Rochester, New York

Auditorium Theatre

November 14, 2018

[Chuck Case], [David N. DeVries]

Review by Chuck Case

I caught my 28th Bob Dylan show last night in Rochester, and it was a
great one. How great? Well, people were singing along. The crowd was 
engaged, from casual classic rock fans to diehards. There were standing 

He hit the stage with his voice already warmed up and it made a big
difference with Things Have Changed having a bite and clarity I have
missed the past few times I’ve heard it. He did damn lovely versions of It
Ain’t Me, Babe, Don’t Think Twice, Simple Twist of Fate, and Blowin’ in 
the Wind (on which Donnie’s violin had a Celtic feel). The care he had 
been taking with his vocals on his standards albums was transferred to 
his own material, and it made the show. Don’t Think Twice was 
BEAUTIFUL and melodic. Not beautiful for Bob. Beautiful, period. Like a 
Rolling Stone was of course well received and the new arrangement with 
the slowed tempo and bowed bass at the chorus is great. Early Roman 
Kings was really well placed after it. Gotta Serve Somebody was just 
bloody awesome. It rocked. He sang Scarlet Town low and clear with a
passionate intensity and the crowd loved it. The new arrangement of 
Cry A While is downright sexy. Tryin’ To Get to Heaven was perfect, 
and he brought back the lines “Sometimes when youlose everything/
You find out you can always lose a little more” but he placed them in 
the last verse, which was pretty powerful. His lyric changes all the way 
through were easy to pick up. He let Charlie be Charlie a few times, 
too. This was as good as Bob gets. I loved it. One of the best shows
I've ever seen.


Review by David N. DeVries

How does a 77 year old man sing the songs of his youth?  Extraordinarily
well, in the case of Bob Dylan.  Last night on the stage of the Rochester
Broadway Theater League Auditorium, Dylan delivered some of his ‘greatest
hits’ as if he were still inhabiting the songs, remaking them from the
perspective of his long experience.  Unlike his peers, Sir Paul or Sir
Mick (and no disrespect to them: I hope I have their energy should I live
as long), Dylan seems to be still working through the songs, finding ways
to fit himself into them.  For instance, “Like a Rolling Stone” became a
more meditative, almost wistful look back from fifty years later.  There
is no way a 77 year old man could sing that fairy tale first line without
the years adding a poignancy to the words, “once upon a time you dressed
so fine.”  And “Don’t Think Twice” has become a thing of beauty: gentle,
almost nostalgic.  Even more recent songs are still undergoing
transformation—“Pay in Blood,” “Cry A While,” and “Honest With Me” have
become harder edged, even more menacing then their initial album
incarnations.  The stripped-down band added thrilling filigrees to the new
arrangements of “Thunder on the Mountain” and “Gotta Serve Somebody.” 
And, most thrilling of all, the sound mixing and acoustics of the
auditorium allowed Dylan’s words to ring clearly out front of the
marvelous band’s music, so that we could hear each change, each nuance he
brings to words we all know so well.  And the full-house of white-haired
heads bobbing along to the music and younger enthusiasts screaming out
“Bobby!” were fully appreciative of the great gift Bob Dylan brought.  It
was quite a show.

David N. DeVries


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