New Orleans, Louisiana

Saenger Theatre

April 29, 2015

[Nancy Cobb]

Review by Nancy Cobb


That is what I think about Dylan's performance of Autumn Leaves last night
though this song has been done 1000s of times before.   The actual
quotation above is attributed to Bob Dylan by Eric Burdon who talked with
a local reporter when he came to the Coachella Valley for the Stagecoach
festival recently.  As the story goes, in the early 60's, Dylan and Joan
Baez were on a road trip across the country and the Animals' version of
"House of the Rising Sun" came on the radio.  Bob stopped the car, jumped
out, and.....the rest is history.  In an ironic twist of fate, a young boy
at his first BD concert was sitting next to me, and he asked if I thought
Dylan would play that song (I suppose because we were in New Orleans, and
he has been known to do it in the past).  I told him about the "setlist"
but maybe there would be a surprise or two.

Getting back to the show, there is a saying that if you speak to God it is
praying, but if God speaks to you, its schizophrenia.  Well, I pray, and
Bob Dylan speaks to me (through his songs, of course).   But my theory is,
lately, Dylan has had a little help.  I can not believe that Tempest was
recorded in the same voice as the gorgeous one we were treated to last
night.  There is a surgeon in New England who has helped many vocalists
from opera singers to screaming rockers (Steven Tyler, Roger Daltrey,)
take care of their wonderful instrument.  Possibly he may have helped Bob

The "setlist" was played soft and mellow at this beautiful venue with a
lilting feeling like old country swing.  For the first few songs it
looked like the drum sticks were wrapped in pillow cases.  Bob's harp
playing on Tangled Up, Simple Twist, and Forgetful Heart was such a great tone can come from a little thing he holds
in one hand is beyond me.  He got such a tremendous reaction from the
crowd at the end of Tangled Up in Blue that he raised it like a drinking
cup for the second solo as if to say "Here's to You".  On Love Sick, for
the first time I felt he was singing it directly to the audience instead
of indirectly about a person in his past.  He is sick of love, hate,
obsession, and so-called betrayal, and now there is mutual like and
respect with Dylan and his audience which was old, new, and everything
in between.

Early Roman Kings stood out as a bright bluesy rocker perhaps as a tribute
to this great city, and of course, it was the funniest song of the night. 
Soon After Midnight reminded me of his love ballads on Blonde On Blonde,
so different from Tempest.  Then there was the very slow incredibly moving
Autumn Leaves that could never have been sung with the old rough Dylan
voice.  After a rollicking Blowin' in the Wind came the perfect ending,
Stay With Me.  I am reminded of Dylan in another Sinatra song...."It Was a
Very Good Year".

Nancy Cobb 


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