East Lansing, Michigan

Michigan State University
Wharton Center for the Performing Arts
  • Cobb Great Hall

    November 5, 2019

  • [Eddie Gildner], [Josh]

    Review by Eddie Gildner

    A couple of quick things that I don't recall seeing mentioned in other
    reviews.  It appears as though Bob talks to Donnie after almost every song
    - or maybe he's just having a drink from one of the plastic cups there in
    front of Donnie.  The hand signals from Bob to the band seem more overt
    and less subtle this time around.  The band still seems to be more or less
    held in check by Bob, nobody takes too long a solo.  Every song has a new
    arrangement and the lyrics have been modified in about 1/3 of them. 
    Having a new drummer was refreshing imo.  The "tax deductible charity
    organization" line in BoaTM seemed to have a different variation than the
    recordings from Denver and Mankato.  A few of the songs start out w/ just
    Bob and then just Bob and Donnie with other members gradually joining in -
    as close to solo Bob as we will ever see??  Overall an outstanding
    Eddie Gildner


    Review by Josh

    "A great night with Bob and the band, and his fans, in a comfortable 2400
    seat theater.
    I concur with the generally expressed sentiment that Dylan is performing
    at a high level, with passion and dedication to his performing art this
    tour. Here are a couple perspectives and reflections on what exactly is
    going into the consistently excellent performances. It is nice to hear him
    using more of the full range of his vocal tools. Similarly, I think that
    the entire "show" - the setlist, arrangements, pacing, and tone, is at a
    level of sophistication and effectiveness that is unmatched over the past
    6-7 years of Dylan concert performance. The rhythm and mood of the set is
    nuanced and thoughtful. It is much more sophisticated than "we'll play a
    fast blues, then a ballad, then another blues".  The songs connect with
    each other, creating a narrative thread through the sounds, words, and
    years. It sounds and looks as if the show has achieved much of the
    promised potential of the later day Bob Dylan show in the era of less
    varied setlists.  Maybe no big surprises in the list, but thoughtful,
    powerful, and effective performance art.
    Agree with many other reviewers that Lenny Bruce, Girl From The North
    Country, and Masterpiece, are among the set piece highlights.  Simple
    Twist was very sweet, Ballad was stark and biting as ever.  A wonderful
    showcase of the range and breadth of the works of Dylan, from It Ain't Me,
    Babe, to Pay In Blood.
    Bob looks his age. I'm grateful to have shared the planet with him, to
    have had all of the amazing opportunities to witness his art in motion
    over the years, and for the entertainment, food for thought, and beauty,
    that Bob Dylan has offered so far.
    Thanks to Bill P for his service."


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