Orlando, Florida

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Walt Disney Theater

October 26, 2018

[James Hope], [KD], [Daniel Dorchak]

Review by James Hope

What can I say?!  Last night, Uncle Bobby took us all to “Sugar Town”
and “shook the sugar down,” passionately delivering a performance that
proved that in his late 70’s, Dylan is still far from just phoning these
concerts in.  As a frame of reference, this was about my 12th Dylan
show—from large indoor arenas, to the outdoor ‘minor-league baseball
stadium’ tour with Willie Nelson, to this same smaller venue here in
Orlando the last few years.  In fact last year’s show was great, but we
did of course indulge Dylan as he artfully interpreted some Sinatra tunes;
this year’s Sinatra-free set list was even more satisfying, as Dylan
returned the favor by indulging his aging audience with a greater
sprinkling of older classics that even non-hardcore fans would appreciate.
The opener (“Things Have Changed”), came out of the gate rather
forcefully, given how Dylan’s hard-pounding piano that signaled he meant
business.  As with many of the show’s I’ve seen, however, I could tell
that the audio-mix would be adjusted to suit the theater better as the as
the night progressed, and it did— which probably makes this an
appropriate place to mention that Dylan’s voice was sure and strong
throughout the nearly two-hour show.  Moreover, the pacing was excellent,
with soft and smooth numbers being interspersed at just the right time. 
As for the short-list of ‘standouts and surprises,’ the show was
front-loaded with a version of “Highway 61” that went off like a
pipe-bomb, and a final encore performance of “Ballad of a Thin Man”
that made those two songs alone worth the entire price of admission.
“Scarlet Town” was rendered much more mesmerizing than the album
version when Dylan took center stage at the microphone and softly, yet
with confidence, imbued each line with thoughtful emotion. In fact all of
the gentler numbers were great, including “It Ain’t Me, Babe,”
“Simple Twist of Fate,” “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” and
especially “Soon After Midnight.”  The number with the most notable
changes, lyrically, was “Gotta Serve Somebody,” which was all over the
board (much to Bob’s delight), as he was pitching lines from here,
there, and everywhere... “you may be a lawyer, getting ready for a
trial— but you’ve gotta serve somebody.”  The only song of the night
which really didn’t work for me, despite anticipating a good rendition,
was “Cry a While.”  During the tour that followed the song’s
release, the band captured all of the amazing internal tempo changes that
make the song so unique, and help aggressively punctuate the lyrics.  Last
night, however, it was the only tune that really seemed to have become
muddled and lost its way.  But the biggest thrill of all was an
unbelievable version of “Like a Rolling Stone” that had Dylan playing
with the audience like a cat with a ball of yarn!  You will have to
experience it for yourself, but it was slowed-down in all the right
places, allowing one to savor its poignancy, but built itself back up
powerfully in all the right places to satisfy with exuberance.  All in
all, this incarnation of the legendary ‘Bob Dylan & his Band’ show
fully lives up to the famous concert poster which warns: “Don’t You
Dare Miss It!”  As for me, whether Dylan is on guitar, piano, or harp,
l’ll gladly plunk down some cash to listen to the only guy in music
history who— having “sucked the milk out of a thousand cows”— has
“already confessed, no need to confess again.”


Review by KD

After witnessing the spectacular show in Ft. Lauderdale my son and I were
eager to see if the show in Orlando would hold up in comparison.   Happy
to report that Dylan gave us another amazingly memorable show. Every
aspect of the show was great; the voice, the band, the expressions, the
phrasings, every subtle and nuanced emphasis on certain words.  This truly
is a high water tour for Dylan and the band.   While the entire show and
experience to me was truly awe inspiring and the highlights were many I
will point out Masterpiece, Scarlet Town, LARS, Don’t Think Twice, Soon
After Midnight, Love Sick, and Gotta Serve Somebody as sublime moments of

Do not miss this tour.


Review by Daniel Dorchak

I'm searching for phrases to sing this concert the praises it
deserves. Fort Lauderdale was a spectacular show in every sense of the
word. It is hard to think of a show that could compete with the splendor
of Bob's performance at the Au Rene, then came the night in Orlando.
Things Have Changed was a very early highlight, powerful phrasing that set
the tone for the night. Highway 61 rocked the house and a Simple Twist
brought the house down. Cry a While had the lady next to me on her feet
and clapping. She told me before the show that she was not even a fan.
Masterpiece is stunning. Bob's harp pierced the air. Bob has turned
Scarlet Town into a show stopper. Love Sick was tantalizingly good. Don't
Think Twice is as good as it has ever been, slow but sweet. He messes up a
couple of the lyrics in Thunder on the Mountain, but George made up for it
with a rocking drum solo. Tony is egging him on. Soon After Midnight
rounded out the show and Serve Somebody is reinvented. Blowin' in the Wind
was sung with tremendous care. Mr. Jones makes his appearance and exits as
Bob does through the curtains. These two shows were very good. Bob has
shown that he is busy being born, creating new lyrics to some and new
phrasing to almost every song. His voice is clear and fluid. The sound is
loud. The band had fun, they we're all laughing-even Bob.


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