San Diego, California
San Diego Civic Theatre
June 18, 2022
Review by Laurette Maillet,
San Diego June 17th.
My good friend Bob Russel offered me a ride from East L.A. to
San Anton....oops! NW L.A. to San Diego.
A pleasant ride talking about...Bobby Dylan.
The best subject of conversation now a days
Holly, a BD Fan from FB, invited me to stay at her place and to go to
the show together.
We listen to....Bob Dylan. The Bob Dylan 'another self portrait' brings
me many years back.
A pleasant day passes by: Eating, resting, reading...
6pm. We UBER to the San Diego civic theater.
Not surprised to see so many Quechua tents and poor souls. Though
surprised to see that the Dylan bus is parked right in those streets.
A million dollar bus among the Quechua tents!
I have no worry for my Tix for my good friend/Samaritan is ,again,
Bob Russel. Many thanks for freeing my mind and anxiety.
I focus on selling some prints.
The crowd is pleasant, the security not too tight.
Our seats are on the first circle, right behind the floor seats, facing the piano.
I brought my binoculars. But in the darken stage is difficult to see Bobby's face.
On the opposite the public is brightly lighted.
Bob can see the first rows.
He starts again on a long intro of guitar before heading to the piano.
The sound is ...bad. And will not improve much.
Bobby's voice is weak. Either he doesn't sing in the mic, either is has a cold
The "rough and rowdy ways" songs are his best interest. They are
interpreted with conviction.
"My own version of you" and "Crossing the Rubicon" my favorites tonight.
But the "old" songs are botched. He mumbles the lyrics. Even "Serve
somebody" is lacking of energy. Though I see Charley beating hard on his drums
And the public reacts well: standing up when Bob moves center stage.
On "Melancholy mood" he did the pose he used to do: bending on his knees,
For the girl in front?
His hat off and on. His fluffy hair definitely dyed a shade of brown.
He obviously enjoyed the young woman on his right dancing on almost all the
songs as he points at her at the end during his final "pose".
He mumbles few "thank you" "thank you Art lovers" but hardly audible.
A pleasant day and a pleasant show for me. But not the most transcendant
I step out and sell some more prints as I discuss with two of my "followers".
Holly enjoyed the show very much, as an unconditional Bobbycat
and there's nothing wrong about it!
I've been on the road a day too long???
Next Long Beach and another day, another show, another Bobby? That Man
of many moods.
A little change in the setlist at this point could be a must.
Thank you all the good people.
If you see me , say hello.
You'll get one of my postcards.
Review by Tom Kirby
What a great show Bob and his tight band played at the SD Civic Theater on
Saturday. Arguably the best Dylan performance I’ve seen in the thirty or
so shows I’ve seen since 1978. Super solid from beginning to end, with
so much great new material to share, material that suits his vocal range
and the times so well, it was just mesmerizing. And it’s all delivered
in a very earnest, sincere, amazingly good voice. This was the most
tenderly sung show I’ve seen. He was so inspired, so into it, so in the
moment the whole show long. Goose bump material. I can’t recall him ever
being more present, more focused, more inspired in all the great shows I
have seen. But you don’t need to take my word for it in this fan
review. There is a very good audio boot of the whole show on you tube.
There’s also a very good professional rave review in the LA Times for
one of last week’s LA Pantages shows. Here’s the link:
Here are a few excerpts from Mikael Wood’s LA review that can also be
said about the SD show:
“As a musical experience this performance felt like nothing so much as a
gift: a thoroughly engrossing 90-minute outpouring of pulpy juke-joint
roots music and spectral folk-soul balladry, with Dylan in richly
expressive voice and his bandmates accompanying him with an almost
“Dylan sounded so emotionally engaged in singing the new stuff that
nobody even thought about tuning out while awaiting the hits.”
“He gave the distinct impression … that in his ninth decade it’s
simply doing his soul some good to bring people joy. Get it while it
Indeed you should get it while it lasts. If you are on the fence about
going to one or more of these shows, you really need to go, hands down.
The SD Civic Theater sounded great from the “Dress Circle” section
just behind the orchestra section on the ground floor. There are two
balconies above, total capacity about 3000. The show was sold out, with
very few empty seats. The crowd was very respectful, very aware they were
getting a great show. Bob’s voice was super tender, everything amazingly
well sung in mellow soft timbre mostly. But at other times raising without
going out of range. A number of songs started out for up to a minute or so
with just Bob on piano and vocal, and then the band would join in. Major
revisions to song lyrics of especially the older songs. At times only the
song refrain would be the same as the original versions. Other times just
one or two verses of original lyrics would be changed. Something
particularly cool was three different times (in different songs) Bob would
intersperse an outright hearty but brief laugh. Sometimes this seemed to
be laughing at the lyrics, sometimes laughing with them.
One sad side note of the environs around the venue that I think impacted
Bob tonight is that some of the streets that surround this venue, which is
not a good part of town and near the SD jail and courthouse, are lined
with homeless encampments. There are now sadly multiple skid rows in
downtown SD, and this area is adjacent to two of them. I think Bob was
referring to them in the improvised lyrics “Dodging lions with a mean
and hungry look. Oh, those mighty kings of the jungle, I could hardly
stand to see ’em. I could see them coming up to the door. I could read
their faces, as I pulled up just down the road.” And when returning to
his hotel room, he also swapped out the “date with Botticelli’s
niece” with the stark “And wash my clothes, scrape off all the grease,
lock the doors. Ain’t gonna talk to nobody, until I paint my
masterpiece.” I don’t know, maybe I’m way off base here. But I also
think Bob was thinking of the homeless he just saw when he interspersed a
brief hearty laugh, a sort of accusation "are you kidding me” kind of
laugh in the middle of “Oh you poor Devil - look up if you will (laughs
here) The City of God is there on the hill.” West coast cities, although
they have their charms, and I do love my adopted home town of SD, are not
good stand ins for “The City of God '' these days.
