October 16, 2018
Review by Bengt Lindell
My expectations for the October 16 show in Lafayette, Louisiana were high
for a number of reasons. One reason is the roller coaster days of his
shows seem to be over. Instead, according to reviews, he has found a way
to infuse older songs as well as newer number, with an inspired energy.,
pssibly inspired by the may Frank Sinatra interpretations he has recorded.
Also, this was the first time I was going to enjoy Dylan at a concert
hall, built for musical performances, instead of in big ice hockey barns,
The Heyman Performance Center seats about 1,500. Most of those tickets
were gone within an hour after Ticketmaster released the tickets.
The view from the balcony was pretty good and we could look down at a
dimly lit stage with instruments waiting for their players.
At 8 p.m. the lights faded out, music possibly by Copeland was payed and
we could see five shadows enter the stage.
First number out was Things Have Changed. Bobs vocal was low in the mix,
but was adjusted after a few words. "I used to care, but things have
changed", Bob sang but I think that was a little white lie.
Dylan seemed to be on the task behind the piano. He was sitting mostly
through the song. However, towards the end he got up and made a couple of
careful dance moves as the music intensified. A great performance and a
great opening number.
In the next number, It Ain't Me Babe, Dylan showed his age, and I mean
that in a positive way. He transformed from the restless youth he was when
he wrote the number some 54 years ago, to an experienced man, explaining
to his partner why he wasn't the man she was looking for. For me it was
the first goose bump number of the evening, but far from the last. but
becoming emotional. As Bob sang, tear drops fell.
After that number and inspired Highway 61 rocked the concert hall.
Highway 61 was where it all began for Bob as he dreamed about going south
from Minnesota, towards the Mississippi Delta and Louisiana. Dylan and the
band just nailed the performance on this one.
Things slowed down once again as Bob told us about the Simple Twist of
Fate. As Bob sang, and sometimes recited the lyrics, I couldn't help bu
envision an old man sitting on a park bench somewhere, explaining to
someone younger about life's twists and turns. A magnificent performance
by Bob and the band. For the first time this evening, Bob picked up an
harmonica, cheered on by the enthusiastic and respectful crowd. Another
goose bump moment.
I had already shed a few tears, but for the fifth number it was time to
Cry A While. Bob's band turned the song from his Love And Theft album to a
heavy rocker. It probably was a standard performance but, but Dylan's
standard these days is much higher than other artists' average.
Then Bob took us on a trip on a a dirty gondola and also on a plane ride
so bumpy that he almost died.
The Band's original recording recording from 1971 of When I paint My
Masterpiece is a classic, and hard to re-imagine, but Bob Dylan did a good
job of the when he told us about the rubble filled streets of Rome,
clergymen in Brussels and more. I came to think about someone sitting
alone in a hotel room, writing a letter to a friend, describing his
adventures on a tour in Europe. He makes a big promise in that letter,
everything is going to be different when he paints that masterpiece. We
know now that that masterpiece could be anything from poetry, paintings,
or welded art.
Between each song, the lights dimmed and Dylan left the piano and sipped
on something, possibly his own brand of Bourbon, Heaven's Door. My wife
asked me after the show, "Why do you think it was bourbon and not water in
that cup?' I said, "I prefer to believe it was bourbon he sipped on."
Another blues rocker followed as Dylan asked us, Be Honest with Me.
For the next number, the tempo slowed down a bit again as Dylan explained
how he was Trying To Get to Heaven. " I've been all around the world,
boys. Now I'm trying to get to heaven before they close the door."
Dylan had stayed behind the piano so far, sometimes sitting sometimes
standing, while making a few moves with his feet revealed by the shiny
white boots he was wearing.
When the lights came back on Dylan was center stage, looking vulnerable as
he grabbed the microphone stand with both hands. Longtime bass player Tony
Garnier switched form his electric bass, to an acoustic one. Steel guitar
player Donnie Herron picked up a banjo. Scarlet town, recited by Dylan,
was a one of many highlights this evening. "In Scarlet Town, you fight
your father's foes, Up on the hill, a chilly wind blows You fight 'em on
high and you fight 'em down in,You fight 'em with whiskey, morphine and
gin." A top notch performance of Bob and the four-piece band. Added drama
was added by Tony Garnier as he used a bow on his bass.
A solid Pay In Blood followed with the poignant line : "I pay in blood,
but not my own.
Familiar chords followed for the next number and the crowd answered with
the loudest cheer so far this eveing. "Once upon a time you dressed so
fine, threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?" Dylan and the band
managed to reinvent the song a bit by slowing down parts of the versem
before ecxellent drummer, George Recile set thing straight, so to speak,
by accelerating the tempo for the refrain. "How does it feel to be on your
own, Like A Rolling Stone?" Majestic!
Before asking us not to think twice, Bob told stories about Early Roman
Kings. "I ain't dead yet, my bell still rings!" exclaimed the &&-year old
Nobel Prize Laureate.
