Johnny Mercer Theatre
March 26, 2022
Review by Laurette Maillet
Atlanta to Savannah.
This is the one I thought I would never do. It took me hours to figure out
how to reach the city on time for the show and where to stay for the night.
My only solution was to ask some help from my good friend Bob Russel who
kindly and generously booked a room for me at the ... Marriott :), right next
to the Johnny Mercer theater. I just have to pray for the greyhound bus to
be on time, arriving 5.05pm.
Well of course, it is not on time. We leave Atlanta with half an hour delay
and a traffic jam increases the delay to 45 minutes.
Still alright as I have already a ticket from Stefanie.
I arrive around 6pm at the hotel and immediately walk around for a bite to
eat. I'm literally starving. A doughnut and a bottle of chocolate milk will do :).
One form of luxury is enough :):)
A Fan proposes me a good seat for the show tonight. So, this is the first time
I have two tickets. I know I won't be able to sell any of them. The show is
far away for being sold out.
The city of Savannah is pretty but I won't be able to do any tourist trip.
I just go to the Johnny Mercer theater.
My seat is right after the pit, second row. But no one will claim the three
seats in front of me. The pit is not even full. I don't want to grab an empty
seat. Those days are over :)
As I watch the stage I see a box posed on the right of the piano. What
could it be? It's certainly blocking the view of the fans seated on the right.
No way they could see Bob's face. :(
My good Samaritans are father and son I've seen before, particularly at the
Beacon. At least I know they will appreciate the show and not disturb by
The theater is average, nothing fancy.
Bob arrives on time.
It takes a little while to start the "River flow".
He will try the harp between the lyrics of "Masterpiece" but this is not
After "False prophet" Bob moves center stage, in the dark. His movements
will be sparse but he will talk quite a lot with Tony, laughs with Bob Britt
and exchange with Donnie but nothing in the set will change. I just remark
that Charley doesn't use the pearls on "Mother of muses"anymore.
Bob seems in a hurry, shuffling the papers on the piano, moving from one
song to the other.
Does he dream to be somewhere else?
His voice is clear but at time he is just mumbling the words.
Too bad for I really enjoy myself. I appreciate this show as it was so difficult
to figure out the logistics. Two or three fans try to warm up the audience
but in vain.
The public remains seated.
For me it's like having Bob in my living room. I focus on his face. Standing
for an applause after each good song. And there are all good.
"My own version of you" and "Crossing the Rubicon" will be my highlights.
"Every grain of sand" a little bit weak. Time to sleep :)
With Bob Russel and Nancy we go out for a drink before I crash on my
Queen size bed.
6 hours sleep and on the road again....
Thank you all the good Samaritans: Bob Russel, Daniel Dorchak and his
father, Stefanie for the Tix...all the good Fans who appreciate my reviews
See you in North Charleston or anyway on the road for another.
Review by Bob Russell
Savannah and the Johnny Mercer theatre. Savannah is a city of true
Southern charm (not like Washington D.C., a city of Northern charm and
Southern efficiency ). After a day of touring the city, we settled
into balcony seats, a good perspective on Bob’s stage.
Same setlist tonight, another excellent concert, fine sound in the
balcony! This was Dylan concert 137 for me and my 7th of 8 of the spring
As I do another recap, you may be wondering about me, as Neil Young says,
“Seems like that guy… Been doing it for a long time. Is there anything
he knows That he ain't said?" You be the judge of your intrepid and
faithful servant if you will, Gentle Reader…
• A note about the music which plays as the band takes the stage. There
is about 25 seconds of an orchestral selection, which then dissolves into
a cacophony of dissonance. Think the Grateful Dead’s “Space” segment
on a bad night. Or really, on any night. • I have been meaning to put
forth this opinion on Dylan’s piano work. Clearly, he has been
woodshedding and is playing some very effective lines throughout the
concerts. The further point is this: Bob used to say that he wanted a
guitarist who could sound like a horn section. I’m not sure that he ever
found it, except PERHAPS … Freddie Koella! But I will leave that rathole
for another day! I believe Dylan is at times getting that same horn vibe
in repeating motifs on the piano. Listen for them! • More song closeups,
the key ones, the last four: o 14) Melancholy Mood. A short pause before
the finishing volley of meaning. Bob Britt and Doug Lancio alternate
night-to-night on the soloing duties, both now very tasteful to my ears,
after some corrective direction from Dylan. Catch your breath here and get
ready… o 15) Mother of Muses. This is the high point of the night, the
climax Bob has been aiming for. Like Homer in Ancient Greece and Virgil
in Ancient Rome, Dylan implores the muses to assist him in his task. In
particular, he looks to receive love from Calliope, the Greek muse whose
area is eloquence and epic poetry. In a deep and eloquent voice, Dylan
delivers what are to me the strongest lyrics of the new songs. One feels
there is also a strong thanks being expressed for the gifts already
delivered by the Gods in Dylan’s 80 years. I love this song! A couple of
further notes: first, the delicate double-tap from Charley Drayton
perfectly punctuates the end of each verse. Charley is a great addition.
Secondly, this has to be the only song in history to mention the Soviet
World War II general Georgy Zhukov (unless he is in an early Al Stewart
historical song. Speaking of which, Al Stewart has a comprehensive 50-disc
box set coming out! Al Stewart, c’mon?!? Though “Nostradamus” was a
great song indeed. But I digress). o 16) Goodbye Jimmy Reed. The storm
has broken, we are having a good time now, invoking the late blues great
Reed. Dylan has long ago learned to carry himself like the earlier greats.
This would leave the audience happy and rocking as they depart, but first
we need… o 17) Every Grain if Sand. The Benediction. A letter-perfect
rendition, with basically the same melody we have known, and in Bob’s
magically-rejuvenated voice. A perfect ending. Clocking no more than 1
hour, 40 minutes, and with no encore, the evening still seems complete.
Already in North Charleston, with another concert tonight, my last for the
moment. Stay tuned, same Bob time, same Bob channel!
Review by Charles Cicirella
First I want to say thanks to Anita in
security for disconnecting the cables or helping get them disconnected,
it's nice when security listens to the fans. The show last night was up
on another level. Every song was spot on and even Key West worked a
little better, still the old arrangement and the accordion are sorely
missed. It was a highlight from the previous fall shows that is missed.
The sound was in your face snd the acoustics were brilliant.
Review by Ralph Cowart
This is the tenth time I have seen dylan in concert since the Rolling
Thunder Review in 1977 in Gainesville , FL. This includes a show at RFK
stadium in DC with the Dead and Tom Petty. I thought his voice was good
and probably benefited from a few years off during the pandemic. I enjoyed
all the new songs from Rough and Rowdy Ways in particular "Key West". Of
the non RARW songs I thought "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" was the best.
The band really rocked on this and Bob's vocals were very good. I liked
"Gotta Serve Somebody" also. He added almost all new words to the song.
All in all a great show. I hope it is not my last chance to see him but if
it is it ended on a high note.
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