilling line of the
night. People were hollering between lines and verses, but that line
stopped everyone dead in their seats. How could you cheer on a line like
that? Its amazing, open, and honest. It’s also cold and bleak. So
perfectly devoid of all hope. A brutal lament. You could hear those years
in his voice as he sang it. In the next verse he sings “and the early
day’s are gone,” to which I and some others gave a few whoops, and
Dylan smiled in appreciation.
I have seen old concert footage and hear bootlegs from every decade, and I
have seen Dylan live since 2009, but mostly so in the past few years. He
is on top. This is the best. Maybe the last of the best and everything
else is already buried. There isn’t the uncertainty of his younger self.
He knows where he stands on the stage. There may be specific moments where
he shines brighter than others, but man, every night I see him I’m
standing in the light of day. The house lights are also at 25% the whole
show, so that sentiment is also quite literal. People have said that it
feels kinda weird, but I love it. During the beginning of Goodbye Jimmy
Reed (or maybe it was Serve Somebody), the stage lights went down leaving
the band in the dark and the audience fairly well lit. The second he
started singing the green lights came on to a nice effect. Dylan loves to
play with and in the shadows, but in almost every concert before the
pandemic he was backlit in a way that put his face in the dark, yet
illuminated the audience. Its a tactic. He wants to see you, to be able to
look at you dead in the eye, even if you don’t know it. It’s a use of
his powers in a brilliant way.
This tour, and last fall, he’s the most visible he’s been in a few
years and I think its nice to be able to see him. But he’s still got the
house lights up so he can really see his audience, and specifically the
people who are engaging with his new material. This all goes back to the
heart of live performance. The artists interaction with their audiences
and vice versa. Casting spells, weaving tales, and holding power over
their crowd. But, and it’s a big but; the crowd holds just as much power
as the performer. Dylan has always been at our whim. His success has been
determined by his fans, and it’s really his devote fans who have carried
the torch and spread the word of his artistry to others. He relies on us
each night just as much as the show relies on him, maybe even more so.
A magnificent show in the Majestic Theatre - Dylan sure gave himself to
Peter Hayward is a Minneapolis based Singer/Songwriter and
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