March 18, 2022
Review by Peter Hayward
Dylan likes to start on time, and don’t you dare miss it. Dylan started
at two minutes after the eight ‘o clock hour tonight, and a lot of
people did miss the opening of the show in Shreveport. If you have
listened to The Real Elvis Tape bootleg of the show on youtube, you can
actually hear my buddy and I talking right before the show starts.
For reference, this is the same friend I talked about in my San Antone
review. I sold him an extra ticket for the 14th and once we realized we
were both young dudes from up north following Dylan around in our vans for
basically the same dates, we hit it off like a rocket.
At least of a quarter of the orchestra seats were not yet seated by the
time Dylan took stage.
It’s not all the patrons fault; the theatre, famous for hosting a young
Presley, was printing off will-call tickets for patrons as it came their
turn in line, per person as they got there, not in advance. Most of the
orchestra section uses will call tickets for Dylan shows, I assume as a
way to prevent shady second hand sales on the internet. There was a good
25% of people missing in one of the floor sections, and a similar amount
in the balconies.
The system at the auditorium looked like it was running off Windows ’61.
The line was long. I felt bad for the staff.
My friend and I, who decided to split a hotel room a few miles out of town
to save us a night in the van, had wondered how early to get there. We
decided 45 minutes would be fine to hang around the front of the venue and
then enter early to check out the theatre. I didn’t want to go too much
earlier, as I was still a bit run down from my dual with a tree a few days
ago (see the Austin review).
I also remembered the long lines of Milwaukee, though they’ve been
smooth so far this tour, and didn’t want to get there too last minute
either. I was still somewhat swollen, with the cuts on my face still
healing and the stitches still fresh in my head. I almost forgot how rough
I must have looked when I was making conversation with other patrons as we
entered the auditorium. I probably got a few strange looks, having a
busted face but wearing a full suit and hat. All I can say is thank lord
we got there and got in line when we did.
It didn’t seem like this theatre was expecting Dylan.
That can be said of the crowd too. I asked my sister, who lives on the
Texas border, about Shreveport and what to expect of the crowd,. She told
me, “well, if it’s a Dylan show, then expect lots of white hair and
old money.” She wasn’t wrong for the most part.
The theater itself was just fine for it’s age and what I expected of a
town that size. You could tell it was old enough for Presley to have
played there, but that it’s a cherished enough spot in town that it’s
been well kept up for the most part.
Dylan’s crew has really mastered the sound, and they can make most
half-decent auditoriums sound pretty good. I had seen much worse in the
southern dip of the fall 2021, tour where the sound was still just fine.
The foldable floor seats were a tight fit and hardened with time, but
that’s how it goes sometimes in old venues.
As you might have heard, Dylan got a new fan in the form of a very cute
medium sized dark haired dog. I thought at first it was a service dog, but
it had no vest.
Then I saw it’s owner who appeared to be the King of Shreveport; seven
foot tall and silver haired with a thick white mustache, combed back hair,
wearing a very expensive, multi-thousand dollar suit, with his lady by his
side and a dog leash in his hands. They got up from the front row a few
times to walk off somewhere, as if they were parading around in front of
the crowd. Like I said, there’s some old money in town.
I don’t know how he got the dog in there, aside from if he has a few
connections. Maybe he owned the place. Anyway, it was pretty amusing to
see and turned a few heads. Dylan might not have even saw it from the
Some mistakes, in music, aren’t mistakes or don’t have to be. Dylan
started off Most Likely You Go Your Way with the wrong line,
“You say you love me, that you’re thinking of me, I know that you
I saw in his face that he realized it. He then changed the second line to:
“You say you say you told me, you want to hold me,you’re going to try
to say goodbye,” to create a completely new couplet for the first verse!
He also added “I can’t beg you anymore, nahh,”
I cheered! He just flowed with the mistake and improvised around it.
Moments like that are the essence of live performance. It’s pure jazz.
Finding something new and reaching new places because of a mistake. I
loved it, and I think Dylan could tell because of what happened next.
When Dylan mixes up a verse, in this case singing one too early, he will
often just re-sing the lyrics later in their correct place once he gets to
it. Not tonight. He could tell that I, and others, caught his save on the
first verse and how he pulled of the improvised line. I saw him smile
before he started singing again.
