November 12, 2016
Review by William Robertson
Since no one else has weighed in yet, I'll share a few impressions of the
Asheville show until someone else wants to offer more expert details. It's
always fun when Bob comes to the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in this mountain
town near my home, and I think he has done it in November more than once.
Must like the Autumn Leaves. It was a cool but pleasant night, down to
high thirties by the time the show ended.
Last show I saw was the last show of 2014 at the Beacon in NYC, and while
that was a perfectly serviceable show, this was a quantum leap better in
almost every way. What I call the nightclub songs have now been moved very
effectively into the setlist, complementing, not dominating, and Bob
delivers them with absolute conviction and with some very cool dance moves
as a bonus. (He was wearing a black suit with wavy decorations on the legs
and sleeves, a dark grey hat, a scarf, and black and white boots. I was in
the cheap seats, so that's the best I can do. Hat came off only when Bob
was seated at the piano. Maybe that's just good manners.)
The surprise of the night was Duquesne Whistle, which I had no reason to
expect, and as you can see, there were some interesting rearrangements of
the setlist, perhaps as a domino effect from that. This was also the first
21-song night at least since the Southern leg started, and I think farther
back than that.
HIghlights for me were Tangled Up in Blue, which had an amazing
arrangement and so many lyric changes that I could not possibly recount
them; and Long and Wasted Years, which was distinguished by Bob doing a
distinctive move at each of the pauses in the melody. Hard to describe,
but very cool. He obviously loves this song, and delivered it stunningly.
Speaking of songs he loves, Stay With Me ended the show and was also
amazing. Needless to say, Desolation Row was also brilliant, and I have
only heard him do that a very few times.
One more thing that merits additional research: Bob is making some lyric
changes in songs that are reflected in the new Lyrics book, at variance
both with the albums and the official website lyrics page. Love Sick (viz,
verse 2) and Pay in Blood are two clear examples, but there are probably
The band was sharp in dress and play. I was particularly impressed with
Donnie, who was his usual subtle self, but absolutely brilliant, and now
and then would get a moment to do something magical on the steel. One such
moment happened in TuiB--check the recording for that. There was also
another moment when for about one second, briefly but very clearly, he
played an absolute country riff that would have made Hank Williams happy.
Little details: the light crew did their usual brilliant job, the sound
was perfect, and, very interestingly, the show started at no more than
three minutes past the assigned hour. That Bob is a professional. There
appeared to be not an empty seat for our Nobel laureate.
Review by Joe Moore
I was blessed this week to see Bob twice, once front row balcony of the
Tennessee Theater and 14th row floor in Asheville. What a blessing it was.
Having seen Bob 20 times over the past 30 years, this tour was especially
sweet. Finally, Dylan has branched out and started diversifying his set
list again. Knoxville's It's All Over Now Baby Blue, Lonesome Day Blues,
Make You Feel My Love and Why Try To Change Me Now were replaced in
Asheville by Beyond Here Lies Nothing, I Could Have Told You, Stay With
Me, and the first Duquesne Whistle since mid July of this year (he has
also played Scarlet Town and Spirit On The Water recently). I am a bit of
a freak when it comes to Dylan (my son's name is Dylan) and I understand
you either get him or you don't. The odds are if you are reading this and
checking this website, then you get it! Dylan does not disappoint this
tour at all. His voice is strong and he is singing with conviction with
every phrase. Personally, I enjoyed the newer "crooning" songs a lot. Bob
has found a new passion in this type of music and serves it up well to his
adoring fans. He dances and swoons across the stage with the microphone
like a spider weaving it's web. OMG, will he ever quit playing High Water?
Let's hope not! The new slink-ed up version is fabulous and was one of my
favorite songs each night. Pay In Blood was also a highlight each night.
Bob is performing this song with little music accompaniment and strong
forceful vocals. Every show has a low point, and for me Early Roman Kings
was it both nights. This song falls flat compared to the other gems
throughout the night. Bob seems to be enjoying the piano more than normal.
He gets a bit honky-tonky on Don't Think Twice It's Alright and takes a
couple leads on piano in other songs. Again, a true blessing to share a
room with Bob for two nights this week. Thank you to him, and of course
the band (especially Tony), which he no longer introduces, but where would
he be without His Band? If you have an opportunity to see Bob - Do It, you
won't regret it!
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