Reviews

New York, New York

Beacon Theatre

November 24, 2018


[Barry Gloffke], [Kyle Kolona], [Laurette Maillet]

Review by Barry Gloffke



The second act of Bob's seven concert
stint at the Beacon Theatre was another gem. Overlooking some small
blemishes, Bob, the Band, and the crowd were in good form. 

Tonight there was a short musical prelude... the curtain lifted... and the
band jumped immediately into a solid version of THINGS HAVE CHANGED which
was followed by a tender IT AIN'T ME, BABE. Both of them were delivered in
a strong clear voice. 

A quick take on the balance of the show goes as follows: A rocking take
(as always) on HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED, then a fantastic SIMPLE TWIST OF
FATE. Next up was a menacing rendering of CRY A WHILE, one of the
standouts tonight, but not to be upstaged was another, better standout; a
beautiful impression of WHEN I PAINT MY MASTERPIECE. Bob sang the first
half of this song with barely a whisper of musical accompaniment, then was
joined midway by the band. He did a magnificent job of extending and
accentuating key lyrics. Bravo! HONEST WITH ME rocked, even though Bob
repeated a stanza. TRYIN' TO GET TO HEAVEN was dandy, SCARLET TOWN had
great atmosphere, and MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE was marvelous. PAY IN BLOOD is
a weak link in the set. It misses the menace it once had. That being said,
it has a nice build in intensity as it progressed. The crowd dug a really
good version of the new take on LIKE A ROLLING STONE. EARLY ROMAN KINGS
was ominous, and Charlie was wicked. The highlight of the night for me was
a tender reading of DON'T THINK TWICE, IT'S ALRIGHT. Bob had the room at
his fingertips. LOVE SICK was deliciously threatening and the penultimate
song of the set was a warmly inviting SOON AFTER MIDNIGHT. The closer was
the newly lyrically and sonically minted, rocking edition of GOTTA SEVRE
SOMEBODY. Brilliant! 

Tonight's encores were a solid version of ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER and a
scintillating BLOWIN' IN THE WIND featuring soulful harp work... which was
the case each time Bob breathed into the harmonica. 

As usual the band was spot on. Tip of the hat to Bob and the Cowboys for
another great show.

PS. Nice to see the Bobcats, Sue, Mangala and Asha travel to NYC for the
show(s).

[TOP]

Review by Kyle Colona



Having seen Bob Dylan and His Band at the Beacon Thanksgiving weekend, all
I can say is that it's amazing he's still going 30 years after he kicked
off the so-called never ending tour --and 3,000 or so shows later, still
going strong.

Where Saturday's show would rank among those is anyone's guess, but that's
not the point. Each show is unique even if the set list sadly remains the
same. The days of anticipation over what tune from the vault or folk
rarity he might pull out may be long gone, but it still takes some doing
recognizing new arrangements....the best part of a Dylan show, imho.

No need for a song by song breakdown. As others have noted from earlier
shows, Stu Kimball's absence is addition by subtraction. The sound is less
cluttered, and the sound is really what Dylan concerts are about now. To
make high-quality music night after night is the mark of professionals,
kudos to the band.

As for highlights, classics like Simple Twist of course, Masterpiece --
first  time I've seen this once in ages, and LARS - excellent vocal
delivery on all. But it's the latter days tunes that really stand out now,
Cry a While, Love Sick, Early Roman Kings, and Soon After Midnight,
exceptional musicianship, with Dylan leading the way, which leads me to
another observation.

Dylan has gotten better a being a band leader after all these years, and
the songs have a beginning a middle and an end. Back in the day, things
were prone to fall apart now and then, which of course was always a blast.

Back to the show: The standouts for me were Scarlet Town and Don't Think
Twice....show stoppers. The band closed with a rollicking Gotta Serve
Somebody, with all new and hilarious words, something like, "You might
beee Peter, you might beee Paul, you might not be anyone at all...." great
stuff.

The encores were an anti-climatic Watchtower, the arrangement was a bit
odd, but why quibble? and Blowin in the Wind, stately as ever, and still
there are no answers.

All in all, a great show, even if the crowd was a bit subdued -- at 77
Dylan has more energy than some in attendance, and a lot of people showed
up late, after being told the show would start promptly at 8 - it did. So
to anyone going to the rest of the run, get there 20 minutes or so early,
and get to your seat......Don't ya dare miss it!


[TOP]

Review by Laurette Maillet



The first show, Beacon I, was just a rehearsal. It was just time for 
me to settle down in New York for 10 days: Bought myself a 
train pass to commute from the Bronx to Manhattan and a Metro 
pass for downtown. First show was a rehearsal for Bob and the
Band. Not quite, though, as they have been on the road for a long time by
now, since Phoenix on the 4th of† October. But the Beacon theater is
home:a small and comfortable theater, splendidly decorated in red and
gold, next to Central Park. Bob and his Band played 5 shows last year.
They will do 7 shows this year.And here I am, once again. In New York ,
New York.I seat confortably for the second time. I know the routine.The
stage is blocked† by a red curtain and there will be no surprised and
spectacular entrance.But tonight they play the usual music of the
intro.The curtain rises up and they are at their positions;George on
drums. Tony and bass. Charlie on guitar.† Donnie on pedal steel and Bob
all ready on piano.I know the set list and there will be no change. I donít
come for a surprise. I have no expectations.† What has to be will be.The
public is respectful and warm.The "classic" songs are immediately
recognised and "like a rolling stone" sang along by a large part of the
public....me and my neighbors. "Don't think twice, it's alright " is
literally breath taking.George left the stage as he doesnít use the
drums on that song.Tony, Charlie and Donnie are just adding a touch of
rythm on Bobby's piano and lyrics. The theater is suddenly all quiet. We
are all suspended at Bob's phrasing.How can he do that? Make all sing on
"like a rolling stone " and suddenly all silent!Bob is "alive"; clear and
loud with the lyrics , adding a little fantasy,† here and there, that
brings a smile on Tony's face.I regret that he doesn't do "love sick"
center stage anymore.19 songs are at the piano, standing or
sitting.Exception of " scarlet town". Theatricaly done, I would say; a
twisting of the body and movement of the hands.It shows a Bob Dylan slim
and fit at 77 years of age.I feel like in my living room with a bunch of
friends enjoying a great time.The sound is perfect at the limit of out
loud on "Thunder on the mountain".I can't† turn the volume down...No
worry the next one "soon after midnight" is sweet and calm."Gotta serve
somebody " is also sang by some folks behind me.I donít know if they
figured out that the lyrics are weird!I stand up as soon as Bob moves
center stage. It is his first salute.He will be back for a " all along
the watchtower " reggae style.By now the public is all up and no security
people will be able to force everyone to seat."Blowing in the wind" is an
hymne to brotherhood. I feel like making an arms chain with my neighbors
... that would be too much!I just swing on† my feet.Everyone seems to be
satisfied when Bob finally bows his head and the curtain falls down.Good
night Bobby. See you soon.

[TOP]

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