The next verse we got:
“You say you’re grieving, always leaving, but you know not where the
sun will glow,
You say I’m dreaming, always teasing, but you know you just let it
You can hear him struggle with the second verse of that song on Shadow
Kingdom, and it’s happened enough live that it’s become a pattern. How
do you break the pattern? Sing something else. Ever since this show, he
seems to use the first verses to test himself to see if he can come up
with something new on the spot, and make it fit with the rhythm and rhyme
of the song.
From what I can tell, is Dylan started doing this in San Antone, or
possibly earlier this tour, and has changed it up each night since. I
didn’t remeber that he did this at the Majestic until he did again at
There was some fun delay/echo on the vocals. Personally, I generally like
Dylan’s voice like my whiskey. Straight, with maybe a touch of reverb.
But, it was fun to hear and worked out well when it was used.
Dylan delivered some of his strongest harmonica that I’ve seen this tour
during Masterpiece, which was met by less enthusiasm than it deserved, in
my opinion. He also added a great ad-libbed “ohhh yes” during one of
the Masterpiece tag-lines. A few little chuckles right before he sang the
bridge, and then came out into the last verse with a strong variation on
the melody and gave a final laugh before he sang the last
Something that was interesting musically, is that on the last few notes of
My Own Version Of You, a very haunting, theremin-like, sound started
coming from one of the guitar players. It almost sounds like a whistling
trill and adds a ghostly presence. I believe it was Donnie Herron’s
pedal steel with some effects, as I thought I saw him playing high up on
the neck and the sound I heard seemed to slide upwards a bit.
Overall, fans tried to power Bob through this show, but a crowd who
didn’t know what to think of what they were witnessing did not help.
There was talking from the start, but then something happened that
basically shut it down.
Some guy started screaming song requests during the intro of Black Rider
right up until Dylan started singing.
It was annoying. It made some others start yelling other stuff too and
people started talking more. I swear I heard, and can still hear on the
tape, someone yell boo or no after the first line… I just tried to focus
on the show and react to what I was hearing. It started to quiet down more
partway through - I did let out a cheer and then very visibley turned
around and panned the audience with a stern look which temporarily
silenced a few people nearby.
To me, this is where the show shifted from an inspired start to a blood
boiling battle with a callous crowd.
Dylan actually said, “ah, see what’s next,” directly into the
microphone when the same guy screamed right after Black Rider, irritated
by the idiot yelling out requests.
For a man of few words towards his audience, if that’s not a clear
message then I don’t know what is.
I believe the person who was yelling was the guy who follows Dylan around,
carries around a sign with religious references, and tries to hand out
pamphlets to audience members coming into the show that contain some
extremely bold religious claims about the jewish people and Dylan. You can
do and believe what you want, but if you follow Dylan around that much how
can you not know that yelling song requests is a futile and agitating
task. More on him in my Ryman review.
There were some audience members who I could tell were just digging it.
The guy to my right was from Spain and was following the tour for a while,
so he was very focused the whole time. A lot of other people were not so
I heard from behind me a guy in a very drunken drawl say “I can’t
understand a word he’s saying.” There were a few lines in Black Rider
where he said, “I don’t know what that means.” I guess Dylan was
going over his head. He later got to, “I do wish he’d play a song I
know,” which he repeated a couple times, and then eventually, once the
drink and Dylan started to hit him right, came to the thought, “well
he’s playing all new music, but its good.”
He did say, after the new arrangement of Key West, “now that’s a very
good song!” I know he didn’t know the album version of the song, which
is a powerful testament to how well the new arrangement works and how even
Dylan fans familiar with his new material must check their expectations
with their coat as they enter the theater. Key West really did sound great
with Dylan nailing the new phrasing and melody.
Still, it’s unfortunate that there was so much talking and disruption.
It was the shortest show I saw, clocking in at just an hour and half.
Dylan wasn’t in the mood to give any extra solo’s for this crowd.
Some more about the nature of live performance. Anything can and will
happen. Things fall apart, and the show must go on.
That can be said of I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight during this performance.
