Lafayette, Louisiana
Heymann Performing Arts Center

April 2, 2024

[Frank Camalo], [Sergi Fabregat]

Review by Frank Camalo

Lafayette was treated to a fine performance Tuesday evening by Bob
Dylan and his stellar touring band. My son and I were in attendance at
the first Memphis show a few nights before on Friday evening where Bob
was distracted and bothered by in ear monitor problems....causing the
first half of the concert to be problematic. He redeemed himself tho
in the second half of that show with a very strong performance of
remaining setlist. 

Tuesday evening in Lafayette the band took the stage and unlike the
previous few shows where the band was playing Watching the River Flow
instrumentally and joined by Bob a few bars in Lafayette he
walked out with the band, starting the song at piano. For me the
concert really soared after the first 4/5 songs...From I'll Be Your
Baby on, he, the band and crowd were totally engaged.A very spooky
version of My Own Version of You, transcendent Key West, newly
invigorated Gotta Serve followed by a complete surprise of Hank
Williams' classic Jambalaya.....if someone told me 60 years ago when I
first started listening to Dylan that I would hear him sing Jambalaya
in the place that inspired Hank to write it.... Mais I never would
have believed it cher...Maybe he and the band enjoyed a big serving of
Jambalaya, Crawfish Pie and File Gumbo while he was here in Cajun

A beautiful reading of a personal favorite I've Made of My Mind
followed and then we got rollicking Big River which I did not
expect.The closing hymn Every Grain of Sand was just beautifully
delivered with a little extra harp...In fact we got some extended harp
playing and Bob was standing rather than sitting for most of the
night. He clearly was feeling great and in very fine form.Lafayette
got a rare 18 song setlist...Merci Beaucoup Bob...

Frank Camalo
Lafayette, LA


Review by Sergi Fabregat

Beautiful, heartfelt, funny, smile/awe inducing show in a curious venue 
by a highway to which is not easy to walk to even if your hotel is just 
two doors down, 10 minute stroll.

It's incredible to think that merely 10 days ago the concerts felt so 
differently as how they feel now. The energy into the songs has already 
changed, it's impossible to know for sure if this path is a planned one 
or if the progression takes place depending on how the wind blows. In 
Louisville, maybe the cold there took control of the songs, it was a 
fragmented, dark approach in some cases; a good example could be that 
the first shows looked at the "early days are gone" with sorrow, while 
now they do it with hope, even eagerness I'd say! Last night Bob 
exhuded determination and full focus when he sang: "I lit the torch, 
I looked to the East!".

I will mini-detour to illustrate the feeling: in Benniboy's 1996 
recent comp 'All I Got to Do is Survive', there's a version of 'To 
Ramona' from Spartanburg. At the end, it's mindblowing how Bob 
completely changes the tone, pitch and inner energy of his voice when 
he sings: "Everything passes, everything changes, do what you think 
you should do!". It's beautiful because it's so, so encouraging, so 
hopeful. This is how the current shows are feeling now, they propel 
you forward, we're being passed along the cup night after night.

A show with, surely, many highlights, lots of smiling from Bob, not 
much interaction, he and the band seemed really locked into it and 
letting the songs do the talking. At the end of 'Key West', a curious 
instrumental slow outro was played, and I decided that I wanted to 
record the view in my mind after such a song, and it felt so right, 
go me really emotional just looking at Bob, letting all the legendary 
stuff but specially the nowadays stuff over me.

Oh, he was REALLY dancing while on piano during a slow burning, 
business meant, unmerciful 'Jimmy Reed', crazy to think that he's 
most likely the one still having the most fun.

Maybe the most WTF moment of the night was when in 'To Be Alone With 
You' they played the long instrumental bridge, then the start-stop 
bass driven thing (many people doing the right wohoos at the right 
time!) and then an INCREDIBLE second instrumental bridge that just 
kept rising and rising. The thing that words can tell, you had to be 
there or listen to it was how Big Bang, right on the f***ing spot 
Bob came in with the "I'm collecting my thoughts in a pattern" line. 
It was pioneer stuff, he eclipsed the sun for real.

'Jambalaya' was hahahaha for mainly two reasons: I thought he was 
singing most of the song in French, which HE KIND OF DID, and my 
mum knew the song, she helped me to forward Bill the setlist! :lol: 
It was amazing, as was 'Big River', again infused with the water 
of life.

As I said, many many highlights of a beautiful front row show, but 
I will end with a selfish note: he did an specific looking up, 
opening his eyes a lot, also his mouth, during the show. I kind of 
think it was in 'Key West' but if anyone noticed too, can you tell 
me please? Bob has his expressions, but this one was truly 
something, he seemed so emotionally invested. Difficult to pin, I 
know, I also post it so I won't forget the image and if recording 
surfaces I'll try to connect again both sources.

A couple of things that have come into mind during the day:

The intro song change. Last Fall it was Stravinski's 'Rite of 
Spring' but this Spring it has changed, it's a beutiful melody.

I "Shazamed" the intro music a few weeks ago based on 
the recording of a Florida show. It should be 
"La Mer, CD111. l. De l'aube à midi sur la mer" from Claude Debussi 
(Lucerne Festival Orchestra)

The curtain was up for the second show in a row, showing the back 
wall, lighted up with a purplish light. A couple of ladders there 
and what I really loved: a bunch of stage spotlights, in vertical 
position, in the middle of the wall, that resembled roman 
amphorae. Given how much Roman themes populate the current 
setlist, I found it a really fitting detail.

The "cock" verse in 'Black Rider' was sung in what I'd say was 
the most comical way I've seen Bob attack it. He really seemed 
to realize that it's a super funny line, and maybe I was 
gesturing a bit during that part because he seemed to look at 
my zone when singing it, which added an extra fun to the whole 

The harp during 'Grain of Sand' sounded off as soon that Bob 
blew into it, it sounded really loud and a bit distorted in 
the mix. He stopped after a few notes and gave a couple of looks
at the sound guy, even started to turn it into a piano solo, 
but he kept trying. At one point, the harp started to sound 
right, and then Bob gave his all, producing these sounds that 
transport you to the beginning of it all, giving the night 
such a beau ending.

I've wanted also to mention this for the last few shows, but I 
think I haven't: there are moments during the concert in which 
I forgot the dimension of the figure that is on stage, and 
also I manage to get off myself any thoughts that get in the 
way of the day and I find myself at the core of the song, 
devoid of anything external to it. It is an incredible feeling, 
it's as if I was sucked into the energy of what is happening in 
the most present moment and I feel some kind of high 
enlightenment, a revelation so to speak. Last night it 
happened during the end of 'My Own Version of You' and also at 
the end of 'Mother of Muses'. I don't know what to make of it 
but I'm in awe that these things still happen in 2024.

Behind the piano the whole night, I'd say that he didn't 
leave the piano for the whole concert, though this Spring 
he's standing a lot more than in Fall 2023.

One last thing: pay attention at how Bob sings the "Like 
Ginsberg, Corso..." part in Lafayette, it is mindblowing.


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