November 22, 2014
Review by Peter Stone Brown
I was fully and psychologically prepared to present the proletariat
perspective from the highest balcony of the Academy of Music, but as I
walked into the lobby, a mystical emissary appeared and asked, "Where are
you sitting?" I pointed upward towards the heavens, and the mystical
emissary said, "Here, take this," and handed me a ticket for the
orchestra. I was not about to turn it down. The ticket turned out to be
the same seat I was sitting in the night before which was smack dab in the
center directly in front of Bob's microphone, but six rows closer.
This time Bob and the band were all dressed in black, but as the show
started it was different in feel, looser, more energetic, but just as
tight and Dylan was in much better voice. And instead of standing with his
hand on his hip, like he did the night before, this time he was holding
the mic stand.
On "She Belongs To Me," the harp was more forceful and he started
stretching out lines and playing with the phrasing. "Beyond Here Lies
Nothing" was all about his piano with rolling bass notes.
Returning to the front for "Working Man's Blues #2," he started acting out
the lyrics as he sang them, and after a particularly beautiful pedal steel
solo, he put out his left hand in the direction of Donnie Herron. "Waiting
For You" seemed to flow a bit smoother and Dylan threw a little extra
emphasis on the line, "You don't have to be rich or well to do."
"Duquesne Whistle" is obviously one of the show stoppers on the tour, and
tonight I was better able to notice some things the band and Dylan are
doing. Every instrumental break is different, and there was a very cool
section were Charlie Sexton and Donnie Herron were doubling their parts.
(This happened on a couple of other songs as well.) But what made it
interesting was they didn't do it every time. And on one of the stops
Dylan sudden stood for a second still playing piano, sitting back down
right on the stop. The song ended with a hot solo from Charlie.
Then it was back up front for "Pay In Blood," and he sang it like a
gangster, and not a 21st century gangster, a 1930s gangster robbing a
bank. And after every verse he did this half walk/half dance to the side
of the mic, and at one point stopped, faced the crowd with his hands back
and then walked back to the mic. "Tangled Up In Blue" was equally
"Love Sick" again was a high point. Stu Kimball starts it with a hard
almost ska beat, while Herron on electric mandolin is adding a different
accent, and Recile's drums are way out front, but again there were times
where the guitars would double each other, and Dylan singing "I'm sick of
it," with a vengeance.
After what seemed like an extended intermission they returned with "High
Water" with Sexton delivering menacing guitar throughout and Dylan
emphasizing the everywhere at the end of each verse.
"Simple Twist of Fate" also seemed smoother than the night before, but
again "Early Roman Kings" was all about high energy and the proficiency of
this band with Sexton and Herron playing off each other and playing off
Dylan's piano, Sexton at one point totally in sync with what Dylan was
playing, and meanwhile Dylan's snarling out, "They destroyed your
city/They'll destroy you as well," leaving little doubt who he's singing
During "Spirit On The Water," amazingly enough the couple who had the
vacant seats next to me finally decided to show up three quarters of the
way through the show temporarily interrupting the flow of everything, of
course talking while they were taking off their coats and sitting down.
Luckily they shut up pretty fast when they realized the entire theater was
The big difference in this show was a higher energy level, with Dylan much
more animated which ultimately made his deliver of every song even more
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