Reviews

Irving, Texas

The Pavilion at the Toyota Music Factory

October 10, 2018


[Barry McCollom], [Laurette Maillet]

Review by Barry McCollom



First visit to a new venue Toyota Music Factory. Overly Corporate branded with 
tons of advertising on big screens everywhere but the sound was excellent and 
seating had plenty of leg room. No need to squeeze around for late arrivals. The
guy sitting next to me was from Minnesota. One of his cousins played on some 
of the Minneapolis versions on Blood On The Tracks. It is so easy to make friends 
at a Dylan show! His wife was wearing a Beto O'Rourke T shirt. Beto is like RFK 
running for Senate against Richard Nixon played by Ted Cruz. Here we are fifty 
years after 1968 and the same players are on the scene in different disguises. 
Lights dim suddenly. Gone was Stu Kimball's intro on acoustic... In fact Stu was 
gone as well! Instead we had ruffles and flourishes similar to the shows that 
began with the Aaron Copeland overtures. Things Have Changed had a bossa 
nova type vibe to it. Through binoculars from just six rows away Bob DID look 
old. Lots of wrinkles around squinting eyes. Crazy composer bed hair! As the 
show went on he seemed to age backwards though. His face and eyes relaxing 
although remaining very concentrated throughout every song. My first real thrill 
was Cry Awhile. There was a real taught beat and bass line to which Bob told 
his tale. Midway through he began to crash the piano keys furiously while 
standing and leaning over the keyboard writhing like some Ray Charles or 
Professor Longhair incarnation. It was awesome! Different lyrics to Masterpiece...
"the lions with that mean and hungry look in their eyes." But what punched my 
ticket was the surprise midway through the show of the new version of Like A 
Rolling Stone. Slowing softly down at the end of the verses. Lightly tickling the 
ivories."Do you want to... make a... deal?"  Everyone came to their feet at the 
end! Truly cathartic! Several great harmonica solos sprinkled throughout. New 
lyrics to Gotta Serve Somebody. 'You may be hallucinating..you may be seeing 
ghosts! but you still gotta serve somebody!" Great version of Love Sick also with 
new twists on the vocals. Finally closing with Thin Man. Ending with first soft 
harmonica then building to a wailing crescendo.With harp to his mouth and his 
hair in back lit halo the years melt away. He suddenly is Bobby! Again Forever 
Young! "May God Bless and Keep You Always!"

[TOP]

Review by Laurette Maillet



San Antonio had been my home for a month, waiting for Bob to come to me.
My last show was Christchurch New Zealand with a surprising "it takes a lot to 
laugh, it takes a train to cry".
By now I know Stu had left the Band for reasons unknown  to me.

October 10.
I get up at 5.15 am to catch my Greyhound  bus to Dallas where my good 
friends Carol and Joni will pick me up to drive to Irving.
We arrive early enough to have a glance at Bob finishing is soundcheck and 
jumping in his American Tour bus. So far, so good.
We meet David, a Fan from San Antonio, who by chance will catch the same 
bus as me , going back to San Antonio.
Carol will be my Good Samaritan tonight. I don't have to worry about begging 
for a ticket, fearing security. Thank you so much my dear Friend!

I enter the venue as soon as 7 pm. It is getting a bit chilly outside.
The hall is not big, maybe 5 000 seats, intimate.

By 8pm, nothing happens. Stu is not here, so the timing is unsecured. 
8. 15pm, we have a strange musical background with trumpets.  
No more Stu's noodle.
George nonetheless will give the signal for the Band-1 and Bob to take position. 

1. Things Have Changed
the Band-1 doesn't sound well together.  They miss Stu giving the rythm?
Bobby's voice is not as clear as it used to be.
2. It Ain't Me, Babe
Folks are rushing to their seats. Security should not allow folks to seat between 
the songs! I say!
3. Highway 61 Revisited
Did he change some lyrics? Right at the beginning?
God doesn't  talk to Abe the same way?
4. Simple Twist Of Fate
The sound is better now. Nice harmonica that rejoys the public.
5. Cry A While
After a little concertation with Tony and Charlie. Bob doesn't  start right away 
any new song without moving to his musiciens, even George.  Afraid to lose 
another one from his Band, now Band-1? 
6. When I Paint My Masterpiece
Oh my! Sooooo beautiful little piano tune. A little Mozart! My favorite  of the 
night.
7. Honest With Me
8. Tryin' To Get To Heaven
My 2 least favorites.
I listen respectfully,  not some folks who are already heading to the bar.
9. Scarlet Town
Center stage
I hear Donnie tuning his banjo. It could have been "High Water" or "Blind Willie 
Mc Tell" but that will be "Scarlet town".
Either 3 are good for me.
10. Make You Feel My Love
The public reacts positively to the first words. Immediately  recognizable. 
11. Pay In Blood
He changed the tune/tone/rythm. It is less arogant, less crual. It is laking of " 
punch"(energy)
12. Like A Rolling Stone
Great emphasis on the last words of each line, building the suspense.  It was a 
time when the public would have sing along....those days are gone! 
It is just a longer applause at the end. 
With the security so tough, noone dare moving an ass on his/her chair.
Just a young girl incessantly moving her arms up in the air. She was left alone!
13. Early Roman Kings
No one will lift an handkerchief  high in the air, no one will ring a bell. Where 
are you Aussie boy?
14. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
I murmure along for the first time. I donít  want to disturb the Opera type 
atmosphere.
Soooo calm and quiet. 
15. Love Sick
Center stage. It  seems to me there is a slight mistake in the lyrics at the end.
16. Thunder On The Mountain
Yep. The one person next to me is long time gone, like some more leaving for 
the bar , or leaving the venue all together. I can move my feet, up and down 
on the concrete floor, and bounce my sleepy head. 
George doesn't get the ovation he should get.
Don't  leave us Little  Georgie,  we Love you!
17. Soon After Midnight
Sweet. The sweetest on "Tempest", other wise an Apocalyptic bundle of 
catastrophes! 
18. Gotta Serve Somebody
I didn't  recognize  it until the 'but you've gotta serve somebody'.
He changed the lyrics again. That Poet!
Before the Band-1 finishes their play, Bobby moves center stage and makes his
stand in front of the public, his left hand on his hip, and bouncing slightly on his
feet.
Well! I am the only one to get the message as I stand up for a loud applause.
It takes Bob to move away in the dark for the public to react. Definitively not 
a Bobcats audience!

(encore)
19. Blowin' In The Wind
20. Ballad Of A Thin Man
No stage rush, no panic, no super ovation.
A bow from the 5 of them on stage.

I move away in a, by now, quarte empty venue. It doesn't  take long to reach 
the street door.
That was my first U.S.A. show. I had no bad experiences.
My friends were kind to me. They are happy, I'm happy too.
But that was not the Show of the year, for sure.
Yes, I miss Stu. That will take a while not to look at his empty space.
The Band-1 has to stick together. Charlie was doing his best, for sure.
Bobby's voice was not so clear and his articulation faulty at times.

Carol and Joni give me a ride to the Greyhound station where I meet David.
We spend 4 hours chatting about Dylan (mainly me) to keep us awake. Inside 
the bus we half sleep in an uncomfortable position....dreaming of ....another 
show.
See you all in SugarLand!

[TOP]

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