Lincoln, Nebraska

Pinnacle Bank Arena

October 19, 2019

[Nancy Cobb], [Marty Traynor]

Review by Nancy Cobb

Not yet dark, but it's getting there

The security at the arena in Lincoln, Nebraska is the most stringent I
have encountered, but it was business as normal for the majority of fans
who have been coming here for several years.  My friend and I could not
bring in our purses and no photos were allowed inside even before the show
began.  We were treated to 2 songs with Bob on guitar, both the opener
Beyond Here Lies Nothin', and the 2nd one, It's all over, Baby Blue.  It
appeared to be a different instrument than the white Fender he played
previously.  The rest of the set was the same but with the songs being a
little longer and showcasing the considerable talent of his new band. 
Also his upright piano was painted in black and didn't need tuning, so
perhaps it was a different instrument also.  The piano was at the far
right of the stage setup, and Bob played most of the set standing at the
piano or center stage, so all of the audience could see him.  Students
were on a " fall break" so many probably went home for the long weekend. 
Most of the young people I saw appeared to be with their parents or
grandparents.  Still the crowd was happy and respectful.  On 1 side of me
was a couple from Omaha who loved the show, and on the other side was a
woman who played Calamity Jane in Deadwood South Dakota and drove 9 hours
to see Bob.  He seemed to like singing and playing harmonica center stage,
and facing the audience fully lit and hatless and it was great to see the
real Bob at last.  For people who have been disappointed in his live
performances in years past, I highly recommend seeing him in 2019!


Review by Marty Traynor

As soon as this show began, I knew it was going to be different from Dylan
shows I have attended in recent years. There were three immediate signs.
First, looking at the stage set up, the baby grand piano Dylan favored in
the recent past – with Dylan facing toward the band from the right side
of the stage (as the audience views the stage) – was replaced by an
upright piano Dylan would play with his back to the band. Second, as the
band and the star of the show shuffled onto the stage, Bob Dylan picked up
a Fender Stratocaster. He played guitar for the first two songs,
definitely taking the lead on Beyond Here Lies Nothin’, the show opener.
It was great to see him playing, and seemed to signal a high level of
energy which was reflected in the third sign of change, which was his
singing voice. He sang strongly throughout the concert, demonstrating his
signature ability to use both enunciation and timing to stretch songs in
new directions. Dylan’s voice was clearly audible and, as my wife Frani
observed, you could understand the words better than at any show she has
attended. Of course, there were also two new additions to the band, and
both Matt Chamberlain on drums and Bob Britt on guitar made worthy

The show was full of highlights. Dylan brought energy to the stage from
the moment the show started to the end. His piano playing on many songs
would’ve made Jerry Lee Lewis jealous as he stood to play on songs like
Highway 61 Revisited. The new arrangement of the piano made it easier for
him to hop up to sing from center stage. This benefited both his singing
and his harp playing, which illuminated several songs. Dylan started
singing Girl from the North Country with virtually no instrumental
accompaniment, carrying the tune perfectly – in recent years he could
never have made that work so well.

Two songs from Time Out of Mind stood out. Tryin’ to Get to Heaven was
great, and then at the end, Dylan changed “before they close the door”
to “but he’s closed the door”. Then Not Dark Yet, a few songs later,
was played in a very moody, dark arrangement. As Dylan sings in his first
encore song, “something is happening here, but you don’t know what it

There were also highlights for the band throughout the show. Donnie
Herron’s violin playing was featured on many songs. Tony Garnier’s
bass and Dylan’s piano opened Simple Twist of Fate with the bass taking
the lead line, upfront in the mix, before the other guitars joined in.
Charlie Sexton played particularly strong leads on When I Paint My
Masterpiece and he really showed off on Thunder in the Mountain, then
ended the show with a terrific blues lead on It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It
Takes a Train to Cry. Meanwhile, Bob Britt had his moments playing lead on
Pay in Blood and slide guitar on Early Roman Kings. The guitar duel
between Sexton and Britt on that song showed why having two great guitar
players in the band is a big plus.

In summary, it was a great show. While the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln
is fundamentally a basketball arena, the sound mix was worthy of a theater
venue. The band is excellent, Dylan’s voice is the best in years,
perhaps decades, and the set list is a great cross-section of Dylan’s


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