Clearwater, Florida

Richard B. Baumgardner Center for the Performing Arts
Ruth Eckerd Hall

April 22, 2015

[A. Parlow]

Review by A. Parlow

I'm not one to typically write reviews for concerts.  I'm not the most
eloquent dude & am probably a bit jaded after many years of attending
shows, but last night's show in Clearwater was something special.  It
started off with Barkin' Bob doing his Howlin' Wolf approximation, and I
expected a repeat of the somewhat lackluster St. Augustine show, but it
quickly became apparent that this crowd was not comprised of rowdy
talkative drunks, but instead was packed full of people who came to listen
and appreciate.  Bob seemed to quickly realize this & what could've been
just another run through of the same setlist became an intimate give &
take affair.  You could hear a pin drop during the ballads, every note of
each harmonica solo was savored by the crowd as if it were Manna from
Heaven.  As the second set rolled on, we got to the three absolute
highpoints of the show:  Forgetful Heart was sung, not barked.  Every line
perfectly executed, in no exaggeration it was likely the best single
Dylan performance I've seen in ten years.  Soon After Midnight was equally
flawless & Bob's piano playing sitting perfectly in the mix, such a huge
improvement over the electronic keyboards of previous tours.  The closing
Stay With Me literally gave me goosebumps as it reached the climax, which
have returned as I sit to type this.  I know the Sinatra covers aren't
everyone's cup of tea, but last night was just exactly perfect.   Quiet
concert crowds and nights like these have become scarce over the last
several years, but every once in awhile the elements come together and
this was one of those times.  I'll remember it for the rest of my days.

A. Palow


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