July 3, 2016
Review by Barry Gloffke
How do you overcome a deplorable environment, in the bowels of a
tourist trap, among a mindless casino crowd, inside a numbingly and
blandly designed theater, with lackluster lighting and a hushed, silent,
sleeping herd of sitting exceptional people? You bet on a great Bob Dylan
show. And I got one. It also helps to have a good, big bowl of soul from
Mavis Staples. Man, can she can belt out a tune.
While I will not be making the 2 1/2 hour ride from Forest Hills, NYC to
Mashantucket, CT again, I'm glad I did this one time. In the above
mentioned environment Bob and the Band put on a great show of rock, roll,
country, jazz, lounge and more. The crowd was older and in no mood to
stand up and enjoy what they were about to see and hear. Man, Mavis
Staples begged them to get up and dance!! There was no way in the world
they were going to stand up and enjoy this Bob show. Oh well, I guess I
will fill in for them.
The Band hit the floor hot with great renditions of THINGS HAVE
CHANGED, SHE BELONGS TO ME and BEYOND HERE LIES NOTHIN' before
settling down to a smoky version of THE NIGHT WE CALLED IT A DAY. Even
though mostly sedate, the audience was very appreciative of this and all
the other American songbook tunes. I was not sure what the audience
reaction would be to the many American songbook tunes in the show (the
previous NYC area tours 2014 and 2015 saw Dylan introduce STAY WITH ME,
but that was it... only one song per show... now we get seven!!). I was
surprised that the audience seemed to love Bob's attempts to reinterpret
these songs his way. Nice to hear. PAY IN BLOOD is next... stark and
ominous... love the way Charlie fills the voids. Bob puts all his money
on MELANCHOLY MOOD and walks off a winner... sounds so gooood! Slowly,
slowly slowly we creep into the station, then with a STOP and a BREAK,
the Band soars down the tracks and blows a long, loud, rousing DUQUESNE
WHISTLE. Fantastic! Tony banging the standup, Donnie lapping the steel,
Charlie picking fast, Stu filling furiously, George with sticks a flyin'
and Bob making that poor piano do things it never thought it would have.
OUCH!! Take a breath for THAT OLD FEELING and let it out for a fabulous
version of TANGLED UP IN BLUE to end the first set. Wow!, that was good.
The second set opened with an exceptionally rocking HIGH WATER. It
started slow and picked up tempo and depth as it swam through the
aftermath of a near apocalypse. Bob gives us an achingly beautiful WHY
TRY TO CHANGE ME NOW and follows that with a powerful EARLY ROMAN KINGS
which has the some of the crowd waving handkerchiefs in the air. He ain't
dead yet! Bob reaches for the high notes (hits some, misses others) in I
COULD HAVE TOLD YOU. A slow groovin' SPIRIT ON THE WATER is next and the
audience participation in nice to see and hear, as of course we all know
he ain't over the hill or past his prime yet either!! SCARLET TOWN hits
the mark... dark and desperate like many cities in the country these
days. A very dramatic version of ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL has Bob pleading
for a love that has everything. A slightly less powerful than usual, but
nonetheless very good version of LONG AND WASTED YEARS is the penultimate
second set song. A very elegant, deep, quiet version of AUTUMN LEAVES
rounds out an excellent two sets.
After a few minutes of loud (finally up on their feet and yelling)
audience reaction Bob and the Band give us a nice, clear version of
BLOWIN' IN THE WIND. The show must end, and it does with a slowed down
and moving version of LOVE SICK. So, so good!!
Thanks to Bob and the Band for another great night and overcoming a
terrible location. See you in Forest Hills.
| Click Here
to return to the
page by Bill Pagel
| Bob Links
| Set Lists
| Set Lists