Orlando, Florida

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Walt Disney Theater

April 19, 2015

[James Hope]

Review by James Hope

My ten-or-so Dylan shows over the years have been spread out over both
smaller and larger venues, indoors and outdoors. As a huge Dylan fan, I
fall into that class of people who are sure to have a great time "no
matter what"-- if due to nothing else but being in the same place as a
living legend and musical genius as he does his unparalleled thing.  But
for anyone less than a full-on fan, I have come to the conclusion that two
factors will either make or break your impression of Bob (and the show):
Venue and knowledge of the songs.  Last night's venue was the brand new
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, Florida, and
suited the current incarnation of Bob's show perfectly.  The sound was
about as good as you're going to get in a live show, and in addition to
Bob's harmonica cutting through the place like a hot knife through butter,
an even more pleasant surprise was the clarity of Bob's piano in the mix. 
When he played the baby grand piano, you could hear him p-l-a-y-i-n-g the
piano, rather than merely adding some hard-to-hear electronic keyboard
fills as in other shows/venues I've attended. As for the set list, because
it has been relatively fixed for quite some time--no more 44 different
songs in just 4 consecutive nights as Bob's has been known to do-- anyone
can 'study-up' if unfamiliar with Bob's newer material.  (The only curve
ball for me was the sound track song, "Waiting For You," from the movie
"Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.")  As for stand-out numbers:
"Duquesne Whistle" was especially peppy (and Bob was having a good time);
"Love Sick" was punctuated by a strong band presence; "Scarlet Town" found
each line sung with that evil delivery only Bob can deliver; and the
quieter songs (such as "Soon After Midnight" and "Long and Wasted Years")
allowed Bob's beautifully haunting voice to enthrall the crowd. The show
closed with a light and almost friendly "Blowin' in the Wind" that defied
the lyrics, and lastly a fantastic Sinatra number to cap off a perfect
night.  Don't miss this show!  


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