November 27, 2010
Review by Larry Fishman
Well due to family conflicts (family that thing that gets in the way
between Dylan shows), I was unable to attend any other New England
show except so you could say I had alot invested as I shlepped off to
this towering Casino in the middle of nowhere, Connecticut. The
theatre itself is quite attractive, clean, carpeted, nice area
lighting, lush red seats and good sight lights throughout the floor
and balcony. I got there early and wondered up to the front where
the musical instruments seemed a bit lonely in the large stage
area. I swear the replica Oscar statue has now shrunk to the size
of a dashboard Jesus. I know I've seen regular sized ones in the
past. I overheard an usher say that the 4000 seat show sold out and
watched as black clad, skinny waitresses delivered cocktails to the
seated attendees. I didn't notice the ritual incense, but also got
caught up in conversation with old friends Joe & Joey as well as
meeting new ones with Deadhead Mike and the kind of high school
teacher I wish I had, Monica and husband Tom.
Bob wore his familiar cowboy black suit with a thick white line up
the side of the trousers, White hat on top of a fairly closed crop of
hair which was pulled back. I've been to a few shows and I have
never - I mean never - seen Bob as energetic as he was on this
evening. In nearly constant motion, he was rocking and swaying,
sashaying and gesturing the entire night. He pounded away at the
keyboard and played with a vigor and passion that explains to the
naysayers why he continues to ply his trade year after year. For all
the tremendous passion and love a Keith Richard brings to the stage,
Bob does it 100 nights a year, Keef every three or four years. The
band was in fine form all night long, Charlie strutting the stage and
bobbing his head as he attacked his guitar led the charge. I scored
a 3rd row aisle seat and was ready for the show so on with the songs:
1. Gonna Change My Way of Thinking. Like other recent shows, this
one began with his under-appreciated classic from Slow Train Coming.
This version anchored by Tony Garnier's deep bass riff and Bob's
monster organ. Bob's growl was in it's upper range and began the
night with authority.
2. Lay, Lady, Lay The first set surprise as Bob emerged at Center
Stage at the mic stand while holding a harp and another microphone in
the other. A soulful take faithful to the album arrangement. Bob
struck me a Southern Gentlemen with his arms frequently animating the
lush and sexy song. Donnie played the steel guitar parts perfectly
and Bob sealed the deal with a harp solo. He struck me as both
confident and exuberant and even managed a smile or two.
3. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight. The first set surprise was followed
by the second - I believe the first version in awhile. Bob grabbed
his electric guitar and let it rip. While I am from the let Bob play
whatever instrument Bob feels like playing school of thought, I must
admit it's so damn nice to see him play a guitar. Now I don't know
much about makes and models, but it looked to me like it's a small
guitar maybe 2/3's size. Throughout the night there were imaged
projected onto the back curtain - city scapes etc and the first one
was show here. I've read that some people feel that he shouldn't be
doing it that it's too show biz, but give me a break. It's not like
he's got a row of synchronized line dancers -I think it's neat.
4. Tangled Up in Blue. Bob stashed the guitar away and then scooted
to center stage again san any instrument to lead the band in this
classic. The melody and arrangement were spry, tight and familiar -
the vocal was more spoken sung and less melodic. It was performed
almost as an old story and fable expressed in the past tense, yet a
song written in many different tenses. Bob was animated throughout
and the crowd as expected roared its approval.
5. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum. Not sure this is anyone's favorite
Zimmy song, but we actually got a pretty good run thru. The riff was
faster and snappier than usual, but the phrasing was slower and the
overall effect just sort of worked. Bob doing his guitar hero thing
again on the axe.
6. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll. Oh, setlist twist #4. A
beautiful sweet arrangement in a sweet sing songy way, but full of
purpose and precision. Bob was quite engaged and sang and play and
moved and emoted throughout. The finale of the song had the band
playing the riff over and over into a fade. Makes me pray with all
the threats and rumors of bootleg recordings being suppressed that
this one will be available.
7. High Water (For Charley Patton). As soon as I heard Donnie
Herron start in on the banjo, I knew we were getting a High Water. I
think one of the best tunes of Love & Theft. Bob again performed at
the center mic, posing, preening and shimmying. The urgent harp
solos calling attention to the message of a world out of balance.
8. Vision of Johanna. Oh Visions. The musical holy grail that us
Dylan fans love and the song we know he plays but doesn't always play
but hope he plays when we go. And yeah it was a sweet take too. The
arrangement a tad faster than usual and having a couple of nice
instrumental breaks with Bob on Organ trading licks with Charlie on
guitar. Having missed the Lowell version I know know that there is a
God and that he played it for me tonight. As some guy from New
Jersey once said, "It Ain't No Sin to Be Glad You're Alive."
