Reviews

Columbus, Ohio

Ohio State University
Wexner Center for the Arts
Mershon Auditorium

November 4, 2019


[Drew Jordan], [Laurette Maillet], [Michael]

Review by Drew Jordan


  
My first show was 11/2/2002 in Dayton, Ohio at the Hara Arena.  I was 17,
tonight at the age of 34 I saw what I feel to be one of my favorite Bob
shows. Was it really that good or has my perception changed? Iíve been
chasing Not Dark Yet since the beginning and I finally got to hear it
tonight.  That song means everything to me and it didnít disappoint. As
big of a fan as I am, I can admit the decline in shows. In fact i skipped
the last Ohio show because I didnít care to hear the cover songs. But
tonight i was front row for what i felt was like a send off of sorts.
Iím not sure heíll tour much more and Iím not sure how his health
is, but i got the strange sense that this will be my last time seeing him.

It was the same setlist theyíve been playing, which was the absolute
perfect setlist. It felt like every song was chose for a reason. Lenny
Bruce, Make You Feel My Love, stood out. When I paint my masterpiece
brought a tear to my eye.  As I mentioned Not Dark Yet is a special song
for me and the arrangement felt even darker than the original recording
and i loved it. But the highlight for me was Girl From the North Country. 
It brought feelings of mortality and sadness and hope all at the same
time. It was beautiful. I love Bob Dylan and his music has meant so much
to me in my life. When he came on stage my first thought was he seems so
frail and old, but his demeanor said Iím here and I still have a lot of
fight left in me.  Amazing show, and itís been an amazing journey. Thank
you Bill for this page for so many years. Thanks to the Dylan Pool for so
many great memories.  Health and happiness to everyone on this journey.

Drew Jordan

[TOP]

Review by Laurette Maillet


  
Columbus Ohio. I arrived late morning, tired of a Greyhound bus night and
hungry. Take a walk straight to the Mershon Auditorium and stop for
breakfast in a nice Cafe.† This is a University City. Young people are
busy to and out large buildings. I spend one hour charging my phone
battery in one of those buildings. Can't wait to see Bob and the Band
since Cali. I'm wondering if the mannequins are not too much tired of the
trip. Bobby and the Band should be alright. They are used to life on the
road. Soundcheck as usual and security as usual. I bump into a young Lady
watching Bob walking his few steps to the back entrance. She is 23,
studying medicine and sweet.† But even Charlie won't stop for a chat! By
6pm I am ready. It starts raining but that won't stop my good spirit. The
Auditorium is small , 2000 or so. Of course supposed to be sold out but
tickets are still available. The crowd gather out of the rain and into the
venue. This is not a Campus crowd. More of my age and over ;60s / 70s. And
snobbish to my test! A bit harsh too. I still believe in my good star who
will appear as a man who heard of me. His wife couldn't make it to the
show. Section A row 4 seat 3. On the left of the stage. Good seat. I'm
ready for the setlist that I know by heart. Expecting "beyond.." But no,
the first notes are "THC". The melody seems different from the Cali shows.
Am I dreaming? Bob is dressed in a suit I've seen before: black with
flashing red embroidery, a polka dot shirt and black shiny shoes(no
boots). His hair is fluffy. No hat. He looks tired. First song on a
guitar. But the sound is...bad. The bass is way too loud. Bob's voice is
muffled. That will be better on two or three songs, particularly " Make
you feel my love" or "Girl from the north country" but the Rock songs are
way too loud on the bass. Too bad as Bob is making great efforts on his
lyrics. "Pay in blood" is strong, with a solo from Bob Britt but I miss
the: "I got something in my pocket make your eyeballs swim I got dogs
could tear you limb from limb I'm circlin' around the southern zone I pay
in blood, but not my own" Did Bob change those lines? "Make you feel my
Love" will be one of the highlight tonight.† I pay attention to "Not dark
yet" and feel a pang of sadness. Bobby's face looks old. And globally I
see him moving less even center stage, his body bending more than dancing.
I don't see him smiling a bit, not even at Donnie! All his power is now in
expressing his songs vocally. Two songs will be half on the piano and half
center stage with harp "When I paint my masterpiece" and "Simple twist of
fate". Great job on the harp. Bravo! The public is polite. Even the first
row won't express too much enthusiasm. I was happy to be in Columbus. I
had a nice day and a great evening.† Few Fans pack up after the show to
wave bye to the buses. Good night Bobby and the Band.

[TOP]

Review by Michael


  
I have seen 13 shows going back to 1988. Not the most of your readers, but
not a novice either. The 2017 show here in Columbus was not good - Mavis
Staples got louder cheers.

Last night was markedly better. I was also in row 2 which helps a lot. 
But the vocals were better last night and even more importantly, I thought
the band was sharper by a mile.

Last time it just seemed like the music wasn't matching the song or the
vocals - and those five torch songs Bob was singing two years ago are just
180 degrees not my style.

Specific to last night - Early Roman Kings was excellent, Thunder on the
Mountain was raucous. Bob on harmonica was inspired and added an edge
every time he played.

Time Out of Mind songs translate very well to the stage - they have always
sounded good and last night was no exception.

After 2017 I was wary - but last night was a winner.

Thanks for Bob Links. It's a gem.

Michael

[TOP]

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