November 5, 2023
Review by Larry Fishman
Bob's back to this dusty, ragged venue for the 13th time and the final
show of a three night stand. I've seen dozens of other shows here always
with a restoration surcharge on the ticket yet the cramped seats, decaying
infrastructure, stanky urinals remain year after year. Some reading these
words may be familiar with the great Paradise Lost Patti Smith shows back
in 1995 with their magical Dark Eyes duet as well as the three show run in
2005 with incredible setlists and an opening set each night by Merle
Haggard (more shortly). However, my fondest memory of Bob at the Orpheum
was October 9, 1994 as it was the show that sparked my deep dive into
I'm squarely in the let Bob be Bob camp and don't have any qualms on the
setlist. Mr. Dylan, sir, you play whatever inspires you. I'm eternally
grateful to continue attend concerts and appreciate his never ending
curiosity and creativity in his 90th decade. With that said, I was
certainly hoping for a local cover as had done in a few cities. C'mon
man, you could cherry pick a J Geils Band tune from your buddy Peter Wolf.
He could have gone mainstream with Aerosmith's Walk This Way or The Cars
Just What I Needed. Or he couldn't have gone deep cut: How about The
Pixies? Maybe The Neighborhood's Prettiest Girl or maybe something from
Barry & The Remains who opened for the Beatles on their first US Tour.
Anyway, no such luck, but there's no whining when it comes to Bob Dylan.
The tenor and feel of this show was consistent throughout. This was a
tight band - with a messy Bob plunking at the keys - providing a rich,
subtle textured space for our man Bob to do his thing. These boys were
carefully, often elegantly providing the landscape in the background.
There were no extended solos other than Dylan - just ever so tasteful
flourishes here and there. A number of songs began with Bob alone
crooning while he tickled the keys until the band kicked in softly behind
after a verse or two. There were many new arrangements - all slower -
and occasional new lyrics on songs like Serve Somebody and Masterpiece.
We've all taken the journey vocally with Bob - I still declare his voices
his greatest gift - and his singing was on mark, warming as the night
progressed. So great to hear him go low and soft and then later, on say,
Made Up My Mind, simply swirl.
What makes me/us go endlessly to these shows is his unending curiosity and
desire to create. This was a show paced with songs all performed mid
tempo to ballad. Everything slowed down so you could focus on the words,
feel and meaning. I certainly didn't know the Merl Haggard cover but glad
to see that Bob remembered those shows they did together back eighteen
...see ya next weekend in Waterbury, Providence & Springfield…
Review by Daniel D.
Orpheum Finale in the books
Status quo, the show is fantastic like I and II.
However Bob did take the stage a minute or two after the band.
The scene at the theater was great all weekend, lots of positivity.
Crossing the Rubicon is reaching epic heights,
To Be Alone With You has a great jam tonite.
Key West was more than fine and fair..exemplary!
Merle Haggards Footprints was great, awesome slide work from D Herron.
Thanks Bob for a great three night run.
Make it down to FL,
If you’ve lost your mind you’ll find it there
Review by Barry Gloffke
Sunday, November 5, 2023. A beautiful sunny autumn day. A road trip from
my home in NYC to Boston (never been). Another Bob show. Second out of a
scheduled fourteen in the next 20 days! Oh Mercy!
After the nearly 4 hour ride I find myself striding down a dead-end side
street (not so much a street... more like a large alley) towards the
sequestered Orpheum Theater. Strange locale. Bob's bus and gear truck are
parked/wedged tightly along the right side of the narrow street/alley. No
other buses are seen because no other buses could fit down this so called
street. I pickup my ticket and speak to a theater employee about the setup
at the entrance. The metal detectors are in place, and as is the new
ritual, Yondr bins are outside and packed with pouches for the storage of
smart devices. I can see that this setup means that everybody going to the
show will be funneled down this narrow passageway and that long lines will
be the result. As a habit I try to avoid lines whenever possible so I
decide to enter at 6:30 tonight missing the pre-show festivities outside
This is my second show on this leg of the Rough & Rowdy Ways tour,
Rochester, NY being the first, after having the Springfield, MA show
postponed/rescheduled. I was very happy to see that Bob added a show at
the Beacon Theater in NYC. I had heard through a Bobcat at the Rochester
show that we may being getting some NYC/Manhattan shows added... looks
like it's only 1 show, but that is fine... just icing on the cake.
