Roanoke, Virginia

Berglund Performing Arts Theatre

November 10, 2018

[Peter MacIntosh],

Review by Peter MacIntosh

Travelled to the show as part of a three night annual Dylan concert
sojourn with my buddies from Michigan and (my home Canadian province of)
Nova Scotia.  As always, the bard did not disappoint.  The venueís decor
was pleasant, happily with far less security than the previous night in
Charlotte, North Carolina.  Roanoke itself has a wonderful downtown,
vibrant and entertaining on a warmish autumn evening.  

Dylanís set matched his song selections of the recent past, save for
what is quickly becoming a highlight, that being the encore closer of
James Brownís ďItís a Manís World.Ē  Wow, what a way to finish
what was already a fabulous show. The song, as my fellow Nova Scotian
travelling companion pointed out, may be a sly and empathetic response by
Dylan to the Me Too Movement.  While few might point to James Brown as an
exemplar of feminism, his song indisputably captures something magical at
this late date. 

The set as a whole was superb, carefully crafted in terms of pace, song
vintage, and the mood of the times.  Itís all there, be it love
conquering all, violence, humour, social consciousness, imagination, and
so forth. While the Roanoke hallís sound system left something to be
desired in comparison to the other shows we attended this autumn, it
hardly prevented the glory of the performance from shining through.  

The band of course was top notch, true to form. The recent departure of
Stu is hardly noticed, which is quite an accomplishment given his
tremendous musical skills and contributions. What Stuís departure has
done is compel the remaining quartet (and Dylan) to raise their game
musically, something they have easily and skillfully accomplished. Perhaps
Tony, George, Donnie and Charlie have been inspired by being in the
presence of a master so comfortable and in control of his art.  The broad
grin and friendly wave from Donnie at the front of the tour bus after the
show capped what was a memorable evening.  He conveyed the joy of a job
well done.  

Long live Bob Dylan!

Peter MacIntosh


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