Los Angeles, California
June 14, 2022
Review by Hermann Rechberger
What a difference!
My last Dylan show was at the Beacon in November!
Except for two songs the story could be the same one, but what a
difference, some songs are completely rearranged! I avoided to hear
recordings of the tour so far to keep my interest high and it was a good
choice! Bob startet with a long guitar intro and then headed to the piano
for the remaining part of the show. Despite the long instrumental intro
Watching The River Flow didn’t last longer than usual, maybe he skipped
one verse? I was in row H which is actually row 10 and had my binoculars
with me so I could see Bob’s face and a lot of details very clear. For
example, watching the drummer is an experience! He‘s absolutely in the
whole thing, as I must admit the whole band is top notch! The harmonica
intro to When I Paint My Masterpiece was exceptional (the only harmonica
part of the show) and the song gained a bit more gear compared to the Fall
tour! It still is one of my favorite songs, Bob ‚playing‘ with his
voice when he extends the ending of a word (my cup is running oooooover!)
- the audience went crazy! Very warm welcome and standing ovations after
every song, it is a home game for Bob! A lot of ‚thank you‘ and some
spoken words, mostly inaudible, if I remember well he mentioned Jacky O.
at one point like he did in New York. What did exactly surprises me? My
least favorite from last tour was ‚I‘ll Be Your Baby Tonight‘ - this
time I really enjoyed it. Kind of a-capella intro and after first verse
the band was on fire. Every single I‘ll Be Your Baby Tonight got cheers
from the audience! The opposite experience: Key West in a totally
different slow key, for me the low point (‚low‘ is indeed a rude word,
I mean literally not the Everest, but still one of the seven summits), but
maybe this is what Bob shows are now-a-days: a neverending adventure and a
will to risk it all! And every single visitor has it‘s own point of
view! Shows shifting gears again with a warm and tender ‚I‘ve Made Up
My Mind…‘, great piano work on this. By the way, the water bottles are
still here. Before Melancholy Mood he went center stage and did the song
with one hand waving free! Only center stage performance of the night.
When I left home on Monday I read about ‚Friend Of The Devil‘ and when
the show at the Pantages comes to an end expectations of the audience
where high! And indeed, he introduced the song: „We did a song the other
night, ahm, and we got a request, so we are doing it again“! It was a
standard on the 1999 tour but still one of my favorites of the
non-Dylan-songs. Great to hear it with this band. Towards the end Bob
stood up picking up his guitar again, when back to his piano stool and
played sitting with the guitar on his knees. Some remarkable licks,
obviously the guitar was turned louder after a few seconds. He proofed
that he is still able to play every instrument, although his body looses
power, the man did not! Enjoy whenever you can. Sooner or later each of us
must leave the theater!
Review by Laurette Maillet,
From UC Berkeley to L.A. (or Los Angeles.)
I booked 4 nights in a Youth Hostel on Hollywood boulevard.
Can't be more fancy
I booked a FLIXBUS trip from UC Berkeley to L.A. I recommend
FLIX over Greyhound.
On time. Comfortable. Polite drivers. Least expensive.
The only inconvenient is ... Flixbus company has no covered stations.
The stops are on the streets. Difficult in the rain or snow. But this is
not the case in June , in Cali. Weather had been fine for the last week.
The trip is pleasant. We drive through miles (or kilometers) of
orchards...fruit trees in the infinite.
Where do they find the water???
L.A. traffic is not too bad and we arrive on time.
Two blocks away is my YH. Right on Hollywood boulevard where the
Pantages Theater is located, few blocks away. Can't be better.
I check in. The room is pleasant with only four women bunks.
I used to see Bobby at the Hollywood Bowl. The small theater will be
a change though I like the Bowl.
Nothing special to do during the first day.
Just walk the Hollywood Boulevard, paved with stars and names.
I recognize some of them: Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash,
Charles Aznavour ???,...
Unfortunately the Boulevard also smells of pee due to the many
homeless literally living on the ... stars.
Again. Shame to America! The richest country in the world.
The glamour of Hollywood studios, movies, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica,
Malibu...will not cover the distress of millions of Americans.
We are not on Rodeo Drive
But I feel privileged and sorry .
I have a light lunch with my friend Bob Russell and retrieve to my 'home'.
I practice a little bit of Chinese and mainly rest.
By 5pm I walk the few blocks to the Pantages.
The musicians bus and Bob's bus are parked by the back stage entrance.
If Bobby is in there or not...is a mystery. I haven't seen Susie for ages
I see Jason, Tony, Bob Britt, Charley ... Walking down the street. No Bobby
The crowd slowly queues. Masks are requested. Mobile in YONDR POUCH.
