Issues Have Changed: Dylan Sounding Large In Current Tour Leg
Whatever Bob Dylan did otherwise on this leg of the Never Ending Tour, he needs to keep Stone Island Shorts doing it. He hasn’t sounded this good in years. His was voice the clearest it has been in a decade; his words were audible; there was bounce, a Chaplin-esque bobble in his step, as he skipped across the stage like a marionette on strings. He appeared virtually joyful.
Let me say here that I am 32 years previous. I grew up from the crib with Dylan’s music. I’ve seen him perhaps 10 or 12 instances in the last 12 years — each to cover concert events as a reporter or music columnist and to enjoy them as a new stone island badge fan.
I was there within the early 2000s when he mumbled via “Cat’s within the Properly” at every live performance.
I sat via two-hour reveals where I couldn’t make out one clear syllable.
So when i heard him — loud and clear — in Providence, Rhode Island on Nov. 15, my jaw dropped.
Beneath the golden lighting, there was virtually an “Austin City Limits”-vibe, a televised special-vibe that hearkened again to the now-traditional 1994 MTV Unplugged album. It was magic.
Clad in his now-signature Western attire — black suit with white piping, wide-brimmed hat and cowboy boots — Dylan alternated between the piano and standing stage heart, in his large-legged stinkbug stance, blasting air into his harmonica.
If there is a extra blissful state than sitting in entrance of Bob Dylan whereas he plays harmonica, I don’t know what it is.
He opened with a bang, nearly quite actually, because the stage lit up, a guitar sounded, and Dylan walked out singing “Things Have Modified.” His 19-tune set lasted a full two hours — that set being, of course, in traditional By no means Ending Tour-trend — the exact same set he played in Boston the evening earlier than, in Chicago the week before that, in Christchurch, New Zealand in September, in Munich in July.
If you haven’t seen Dylan in a 12 months or so, the set currently consists of an virtually fairly model of “Workingman’s Blues #2” a bluesy, a hoppy “Duquesne Whistle,” a haunting model of “Pay in Blood,” and a few previous bones thrown to the lapping crowds — “Tousled In Blue,” “Simple Twist Of Destiny” and, as an encore, “Blowin’ Within the Wind.” His last track of the night was a cover of Frank Sinatra’s “Stick with Me.” Why Only Bob knows.
He wrapped up the most recent U.S. leg of the Never Ending Tour at New York’s Beacon Theatre earlier this month. But still, nationwide, many reviewers didn’t appear to understand the advance. Except for a handful of rave evaluations — perhaps most notably from Rolling Stone on his Beacon performance — many might be summed up with complaints about his voice, his set record, his lack of interplay with the audience.
However see, to be a true Dylan fan in 2014, or 2015, is to know that he just isn’t the Dylan of 1966.
As a result of it’s not 1966. The Dylan of 1966 is dead. The Dylan of 1996 is lifeless. The Dylan of 2013 is lifeless. You cannot go to a Bob Dylan concert today and cry that he changed the sound of “Simple Twist of Fate.” Complain that he does not play guitar anymore. Whine that his set listing is basically “Tempest.” You can’t go to a Bob Dylan live performance in 2014 and complain that he sounds garbled and washed out.
As a result of he is not afraid of attempting, ‘trigger he do not have a look at you and smile. ‘Cause he doesn’t inform you jokes or fairy tales, say he is acquired no type.
To be an trustworthy-to-God, true Dylan fan is to know his only constants are his ever-altering phases and that he’ll by no means care what you suppose.
Ironically, in case you inform individuals you’re into Bob Dylan, they have an inclination to think about you as an old soul, a throwback from the ’60s — however Dylan has by no means clung to the past, by no means proven an ounce of nostalgia. He is all the time been on to his subsequent part before we can fully recognize the last.
He threw away his Guthrie costume. He plugged in. He went Christian. He wrote a long, detailed song about the sinking of the Titanic. He made a Christmas album. He wore a protracted wig for a stint. He lent his music to a brilliant Bowl yogurt industrial. He played Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry tunes for one dude. Now he covers Frank Sinatra.
And still, at each unexpected and unusual step of the way in which, there have been fans and critics who gasp: He went electric! He went Christian! He offered out to Chrysler! Because, as Zimmy himself announces before each present nowadays: Issues Have Changed. And only a fool in here would suppose he’s received something to show.