Reviews
Brooklyn, NewYork
Kings Theatre

November 14, 2023

[Adam Selzer], [Barry Gloffke]

Review by Adam Selzer


There were no great surprises in Brooklyn on the first night, except for a
stadium rock call and response in the band intro, but Dylan was having as
much fun as I've ever seen him have.

I spent my morning in the archives of St Paul's Churchyard, where
Montgomery's name is engraved on a tablet of stone, researching old vault
records and things - looking for the necessary body parts on a book
research trip that just happened (really, really) to fall around the time
Dylan would be in New York. It was a good way to spend a day preparing for
a show! Met up with Robin, Rebecca, Dean, Laura, Allison, Melissa, and
Nicole pre show; we talked for hours and walked up to the show together.
These pre-and-post show hangs are part of why we travel. Of course, so is
getting to see gorgeous venues like King's Theater. Thereíve been so many
lovely ones this tour! The modern, brutalist civic center vibe in Grand
Rapids seems like a total anomaly by now.

Dylan was in a black blazer over a red shirt tonight; he brought the white
hat out to the piano but never did put it on. At many points in the songs
he seemed like he was either laughing or coughing as he choked on a word;
from his face he was laughing. A lot, in fact. He had such a good time
with "My Own Version of You" that he added a "so much" after his "Ahwha
thank you."  "Masterpiece" was a highligt, "I've made up my mindÖ" seemed
reinvigorated to me, though it was hardly limp before.  Doug's acoustic
guitar seemed a lot more prominent than it was at the shows I saw a month
ago, and he was playing closer in to Bob. From my vantage point it seemed
less like cartoon mobsters in a huddle and more like a band who snuck into
a warehouse after hours to play in a circle.

"Muses" was great; in one of those mid-show revelations I suddendly
wondered if "Iíve already outlived my life by far" was a brag. I'd always
thought of it as a confession or an admission, but maybe outliving your
life is what you have to do to be worthy of Calliope and the Mother of
Muses.  These days if Dylan does "Old Black Magic" and then goes right
into "Mother of Muses," not a surprise song, it's inevitably a bit
deflating, but the song is powerful enough that you get over it quickly.

For the band intro, he said "These aren't even songs to play, but this
band does a fine job. Don't you think so? Let me hear you say 'yeah.'...
'Yeeeaahhhh'Ö.."  He didnít make us KEEP repeating "yeah" with different
cadences, but he could have - it was his one concession of the night to
what people tend to expect at a classic rock show.


The guy next to me seemed to know no Dylan songs at all. During "Most
Likely" he leaned over and said "Unrecognizable! What song is this?" When
I told him, he asked if that was a new song.  But after "False Prophet,"
he said "That was awesome! What song was that?"  He'd repeat that line
many times over the night. I've seen this happen more than once this tour
- the show features none of his top ten songs on Spotify, and if you came
to sing along to the songs that made Bob famous, well, that's now what
this show is. Some are really turned off, but the ones who are open to it
tend to be won over pretty quickly.

Post-show hang with the same crowd, walking through the "Arsenic and Old
Lace" part of Brooklyn with the big, gorgeous houses to get chopped cheese
sandwiches and a drink called a Captain Lawrence, named after another guy
I'm researching in the archives (He was the "donít give up the ship" guy
and really quite a jerk. They did give up the ship. Really quickly.) We
sat and talked about the Beatles and Dylan and what might come next for
hours. I love you all so much. Iím so glad we can still be out on the
road, heading for another joint.

[TOP]

Review by Barry Gloffke


I'm on the second half of my 14 concert run with Bob on
this leg of the Rough and Rowdy Ways tour and tonight Bob is in my
hometown of New York City. He's here for three gigs. Over the years Bob
has done a lot of November tours in NYC, but seldom does he do a show in
Brooklyn. Tonight (and tomorrow) its the Kings Theater in a ragged section
of Brooklyn. And although the venue is only about 7 miles from my house it
will take at least half an hour to drive there as it's always an adventure
to go from the borough of Queens to the borough of Brooklyn. But my wife
and I arrive in plenty of time to get the first parking spot next to the
venue. Perfect! We decide to head in early for a drink and to tour the
fabulous theatre. This is one of the very top-notch theatre's that Bob has
played in on this or any tour. This is my first time in the renovated
arena. Wow! The interior is constructed mainly of wood with towering
arches, Art-Deco chandeliers and wonderful friezes. The sight lines are
great from everywhere in the theatre. The sound was impeccable. As for the
show, Bob and the Boys knocked another one out of the park. Bob was in
fine form both vocally and stylistically running up and down the keys all
evening. The Band was smoking hot or softly subtle, whichever was
necessitated. My wife and I decided not to go to our seats tonight, so we
played musical chairs with late arriving guests until we ran out of aisle
seats to occupy and had to retreat to a small niche near the handicap
seating area. This was fine, as it allowed us the freedom to stand and
dance all evening, unseen by most of the arena. From our vantage point we
could only see Bob, Donnie Herron and Bob Britt,  but that did not really
matter as we danced, kissed and had a wonderful night listening to the
great sound emanating from the stage (thanks Jacqueline!). We dissolved
into reverie during the slow songs and cheered/danced like kids during the
rockers. All the highlights came and went so fast. These shows are so good
that they seem to go by in a flash. CROSSING THE RUBICON was fantastic
tonight, but as it is basically the halfway point in the show, I realized
that it came on so quickly. Wasn't it just a couple of minutes ago I was
listening to the opener WATCHING THE RIVER FLOW? Time out of mind. Next
thing you know EVERY GRAIN OF SAND is finished and Bob and the Band are
taking their curtain call. It's over all too quickly. I want another one.
Luckily I'll be back tomorrow. But I'll savor this one for a while. Before
the show we ran into Abe from the Port Chester, NY shows. After the show
it was a jubilant atmosphere in front the Kings Theatre as we mingled,
talked and absorbed the good vibes. I got to see Ed (also from Port
Chester, NY but from years back) and Bill Pagel of the very Bob Links
website this review will appear on (hi Bill!). Such a wonderful night. See
you tomorrow for Brooklyn part II. Don't you miss it!


[TOP]

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