Normal, Illinois

Illinois State University
Braden Auditorium

October 29, 2019

[Tom Burke]

Review by Tom Burke

On the 90th anniversary of Black Tuesday, Bob Dylan and his band 
returned a huge musical dividend to those fans who invested in a ticket
to last nightís show and concert at the Braden Auditorium on the 
campus of Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. All in the packed 
house, judging from their enthusiastic response throughout the 19 
song set, seemed to be getting their kicks as Dylan and his supporting 
cast played as if they were hurdling  full throttle down Route 66, The 
Mother Road, which transverses this central Illinois city located midway 
between Chicago and St Louis.
Standing center stage and playing guitar, Dylan opened the show with 
a spirited Things Have Changed, followed without delay,  by an insistent 
and lovely It Ainít Me Babe, the first of several songs that Bob performed 
while sitting at the upright piano at stage left. Throughout the show 
Dylanís piano playing segued between the reflective on Simple Twist of 
Fate, When I Paint My Masterpiece,  Lenny Bruce, and Girl From the 
North Country, to the absolute full blown barrelhouse juke joint boogie 
woogie stylings on Thunder On The Mountain and Gotta Serve 
Somebody. During the entire performance  Dylanís voice was strong and 
his singing clear and expressive particularly on the numbers he delivered 
from center stage mic in hand, including:Canít Wait, Make You Feel My 
Love, Early Roman Kings, and Not Dark Yet. Of particular enjoyment, 
impact and effectiveness was Dylanís extended and expressive 
armonica playing on Simple Twist Of Fate, Masterpiece, and Ballad of 
a Thin Man.
Dylanís band is tremendous. Bob Brittís guitar work adds depth and 
richness to the bandís sound as well underscoring the blues leanings of 
many of the arrangements.  Matt Chamberlainís drumming was front, 
center,  and assertive in last nightís mix. Donnie Herronís fiddle playing is
more prominently featured than in the most recent prior tours. And, as 
has been the case for many years now, Charlie Sextonís barbed wire 
lead guitar propelled the music forward while Tony Garnierís  bass 
provided its rhythm and pulse.
Normal: another great show in this remarkable Fall 2019 tour. 


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