Port Chester, New York

Capitol Theatre

June 15, 2017

[Willy Gissen], [Howard Horder], [Barry Gloffke]

Review by Willy Gissen

The Dylan Kaleidoscope

A kaleidoscope of emotions, a survey of music genres, and his own special
 touch took the audience through a riveting rollercoaster ride for the 
 conclusion of Dylan's three-night tour-de-force at Port Chester's iconic 
 Capitol Theater last night, the 500th performance at the site since it 
 re-opened in 2012.

Barely giving the audience time to catch their collective breath, Dylan 
discarded his recent habit of including an intermission during his shows and 
plowed through 20 songs in what can only be described as a riveting 
survey of musical genres, some standard and some all his own. His voice 
lacked any hoarseness, maybe because these three nights represented 
the beginning of another leg of his ongoing, "never-ending tour."  

I'm no Dylan neophyte, or sycophant for that matter, having followed him 
up and down the East Coast for decades. Yet last night, he took the 
performance to a whole other level. It was as if he was trying to outdo 
his recent achievement of winning the Nobel Prize.

Followed by an interesting decision to start with a one-minute musical 
prelude, Dylan exploded on stage with a growling version of "Things Have 
Changed." Then, for the next song, he let the audience know this would 
be no regular concert as he took center stage using his long-neglected 
electric guitar for a sweet and melodic rendition of "Don't Think Twice, 
It's Alright."

Dylan alternated between slower Sinatra covers and challenging in-your-face 
music for much of the night. Next was a raucous version of "Highway 61 
Revisited," Dylan using every crackle of his voice, going up and down the 
scale like a virtuoso, backed by driving rock-and-roll riffs from his backup 
band.  Somehow Dylan seemed to invent new vocal tricks I haven't ever 
seen before.

Several years ago, Dylan re-arranged "Summer Days" to conclude his main 
set list, using it as a driving rock-and-roll song with a lot of syncopation to 
finish his concerts with a bang. But in his next song last night, he completely 
re-arranged "Summer Days" again, this time into a rollicking country version 
with violin and a typical country arrangement and sound. The new version 
was nothing short of genius, and the audience loved it. 

Next, Dylan started to introduce some of his Frank Sinatra covers, starting 
with the well-known "Stormy Weather. " He would come to center stage 
for many of the Sinatra songs, provocatively grabbing the center mike and 
either dancing or striking an exaggerated pose with his hand on his hip. The 
Sinatra songs were met by waves of applause last night, instead of just 
being tolerated as it seemed in the past, and they really seemed to come 
alive again with his touch.

I'm not going to go through every song, but it was like that all night. Heavy 
message songs such as "Scarlet Town" and "Pay in Blood" were marked by 
a hush as the audience hung on every word. "That Old Magic" was another 
Sinatra highlight, and Dylan seemed to joke with the audience as he 
rendered it. Among the Dylan classics, the lengthy "Desolation Row" was 
transformed into a roiling yet jocular ballad. The way Dylan infuses his 
concert songs with emotion on the basis of the music alone is 

Dylan concluded his main set on a wistful yet realistic note, with "Long and 
Wasted Years" followed by "Autumn Leaves," and then the lights went 
black at the end. His extended version of "Blowin' in the Wind" carried the
audience through the encore, and he concluded with a classic Dylan take 
on his own "Ballad of a Thin Man." Dylan left the audience with a challenge 
as he so typically does, singing "Something is happening here, and you 
don't know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?"

Dylan did not utilize a spoken word all night, but he left the audience 


Review by Howard Horder

I went knowing exactly what to expect. I am glad I was upfront, it made
all the difference in enjoying the show. Dylan is heavy into traditional 
arrangements for the Frank Sinatra ballads. It's a great band and well 
rehearsed. Charlie is starting to resemble a younger GE Smith. 

With all Dylan's own great material, I hope he finds it in himself to
come out of this phase sooner rather than later. My Back Pages, Love
Minus Zero/No  Limit, Every Grain Of Sand, Subterranean Homesick Blues,
Visions Of Johanna, Man In The Long Black Coat, Boots Of Spanish Leather,
Thunder On The Mountain, Love  Sick ..... Should I name more? He could
play a concert and never have to sing  another lyricist composers' song.
Why is he playing all these Melancholy Mood songs? The 1940s stage
lighting, the old microphones, the caged Thomas Edison lights adds to all
the on-stage atmosphere he wants to create. It's pure genius.  In 200 or
300 years, maybe I will be able to appreciate it and not be so NYer 
critical. Play Hard fuckin'  Rain.


Review by Barry Gloffke

Before I start. I've got to tell you about what
happened outside the venue. The night  before I had nearly gotten ripped
off trying to scalp a ticket. I'm  standing outside telling my story from
the previous night to my new  friend ASHA. hi Asha, when I look up and
who's coming at me smiling?  The guy who sold me the bad ticket the
previous night!! But, by the  way he is approaching me, my senses
immediately tell me that he does  not know he sold me a bad ticket. We say
hi, his name it turns out is  ED, and I tell him that the ticket he sold
me the night before was no  good, but that the box office attendant was
kind enough to give me a  comp ticket to the show. Ed was bewildered, he
asked with a stunned  look on his face if I was pulling his leg. When I
again informed him  of how it went down, he was upset and almost
embarrassed... he asked  if I needed a ticket for tonight's show (I did)
but I said I was not  sure I wanted to trust him again. He says, 'wait
here a minute, I'll  be right back. Five minutes later he come back with
and gives me a  gift... a CD of a certain guys show from some night before
this one. I  am floored, so is Asha. I can't thank him enough. He says
again, 'wait  here' and disappears for 5 minutes, come back and has a GA
ticket for  me!! Man, crazy. ED goes from being the hated scalper to the
good  samaritan in one fell swoop (well actually two). So in I go...

...this was the best of the the three Port Chester shows. Bob nailed 
every song for me except for THIS WAS NEARLY MINE.
 From the first line of 'I'm a worried man, gotta a worried mind' to  the
last gasp of 'But you don't know what it is, Do you, Mister  Jones', Bob
absolutely killed it all. Emotive voice... reaching,  probing, asking. All
the notes hit. To my ear all the lines right.  Each song given it's own
clarity of uniqueness. From his old hits to  his new ones and right
through the American standards it was that thin  metallic sound I felt
tonight. The band is hot and tight. Licks and  beats in every direction.
Pulsing, pulsing, crashing, rocking and  rolling. Stunning sound. I'm
dripping with sweat, tingling with  satisfaction. What a fucking show!
Can't wait to see what lies ahead in Wallingford, CT.

PS Hi to all the nice and crazy people I met the last three days,  
Mangela, Asha, Whitney, Russ, Russ' crazy girl, Mark, the two Italian 
guys, Dylan, Dylan's Dad, Elizabeth, Adrian (get out and go girl) and 

PSS. Ed, if you read this and you know who you are, thanks again for  the
CD. CD two was great, but CD one did not play. I would love to get  my
hands on a good copy of CD one.


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