Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Civic Center Music Hall
Thelma Gaylord Performing Arts Theatre

May 3, 2015

[Mel Smith], [Keith Venturoni]

Review by Mel Smith

While the set list for this tour may be static, the stage presentation is
not like anything I have ever seen Dylan do.   The band is nearly
invisible with the darkness of the theatre and stage lighting.  An
occasional spotlight on an more or less the instrument being played, more
so than the band member playing it peppered the show.  I  won't detail the
songs here but I will warn you that what I saw and heard on Tangled and
WMB #2  was original cowboy poetry.  Not sure when it was written. I
could have been on the fly or at sound check that day.   The one example
of that I could recall was "She swept up behind the stove, she swept up
some dust.  You look like someone I used to know she said, you look like
someone I used to trust. Tangled up in blue."

On Workingman's Blues # 2 about half of the song was not what was
recorded.  My road warrior companion Hole commented  that was 
Workingman's Blues # 4 or #5. and he was right.  As always it was phrased 
and timed out perfectly as Bob always seems to do when writing  poetry 
while swinging from the trapeze with out a net.

The band, while invisible, was as tight and beautiful as I have ever
heard them be, and that is saying something there.  Bob's voice was a
clear and resonant as I have ever heard in the 20+ shows I have seen.
Less growling and more crooning, moving about the stage and engaging the
audience when not behind the piano. In my mind this wasn't so much of a
rock show as a presentation of a collection of Dylan's songs. Those
attending this tour would be well advised to leave your dancing shoes at
home.  It seemed to me to be more of a Jazz/Blues/Swing presentation than
the full on rock and roll of the Larry Campbell or G.E. Smith era.  Not
better or worse in any way just more subdued and dignified than my usual
Dylan experiences. I am used to leaving shows drenched in sweat and
physically drained from flapping around like a fish on the dock.  This
was more of an emotional and intellectual draining as the reality and
forcefulness of his words took over the entire audience.

Taking the week off and gearing up for the KC show next Sunday, 15
minutes from my home as opposed to the 4 to 6 hour drives  I am 
accustomed to see the Man and his Band.  For Y'all in Texas hold onto 
those ten gallon Stetsons and settle in to see Dylan at maybe his finest 
in years.

Mel Smith


Comments by Keith Venturoni

I'm not going to waste time saying the show was great and citing the
reasons, because it will sound like most of the reviews for the other
shows on this tour.  However, this was concert number 40 for me, and Bob
singing Autumn Leaves might have been the coolest thing I've ever seen him
do in concert.

Keith Venturoni


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