Mashantucket, Connecticut

Foxwoods Resort Casino
Grand Theater

July 3, 2016

[Barry Gloffke]

Review by Barry Gloffke

How do you overcome a deplorable environment, in the bowels of a  
tourist trap, among a mindless casino crowd, inside a numbingly and 
blandly designed theater, with lackluster lighting and a hushed,  silent,
sleeping herd of sitting exceptional people? You bet on a  great Bob Dylan
show. And I got one. It also helps to have a good, big  bowl of soul from
Mavis Staples. Man, can she can belt out a tune.

While I will not be making the 2 1/2 hour ride from Forest Hills, NYC  to
Mashantucket, CT again, I'm glad I did this one time. In the above 
mentioned environment Bob and the Band put on a great show of rock,  roll,
country, jazz, lounge and more. The crowd was older and in no  mood to
stand up and enjoy what they were about to see and hear. Man,  Mavis
Staples begged them to get up and dance!! There was no way in  the world
they were going to stand up and enjoy this Bob show. Oh  well, I guess I
will fill in for them.

The Band hit the floor hot with great renditions of THINGS HAVE  
settling down to a smoky version of THE NIGHT WE CALLED IT A DAY. Even 
though mostly sedate, the audience was very appreciative of this and  all
the other American songbook tunes. I was not sure what the  audience
reaction would be to the many American songbook tunes in the  show (the
previous NYC area tours 2014 and 2015 saw Dylan introduce  STAY WITH ME,
but that was it... only one song per show... now we get  seven!!). I was
surprised that the audience seemed to love Bob's  attempts to reinterpret
these songs his way. Nice to hear. PAY IN  BLOOD is next... stark and
ominous... love the way Charlie fills the  voids. Bob puts all his money
on MELANCHOLY MOOD and walks off a  winner... sounds so gooood! Slowly,
slowly slowly we creep into the  station, then with a STOP and a BREAK,
the Band soars down the tracks  and blows a long, loud, rousing DUQUESNE
WHISTLE. Fantastic! Tony  banging the standup, Donnie lapping the steel,
Charlie picking fast,  Stu filling furiously, George with sticks a flyin'
and Bob making that  poor piano do things it never thought it would have.
OUCH!! Take a  breath for THAT OLD FEELING and let it out for a fabulous
version of  TANGLED UP IN BLUE to end the first set. Wow!, that was good.

The second set opened with an exceptionally rocking HIGH WATER. It  
started slow and picked up tempo and depth as it swam through the  
aftermath of a near apocalypse. Bob gives us an achingly beautiful WHY 
TRY TO CHANGE ME NOW and follows that with a powerful EARLY ROMAN  KINGS
which has the some of the crowd waving handkerchiefs in the air.  He ain't
dead yet! Bob reaches for the high notes (hits some, misses  others) in I
COULD HAVE TOLD YOU. A slow groovin' SPIRIT ON THE WATER  is next and the
audience participation in nice to see and hear, as of  course we all know
he ain't over the hill or past his prime yet  either!! SCARLET TOWN hits
the mark... dark and desperate like many  cities in the country these
days. A very dramatic version of ALL OR  NOTHING AT ALL has Bob pleading
for a love that has everything. A  slightly less powerful than usual, but
nonetheless very good version  of LONG AND WASTED YEARS is the penultimate
second set song. A very  elegant, deep, quiet version of AUTUMN LEAVES
rounds out an excellent  two sets.

After a few minutes of loud (finally up on their feet and yelling)  
audience reaction Bob and the Band give us a nice, clear version of 
BLOWIN' IN THE WIND. The show must end, and it does with a slowed down 
and moving version of LOVE SICK. So, so good!!

Thanks to Bob and the Band for another great night and overcoming a 
terrible location. See you in Forest Hills.


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