Memphis, Tennessee
Orpheum Theatre

April 9, 2022

[Jim Maynard], [Laurette Maillet], [Tom Burke], [Robert Shiel]

Review by Jim Maynard

It was great to see Dylan again at the Orpheum in Memphis, always a great
venue.  Nearly sold out, very receptive crowd as usual in Memphis. The
setlist was the same as expected.  Start a little rough in Watching the
River Flow,  couldn’t hear Bob, as others have complained about his mic
being too low in the sound mix.  Things got better as Bob warmed up to the
mic.  Great song to open with in Memhis on Beale Street by the Mississippi
River.   Bob’s voice got stronger on You Go Your Way..

The harp intro to When I Paint My Masterpiece was a masterful performance
and the song was an early highlight, recognizable to everyone.

This tour is all about Rough and Rowdy Ways, and songs on thar album were
well received and performed.  I expect most of the audience never heard
the album but seemed to like what they heard.  Bob put heart and soul into
them, and got a standing ovation after almost ever one of them! 

Highlights from RARW were I Contain Multitudes, Black Rider, Crossing the
Rubicon, Mother of Muses.  Weakest was Key West, which drgagged too long. 

Melancholy Mood was unrecognizable and shouldhave been replaced  by a
number of Dyalan’s better songs .

The “classics” To Be Along With You, Tonight I’ll
be Staying Here With You, were ok, but seemed like throw aways in between
the RARW songs. The highlight swere Gotta Serve Simebody which was
transformed into a hard rocking gospel romp.  and the magnificent closing
with Ever Grain of Sand, one of Bob’s true masterpieces, and his swan
song for the evening.

Goodbye Jimmy Reed was a little rushed before the band introduction, and
could have heen a highlight if Bob had not rushed the lyrics. 

As always the time flew by too fast.  Hope it’s not the last time to see
Bob in Memphis, but “time is an ocean and it ends at the shore.”


Review by Laurette Maillet

Memphis Tennessee April 9th.
Corky will drive the few hours from Meridian to Memphis. We booked a 
hotel by the airport but decided first to go to Graceland again . Both of 
us had been there , long time ago.

Things have changed!
This is a truly commercial business. It takes forever to enter inside 
Graceland, the home of Presley.
But anyway we had a good time.

We have lunch in a great Mexican restaurant before getting ready 
for the show.

The Orpheum theater is again a beautiful theater. Capacity 2900.
Corky bought me a ticket, so I am free.
Stefanie is searching for one so I help her for a while. She says a Fan 
was looking for ... Me and left an envelope. It's a ... Birthday card :)
We all seat on the balcony, up under the roof.
The public is a lot younger and more sympathetic than the Meridian 

8.00pm the show starts with a big applause.
Time to adjust the song for the two first songs and all will be alright. 
Bob is wearing the tie/scarf he was wearing last night.
Corky is sited next to me and folks around are Fans. They know 
what will be the setlist.
So except some people going to the restroom, all is well.
While Bob is singing "I've made up my mind to give myself to you"
 a Fan screams "we love you Bob" and Bob laughs in the mic.
Fans abviously know the new album as they clap at the beginning 
of each song from "Rough and rowdy ways".
Bob presents the Band and murmurs something that makes Donnie 

I sell some prints after the show. I start to be popular :)
That was a good show and a great day.
It's a lot easier with...a little help from my friends.
Next Little Rock and all by myself.


Review by Tom Burke

Before a near full house at The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis Saturday 
night, Bob Dylan delivered a  satisfying show which was enthusiastically 
received by those in attendance.

Pressing on, despite the grind of the schedule, Dylan was able to soldier 
through the familiar setlist, overcoming technical glitches (on the first 
song in particular-Watching the River Flow, and to a lesser extent the 
second song-Most Likely You Go Your Way (and I'll Go Mine)) a mix that 
left Dylan's voice barely audible, lost in the band's music, and Dylan's 
voice, resulting in subdued  vocals, perhaps reflecting the wear and tear 
of performing on three consecutive nights.

Having been to two shows in the fall 2021 leg of the Rough and Rowdy 
Ways Tour, I was struck by a couple of changes in Dylan's physical 
performance this Spring night in Memphis: first, on False Prophet, gone 
was the animated emphatic Dylan singing center stage with the hand 
mic, and second, Dylan did not vacate the piano at any time during his 
performance, save to take a couple of well received bows at three evenly 
spaced intervals during the 17 song set.

