Akron, Ohio

E.J. Thomas Hall

November 3, 2017

[Daniel Hewitt], [Laurette Maillet]

Review by Daniel Hewitt

I've never missed a Dylan show in Akron and I've never been let down. That
being said, my review is more of a critique to the show structure than to
the performances themselves. First off, Bob and the band were explosive
(at times), in sync, and well, simply great. The venue's sound was superb
and the lighting was vastly superior to recent previous shows. Playing to
a full-house was a pleasant surprise to me. Mavis Staples had the entire
contingent on their feet clapping and singing along to multiple standing
ovations. Bob opened as usual with Things Have Changed. A much different
arrangement since 2014. Gone, unfortunately was his dance steps. But alas,
the clarity of his vocals made up for the loss. A plaintive It Ain't Me
Babe was next followed by an uptempo Highway 61 Revisited. Then Why Try To
Change Me Now and this is where my critique begins. While I thoroughly
enjoy Bob doing the Great American Songbook (on record AND live)
interspersing the select few he does into his (self-penned) repertoire
oddly affects the whole pace and rhythm of the live show. I'd much rather
see Bob do a 1st set of standards then a 2nd set of his own material.
While the subject material may work lyric-wise, the pace of the show
suffers.Even an all-standards show would be great, but trying to mingle
the two in the current way is just not working, for me. I would see this
show again in a heartbeat and I hope Bob and the band have many more
full-house shows up the road. If you have the chance, go see them ASAP.

Daniel Hewitt


Review by Laurette Maillet

Akron 3rd of November. I arrive on schedule time with "Barons bus".  Took
the city bus to my destination  and missed the stop. The driver was kind
enough to drive me back ... right at the door of my Couchsurfing host. In
fact 7 youngster are living in a huge house once the property of some
executive for GOODYEAR company, the tires factory. Akron was the city of
the tires used for the cars built in Detroit. The consequences of the
depression and globalisation is not so visible here than in Detroit. My
first evening is entertained by a group of AcroYoga practicing in the
living room. Fun to watch but I will never try! Next day is rainy day so I
decide to visit a museum ; Stan Hywet hall and gardens. It was the
property of the Seiberling family, owner of the Goodyear factory.
Immensely rich, they ordered the construction (4 years) of one of the 6
largest Mansions in the States. The "house" includes 62 rooms! It is
exquisitely decorated. We have a Tour and I also spend time in the garden
and green house. I recommend the Tourist Tour for 19$. Worse it. I am
confused with the bus schedule so... I have to walk , 1 hour, all the way
downtown. The E.J. Thomas hall is on a campus, not so pretty as Detroit.
Bob steps in his bus after the soundcheck. I say hi to Stu passing by. I
promised one of my CS hosts to find him a ticket for the show. Luckily 2
men gave me a ticket each. I give the best seat to Oliver, who will be
seeing Bob for the first time. I am on the third balcony, very high above
the stage.  7.30 p.m. Mavis looks tired. She doesn't speak as much as she
used to. She sings an old Gospel song; "wade in the water". She is
entertaining the public alright. Bob is right on time and as usual Fans
didn't take their seats early enough. I am disturb for the 3 first songs
but then all is well. The public is respectful even enthusiastic on
"Thunder on the mountain',  "Desolation row", "Tangled up in blue " . I
hear some applause at the start of "Autumn leaves". The show is great, as
any other show.  Spectacular on "Thunder on the mountain".  My favorite
still being "Summer days". I love the violin from Donnie. The encore is
quickly executed and the show ends at 10.15 p.m. I join Oliver who enjoyed
himself though he doesn't know many of Dylan songs. He recognised "Blowing
in the wind ",  certainly the Bob Dylan anthem. "Blowing in the wind " 
is for Dylan what "Guernica" is for Picasso. He is surprised about the
heavy security who asks the folks to cross the street in order for Bob to
step quietly and peacefully in his bus before taking the road. We drive
home chatting about why I am so hooked on Dylan! Hard to explain to a
rational Mathematician. Good night Bobby! See you in Columbus.


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