After an incredible piano and fiddle instrumental break, the band missed
their cue to break down to the halftime, slow swing groove when Dylan
repeats the “mocking-bird” section. They probably thought Dylan was
going to take another solo, but he probably didn’t feel like it due to
the crowd and the band didn’t get the cue that he was ready to move on.
I could see and hear Dylan being a bit confused when he started singing
again. Eventually the band decided to try to break it down on the “kick
your shoes off” line, but no one could decide on the right tempo at
first. Dylan sang “we’re gonna forget it” right before repeating
the, now on track, slowed down bridge section.
When it comes to mistakes, this was a more problematic one. You can hit
wrong notes here or there and people will forget, but for the rhythm to
break like that really makes things sound off. There was no time and no
one knew where they were or how to get the wheels back on.
It’s a complex enough transition that everyone really needs to be on top
of it. You can even hear the band just barely catch the right spot to hit
it in Shadow Kingdom. In previous nights on the tour this has also been
the case, but tonight the band missed it and broke down trying to catch
it. It broke down for a while. At least that’s how it felt watching it.
It struggled to get back on. But eventually they did.
What was great is how Bob and the band handled it. The band knew they
missed it and things were getting derailed, but eventually, somehow,
against the odds with how it was going, did pull through and get it back
on the tracks.
Bob, who is a powerful and masterful bandleader who expects nothing but
the best, showed his grace more than his grimace. The show must go on and
why worry about it. They’ll work it out in rehearsals. Bob Laughed it
off once it was done and went on. With all the other chatter and audience
disruption, he didn’t seem to worried about what the noisy crowd
The shoutout tonight was “We can feel Elvis here with us … the real
I did feel Elvis was there; the Real Elvis.
We didn’t get no Dylan impersonator either. Even with the poor crowd,
Dylan is still consistent with his delivery and gave a wonderful
performance. He still found moments of joy, especially with fans giving
their attention and showing appreciation for the new material.
Elvis was famously censored for his “sexual” expression; his dancing.
This crowd censored themselves to the depth of Dylan’s new material.
Goodbye Jimmy Reed and Gotta Serve Somebody, and all the rockers, really
rocked. Yet, they didn’t get people going like the have during other
shows - though people had to have been talking about something to their
neighbor to generate all the noise.
The crowd limited themselves in their appreciation, and thus limited the
I looked around and saw what were clearly dear fans cheering him on and
giving standing ovations. I think that really helps on a show like tonight
where half the crowd didn’t know what to expect coming in. Despite the
talking and the guy screaming requests, it was still a wonderful show that
left me with a smile on my face.
I know for a fact that he saw me, a younger fan, really enjoying himself
and cheering for him on from my seat in the coliseum. It made him deliver
even though he was really fighting tooth and nail with the hungry lions of
the Shreveport audience.
Peter Hayward is a Minneapolis based Singer/Songwriter and
Review by Jeff Impson
"We know Elvis played in this building. We can still feel him here. The
Dylan and his tight-knit band rambled into Shreveport to play the historic
Municipal Auditorium - home of The Louisiana Hayride (Cradle of the Stars)
where Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Johnny Horton, and Elvis all regularly
played in their early days on the KWKH-AM radio program.
The setlist remained unchanged from previous shows on this tour. The
stage setup is sparse, simple, and perfectly fits the mood of these songs.
Dylan is comfortable within this setlist and really shined on the newer
songs. Gotta Serve Somebody was the highlight of the classic songs and
received the most applause.
I won't give a play-by-play. Others are better at that kind of thing.
However, I will say that my first Dylan show was October 30, 1996 at the
same venue. Tonight was my 10th show of the Never Ending Tour, and I
don't believe I have ever heard the vocals more clear and precise. Also,
the piano was better than I have witnessed before. He was absolutely
brilliant at times. I really like the current band. This was my first
time seeing Charley, Bob, and Doug, and they did not disappoint. Of
course, Tony and Donnie are as great as ever. It's obvious that Dylan is
happy with this group, and he should be.
Bob's music means more to me now than ever before. Tonight reinforced my
gratitude for the gift he continues to share with us. He is truly in a
class of his own. Otherworldly.
You know what I mean? You know exactly what I mean.
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