Baltimore, Maryland

Lyric Opera House

April 11, 2015

[Futzi Wailer], [David Mendick] [Tim Shorrock] [Brent Ewig]

Review by Futzi Wailer

Drove down from New York to catch Bob in one of our favorite cities. First
off. A beautiful venue even if the seats were uncomfortable in the way old
theater seats can be. We were up off the floor first row 12 seats behind
Bob and his Oscar. As others have noted, this is a meticulously crafted
show. The lighting is beautiful, the pacing deliberate. Gone us the
ramshackle beauty and spontaneity of the earlier NET. The sound is clear
but loud. The crowd was older and extremely attentive. There was no exodus
at any time, even before the encore. No talking, no boorish behavior. With
ticket prices high, the "Nothing to do tonight, let's see a concert"
crowd, so prevelent  at outdoor summer shows was nowhere to be found. The
band no longer looks to Bob for direction, they each know exactly what is
expected of them. The boss is not throwing any curveballs, no musical
surprises from left field. From the opening of Stu's strumming, to the
kickoff of Things Have Changed the crowd was into it. Having been to close
to 200 shows, I have never seen Bob get such a raptuous reception. He was
cheered, adored and treasured last night. His voice is much clearer, the
rasp and Charlie Parker persona left behind, instead a crisp baritone,
sometimes crooning, sometimes spitting out the clearly enunciated lyrics.
High points for us were High Water, Forgetful Heart, Tangled and
surprisingly, Scarlet Town. Stay With Me is a stunning closer, even for
someone like me who would be very happy never to hear Sinatra music again.
Prolonged standing ovation. Thank you Bob. Thank you Baltimore.

Futzi Wailer  


Comments by David Mendick

Martin in Atlantic city you have no credentials. You may have some history
but you have no clue. This Baltimore show was pure beauty and magic. The
venue the opera house was perfect for this continuation of the previous
tour. When I saw Dylan a few months ago in Washington at Constitution Hall
I commented on Bobs Links that Dylan had remarkably after all these years
found his perfect concert - I was wrong - last night was even better.
Don't miss this tour and take your kids or grandkids. They'll thank you
one day. Shout out to my good friends I ran into in the bar. Howard and
Gili - let's follow the bus. 

David Mendick


Review by Tim Shorrock

I caught Bob last night with an old friend. Baltimore is refreshingly
different in culture, looks & ambience than DC and was perfect for Bob's
beautiful but enigmatic arrangements. His first set was like being in a
Texas roadhouse, circa 1920s. The second was Blonde on Blonde noir. If you
go see his current tour, make sure you listen to TEMPEST - half his songs
are from this brooding album.


Review by Brent Ewig

Looking for Bob, Aunt Sally and the Raven in Baltimore 

It was just over 50 years ago when Bob was bringing it all back home and
sang about his love being like some raven, so i was pretty excited this
past Saturday night to be on my way to see my 50th Dylan show at the
Baltimore Lyric Opera House which is just about a mile up the hill from
the grave of Edgar Allen Poe, author of the aforementioned Raven. Having
seen two score plus ten shows I of course know that you should never
expect any Dylan show to acknowledge any local connections. What I thought
I also knew was that with Dylan you can always expect the unexpected -
that change is his only constant, that he will never play what you expect
him to play, and that no two shows will be the same. So imagine my
surprise and - I'm going to blunt - disapointement when the Baltimore show
turned out to be the EXACT same show I saw just six months earlier at
Constitution Hall. 

I get what he's saying with this show - if your'e here for that guy from
the 60's or even 70's your in the wrong place, I'm focusing on my new
stuff, honing the sound night after night and giving some of my best
performances in years. And to some extent that's true - his voice is
better, stronger and clearer then any time in at least the last five
years. The arrangements are amazing and tight - with the harmonica breaks
on She Belongs to Me especially calling to mind that wild, thin mercury
sound that will make you shiver with delight. The Duquense Whistle is
jaunty and fun, and the other Tempest numbers delivered with great focus
and intensity. Simple Twist of Fate is great, and High Water is a great
way to jump into the second set. All of that makes it worth going to see
him anytime he's within a 500 mile radius. But still. The static set list
is unbelievably baffling to me. How can you go on the road for 25 years
making every night unique and then all of the sudden decide - no, let's do
a repeat? I really just don't get it. I know some people are noting how
the delivery changes slightly each night, with different words or phrases
receivning different stresses or treatments and i hear that, but frankly
that's too darn subtle for me. I know he's usually slow to work in his
latest release, so I'm really hoping he debuts some additional Shadows
songs soon, but until then, I'm left wondering what's going on. 


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