Sorry for the down beat, but it is what it is, and Bob ain’t pulling any
punches these days. It made for an all the more poignant show for me.
There were two other times Bob laughed during songs tonight, but more in a
“laughing with” sense than laughing at, like just before the last
verse of “I’ll be your baby tonight” and in the midst of “To Be
Alone With You.”
Bob’s glad to be doing these shows, you can tell. He’s being
incredibly generous with his emotions and his delivery. This band also now
suits him as well as some of the great bands of the past that included
Larry Campbell and Charlie Sexton. Now do yourself a favor and go find
that boot and listen to this amazing show. Better yet, get yourself and a
loved one tickets for an upcoming show or two.
Love and affection to all those of you who are sailing through life with
Review by William Love
The show began a minute early and lasted 100 minutes it was the standard
17 song set ending with every grain of sand. Bob is a master is truly an
amazing show. Bob opened with about a 2 minute instrumental where he
played guitar in front of the crowd where he would come out seven more
times eight times during his performance he stepped out into the middle
including that guitar solo and including singing in front of everybody for
melancholy Moon where he did not play any instruments he just sang he
played harmonica in front of the crowd for the beginning of masterpiece
which was one of many totally reworked versions the most amazing reworked
version was key West his piano playing throughout the night was
spectacular other than the harmonica on masterpiece and opening with
guitar he's stuck to piano but the sound of his piano changed during the
course of the evening getting more typical piano sound where he was
electric and organy a lot during the beginning Jimmy Reed has been
reworked into sort of a ragtime piano I can't say enough to be anyone and
flourishing like our master it was phenomenal he went on a plane ride so
bumpy he got sick tons of nuances of words and changes and like I said
instrumental reworkings galore and like I said on key West I did not even
know what it was at first all in all spectacular sure I wanted to hear a
Friend of the devil but it didn't matter his vocalizations were so good
throughout the night it was as good as I have ever seen Bob Dylan and that
this was probably somewhere around a hundred shows that I've seen
spectacular Long Live Bob I'm sorry for typos I'm just going to send
William love of Phoenix writing from San Diego...
Review by Douglas La Rose
I saw Bob Dylan on the first leg of this tour (DC), and though the setlist
was similar the show was fundamentally different. I was surprised that I
was surprised. I hadn't heard that things had changed so much.
The venue was intimate, and the stage kind of hovering in front of us. The
lights never fully went down but the stage was perfectly lit and the sound
was great. Throughout the show, the band really stood in the background
with Charley Drayton kind of rumbling in with jungle rhythms to keep the
swamp swing rolling.
Bob came out and jammed on his guitar for the first couple minutes of
Watching the River Flow. He was center stage, his fro backlit and his
stance spread wide. Then he wandered over to his piano and sang. This is a
warm up song - just as it was on the first leg. But it had more swing this
time around and he sounded more confident.
Another big difference - he played a solo harmonica intro on Masterpiece,
which was indeed a Masterpiece. His vocal delivery was actually better
than Shadow Kingdom - even though the swing and vibe of it was exactly the
same. But it blew away the rendition from the first leg.
I wish I had brought a journal to scribble down lyric changes. He made
huge changes to songs all over R&RW. Multitudes and False Prophet had
lyric changes. On Multitudes:
“… *something* with lighting speed,
I ain’t giving nothing to no one,
Unless they beg and plead,
I fuss with my hair,
I fight blood feuds,
I contain multitudes”
Also, in Crossing the Rubicon, something about “I’ve got 10 or 20 more
On this leg, Bob's voice is the cleaner Sinatra voice. Very sing-songy
with drawn out vocals - this worked especially well on Made up My Mind,
which was much better than the first leg.
Contrary to popular opinion, Key West actually worked for me, because I
thought the first leg tried to hard to sound like the album and that made
Bob rush too much - he has found a rhythm here that he likes. I get it
that people don't like it, but I can see why it works and it grew on me.
Goodbye Jimmy Reed was sinister. It went from being a rock and roll song
to sounding like something dipped in Lanois production. Lots of
atmospheric guitar and changes throughout the song. Very Shadow Kingdom
meets Time Out of Mind - what a surprise!
At what point in the Rough and Rowdy Ways tour did Bob Dylan turn Jimmy
Reed from a shuffling blues number into a kind of swampy Lanoisesque
rocker? I loved both takes but the version last night was incredible. He
reinvented the whole meaning of the song
It needs to be said that My Own Version of You is absolutely stunning. He
has turned this into the center of the set. It contains the essence of
what this show is - it's a postmodern contemplation of these bizarre times
and mortality. In fact, Bob sings so much about death.
Every Grain of Sand has been sculpted into perfection. “I'm hanging in
the balance of a perfect finished plan Like every sparrow falling, like
Every Grain of Sand.” Perfect way to exit Shadow Kingdom.
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