Columbus, Ohio

Palace Theatre

November 5, 2017

[Michael], [Laurette Maillet], [Charles Cicirella]

Review by Michael

Sorry this will be my last show. Sad, it just isn't much fun any
longer or very good. I skipped the last few tours but I have seen Bob 11
times since 1988. It goes beyond the vocals now, to where the music seems
like it could just be grabbed from song A while Bob is singing song B.
They don't seem to match, maybe once a verse or chorus there will be a
recognizable riff or chord.

The band is top notch, and Bob on piano adds an interesting flair which I
had grown to like at times. I was a little surprised to see zero guitar or
harmonica, I am sure that has happened gradually over the last five years
but still surprising.

As far as my level of dedication, I have 58 CDs from Bob - pretty much
everything officially released and I listen to all of it regularly. I did
not buy the new bootleg series volume 13 yet, but that will be done this
week. Also, I am not stuck in the sixties with Highway 61 or Blonde on
Blonde. I really like Tempest and was excited to hear Early Roman Kings
and especially Pay in Blood, but they were listless. Desolation Row
reached a decent crescendo, and Honest with Me was good. That's 2 songs
out of 20, and as far as the "Sinatra" show tunes let me just say I hope
we have the three records done and move on to a new phase.  Standing up
and holding the mic stand under the dinner theater lighting was neat the
1st time he did it for a show tune. By the 5th time in the show it was
just dull. Oh, Love Sick was pretty good because it is basically a show
tune style song so make that 3 out of 20.

And NOT ONE SINGLE SPOKEN WORD. No simple thank you and good night or even
a band introduction. Again, I am sure it has developed that way over the
past five years while I didn't attend any shows but it was surprising.

Bill, keep up the good work. As they used to say on radio call-in shows,
longtime listener, 1st time caller. Long time reader, 1st time writer.
Wish I could be more upbeat. it doesn't change my respect and admiration
for Bob or the joy and revelation his music has brought me. He just
doesn't do a good show any longer, in my humble opinion. Mavis Staples
literally got more ovations and standing.

Thanks again for all of your hard work, Bob Links is a priceless source.

Sincerely, Michael
Columbus, Ohio


Review by Laurette Maillet

Columbus 4th of November. My Couchsurfing host in Columbus,† Jeff and
Charlene, live north of Columbus.† I first meet them in a bar/cinema
complex where, today, they are watching a football game. We live the bar
around 6 p.m., they drive me to their home, to meet the 3 cats. We listen
to Bob Dylan Nobel prize acceptance speech. Jeff blows up the king size
air mattress and I fall asleep right away. 5th of November. Charlene cooks
breakfast and go to church while Jeff is taking care of the laundry. I
just spend time reading a book. By 5 p.m. I catch bus number 2 towards
downtown. I am a little bit worried for I have my suitcase with me. I go
straight to the security guards at the entrance of the Palace theater and
explain my problem. They will not let me in with my luggage and they are
even rude as if I carry with me a dangerous item. I spot the Leveque
Hotel, right next to the venue and decide to take my chance. The clerck
kindly understand my demand and accept to hold my suitcase until the end
of the show. I am more than thankful for that. Second chalange is to get a
free entrance. 2 scalpers are a bit aggressive until I make them
understand I know their game and I don't play by it. A man passes by me
and hands me a ticket. He didn't even ask me anything or argue about any
price. Though it is early, the wind and the rain start to create trouble
so I step inside. No metal detector,† no heavy search. Just the usual
recommendations; no camera, no recording material.† The venue is again a
splendidly decorated theater. The crowd is not "young" though Columbus is
a University town, second largest in the States. I seat next to my Good
Samaritan who tells me he is a teacher of Maths at the University and is
wife is sick and couldn't make it to the show. I ask what he expects from
Bob Dylan tonight. He says the songs from the sixties. But he will be
enthusiastic all along the show, even if, probably,† he doesn't know most
of the songs Bob is interpreting in his new style. Mavis is in a great
spirit tonight.† Taking the public ...there. Most of the folks are seated
when Stu starts strimming, which is good news! I can enjoy plainly "Things
have changed" "It ain't me Babe" brings a smile on my good Samaritan face.
As well as "Highway 61" Unchanged from the original version.† The Sinatra
songs are familiar for that crowd of retired folks. They are accepted with
enthusiasm.† "Summer days" makes me wiggle but not too much. Seats are
bouncing from one side to the other of the row. Bob goes on with his usual
setlist as more and more people leave their seats. Some coming back and
some not. My Good Samaritan picks on my mood wether or not he recognizes
the songs. He seams a bit bored on the Sinatra ones and keeps saying
"thank you. Thank you" . To whom? I donít know. "Thunder on the mountain
" is a must. Some super Fans,here and there, stand and bounce their heads
for few minutes, before being asked to seat. My row of seats is empty as
Bob and the Band reappear for "Blowing in the wind " and the final "Ballad
of a thin man ".† The theater is empty by now and I linger around. I am
in no hurry as my Greyhound bus is leaving for Pittsburgh at 12.55 a.m. As
I finaly step out, it is pouring rain.† Oh my! I have to walk 10 minutes
with my luggage which I retrieved from the Hotel. By chance, I spot a
couple to whom I had explained all my adventures with Bob Dylan before the
show. I ask,† kindly, if they could give me a ride. They say, "no
problem". I am at the Greyhound station by 11.00 p.m. all dry! I get
myself some french fries, the only "decent" food at this time of the
night. I sleep the 3 hours and half, all the way to Pittsburgh.† Bobby is
probably taking the same road in his luxury bus! Good night Bobby!


Review by Charles Cicirella

He rattled. He rolled. He crooned like a true champion and he gathered no
moss. Senor Bob proved once again on this Sunday night in November just
how fierce and enduring his roar is. Joni wasnít kidding when she wrote
of us being made of stardust. Dylan encapsulated billions and billions of
those lonesome stars when he sashayed onto the stage like a carpetbagger
or randy old sea captain and held the room in steampunk amber.

The last show I caught was in July of this year in Detroit. The show
didnít work for me. I found his own compositions to pull everything out
of him and deliver the goods with no punches pulled. The standards however
didnít connect for me at all. Maybe itís because it was an Outlaw
Festival in a big arena and a more intimate theatre is whatís needed for
the saloon songs to truly find their voice. They sucked the energy out of
the set and Bob, to me anyway, didnít seem at all into it as he threw
these songs from a bygone era away like the autumn leaves he so often
decisively sings about.

What a difference a day or in this case a couple of months can make.
Iíve not seen Bob this dialed in in quite some time. As Iíve said in
previous reviews I love how he continues mixing up the medicine when it
comes to his own songs. ďThings Have ChangedĒ is no exception as it
tunnels beneath the cold ground like an Earth mover that knows exactly
what time it is and refuses to back down. ďIt Ain't Me, BabeĒ a song I
havenít heard live in quite a spell was as fresh as a daisy while also
being as rank as the undead because having it your way isnít only a
slogan from Burger King. The way Dylan can take a song he wrote over fifty
years ago and still connect with it so that the audience discovers
themselves emotionally gob smacked never fails to delight and scare the
bejesus out of me.

The standards on this night in a cow town not afraid to moo transcended
the set, all on account of this masterful performer who so often brings it
all back home. Iíve learned yet again not to have any expectations and
to instead have an open heart and mind because in a world where everything
is turning out to be counterfeit thereís one precious gem that knows
precisely whatís going on and how to deliver that good news to each and
every one of us like a postman during the end times.

Charles Cicirella 


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