Seattle, Washington
Paramount Theatre

June 2, 2022

[Daniel Mackay], [Steve Rostkoski ], [Tim Whittome ], [Laurette Maillet], [Mitch Rath]

Review by Daniel Mackay

If I was going to use one word to describe last night’s June 2 Seattle
show, it would be "solid." I was not at the June 1 Seattle show, but
compared to Kennewick and Portland, Dylan did much less wandering between
piano and center mic. In fact, he only sang at the center mic during the
first half of “Black Rider,” after which he returned to the piano.
Further, I did not notice him standing at the piano with his left arm
draped over the top of the upright, seemingly for support, while he sang
and played piano with his right hand as I observed him doing regularly in
both Kennewick and Portland.

The arrangements of Kennewick were back, gone were the variations and
outright different approaches from Portland. Also gone was Dylan’s
frequent grasping after what verse was next…he was much more dialed into
the lyrics in this show.

Terrific piano playing in “When I Paint My Masterpiece.”

“I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” remains a standout. Dylan delivered a
strong piano melody when he soloed during one of the verses. The song is
transformed. The vocal on “I’ve Made Up My Mind to Give Myself to
You” was strong. The hollow body electric guitar that Dylan played in
Portland was lying horizontal on top of a monitor that was behind and
between Bob Britt and Doug Lancio as it was in Portland, but Dylan never
made a move toward it.

I noticed that in “My Own Version of You,” it is during the “I can
see the history of the whole human race” verse, that the three guitar
players (Britt, Lancio, and Herron) stop playing and Dylan sings with only
bass and drum accompaniment. The guitar players then reenter the song and
Dylan’s vocal then escalated until it is near-manic (and infectious) in
the “Do it with laughter / Do it with tears” verse.

There was also some great piano in the verse before “I was born on the
wrong side of the railroad tracks” in “Key West (Philosopher
Pirate).” The playing was very melodic and seemed to me to be a
different melody (I could be wrong about this) than in Kennewick or
Portland. It seems like this melody is now leading the way into a new
development of the song on the stage. Once again, when he focused on the
music, his attention falters on the lyrics. There were a number of
instances of verses being mixed up in “Key West,” with couplets from
different verses being recombined.

There was some interesting BobTalk during this concert. Between “False
Prophet” and “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” he said, “Why thank
you everybody. All right, this is post-COVID time. These are post-COVID
songs,” because, of course, when everybody thinks of a “post-COVID
song,” it is “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” which is what he
launched into!

After “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” Dylan said, “Thank you, all you
art lovers.”

After “My Own Version of You,” Dylan said, “Why thank you” [which
he said a number of times]. “I knew you feel that way too. I can’t be
the only one!”

During the band introductions, Doug Lancio continues to get special
attention. He had Charley Drayton stand up and take a bow for everyone:
“Why thank you, everybody. You’re an awfully nice crowd. Doug Lancio
has a special Lancio guitar. Look for it in a music store. Ain’t that
right?” [as he turned back to look at Lancio].

Like in Kennewick, Dylan took the stage and performed with no hat but,
after “Every Grain of Sand,” reached down and emerged from behind the
piano with his black wide-brimmed hat to receive the concluding applause.
In Portland, Dylan never donned a hat.

Daniel Mackay


Review by Steve Rostkoski

Even before lockdown, I was easing into retiring from going to live shows.
It was getting to the point where all the hassles of getting tickets,
transportation, and enduring the crapshoot of wheelchair seating (which in
many cases was just getting shoved back by the bar) didn’t seem to be
worth the trouble anymore. I was planning on seeing Bob Dylan open his
2020 tour in the Pacific Northwest though, but we all know how that turned
out. To my great surprise, I have three concerts on my 2022 agenda,
including my old pal Alejandro Escovedo (whom I’ve seen over 40 times)
in July and the Who in October. And also Bob Dylan in Seattle on June 2.
I’ve been fortunate to be able to continue to work remote because of my
disability and haven’t been out much in the last two years, so I do feel
some trepidation about going to these events. I also have the feeling that
they will be the last time I see these, or maybe any, performers in
concert. This could be my last round in the live music arena. 

