November 26, 2014
Review by Mike
In the 20 or so times I've seen Bob since West Point in 1990, this is the
closest I've ever sat (4th row thanks to my friend Steve). Those of us in
the NY metro area normally get the tail end of each's year's Bob tour, as
he normally finishes up around Thanksgiving here.
Last night's show at the beautiful New Jersey Performing Arts Center in
downtown Newark took place during an unexpected and unwelcome
pre-Thanksgiving winter storm. Bob and the band made it worth the slog
through the slush.
These fixed set list shows are something to behold, especially if you're a
fan of Bob's latter day work (i.e. Modern Times, Together Through Life,
Tempest). The arrangements are so unique, the band is perfectly calibrated
to the songs and their band leader is obviously very proud of what he's
sharing with his loyal audiences night after night. He's part Stephen
Foster, part Count Basie, part Hank Williams - but all 74 year-old Bob -
at his best ever.
The show had a wonderful flow as they poured through the 19 song set list
in less than two hours, not including intermission. I thought the total
lyrical revamp of Workingman Blues II and the haunting closing number Long
and Wasted Years were two highlights, among many.
I'm going to catch one of the NYC shows next week and look forward to a
repeat of last night's experience. Nothing lasts forever; what we're
seeing here is like nothing else in American Music - our greatest living
artist, who is able to present the essence of 50+ years of work in a
two-hour live masterpiece.
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