November 9, 2019
Review by Bill Klos
The gales of N'vember came early this fall, as I left my home in Motown,
fully loaded for Cleveland, hanging south to Akron, to see once again Bob
Dylan and His Band.Having scheduling conflicts last week and unable to
enjoy either the Lansing or Ann Arbor shows, what better way to spend 7
hours round trip enjoying the fine scenery from the Ohio turnpike and
listening to some Dylan live. I mention the weather only as a possible
excuse for the performance since it started gravelly and cleared up a bit
by the time we heard Highway 61 Revisited. Also he seemed to be
experiencing severe joint pain and the lyrics were tough to make out most
of the show even after the sound guy turned down the band. Off night
perhaps, but not much to excite or entertain. It may have been my seat in
the last row of the hall but its only 2000 seats with about 20 rows and
acoustics seemed pretty good, who knows. I could even see the mannequins
looking perplexed and they were right behind him!
Highlight was Lenny Bruce, as it was the most audible and heartfelt. I
was surprised having read about new arrangements how flat many of the
usual showstoppers were like Things Have Changed (Beyond Here Lies Nothing
Would've at least been more refreshing), It Ain't Me Babe, Highway 61,
Masterpiece, Pay in Blood, even Thunder on the Mountain (I left during
this one)...just not feeling any of it tonight and might as well get home
early with 3 1/2 driving hours ahead. I know these excursions can be hit
or miss like last year in Youngstown was FANTASTIC I sat behind Max
Weinberg believe it or not and another one in Cleveland 2014 but some like
tonight make the journey better than the destination.
The turnpike was empty so the drive was fun with good tunes all the way
from The Wolf in Cleveland and CKWW in Windsor pinging off Lake Erie,
security at E.J. Thomas Hall was less gestapo like than Youngstown and
other places so I felt like a paying guest, instead of a "Scared Straight"
victim ...for a guy Trying to Get to Heaven...why so paranoid?
Anyway, I don't fret about these flat shows since I've gained so much from
listening to his records as I've remodeled my house, fixed my cars and
traveled around, an off night just happens. Good luck with the rest of the
tour, the new players are filling in nicely. and to the other writers of
these fine reviews its a pleasure hearing your take especially Laurette
Maillet (I don't know how you do it, but thanks for all the colorful
writings and keep well).
Review by Laurette Maillet
Akron. Arriving on time at 5.55p.m. I walk the 20 minutes to the E.J.
Thomas Hall, again on a campus. The buses are parked in the streets but no
guardians are watching them. I spot Charlie outside and later Tony. The
capacity is 3000 and so. I am hoping for the best. The crowd is middle
age. Nothing like a campus audience! By 7.30p.m. a gentleman just hands me
a ticket. No question, no answer. I walk in and take my seat on row H seat
35. Actually really good seat. No one will claim the seat on my right. I
am ready for a good comfy show. On time they play the intro music they
used to. Bob picks up his guitar and start THC. His suit his black with
white embroidery. White shirt. White shoes. The setlist will be the same.
The sound is perfect , clear and loud. Bob gets some drinks between the
songs. Maybe he has a cold but his voice is powerful. He picks up the
wrong harmonica for MYFML but changes it without freaking out. I love
every single song. That show is the best for me so far. The public is
reacting greatly. Bob is ready for Ballad and I watch him with surprise
and delight picking up his guitar. Yea! He will do Ballad on guitar.
Woah! I almost cry. Thank you Bobby for the effort! It takes me a while
to get out when I realize there is no WIFI in the area. I can't get UBER.
So I call Julie who will rescue me. She is a friend of my CS host in Ann
Arbor. So nice! I stay at her house with three cats and three kittens. I'm
happy to see that the show didn't lose its power. Thanks for all , good
people. Next one is Pittsburgh.
Review by Murray Davis
A review from a person who has been a lifelong Dylan fan, 14 though 60. I
just finish reading, Dylan and Me, so I had a fresh new perspective of Bob
and would recommend the book to all.With that said, my impressions were
that he realizes at 78 that his ability to deliver a performance that
lives up to his expectations is becoming an effort, so his vocals and
intensity were focused. This renewed focus and song selection points to a
real person reflecting on his life and career.Since being Bob Dylan the
living legend and performing has been a large part of who he is the act
and non act has become one. Can he not perform well and be happy with his
real self when his real self has become Bob Dylan.The key song is Lenny
Bruce, his spiritual brother, reflecting on himself and his career being
Bob Dylan though Lenny.I enjoyed the show, especially, Mr Jones, which
contains in my opinion one of the great lines in rock and roll, "
Something is happening and you don't know what it is?
Review by Joe Malekovic
Well, Friday last week and Satirday this week, absolutely would love to
enjoy this every weekend! Bob's voice tonight, slightly raspy, a little
horse? Quite simply this show was pure fire to me, magic almost. The crowd
gave Bob an enthusiastic, energetic and inspired greeting and more than
ever maybe more than ever maybe, I saw a performing artist just give back
what the audience put out!!!! As we know the sound is a good bit more
guitar oriented and Bob and the Band teetered on taking us into full blown
Rock and Roll show territory! Ever song perfect, the love songs,
heartbreakers, rockers. Perfect!!
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