The last time I saw Dylan was his three-night stand at the Paramount
Theatre in 2014, and the June 2 show marked my return to the same venue.
This tour is being touted as the Rough and Rowdy Ways tour and earlier
shows have featured nine out of the ten songs from Dylan’s latest album.
(I believe the last time Dylan performed so much new material may have
been during the gospel shows of 1979 and 1980.) Relying on material from
this album as a setlist framework established a dark, dusky tone for the
whole evening. A new lighting setup, which illuminated the band from the
stage floor, only enhanced the mood. The stage was bathed in a hazy orange
glow throughout the concert, punctuated occasionally by between song
darkness. This atmosphere gave the performance a captivating focused
cohesiveness that I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced at a Dylan
show before. 

Dylan’s vocals were clear and precise as he performed most of the time
behind an upright piano facing the audience. From the opening “Watching
the River Flow,” he led the musicians with rhythmic, slightly atonal
piano accents, similar to his guitar solos heard in concert circa 1995.
His riffs gave the second number, “Most Likely You Go Your Way.” an
unusual rocking cha-cha lilt. Guitarists Bob Britt and Doug Lancio traded
tight blues licks on the sneaky “False Prophet” and exploded into a
burst of pulsing chord breaks amid a mysterious “Crossing the
Rubicon.” “To Be Alone with You” shed its country origins and
transformed into lively swing tune, thanks to Donnie Herron’s violin,
which uncannily sounded like a sax or clarinet sometimes. Tony Garnier’s
bowed standup bass provided subtle ambiance to “Black Rider,”
“Mother of Muses” and “Key West,” matching their enigmatic
delicacy. “Serve Somebody” hid its gospel roots with a pounding,
almost rockabilly dance beat propelled by drummer Charley Drayton and the
whole band let loose on the charging roadhouse blues of “Goodbye Jimmy
Reed.” Finally, gentle guitar arpeggios anchored a stately and beautiful
“Every Grain of Sand,” sending us all off into the night. 

I feel lucky that I got to see Bob Dylan on such a singular tour. It made
for a distinctive, challenging, yet ultimately satisfying restless

Steve Rostkoski 


Review by Tim Whittome

Judging by the two shows I have seen, Bob Dylan has had a good series of
shows in Washington State on this leg of the Rough and Rowdy Ways tour.
The first show in Spokane was great while the second and final show in
Seattle rounded off my time nicely with Bob this time around. I hope he
returns here.

By contrast with Spokane, Bob was positively chatty at the second Seattle
show, introducing "Masterpiece" by noting that it was written before Covid
and the end of of "My Own Version of You," he remarked that he couldn't be
the only one thinking along the same lines about someone! At least, I
think that was the gist of it. Bob seemed appreciative of a noisy crowd
that had been restless at the long wait before he appeared. So much for
the "starting on time" that has characterised recent shows!

It is still super interesting to hear Anne Frank's name ring around a
crowded auditorium and "I've Made up My Mind" is still spellbinding. The
new arrangement of "Baby Tonight" is great and my overall impression was
that the show was perfect with some freer accompaniment that I thought was
lacking in Spokane. My only complaint was that the cramped, old, and
uncomfortable upper level Mezzanine seats did nothing for my arthritis. I
also wish God had thought to give us the ability to have binocular vision!
It is so difficult to see Dylan or anyone on the stage from "cheaper"
seats that are still horrendously priced.

The band is excellent by the way - very tight and with no visible sign of
any of them feeling weary at playing the same setlist each night. I don't
know much about the feelings of musicians who play these shows, and I
guess if they were truly bored, they'd probably just quit. Bob has had a
lot of changes in personnel down the years, but given that some of his
band quit, left, or were fired when playing *flexible *setlists, it seems
hard to imagine that *inflexible *ones wouldn't generate a similar
restlessness and frustration. Then again, members of his backing band
might enjoy the current predictability of knowing what they are supposed
to be doing each night and when in the course of the evening. I still
wonder about the effect on Dylan too, but again, he doesn't yet seem to be
displaying any of the boredom he has displayed in previous tours, and he's
not cutting back any of the songs as he has done on earlier tours.

