October 17, 2018
Review by David Bond
Arrived in Mobile to attend the Dylan concert with my long-time friend Robert
and after a late lunch of seafood gumbo and redfish at a local restaurant and
a couple of hours of visiting at his home we made our way to the venue.
Robert and I had seen Dylan together three times before: the Rolling Thunder
Revue in 1976 at the Mobile Civic Center ( and that time he did play Stuck
Inside of Mobile, to the delight of the crowd); the big band tour in 1978 at
the Capital Center in Maryland (I couldn't get the new arrangement of It's
Alright Ma out of my head for a couple of months) and then the Gospel Tour
in 1980 in Charleston WV (we sat on the second row and I remember that as
the most intense Dylan concert I have ever attended).
Thanks to my wife's adept skills at acquiring tickets on line we again had seats
on the second row and right at 8 pm the sound system started playing the
introductory music, the overture from How The West Was Won, a 1963
American western epic that starred among others Gregory Peck. A few
minutes later out came the band (now minus Stu) with George and his drums
on the left as you face the stage, Tony next to him on bass, Charlie center
stage and Donnie elevated up behind Bob's piano. After a couple of minutes
of tuning instruments, the man himself was there behind his piano singing
Things Have Changed. Next was a slowed down It Ain't Me Babe, perhaps the
most interesting rearrangement since what he was doing with it on Rolling
Thunder. After a rocking Highway 61 and a lovely Simple Twist of Fate I had
the oft reported by others but little experienced by myself treat of not
recognizing the tune or any of the words to be able to say oh that is … (what
I later found it was, was Cry A While, when I saw the online set list) oh well.
As I shared my bafflement about the song with Robert he was commenting
on how much Dylan seemed to be smiling and I agreed. He seemed to be
enjoying himself quite a bit. Maybe he was feeling "my cup's running over"
as he sings in the updated lyrics to When I Paint My Masterpiece.
He finally came out from behind the piano and with only his mike stand to
hang on to sing an incredible Scarlet Town. This is one of those songs that
has really come into its own and become a show stopper. Soon after was one
of the night's many thrills, which was the return of Like A Rolling Stone into
the set list. The tempo was on the slower end up until he almost spoke the
last line or two of each verse and then increased the speed and the force of
the song in the chorus. Wonderful!
I think now of Paul Williams designating Dylan as a performing artist and that
was never truer than on the gorgeous version of Don't Think Twice, It's All
Right, which went from just Bob and his piano to introducing the other
instruments to bringing it to a full band sound at the end of the song.
Another stand behind the mike brought forth a very well sung and strongly
felt Love Sick. After that he and the band had a rave up with Thunder On
The Mountain and he finished the main set with an oddly light hearted Serve
Somebody, filled with completely new lyrics, perhaps the same ones written
by his own hand in his new exhibit in London.
The encores were a stately, countrified Blowing In The Wind and an excellent
Ballad Of A Thin Man. Then the band with Bob stood facing the crowd. With
Bob taking the lead, they bowed, the lights went down, and they were gone.
Another evening of watching and hearing another masterpiece being created.
Review by Laurette Maillet
I arrive with Greyhound at 4 pm with 2 hours delay. But I have plenty of
time to spare as I have a ticket already. I get a late lunch and meet with
my friends. Getting in the Saenger theater early enough to get the
feeling. I've been here 2 years ago. It is a beautiful theater. I can't
believe my eyes when I find myself seated right in front Bobby's piano
bench. No better seat in the entire venue. On my right seats a great Fan.
On my left 2 seats are empty. What a show! Bobby's face looks pale and
wrinkled. Not a single smile! He is obviously focusing on his performance.
Sitting at the piano and standing at times. Blowing his harp on some
songs. "Simple twist of fate" "Make you feel my love" Only 2 songs are
center stage. I follow his lips to read the lyrics. Not a single mistake.
I hear the public behind me. But I am not paying too much attention. Bob
neither. He is dripping sweat on "gotta serve somebody". That was a
fabulous experience. One of those days when you feel part of the "family"!
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