Midland, Texas

Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center

October 9, 2018

[Nancy Hernandez]

Review by Nancy Hernandez

I’m still reeling two days later from this concert. Everything about the show
was memorable. The modern and beautiful new performance venue out on
the west Texas Plains between Midland and Odessa, in the middle of the 
Permian Basin. An unexpected treat for an out-of-towner and a beloved 
treasure for locals. 

The spirited and friendly crowd who gathered in the entryway was the best 
of Texas. The energy buzzed as friends greeted each other and the 
excitement of Dylan coming to town permeated the atmosphere. The vibe 
was wonderful. 

The lights went down at 8 p.m. and the band eased onto the stage in formal
attire. The band all in silver metallic blazers trimmed in black piping. Looking 
sharp. Bob wearing a trim one-button tuxedo jacket in a warmer color metallic 
patterned fabric, black slacks with a white striped pattern down
 the side, white belt and boots, and a diamond ring on his left 
wedding finger. 

And away we go. . . . 

Things Have Changed; Standing at piano, the best live version I've 

It Ain't Me Babe; A sweeping and expansive delivery of this song. 

Highway 61; A forceful powerhouse. Bob pounding the keys.

Simple Twist of Fate; Mournful start — “We could have avoided this little simple 
twist of fate." Two harp interludes. Sweet lap steel from Donnie.

High Water; Another best ever version for me. Nice picking by Charlie.

When I Paint My Masterpiece; The voice slow and deliberate. A story was told 
and we got to experience the artist painting his masterpiece in song. . . The 
audience loved it. The sound builds, each musician's instruments interweaving 
into a gorgeous performance. A slow gondola ride. A musical painting with a 
harp finale. Bravo Bob.

Honest With Me; A Rocker. Pounding rhythm. Fast. Bob growls and gets all 
those words out in a staccato style delivery. 

Trying To Get To Heaven; "To give you everything." Harp interlude.

Scarlet Town; Standing center stage at mic. Audience reacts a few times and 
relates to the dark narrative. Nice banjo playing by Donnie; Charlie nailing the 

Make You Feel My Love; Standing at piano. Breathtaking performance. Exquisite.

Pay In Blood; “The more I take the more I give.” The truths are deep, “life is 
short and it don’t last long”. . . We are deep under the spell of the Nobel 
Laureate now. 

Like A Rolling Stone; Bob catches us off guard as he slips perhaps his most 
beloved song of all in. It’s delivered in a new way. My notes say he stuck it to 
us. “Do you want to make a deal? How does it feel?” He enjoyed catching us 
off guard with this gem. It’s a sit down crowd and not a raucous sing along that 
typically ensues, but everyone gets it and this spirited and independent west 
Texas crowd is blown away nonetheless. 

Early Roman Kings; This Band! They all kill it. The first notes of this sassy and sly 
blues song have my shoulders moving. Bob turns in a sneering take on another 
song with a dark and biting narrative that is soooooo delightful. 

Don't Think Twice, It’s All Right; A slowed down delivery. Every word is heard 
and emotion felt. The audience responds. The melodic spell transitions with a 
harmonica interlude. The pace picks up and we’re traveling on. Good bye and 
fare thee well my love. 

Love Sick; The recognizable beat gets our attention and pulls us in. We’re off 
and skipping along. Bob standing at the piano, there’s a pep in our metaphoric 
step and we hear the “distant cry y y y y y y. Lovers in the meadoooooooows
. . . hanging oonnnnnnnnn, to shadoooooooows. There’s a mounting pressure, 
the clock ticks. A harp interlude. . . then the final thought and fade out — 
“ Just don’t know what to do, I’d give anything to be with you.  

Thunder on The Mountain; It feels a bit like getting onto a merry-go-round. 
Charlie is getting down with some tasty grooves. Things are rockin’ up in intensity. 
The wind-up continues. Bam! We just got rocked to our socks.

It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry: This deep blues starts slow 
and settles into a cadence that talks directly to all those blues musicians who 
have poured out their soul on this rich Texas soil. The love and oh so beautiful 
musical theft that connects us all. What a blessing Bob Dylan is to us in this 
lifetime and the next. 

(This is where I scribe in my notes The Best of Bob Dylan and his songbook. 
Master craftsman at work. This band: Tony, Charlie, Donnie and George, and 
this incarnation with Bob is some kind of wonderful I’ve never quite experienced, 
and I’ve attended a lot of concerts. Something really special happened in 
Midland, TX.)

Gotta Serve Somebody; The song I was most looking forward to hearing and 
one that has been my touchstone throughout the years has a much different 
sound than I was expecting and the lyrics have been completely revised.  It still 
breaksdown to “it may be the devil or it may be the Lord. . . you’re gonna have 
to serve somebody.” I love it and am in a new musical place and zone. Before I 
know it Bob shuffles over to center stage, stands like he may take the 
microphone, pivots toward Charlie and it all comes to an end with Bob and 
Charlie delighted by what they have just created on stage. 

The end is near and the band walks off stage and the crowd is begging for 

The encore begins. . . 

Blowin’ In The Wind; The eternal questions of life. One final musical cruise with 
Bob. A time to reflect on this great journey of life, the human condition and 
the majesty of nature and the threat to it. 

Ballad Of A Thin Man; Our time! A different decade, and different cast of 
characters, but the storyline is timeless. A final musical schooling delivered by 
the most important artist of our generation. 

Thank you dear ones. 


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