The security is cool and we are about 8 looking for a "miracle" ticket.
A little bit tough but "bon enfant". No aggressivity. No scalpers. Just "freaks".
The patrons are all ages and relaxed. I'm surprised of the non fancy crowd.
Scarlet Rivera is around, I heard. Maybe more "Stars"??
If so...they are discreet.
A young Lady approaches me. She has an extra ticket from a friend who
just died. She asks me to put a yellow rose on my seat for him. No problem!
I exchange for two of my paintings prints she really likes. No problem!
The seat is orchestra, left, row NN. Under the canopy.
The man next to me saw Bob Dylan in...1974! Woah.
At the Madison square garden for Hurricane in 1975. Woah!
I am impressed
Show starts at 8.04pm.
Many fans are not seated yet!
Come on folks! Be seated on time, .
Bob is dressed fancy; embroidered suit, (Black embroidered pants and
Black embroidered jacket) on a red fancy shirt. Cream/white hat. (He will
wear on and off).
His wife is here???
He picks up his guitar right away. Starts a long intro of "Watching the
river flow" before getting his seat at the piano.
The sound is a bit muffled but will improve at the third song.
His voice is powerful. As clear as crystal.
Had a drink of honey/ ginger tea?
The public is responding intelligently and knowingly : Quiet and attentive
on the soft songs. Up and rocking on the swing songs.
He will present himself center stage after almost ALL the songs. Trotting
from the piano to center mic. Standing few seconds looking at the audience.
Then trotting back to his piano.
Saying "thank you" few times.
He will introduce "when I paint my Masterpiece" with a long solo of harp.
The public is delirious.
The best relationship Bob / audience so far.
When people asks why Bob Dylan is still touring...well! Watch that concert
if you can...and you'll get the answer.
Might be why I am also....touring
If you're happy, I'm happy too
Then after introducing the Band he said something like "we did that
song the other night. It was requested again so..."
And starts "friend of the devil" which brings the entire theater on its
feet.(so to speak).
And at the end of the song, Bob picks up his guitar again, seats on the
piano stool turned towards Tony and Charley and plays few more chords.
What a show
I retrieve my phone and walk out by the back stage door. A silver
car speeds pass me.
Bobby is inside. Bitting the crowd.
Rushing to the XANADU.
See you tomorrow
Review by R.B.
This was my 27th Bob show since '86. But my first in 13 years. I'm sorry,
in advance, to say this is not going to be one of those adoring, Bob can
do no wrong.Don't get me wrong, there are some major songs on "Rough and
Rowdy Ways"; and I would say it's his most meaningful piece of work since
"Love and Theft".I skipped the Frank Sinatra heavy trilogy of Standards
albums. I know people's arguments how those records have a place in Bob's
musical journey. But for me,the guy who more or less destroyed Tin Pan
Alley and the Brill Building factory; and both during the folk and ultra
hip early electric period was the antithesis o,f everything Frank Sinatra
was about.Let's see if Bill even puts this up. I would say, overall, it
was an Okay to Good show. I thought, if anything, the audience was a
little overly respectful and accepting.Yes, for all Bob Dylan means and
has produced over the years, he deserves a standing ovation; but for large
section of the orchestra audience, standing ovations after every song,
even the lackluster ones? And this business of him coming center stage to
bask like a King in the applause, but to offer no thank you's for it
wassomewhat bizarre. But it's a perverse eccentricity I had not seen in
earlier years. The band "formation" he used to do previously would be the
closest to it.The genuine warmth I heard so much about between him and the
audience from those first fall Northeast shows is gone. It seems rote for
him now. Or maybe it's a pattern that goes all the way back to the
difference in feeling from the First Rolling Thunder Revue shows to the
second group in the spring of '76. He is genuinely full of enthusiasm
about the start of a major departure from his standard tour in the
beginning, and at a certain point it just gets old forhim. Or it could
have been that historically the middle show of 3 night residency is the
weakest one. On the Rough and Rowdy Way songs, it's true the vocals are
the most crisp and impressive since, perhaps those '86 shows with the
Heartbreakers.But the enunciation on the back catalog songs was much less
so. The musical intro to "Watching the River Flow" was way too long, and
by the time Bob did start singing, it seemed like the mumbly old days.
But, the vocals were much more clear on a not very impressive, "Most
Likely You Go Your, I'llGo Mine". The show really seemed to get in gear
with an excellent "False Prophet", a song I've only warmed up to in the
last week or so. This show provedthat, at this point, Bob makes his
diction really clear on the songs he cares about most, others not so much.
