Kansas City, MO
The Midland Theatre
October 1, 2023
Review by Mel Smith
I had given up on Bob. The shows were sit down, shut up,
and don't make a commotion events. Not the Cold Irons
Bound/Summer Days shows with Larry and Charlie. They were
beautifully staged, and acoustic masterpieces which I found
tedious. Tonight I got it. It was a total Bob piano recital.
And the man can still play the ivories! Using the piano in
lieu of the harp like he did tonight, beautifully on Every
Grain of Sand and Watching the River Flow. The Gotta Serve
Somebody was a version of this song I had never heard before.
Kansas City for an opener was a pleasant romp through that
quick ditty and the Not Fade Away was a very pleasant
surprise to what seems to be a very static set list. A lot
of the songs I was hearing for the first time live, Enjoy
the foray into new live sounds immensely. Looking forward
to another dose tomorrow.
I am coming full circle with these shows at the Midland.
Bought a ticket on the street minutes before showtime in
the last row back when G.E. Smith was his guitar player
for my first Bob show. Looks like tomorrow will be my last.
It has been a long time since I have left a review here.
It was usually from some dingy Travelodge or Motel 6 in
Springfield, Omaha, Tulsa, or Little Rock etc. Tonight I
am home, 12 miles from the venue. Feeling blessed for all
the music I have witnessed. A big thank you Sir. to
Mr. Pagel for all you have done to help us all along the
P.S. If you ever have a chance to visit the Bob Dylan
Center in Tulsa be sure to make it full day. I did and
I need to go back for more. Woody Guthrie Center is on
the other end of the block. Which I'm sure is a whole
Review by Tom Burke
Bob Dylan opened the Fall 2023 leg of his Rough and Rowdy
Ways Tour with a spirited Fats Dominoesque version of
Kansas City bringing the packed house at the Midland
Theater to their feet roaring in appreciation.
Dylan was in great voice and good spirit throughout the
1 hour and 45 minute show, thanking the enthusiastic
audience on several occasions and even once giving a shout
out to world famous Kansas City barbecue.
Dylan, dressed in black, as were all members of his band,
stayed anchored to his piano at centerstage alternatively
standing and sitting while playing with high energy and
Playing nearly the entirety of Rough and Rowdy Ways, I
thought he sang particularly strong and emotive versions
of Key West (Philosopher Pirate) and Mother of Muses.
The setlist contained a sprinkling of Dylan classics
including When I Paint My Masterpiece, I'll Be Your Baby
Tonight, and To Be Alone With You.
The highlight of the evening was a totally unexpected
and balls to the wall cover of Buddy Holly's Not Fade
As has been the custom during the many legs of this tour,
the show was brought to a close with the beautiful Every
Grain of Sand.
Comments by Corky Williams
The tour date finally got here last night. After the initial
surprise of seeing my home town listed as where it would all
start (and, for two nights!) it got me making plans to travel
& see a few shows if I could.
Back in 2021 & 22, after very little thought, it worked out
for me to buy tickets for Cleveland & Columbus, then on to
Bloomington, Indiana. Spent stupid money doing so, frankly.
Bet many fans here have.
But I lucked into great seats, even getting a front row
ticket for one & got 3rd & 5th row seats for the shows after
that. Even bought two seats on the aisle, & had a spare
ticket for the show at the Palace in Columbus back on 11/6/21.
My extra seat got passed along by Bill Pagel, as a gift, to
my new friend Laurette Maillet. She was glad for it & being
able to dance in the aisle.
Funny how a simple kindness can come back as a blessing
So after that first 'field trip' of the 3 shows, I got a
taste for dashing out of town. Seeing what shows I could,
by buying single seats.
I was able to see shows at Irving & Sugarland, & even took
in a few museums where time allowed. Seeing art works with
an actual artist is something I've only been lucky enough to
do a few times in the past. It's quite groovy to hear folks
with both art experience & education in the role of a docent.
Anyway, I had mentioned doing the favor of a free ticket,
She later contacted me with an offer of a single seat for
Meridian, a kind gift on an incredibly limited budget!
That led to another run of shows, as I saw Mobile on 4/8/22,
the 800 seat show in Mississippi on 4/9/22, & to my mind
the best to date there at the Orpheum in Memphis on 4/10.
Perhaps you can tell that I've been saving these reviews up
for far too long now. Seems like my travel log for the past
2 years has now broken out on the Bob Links review page.....
Friends the KC show was pretty darn good, ok? But like so
many times in the past, I'm going to see a few more shows.
It's hard to leave the traveling circus when it goes back
out of town. I see that clearly now.
I've got tix for all 3 of the Chicago dates, & the St Louis
show is just too close to skip. Just a 4 hour trip.
The surprise of additional songs, the joy of sing Bob open
playing Kansas City, here IN the named town was a real gas.
I would have placed a bet that he'd never do that, frankly.
But he sure did. Glad I saw it
One more thing: having been initially seated in the wrong
seats by the ushers had placed my friend & I next to a
lifelong Dylan fan, who was also a former record store
Hope he reads this, & apologies for not recalling your
name brother, it was a pleasure to meet you sir! I'll be
looking for you again tonight.
Anyway, he mentioned being pals with Bill Pagel. Said
he's been to his home the other night even.....
That's how it is in the Bob Dylan community, at least how
I see it.
Kind folks all.
Get out & see this tour. Take a few days off. See several
dates if you can, it's great to get a sample size!
Much love from a long time fan.
Corky Williams, from here in KC
Review by Mike Mahoney
The biggest surprise of Bob Dylan’s first show of his fall
tour was his first song. Dylan treated the Kansas City crowd
with the standard 'Kansas City’. It’s a song he has only
played one other time, in suburban Kansas City, back in 1986
while touring with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Following that, Dylan returned to the basic set list he had
used through much of the Spring tour in Europe.
The set featured many of the cuts on Rough and Rowdy Ways.
In the past, Dylan has sometimes toured, technically in
support of new music, but barely played a thing of the
most recent release. That was not the case in Kansas City
show number one. There is a second Kansas City show on Oct. 2.
Hilights for me include: a talkative Dylan.
He thanked the crowd for their applause frequently, even
pausing to praise Kansas City’s famous BBQ.
The R&RW standouts for me included ‘My Own Version of You’,
a strong and very bluesy
‘Crossing the Rubicon’ and a very good version of Key West
Dylan also pleased the crowd with several re-worked versions
of older material. Those included a version of ‘When I Paint
My Masterpiece’ that had an exceptional tension to it.
He played a raucous ‘I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight’ that had much
the the crowd on its feet for most of the song.
He also included ‘To Be Alone with You’ and a driving “Gotta
Another strong number was his cover of Buddy Holly’s classic
‘Not Fade Away’l
The finale was the now-standard set closer ‘Goodbye Jimmy Reed’.
‘Every Grain of Sand’ remains the the encore. It’s a beautiful
song that seemed a little bumpy on the first night.
Dylan spent the entire performance either standing or sitting
behind a baby grand piano at center stage.
He seemed to be in good sprits.
Bob was dressed in black. So was the band.
And from about 50rows back on the floor, the band seemed a
little backlit as they stood in in front of a blood red
curtain. It was, however, a nice look.
This was a solid show.
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