An early, and unexpected highlight, was a strong and extended introductory 
harp solo by Dylan on When I Paint My Masterpiece. Key West (Philosopher 
Pirate) was delivered at a deliberate pace and with a wistful tone/mood, that 
I found very effective. I was pleased that Crossing the Rubicon was added to
the setlist for this leg of the tour. The up tempo, guitar driven version of 
Gotta Serve Somebody injected a shot of old fashioned rhythm and blues 
into the set which seemed particularly appropriate given the venue, and 
although Bob Britt and Doug Lancio are not Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill, they 
let it rip and sounded great!

Following Goodbye Jimmy Reed, Dylan introduced the band and gave a 
shout out to Memphis and American music legend Sam Phillips.

The night ended with the beautiful Every Grain of Sand eliciting a loud 
roar, and an extended standing ovation from the appreciative Orpheum 


Review by Robert Shiel

After catching night #2 of the Rough & Rowdy Ways world tour back in
November in Chicago, I had a hunch that this tour would in one way or
another turn Bob Dylan’s early COVID album release into his magnum opus.
Tonight in downtown Memphis at the ornate 1928 Orpheum Theater off Beal
Street my suspicion was corroborated by, dare I say it? Hold that thought
– I can’t bear let it slip yet.

For now, I’ll guardedly start with, “These songs must be beheld live!”

It doesn’t hurt that they’ve now been performed in front of live audiences
over 40 times by Bob’s crack assembly of road warriors, or that the hip
Memphis audience was in perfect step with what they were hearing.

Percussionist extraordinaire Charley Drayton drives the engine, whether it
be moody American standards, blues shuffles, or toe-tapping waltzes. It
really starts & ends with Charley, period. The post-COVID loss of the
perfect fit Matt Chamberlain on the drum kit seems like a distant memory.
Blues guitar journeyman Bob Britt, who I first saw 7 years ago backing
Delbert McClinton at the Lincoln Theater in Decatur, Illinois, can flat
out play anything in the songbook. Like he did with McClinton, Britt is a
master at supporting the man everybody came to see. As I anticipated,
vastly improved post-COVID addition & Britt guitar sideman Doug Lancio has
come into his own in yet another of the seemingly countless world class
Bob Dylan ensembles over the decades. Dylan virtuoso veteran
multi-instrumentalist Donnie Herron on violin, mandolin, and pedal and/or
lap steel guitar continues to come up with the perfect accompaniment with
utter deference to the song, first, & Bob, second. Bob’s ever-standout
rock, roll, pluck, bow, &/or & whatever-the-song-calls-for solid Tony
Garnier still kills after 34 years & counting on double bass/guitar. Per
Bob’s apparent vision, these guys have made the Rough & Rowdy Ways album
their own.  Meanwhile, throw in not one bad piano plunk & mainly crisply
dictioned (non-word) syncopated phrasing from freewheelin’ Bob all night &
what you have is a cross between a Sunday morning meditation & a midnight
ramble the likes of what Levon Helm was reared on just across the
Mississippi over in Elaine, Arkansas.

On Rough & Rowdy Ways, elusive enigma personified Bob Dylan has a thing or
2 to say about what has been transpiring on planet Earth since he was born
to Abe & Beatty Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota on May 24, 1941.
Furthermore, lest we forget, he’s not even playing Murder Most Foul!

The whole thing is enough to bring tears to your eyes.

My day had been precipitated by a rousing day trip driving down Highway 61
to Clarksdale, Mississippi to the Delta Blues Museum & casually happening
across free/legal street parking a 6-minute walk from the venue 75 minutes
before showtime. With all due respect to Albert King, mysteriously absent
from the Clarksdale exhibits as far as I could tell, “If it wasn’t for
good luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all.”

Out of the gate the sound on Watching The River Flow pulled no punches,
more like a left jab followed by a right hook, & after Bob murmured the
opening two lines, suddenly his voice rose to the occasion for the
entirety of the 100-minute affair. Or maybe his microphone was turned up,
but I doubt it. Sometimes a boxer Bob’s age needs to get hit before he
comes to on stage his 3rd night in a row. The non-Rough & Rowdy highlights
included Bob’s sublime harmonica intro to When I Paint My Masterpiece &
flat out jumpin’ takes of Gotta Serve Somebody & To Be Alone With You, on
which Donnie’s fiddle & Bob’s piano continue to play a lovely, clever cat
& mouse game.