Tonight's show was a step up from Rochester, and from what I heard after
the show from the fans who had been to the two previous Boston gigs was
that this was the better of the three. The arena, although shabby, old,
cramped and by nights' end stinky, nevertheless less had some charm,
fairly decent sight lines and great sound from where I stood. I never did
go to my seat as it was not quite as advertised... it was supposed to be
an an aisle seat but there was a slightly raised balcony with seats just
above my head at the end of my row. So I decided to make myself a
standing/dancing niche in the very balcony area that was imposing itself
on my space! ---satire is tricky in email--- I digress.
As for the show... spectacular. Bob's vocals were on from the first line
tonight. He actually enunciated the initial line of WATCHING THE RIVER
FLOW, 'what's the matter with me', which he has not done on many of the
shows I have seen the last several years. His piano playing was marvelous
with so many rolling and rollicking notes that I almost thought Donnie
Herron may be playing a keyed instrument in some instances (I was not able
to see Donnie from my vantage point). Fantastic! There was very little to
any of Bob's playing as if he was an 8-year old taking lessons. Not
tonight, no sir, Bob was in command. He flourished. He would go from
sitting to standing during some songs as if to punctuate what was about to
transpire. He was hatless until I CONTAIN MULTITUDES and then for the rest
of the evening he was mostly hat on. But at many songs end, since he was
working his ass off, he would take off his white stetson hat and tussle
his hair to air it out, no doubt perspiring below the brim. I love seeing
Bob in action... What brings you here, oh nothing much, I'm just looking
for the man'.
Some thoughts on the songs:
Wonderful, new and interesting arrangements from show to show. Bob draws
you in slowly on many of the tunes then turns on the burners for some, or
charges mid-tempo from stanza-to-stanza for others. The band faithfully
following Bob's leads and keeping the whole rocking adventure from
careening into oblivion. As for the Band --- they sound as tight as any of
Bob's Bands and the new drummer Jerry Pentecost merges seamlessly with
Tony Garnier for powerful percussion.True professionals. Never boring on
these nights when Bob's greasing the wheels whether on the ivories or
vocally. There was not much breathing space between songs tonight. Bob was
all business. That does not mean he was not having a blast as when he
introduced the band and then induced Doug Lancio to play a few licks on
the guitar, which he did, and to which Bob responded with a long, slow,
drawn out, 'YEAH'. From beginning to end the only hiccup for me tonight
was MOTHER OF MUSES which I thought was fabulous in Rochester but just
tepid tonight. The fun part of this part tour is the 15 or 16 song slot.
Not knowing what Bob has up his sleeve in reminiscent of the 90's-early
2000's when it was a guessing game until you could pick out that one word
or phrase that would let you know what the heck he was singing up there on
stage. After THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC concluded, the band started tinkering
and I could swear I heard the chord progression from Bill Withers LEAN ON
ME which then morphed into what I now know was FOOTLIGHTS by Merle
Haggard. I had no idea what song he was singing until later that evening.
No matter, Bob did such a beautiful, heartfelt and sincere rendition that
knowing the lyrics was superfluous. Kudos Mr. Dylan. Thanks for another
splendid evening young man.
As an aside. I've never been to Boston until this Dylan show. Nice town.
Clean, no litter, not much graffiti. But the people? I used to ski at a
place called Jay Peak in Northern Vermont (a lot of snow, and lot of
wind... a lot of wind) and there was always a crew of Bostonians partying
like it's 1999. Very loud and usually very obnoxious. Well... there's a
reason the Bostonians are called Massholes. I am a life long New Yorker
(NYC), born and raised in the Big Apple, so I'm used to a lot of
person-to-person interaction. New Yorkers by-and-large are very nice
people... if you want to live elbow-to-elbow and still be in a civilized
society you need to be nice. We New Yorkers stop to give directions to
people. Give advice. We may even give them insight for a good place to eat
or get a drink. But the Bostonians for the most part seemed too busy in
life to stop and give a little help and were basically rude douches. Even
the ones who spoke to you gave you an air of obnoxiousness. Funny enough,
the kindest people were from out of town. I don't think I'll be going back
to Boston any time soon.
That aside, another Bob show in the books (#72) and twelve more for me
this month. I did not get to see any of the usual Bobcats tonight, but had
some nice conversations with some unknown Bobcats. Hey Nico, thanks for
gift, unfortunately it fell out of my possession somewhere in a restroom
in Connecticut... but thanks anyway my man! Next up is Port Chester with
my wife on Tuesday and alone on Wednesday. See ya' there, don't you miss
| Click Here
to return to the
page by Bill Pagel
| Bob Links
| Set Lists
| Set Lists