"False Prophet", 'Black Rider" "'Jimmy Reed," and "I've Made My Mind Up to
Give Myself to You" were all really good. And to me the highlight of the
nightwas "Mother of Muses", which I consider to be the best song on the
album, and the most meaningful(even with the to be polite, problematic
lyric about Martin Luther King; notto mention, the jarring praise of
generals, especially Patton. He may have been a military genius, but I'm
pretty sure, is regarded as a fairly cruel man.) It reminds me of Leonard
Cohen's "You Want It Darker" from his last album, when he knew death was
close at hand. Now, I only hope Bob has his mother's genes; she lived well
into her late 80's. But those lines about "I've already outlived my life
by far" and about the boat on the river captures fleeting mortality. That
it all worked tonight was very satisfactory. Again, I'm sorry, but "My Own
Version of You" and "'Rubicon" are weakest songs on the album. And to have
them back to back really hurt the pace. If I hadany power to communicate
to Bob, I'd strongly suggest he drop one of them.
But, I guess I learned tonight that an arrangement can almost ruin a
masterpiece of a song. This almost baroque(sic) arrangement of "Key
West"just did not work and totally weakened the power of the other
strongest song on the album. Speaking of which, the almost jazzy
arrangement of"When I Paint My Masterpiece" really left a bad taste in my
mouth. the harp solo at the beginning was nice, though. And really, "I'll
Be Your BabyTonight" was just fluff. And to ignore, so much of the prowess
of his canon, and pick a song like "To Be Alone With You"to fill the gap
between anotheralbum song, even with new lyrics, is just too much. In the
1971, interview with Robert Shelton, for his biography of Dylan, Bob says
"There was a lot of shuckbs to Nashville Skyline". Well, I can't remember
if he said "bullshit" or not, but the point about the album and what he
said about it in "Chronicles" and in the '84 "Rolling Stone" Interview,
makes a song that was one of the main mediocrities on an album, with "Lay,
Lady, Lay" being the obvious exception,
The gentleman who gave a review of the last Oakland show gave a fairly
convincing analysis of why none of the major songs in the Bob Dylan
canon(with the exceptionof ''Masterpiece" and "Every Grain of Sand" have
appeared in the setlist. That Bob doesn't want the work on "Rough and
Rowdy Ways" to come intocomparison with those songs. However, to have a
setlist with that is comprised of half strong songs and half weak songs
did not work for me. I felt sorry,for the slightly older woman, and
probably her daughter who finally were seeing Bob for the first time, to
explain to them that those songs they yearned tohear live, after all these
years, were not going to be played. And her disbelief that there would be
Every period of Bob's career has lost him fans and gained him new ones.
And the "Born Again" period brought in some Jesus freaks, who for
awhilewere some of the most hardcore fans who would see, at least, 10
shows during a tour. I know this because my ex friend, who saw well over
30 shows beforetaking a break would hang out with these guys, so I
socialized with them too. I didn't recognize any of those guys tonight.
But there was one veryobnoxious one with a "Come to Jesus"sign, who was
bragging about Bob doing "Gotta Serve Somebody". I know Bob has re-written
parts of it to be bemuch more secular, but having that song basically
fulfill what "Highway 61" did for many years is really disturbing to me. I
could just not partake in the partof the show that was designed to get the
crowd shaking their booty. Anyways, an excellent "Friend of the Devil" was
a nice surprise; as this was the third night in a row he's played it.
While it is really admirable of Bob to showcase a new album in a way he's
never done before, there is a rigidity with these shows. He said recently,
paraphrased, "Consistency is the thing". He seems to be totally rejecting
what he learned from Jerry and the Dead, of having certain slots where you
have a wholegroup of songs to plug in, so no show was the same every
night, and it was a treat for fans, especially those who try to see more
than one showon a tour. It's kind of ironic he's doing "Friend of the
Devil", in a way. So these shows, though unique, would probably never be
my favorites, anyway. Again, it was not a bad show, at all. But, I've got
to think therehave been much stronger ones since this all began, last
Review by Roderick Smith
Black and White red hot furnace “Rough and Rowdy Ways.” Teetering
as he sways he tips is cap, buttons his coat, tucks his shirt and squints in
the dim light. His piano a black draped pulpit. His notes spread all about.
What is the sermon about? Nobody really knows. A landscape is unfolding.
Bleak and dark with wagons slowly rolling down the hammered alleys.
Dylan is playing with iron now. Its blues with a thundering downbeat. His
songs are like his metal work. Welded symbols from the Great American
scrap yard. Five gifted welders move like a well oiled machine, fusing
shapes and symbols at his will. It’s good and evil in holy iron.
Deadly sins around every bend. Chivalry and redemption Death and
pride Plunder in the fields. It’s a musical. Dark and mysterious in a the
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