A regrettable word about the shameful egomaniacs with inferiority
complexes who never have and never will know how to behave at Bob Dylan
concerts. Tonight’s handful of distasteful deafening drunks was silenced
by the sheer ecstasy of both Americana sounds meandering from country
blues one minute to some kind of genre best described as R & W (rhythm &
waltz) the next, Bob’s wordiest (yes, I said that) & most provocative
poetry ever (yes, I said that, too), & the astonishing flair of an
80-year-old artist still in his prime. Even these bad apples were no match
for Bob & not about to spoil it for the bunch. Or maybe they were mellowed
by the rampant aroma of cannabis delivering palpable plumes of 2nd hand
THC gusting throughout breezy, balmy downtown Memphis on a splendid
springtime Saturday night.

On another fucked up but trivial note, the front row mezzanine seats in
front of me, vacant during the first song, were subsequently occupied by 4
hapless attendees with apparent bladder issues requiring multiple
disruptive bathroom visits who didn’t even have the wherewithal to stay
for the final 5 songs, allowing for not only leg stretching on my part,
but great waist up sight lines of Bob & all 5 accompanists sporting dark
suits & no cowboy hats other than Tony.

I wondered, “Who has the audacity to leave church early on Sunday morning?
Don’t waste your time and I won’t waste mine.  Just stay home next time.” 
Sheesh. But so grateful for the enthusiastic, ardent aficionado Dylan fans
sitting to my left & mostly unobstructed 1st mezzanine views compliments
of empty seats in front of me!

To the point, False Prophet had me weeping at its utter audio allure & the
fact it no longer sounds a bit like My Version Of You, which was
highlighted by Donnie’s lap pedal somehow impersonating a pipe organ. Both
these songs, in particular, are crisp, distinct melodies, no longer the
searching mid-tempo ballads which started dragging the same back in
November. Bob Britt’s guitar sounded like a rattle snake on Black Rider &
a Hammond B-3 organ on I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight, culminated in an outro
of the mockingbird bridge that trudged to a crescendo as if on valium,
much to the crowd’s delight. Crossing The Rubicon enraptured me into a
blissful trance thanks to what Donnie and Tony were up to holding down the
bottom. During I’ve Made Up My Mind To Give Myself To You Bob chuckled
while delivering the last chorus line in response to a fan yelling out,
“We love you, Bob.” This tour, more stunning than others, has a tendency
to spontaneously turn into a love fest in appreciation for Bob, & he gets

Although Key West was so fresh it didn’t even seem like the same song, I
for one vote for going back to what they were trying to do melodically
back in November. Somehow lost is perhaps the finest melodic composition
on the album. The guitar riff between verses on Goodbye Jimmy Reed was
relatively & regrettably understated, but that didn’t stop it from being
the rocker it is, after which Bob gave a shout out to “20th century
genius” & Memphis icon Sam Phillips after introducing the band, fittingly
asking Charley Drayton to stand up “so everybody could see him.”

Then, it was a quick stepping waltz to conclude the evening on Every Grain
Of Sand, a brief receipt of applause & sudden departure by the surely
fatigued band, after which I stood in my footsteps, half stunned, half
euphoric, wondering if I had just seen what I thought I had just heard, if
that makes any sense. Well, let me try to put this into words I am
inclined to withhold, but I won’t.

The best Bob Dylan concert I’ve ever seen in my life. No longer December
13, 1997 at The Metro in Chicago.

Bob was 56 then, still a middle-aged 6-string gunslinger ripping out
openers like Maggie’s Farm on the 1st leg of the Time Out Of Mind tour.
But 24 years later, Bob Dylan is re-writing the history books, going
places & doing things never been done by anybody. Not Sinatra. Not B.B.
King. Nobody. I mean, after 20 years as a nurse Alberta Hunter
flabbergastingly resumed her singing career in her 80s, but writing,
recording, & performing one’s best album ever as an octogenarian?

Only one has done that, & I witnessed Bob Dylan in Memphis tonight.


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