Osaka, Japan

Zepp Osaka

March 12, 2010

[Hiroshi Yoshizawa & Paul Swanson]

Review by Hiroshi Yoshizawa & Paul Swanson

The second concert. 

The first song was "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat." The performance on keyboards was spectacular. 
Reminded me of Booker and the MGs. Dylan was wearing the same black pants and jacket, but 
with a green shirt. Very fresh-looking. The fingers of his left hand sparkled with numerous rings. 
The line on his pants was white.

The second song, "Lay Lady Lay" blew me away. Dylan held the mike in his hand and acted as if 
he was seducing a woman. Hey, let's lay across the bed, he crooned. He may be an old man, 
but you can't dismiss him. He sang as if he was a womanizer. Even an old man like me got fired up.

During "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'" he raised his left hand high into the air.

Charlie is a standout during this tour. He stands in the middle of the stage, with a presence almost 
like that of Keith Richards. He must be favored by Dylan. They say that Tony is the leader of the 
band, but it seems that his place has shifted.

"Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" is so famous, and always gets a good reception. Don't mope,
let's enjoy life, he seems to say. The way Dylan holds his guitar has changed drastically from the 
time before he took his place in front of the keyboards. He holds it like a shamisen, or a sitar.

During "The Levee's Gonna Break", he burst out laughing. Come to think of it, the night before 
he laughed while singing during three songs. Imagine him as a folk singer laughing while singing. 
He also made a horizontal chop with his left hand during the song.

Then "Just Like a Woman." The lyrics were clearer than other songs. The audience sang along 
for the chorus. And then a "happening." As soon as the song ended, he threw the harmonica 
that he was playing into the backstage. Maybe something was wrong with it? His eyes were 
on fire.

"Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum" was Karaoke with the keyboards. 

"Make You Feel My Love" was beautiful. He made a mistake in one phrase during the introductory 
part. At the end he gestured with his right hand to the band to show when to end.

"Honest With Me" was a flop. He played it with a much more popular beat in previous concerts. 
Anyway, he laughed a lot. Later I got into an argument over this. My friend claimed, "He's not 
laughing. It's just that the sides of his mouth are curled up toward his ears." Maybe that's true. 
In any case, he won over the audience by ending the song with a crescendo.

"Po' Boy" wasn't very well accepted either. Maybe it was so different from the original recording, 
with much of the melody missing, that the audience didn't recognize it?

Here I thought, this tour will be remembered in Bob Dylan's history. This will be a tour that will be 
continued to be discussed. Please bear with me. In 200 or 300 years, Bob Dylan will be remembered 
and honored the way we see Beethoven and Mozart. (Of course, the Beatles, too.) How great is it 
to be a part of history! And today's performance was the harbinger of great performances to come. 
A "change of gears" occurred with "Highway 61 Revisited". The song started out soft, and gradually 
built up until Dylan pointed to Charlie as if to say "take it away", and the guitar and keyboards took 
over. This is Rock!

"I Feel a Change Comin' on" was sullen and refined. The drummer threw the stick in his left hand 
up into the air.

"Thunder on the Mountain" is great. Again he is laughing. He sang and laughed as if the words were 
spurting out. He shook his hips like a piston at the climax, and the members of the band smiled.

"Ballad of a Thin Man" was also good. This will probably be a standard part of this tour. And I didn't 
miss seeing that Dylan drank from the red cup; something he rarely does. What a great performance; 
this is why we can't stop following Dylan. In this performance he was more of an entertainer than a 
rocker. Like Frank Sinatra, or Presley in his later years. He showed it all, including a moody harp.

Charlie took of his jacket during "Like a Rolling Stone." Hmmm, this is unusual. Bob might get angry… 
But at this point I became certain: Bob Dylan has become a great entertainer. The crowd went wild.

"Jolene" was also greeted with rousing applause. 

This was a great performance.

Oh, and I almost forgot. When introducing the members of the band, Dylan usually says, "Thank you, 
everybody." But on this tour he says "Thank you, friends." Maybe that's what he said last fall, too.

The closer was "All Along the Watchtower." What a great performance. In the middle he stuck out his 
lips. In the middle the melody line changed completely from what came at the beginning. This melody is 
burned into our consciousness; what a fantastic melody.

At the end, Bob took off his hat and made a bow. He made a peace sign with both his hands. It seems 
that there was a different performer for the first night and the second night, not the same man. I can 
only wonder how the third night will be like.

Report by Yoshizawa Hiroshi, translated by Paul Swanson


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