October 23, 2009
Review by Cortney McKay
There is not much to be noticed when entering Salina, KS, but on this particular
Friday night there was a lot to be found. If you ventured over the
green-lighted bridge, made your way around the slightest of bends and turned
onto the Midway you would find Bob Dylan and band.
The Salina Bicentennial Center is by no means among the finest of theaters, or
intimate venues, but Dylan and band gave it all the character it lacked. Even
the Dylan merchandise folks added to the vibe of the evening with their every
yell of a sold concert poster.
As if he was waiting for his last train, Dylan was well-dressed in black, with a
splash of green around the neck, a bit of bling on his hand, and a hat atop his
continuing curls. The rest of the band was also finely dressed in black,
including newly re-admitted member Charlie Sexton.
The evening included multiple dips into Blonde on Blonde, Nashville Skyline,
Modern Times, and a heavy dose of Love & Theft. Several concerts ago I remember
a fan-yelling “pick up the fucking guitar,” well this time he did. Unlike the
night that would follow in Tulsa, Dylan picked up the guitar for three songs:
Lay, Lady, Lay Girl of the North Country Just Like a Woman
Dylan seemed to be in good spirits with Sexton back, and Sexton seemed pretty
happy to be back. They defiantly had some good moments which I wouldn’t know
how to translate from having heard to a matter of speech. Let’s just say that
Dylan + Sexton = a darn good show.
The audience seemed mixed overall, but I’d say it was a fairly conservative
crowd. There was at least one woman in the front row that had gotten a
leopard-skin-pillbox hat, and a few of all ages that couldn’t quite sit still.
One that couldn’t quite sit still was a nicely dressed, grandmother-type to my
left and I had to admire her spunk.
Personally, the highlight of the show was Bob himself, clear and understandable
with each and every word. Whenever he got out from back behind the keyboard and
stepped up to the microphone, I couldn’t help but sparkle. Yes, at times he had
his guitar, and yes at times he had his harp (which is always a pleasure), but
the moments in which he did nothing but hit every note with the band in back of
him stuck out like goosebumps on cold skin. His lyrics are so great that they
became part of the show, and his center stage singing highlighted this... “I
don't carry dead weight - I'm no flash in the pan All right, I'll set you
straight, can't you see I'm a union man?”
Dylan introduced the band during the encore, and at the end of the show
the band lined up, Dylan put out his palms, and the crowd cheered.
Review by Marcus West
This was my second Dylan show, the first being in Wichita back in 2001. Bob
came out looking stiff and grumpy, but quickly loosened up and looked to be
having a good time. Lots of wiggling around, smirks and smiles. For me, Bob's
vocals really soared on the uptempo numbers, and the Modern Times tunes were
standouts. "High Water" and "Cry A While" were great as well. The band was
tight, and Charlie Sexton's playing left me thoroughly impressed. This show's
energy was tons better that the Wichita show I saw 8 years ago. A great
experience all around.
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