9. Summer Days. With the interior of a bus projected on to the
curtain behind the band launched into a snappy take with Bob
venturing another couple of smiles and dancing away at the keyboard.
10. Love Sick. While not a set twist, this was one of the
highlights of the night. Gotta be the best version of the song I
have ever heard. Bob's organ anchored the riff with the band tightly
guiding the melody and tension. It was a fetching, begging, pleading
take in this song about confronting love once again. Magnificent boys!!
11. Highway 61 Revisited. It's hard to review this song as I have
heard thirty or forty thousand times. It was a successful straight
rocking version. Was expecting Charlie to step in once or twice with
a searing guitar solo, but instead we got Bob jamming away on the organ.
12. Workingman's Blues #2. It's a great tune and this was a gentle,
faithful version of it. For all the complaints of Bob rearranging
his tunes into something unrecognizable that was certainly not the
case tonight. Lots of care and love.
13. Thunder on the Mountain. Personally I think that this is same
exact song as Summer Days, but I am clearly in the minority as the
crowd danced feverishly along with the band whom were all hopping about.
14. Ballad of A Thin Man. Seemed like a bit of surprise as well,
certainly the staging was a surprise. The entire theater went black
with a spot light focused on Bob's face at center stage. The light
would expand and then refocus onto Bob. Anyway, I think the song
fits his vocal range well these days - that amazing, expressive growl
and it was just so nice to hear.
15. Jolene. Nice poppy take with Charlie ripping a couple of loud
and nasty guitar solos.
16. Like A Rolling Stone. A triumphant take as the crowd bum rushed
the stage and loudly sang along on the chorus. Lots of cell phone
movies being taken on this one. Bob reminding us all there once was
a world and a time when this song didn't exist.
Comments by Ernie Pancsofar
Based on my attendance at previous concert venues
I offer my humble opinion about the crowd whose
Anticipation about the quality of the show
Can be reduced to 10% of what they surely know.
10% will be delirious when Bob comes into sight
10% will be delirious from what they took earlier in the night.
10% will be wondering just what he will play next
10% will still wonder why it’s different from the text.
10% will be hoping for NO Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum
10% will be happy for just anything that comes.
10% will be held in awe by this band of many talents
10% will be held up by others as they mostly lose their balance.
10% will be thankful for the wonder of his presence
10% will just welcome the quiet and the silence.
November 28th: After the Bob Dylan Concert
My review – a blank piece of paper.
I would love to see a reviewer of a local newspaper write a column about a
review of the Dylan concert and just leave a void of white space: 4 to 5 inches
of white space for the column and then sign his/her name. I guess I have been
viewing a few too many minutes of lectures by Milton Glaser on YouTube: Art is
Review by Sunny St. Day
1. The theater, nice, comfortable seating, cup holders, good lighting, good view,
friendly ushers, respectful security, stage with instruments …a good start.
2. Seats, third row somewhere. Clown to the left of me, joker to the right, stuck
in the middle with you…nice.
3. Introduction, usual stuff, band files on and bam! Gonna Change My Way Of
Thinking, Lay Lady Lay and I'll Be Your Baby Tonight good applause, crowd on
their feet and did a I see a lady in a red evening gown…where am I again?
4. Dylan plays lead. And his keyboard and a harmonica and sings. Check, check,
5. Band is ROCKIN' hot!
6. Dylan high energy. Noticeable energy, lots of energy. May I have some of
that? ( energy )
7. Band is rockin' and worth repeating.Rockin', rockin',rockin', should be nominated
for Rock-n- Roll Hall of Fame good!(hotrockin')
8. Shadows, empty bus, buildings, water,and a band cam.
9. Sound, good. Johnny Cashish with a Bob Dylan twist. No Wilbury tonight.
10. Stage rush for Rolling Stone and a sing along sort of.Good times. Good night.
Cut from list: could have been 7. LOVE SICK was sick man!!!
Reviews of the Bob Dylan show at Foxwoods MGM Grand Theater November 27, 2010
are filled with lots of math, coupled with varying degrees of writing ability (grammar,
punctuation, spelling the usual writing stuff). Good effort. There is play by play as
well as compliments, observations, and listing. 100% yada,yada, yada. Nice.
Thanks for lovely Autumn evenings,
Sunny St. Day
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