Reviews

Waterbury, Connecticut

Palace Theatre

November 20, 2018


[Futzi Wailer], [Dr.David Namerow], [Barry Gloffke]


Review by Futzi Wailer



Great show at the Palace Theater in downtown Waterbury. Itís one of
those beautiful restored theaters like the Beacon. No surprises tonight,
just Dylan in great voice and the boys as tight as ever. Bob hasnít
sounded this good in years. Most of the rearrangements worked while a few
didnít. Cry A While seems like an excuse to play the Rumble riff and Pay
In Blood lacks the  power and anger of the Tempest version. I like the
sound of the band without Stu. Itís less cluttered and the music has
room to breathe. LARS and Donít Think Twice got standing ovations. The
new semi reggae Watchtower lacks the menace of the original and is over
way too fast with no guitar solo of any kind. Simple Twist was
spellbinding as was It Ainít Me Babe, Scarlet Town and Soon After
Midnight. On to the Beacon.

Futzi Wailer

[TOP]

Review by Dr.David Namerow



The other night the faithful all trekked to Waterbury Connecticut to see
and hear the Bard on the last leg of the 2018 tour.  Always great to see
many familiar looking faces at some local restaurant where everyone there
was on their way to see Bob.  I was with my daughter's husband's in-laws
and Sister.  They had been in the band that backed up Bert Sommer at
Woodstock back in 1969 and have seen Bob many times.  As for me, I go back
to buying about 15 tickets for fellow campers from Bronx House Emanuel
Camp in 1963 or 64 so see Bob at Carnegie..  Later, my Bob pedigree
includes the Woody Guthrie memorial concert at Carnegie,Bob and the Band
in the gym at Indiana University in 74,  Rolling Thunder in Boston, Bob
Fest at MSG, and the more recent gigs everywhere in the Northeast. 
Probably about 35 altogether.

The Palace is one of those gorgeous deco era theaters that has been
refurbished and still retains a lovely glow.  Small town feel with sale of
raffle tickets, locally homemade chocolates, and a reasonable line for
snacks.  Of interest, when the lights went down we were graced with
soundtrack from Stravinsky's Le Sacre du  Printemps. Not sure if this was
just for tonight, as no one has mentioned it on Bob Links for this tour. 
I recall many years ago hearing the music of Aaron Copland before that
cheesy narrative introing Bob .  Stravinsky? 1917:  revolution in the air;
it changed the face of modern music and ballet --- and was greeted with
boos and catcalls at the opening in Paris.  Perhaps reminiscent of Newport
in 65.

As for tonight.  Bob has had a rebirth of VOICE -- stronger, more
expressive than in many many years.  In addition, the sound and mix is so
much better than years ago when his vocals were buried deep within.  Now,
up front and easy to swallow.  The band?  Fabulous, with a tighter feel
without Stu.  George and Tony were perfect rhythmically, and Charlie and
Donnie added incredible flourishes where needed to set the mood.  Bob's
piano was fine.  Of significance, perhaps his most expressive harp playing
in years, highlighting about 4-5 songs.

Musical highlights?  A completely new arrangement of Cry a While;
lovely Paint My Masterpiece.; center stage Bob with floor held mike for
Scarlet Town (a song that I never cared for until tonight); brand new
arrangement. of Make you feel my Love.  Rolling Stone was the best I have
heard in years, but still lacked the power of the original.  Early Roman
Kings is still that homage to Muddy Waters.  A real surprise was Serve
Somebody -- up tempo and terrific.

Perhaps my personal highlight was an almost  acapella version of
Don't Think Twice, with the band quietly entering.  It was poignant, beautiful
and heartbreaking all at the same time --- with harp that harkened back to
many years ago.

Encores of Watchtower -- strong but I felt the band and audience held
back a bit, and Blowin the Wind, with audience members swaying with eyes
closed and memories of our youth.  A great concert.  How he continues to
reinvent himself is still phenomenal.  So wherever or whenever he
performs, as he says on all those collectible poster, "Don't you dare miss
it.!!" 

Dr.David Namerow

[TOP]

Review by Barry Gloffke



Just got back home from a great Dylan show. He was in fabulous voice, 
he was a bit playful, and the band was on fire. The setting was the 
intimate Palace Theatre in Waterbury, CT., an ornate homage to Art Deco. 
After the show I was in the lobby admiring the chandeliers, red velvet 
curtains, gold trimming and what I thought was a beautiful marble interior, 
when three guys came out of the arena and one of them started telling 
the others that his buddy worked on the refurbishing of the theatre and 
he said it was all faux marble and gold leaf!. Oh, well, Waterbury is no Rome. 

Happily the acoustics were not faux. The sound was superb. Bob was up in
the mix and crystal clear, as was the band, and they were great tonight.
There was especially good interplay between Bob and Charlie throughout the
show. Bob's vocals were outstanding; he lengthened, stretched, emphasized
and drew out phrases tonight, singing with absolute joy and compassion. He
also had great harp solos and blasts and his piano playing ran the gamut
from tinkering to tremendous. He ate a few words and repeated a line or
two, but overall the show was top notch as he seemed to thrive on the
closeness of the crowd. I have to mention that the theatre has one of the
smallest stages I have seen, and the front row butts right up against the
stage. Two Bobcats I know were in the front row and they could not have
been more then 10' from Dylan. I feel like Bob was invigorated by the lack
of a large buffer between himself and the crowd.

My personal highlights were:
HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED this was a killer version, the band was extra hard
rocking tonight. SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE gorgeous, great harp, great piano
finish. WHEN I PAINT MY MASTERPIECE starts slow, Bob builds it up, the
band fills in, Bob teases out different lyrics. HONEST WITH ME rock, roll,
rock, roll, rinse repeat. TRYIN' TO GET TO HEAVEN great work by the band,
the song has an odd pacing that sometimes doesn't work... tonight it
worked. MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE blows away Adele's version. EARLY ROMAN
KINGS is a blues stomp, Charlie shines. DON'T THINK TWICE,  IT'S ALRIGHT
featured great piano and harp from Bob. LOVE SICK reminds me of the OH
MERCY sessions, very swampy, Donnie shines, Charlie is great and he and
Bob work out some things. THUNDER ON THE MOUNTAIN rock that you gotta see
to believe. GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY the new rocking version. BLOWIN' IN THE
WIND a beautiful harp solo to end it was icing on the cake.

Kudos to the Band. They really are spectacular.

Nice to see Barry, Dylan (the front row guys), Rick and his girl tonight
(front row also, I believe). An energetic crowd with very few talkers and
a great show from Bob and the Boys leaves a very satisfied mind. Thanks
Bob. You keep showing up, and I'll keep showing up.

[TOP]

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