St. Louis, MO
Stifel Theatre

October 4, 2023

[Bill Lakin], [Jason Barton]

Review by Bill Lakin

Here are some thoughts from last night:
- The room is usually not a favorite - the sound tends to 
get lost. Not last night
- So happy to be there with family and friends
- Always a blast to think - that I'm in the same town/room 
as Bob - never gets old
- Straight on view over the piano of Bob all night long - sit 
stage right if you can
- The band comes out, the crowd wakes up, and Bob shambles 
across the stage
- After KC shows, JW and I are wondering - what will he 
start with?
- And then Johnny freakin’ B Goode - c'mon - the perfect 
- Into the balance of the tour setlist - seemed more nuanced, 
more delicate on some and then others it felt like he was 
trying to pound the keys of the baby grand into dust.
- On I Contain Multitudes - when he mentioned the British 
Bad Boys - I flashed back - July 11, 1978 - near the same 
seat - then Kiel Opera House - watching Mick, Keith, and the
boys - who opened with another Berry classic - Let It 
Rock - smoking a spliff w/ Peter Tosh.
- Lots of acoustic guitars and Tony on standup - I want the 
one Doug was playing most of the night. Beautiful. There is 
a photo of some of the crew stopping by Killer Vintage
- After Every Grain of Sand, I saw him mention something to 
Bob who passed it along to Donnie and then they started 
Nadine. Incredible finish on a very enjoyable performance.
- It's got to be one of the best Bob shows I've had the 
pleasure to witness.
- His vocals were stunning. It seems like it would be so
difficult, yet night after night he pulls magic out of the 
- I feel very lucky


Review by Jason Barton

Tonight's show was... otherworldly?

Though I've seen him 8-12x, I'm no Bobcat. Also, bc I have 
avoidant personality disorder (self-diagnosed) ; I've never 
listened to "Rough and Rowdy" (though I know its reputation). 
Also, though I live 10 mins from tonight's venue, I 
equivocated about going until 
just after 6 pm...
What a mistake that would have been!

Tonight's show was amazing. I can't fully articulate my 
feelings, but, for the entire duration, I was lost in a 
private reverie. This was my first time hearing these 
("Rowdy") songs: the arrangements are, so incredible; 
utterly atmospheric; every instrument woven into a sonic 
tapestry, like a film soundtrack, but unified, rather than 

Recency bias is real, but tonight's concert blew me away. It 
was miles better, imo, than the one I saw several years ago 
at the same venue - the one w/ a darkened stage w/ mirrors. 
I always have an expectation of diminished returns w/ 
Dylan - after all, where can he possibly go but down? Yet, 
this sound, this band, and esp. these songs are so 
effortlessly evocative, I can't believe he's pivoted so 
powerfully, once again, esp after those standards albums 
led me to believe nothing was left.

"Key West," "Rubicon," and all the "Rowdy" songs are unlike 
any other in his catalog, yet so evocative, so effortless w/ 
such clear tonality and instrumentation. Back in the 
Sexton/Campbell era - when I first saw him - I could never 
distinguish the sound of the tiny keyboard he stood behind. 
In some ways, in the 20 or so years since I first saw him, 
I feel as if I've never truly heard his instrumentation, 
whether on piano or guitar.

Not tonight. His piano was so distinctive and clean. It all 
felt so effortless. I can't believe he's created yet another 
wholly distinct sound - one of dozens over his career - w/ as 
powerful a set of songs as any he's written. If "Time Out of 
Mind" offers a unified marriage of sound and song, "Rough..." 
offers, exactly, the same marriage, albeit in a completely 
different way: equally as evocative, but less dramatically 
death-encroaching, even if the imagery of "Key West," 
"Rubicon," et al are clearly about mortality, as well.   

I need to thank Steve from PA for that last insight; in fact, 
he was directly responsible for my experience! I met him on 
the granite steps outside Stifel - the century-old, 
federal-style, municipal facility in downtown STL. As I 
perused the resale sites on my phone, I realized that many 
of the best tix were available only in pairs. So, I 
introduced myself and asked if he wanted to buy a pair 
together, which he gladly agreed to. The only single seats 
were in the BAL, but buying them together got us onto the 
floor (Row T) for $100 total!

Steve truly made the concert worthwhile, although I feel 
horrible. As we parted outside after sharing our thoughts, 
I not only failed to obtain his contact info, but 
neglected to offer him a ride to his hotel downtown in my 
car. I only realized my inhospitality as I pulled onto the 
interstate! I suspect he was able to get back to the hotel 
on foot, but, Steve, if you're reading this, PLEASE accept 
my apologies! I don't know what the hell I was thinking. 
Can't believe I didn't say anything!!!
btw if you're reading this, contact Bill, the Boblinks 
webmaster by email. I'd love to exchange email to see how 
the CHI shows went and apologize directly! Bill, if he 
does so, you have my permission to give him my email!

Thanks so much! An experience for the ages!  


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