April 27, 2013
Review by Tac Shaw
Heading back to Music City U.S.A. after the show in Murray I could help but
wish Bob Dylan would do the same, but more on that later. For the past
decade they have been recording into The Never ending tour into Pro tools
just as they did at Murray. I think the actual bootlegs recordings from the
07 and 11 shows at the Ryman floating around are far superior to what I
heard in Murray and maybe by Bootleg series 40 they will see the light of
day? So why are they sticking to such a limited set list when over the past
decade they have covered anywhere from as 64 to as many as 112? Web
Sheriff has takes down concert content and is vigilantly scanning YouTube
and the Web for unauthorized videos which is 99% audience captured
concert footage. Mirrors surrounding the keyboards, dimly lit stage, working
on the same tunes the past 16 shows? Don't think for a minute Duke
Robillard the "new" guy isn't capable of learning anything more over the past
month, he could play this in his sleep. There are some wonderful theories
flying around about all this prior to the show and suddenly as the show starts
the combination of such seeminly random events it seems quite plausible
that it's not by chance at all.
Artist don't make much from the sale of unit's, Cd's in this case. Minus the
studio cost, band, studio and personal salaries most product is lucky to even
recoup the investment. Even worse most stuff is leaked at some point in the
manufacturing process and available on line as a free download before the
actual release date cripling sales. The Bootleg series is culled from 50 years of
studio and concert recordings and I would imanage extremely profitable? HD
capable cell phones, compact 20 mega pixel camera's for $500, hand held
stereo recorders from Tascam, Alesis for under $200 are as small as a phone
and offer great 16 bit recording with enough memory to record the whole
concert. There out there taping and filming as I suppose they do every
show, I don't know how you can stop it upfront and using Web Sheriff
seems the only viable alternative unless as some artist do embrace the
taping and distribution of their concerts.
My guess would be the mirrors and dim lighting are an attempt to degrade
the video taping of the show. Secondly I'd venture the unconventioanal
repeating of the set list is meant to record the 4 new songs as they look for
the night they will eventually use or comp as well as his latest reworking of
"What good Am I". But that the repeating set list might also be meant to
protect the years of songs they have already recorded and archived? Then
if they decide they want to record a new version with Duke in stead of using
something from Denny's or Charlie's tenure, then it might explain the addition
of Working Man Blues #2 the other night?
So how was the show? DIfferent, that seems the best word for it as
compared to most touring productions, it's so sparse and visually uninspiring
that it's unique. But that's not new, he's never had much of a "stage show".
The Piano, now that's a welcome change as is the dedicated roles of the two
guitarist which is a lot less confusing musically for the band and helps hold it
together. I'm glad I made the trip even though he'll be playing more
conveniently in Nashville this Summer which I learned after already being
invited to this show. I was able to get close enough and he was having a
good time, I felt like we've now said our goodbyes and I'm happy to leave it
at that. It's literally dark, very dark but if you get close enough it can be
enjoyable. It's comfortable now like a movie you've seen 100 times, no longer
challenged or surprised by the plot and then it's suddenly over. He's trying
harder now and you can see effort is about the only thing new he can add to
the live show, the voice is gone and it's never coming back. I could be
completely off the mark with my comments on why the lighting is so dark but
the whole look of the show seems tired and amateurish. I'll never get the
show I want to see, neither will you. He's never going to pick up the accoustic
guitar and stand alone on that stage for a solo evening. I have to admit I was
consumed by trying to piece this together during the show and to say the
venue was less then inspiring compared to the Ryman is an understatement.
When he wants to put forward the effort he can still be entertaining, but
when he's punching the clock it's painful. And I wish they would use some of
the live stuff they've recorded for radio advertisements so you wouldn't have
to listen to the complaints from those expecting something resembling the
original songs or the voice of years long gone. It wasn't in the league of
show's at the Ryman, and wisely I skipped the 2010 show at the horrible
sounding Municipal Auditorium. But when I re read them the same reviewer
from Boblinks on his last 2 Nashville appearances it's all there, and for $50
ticket it's worth the gamble for some.
2010 review by Francis King at Municipal
."All in all, I'd say Bob should ditch the organ, go back to the electric
piano, put Kimball and Herron out of their misery and beseech Larry
Campbell to quit Levon Helm's band (unlikely) and rejoin Sexton with
resurrected guitar prominence in the arrangements. Otherwise
hate to say this
. maybe Bob is getting to the point where it'll just be
time to hang it up."
2011 review by Francis King at Ryman
"Bob Dylan's performance at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville last night
was a welcome and grand improvement over his appearance last year at
Music City's Municipal Auditorium. In part, this was attributable to
the fact that the Ryman is a vastly superior venue, both sound-wise and
in its overall aesthetic. But, there was more to it than that. This
time out, Dylan was much more engaged in the show, his voice was much
stronger (hardly any atonal croaking)
Bob you need to head back to Nashville and take up residency at Jack
White's Third man studio. Surround yourself with Nashville's finest and get
a producer to help you achieve your vision. The last 3 CD's share basically
the same instrumentation from song to song and it's tetious , I love David
Hidalgo but send him a Christmas card next time rather then a invatation to
record. Consider White, Lanois or Knoffler as co-producer's, or find that
sounding board you trust. Drop the bad drum loops and get musicians who
are capable of making a great record. You've inspired countless musicians
who would love to write and record with you, fire up the bus and make a
lap around the country to their home studios and do some recording. But
first turn that bus towards the Nashville Skyline and bring it all back home,
show them all you have that great album still in you.
Review by Robert Haley
Bob & Band perform well, it was a good set of songs, a good venue & sound.
Opening act The Wild Feathers did a great job. Good music, lots of
energy and dialogue with crowd.
Bob and band seemed to be having a good time with the show.
Interesting arrangements of the songs - I liked that. Some of the
arrangements and improvisation were unusual. This added interest as
far as I was concerned, but all songs easily and quickly recognizable.
I liked the guitarist Robillard and of course Stu Kimball. It all fit
The sound volume was pretty much just right all night. I had been
concerned the indoor venue with steel and concrete would result in too
loud music and Bob would have to bark to be heard. Fortunately, sound set
up was good, So Bob's voice came through clearly, at least where I sat.
Being able to hear clearly the words Bob is singing is a must for me to
really enjoy a Dylan concert. I was favorably impressed with the venue
and the crowd, and my guess is that most seats would be hearing the music
and words fairly well.
Great to hear Spirit on the Water, the old time gentle melody was
beautiful. And I was really glad to be able to hear What Good Am I, a song
with a lot of heart-felt, personal meaning I've always thought. And of
course Beyond Here Lies Nothing is a crowd favorite, and I liked it too.
I would go to this exact concert again. Performance was good, and
there was a lot of interesting variety I thought. I could hear it
again and still be interested and engaged.
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