Don't Think Twice was a masterful performance. Bob Dylan at the piano,
while the band added almost not audible ambience to the song. "It ain't in
turning on the light babe, the light I never knowed, because he was on
the dark side of the road" Dylan explained to us. For every verse the band
added more instrumentation. Bob also added harmonica, while investigation
every corned of the melody. For the last verse, drummer Recile laid out a
soft shuffle beat, using whisks. The band including the harmonica playing
keyboardist, played the song so beautiful. Goose bums again ans more goose
bumps followed. The familiar opening chord of Love Sick played as Dylan
took center stage again. The scene lights transformed the stage to an
empty street lit up by street light as Dylan gave us the picture. "walking
through streets that are dead, walking with you in my head." The band
added more drama as the lonesome singer confided to us that he was sick of
love. Last verse, say no more: "The silence can be like thunder, sometimes
I want to take to the road of plunder. Could you ever be true? I think of
you and I wonder. I'm sick of love, I wish I'd never met you. I'm sick of
love, I'm tryin' to forget you. Just don't know what to do, I'd give
anything to be with you.
This was one of the best Dylan performances I have ever heard at the seven
concerts I have attended.
It's a hard number to follow, and Dylan and the band played it safe by
performing a rather anonymous version of Thunder On The Mountain. However
the last 20 seconds, or so of the song literally exploded and gave room
for George Recile to show his drum skills.
Soon After Midnight followed.Since I heard this song on Dylan's last(?)
album of own songs, Tempets. I have always considered this to be an homage
to Dylan's buddy, Abbeville's own Bobby Charles. It is something with the
melody and the phrasing of the lyrics. I will of course never get a
confirmation regarding this but I prefer to think so
The regular concert came came o an and with a rollicking version of Gotta
Serve Somebody. A great version of from Dylan;s these days re-evaluated
catalogue of Gospel songs. "Might be the Devil, might be the lord, but you
gotta serve somebody."
The music ended, Dylan stepped out on stage, took a bow (not Tony's) and
left. The band left with his. It was dark for a few minutes, while the
crowd cheered for more.
The quintet returned, Donnie Harron grabbed a violin and played the
familiar tones of Blowing In the Wind, the first of two encores. A
beautiful version, which brought out one of the louder cheers of the
Second encore was Ballad of A thin Man, delivered with great dedication
from all involved. When Dylan sang bout Mr. Jones giving check to
tax-Deductible charity organizations emphasized the phrasing on letters
t,d,c, and o to a comical effect. It was a lovely way to finish a
wonderful concert. Dylan once again took center stage, stared out towards
the audience, bowed a couple of time with the band (George Recile-drums,
Tony Garnier-bass, Donnie Harron, steel guitar/guitar/banjo/violin,
Charlie Sexton-guitar lined up with him, and disappeared without a word,
just as expected. I wonder if there is a touring artist who can match the
four guys Bob Dylan tours with. I haven't mentioned Charlie Sexton, too
much, but what a great guitar player he is!
As we made it outside and were walking towards our car, the two tour buses
rolled by us and disappeared behind a curve. Dylan was already out of the
concert hall heading towards Mobile Alabama, for Wednesday's show. A
restless man with a restless soul had finished another day on the job.
Review by Laurette Maillet
Due to a mistake in my schedule I had to book another AirBandB than the
one I scheduled already. I've chosen a camping tent in a garden. It
sounds cool to camp out in the middle of a town. At 3 am the weather must
be angry with me. The storm breaks the sky apart and the clouds are crying
in despair. No much sleep but a nice experience.
Lafayette 16th of October.
I move 2 miles away in a "real" bedroom. Much more secure.
I take a walk downtown Lafayette. A nice little town but....where are the
6pm it is time to check the venue.
Half a mile walk and I get lost.
To find the Heyman recreation center....right by me!
Small and cozy theater.
Fans look in their 50's 60's and casual.
I put my sign out "I need a friendly/miracle ticket. Thank you". It is
clear and big to read. The buses are parked in the parking lot. I see
Charlie coming in and out and Tony. No sign of Bob. Sleeping? A nice
gentleman hands me a ticket. Thank you. I immediately get in. The balcony
is nice with a perfect view on the stage. The girl next to me is a student
of music business in her 20's. She also got a free ticket for her first
Bob Dylan show. She knows Dylan music through her father. The couple on my
right, in their 20's as well, also knows Dylan through the parents. Second
generation! We are ready when comes from the speakers the "charge of the
cavalery". It sounds like it. Where are you Stu, with your sweet melody? I
know , for sure, He left and won't come back. It makes Charlie's guitar
clear and loud.
The setlist didnít change.
Bob was ALL in black, except white boots.
Active center stage on "Scarlet town " which brings a big ovation from the
public. Active and powerful on "Love sick". Another ovation. The audiance
seems to know the setlist, immediately reacting to the most popular songs.
Applause on his harps solo. And surprisingly applause on Charlie's riffs
on "soon after midnignt". Applause on "Summer days " for George. Great
public. It seems we are all here for Bob and his Band.
I walk the half hour to my AirBandB, happy and...dry.
Merci beaucoup Lafayette.
Thank you Bobby and his Band.
See you in Mobile.
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