Just for the record here as a resident of the state, but Seattle is NOT a
perpetual dump, gloomy, or dull and neither can the cities of Spokane and
Kennewick be dismissed in the same way. May and June have been rough
weather-wise but given that the end of last June saw horrifying
temperatures in this area of 115 degrees, we could be due some time off
from a heat that put pressure on the state's resources and inspired a fire
season that was longer than most years.

Enjoy the shows down the road, and be forewarned and allow for the fact
that the "phones-in-security pouches" policy is really impeding rapid exit
from the shows. It worked better at the Seattle show getting into the
auditorium than it did in Spokane but no better getting out of it.


Review by Laurette Maillet

Seattle II. June 2nd

I was sleeping on a comfortable couch and fed myself with packs of Chinese
noodles. I found a good book "The color of water" by James McBride. So I
spend morning and early afternoon reading. We are too far away from
downtown Seattle to visit anything. I plan maybe going to Jimmy Hendrix
statue in late afternoon. But... We leave by 4:30pm and park the car in a
garage. And it starts... raining. Nothing unusual in Seattle  but
disturbing. Bobby's bus pulls in by 5.30pm probably arriving from the
Hyatt hotel...two blocks away! I seat in a park and listen to some
musicians playing the piano and singing.  I would say better than offence  Bob Dylan is a LEGEND. I have no idea who are those
guys. By 6pm I return by the Paramount. Same crowd as yesterday. Same
people trying to sell extra tickets. It takes me a little while when a
tall guy in yellow T-shirt hands me a paper ticket. "You want a miracle
ticket?" "Yes!" "This is a miracle ticket". Indeed it is; 4th row center.
This gentleman doesn't know meas he insists I won't sell the ticket.
Of course I won't  I rush in the line. Same problem as yesterday:
showing first the proof of vaccine (plus my ID), scanning the ticket,
putting the phone in the pouch and then passing the metal detector. It
takes forever to rush 3000 patrons inside. So much as ...the show will
start at 8.35pm. No kidding  My good Samaritan is first row center, in
the pit. A man is escorted out by two security guys as he refused to wear
a mask. But this is the only venue so far requesting a  mask. I'm
sorry he lost his ticket and a good show. 8.35pm. After waiting for so
long the public is happy to hear the intro and see Bob trotting to his
piano. His face looks tired but his voice is still clear. No surprise
tonight. The usual show. Some fans try to dance in front of the stage for
"serve somebody" but security is prompt to ask them to go back to their
seat. A pretty girl, front, dances on "I'll be your Baby tonight" and I
see Bob focusing on her and ...rising his voice. Few times he will say
" thank you" and murmurs some funny remarks. I believe I heard " thank
you. I love you. The Band loves you too. I can't be the only one to Love"
But I might be totally wrong. Have to hear the recording He moves
center stage for "Black rider" He is wearing the same colorful adorned
shirt. It blurs the small belly popping above his belt. Black pants
and I believe black shoes. But mid of the song he moves back to the piano
and will not do center stage again. Not even for "Melancholy mood". The
audience is warm. Fans standing to applause here and there. The couple
next to me don't stop commenting on Bob's attitude on stage but I remain
calm and patient  She has her phone open to take pics .
How in the hell did she manage to sneak that phone in? The metal scanning
was after the pouch area. Anyway the show is great.  "Crossing the
Rubicon" still my favorite. A lot of drama on "Black Rider" and the
beginning of  "I'll be your Baby tonight" and "To be alone with you"
almost a cappella. I enjoy myself. Just to be here, at a Bob Dylan show is
a miracle. So what ever Bob is willing to do...fits me. I don't except the
guitar again but any funny little thing is  welcome. A change of the
shirt I get out quickly to retrieve my phone. Fans are packed
by the bus but none saw Bob getting in his bus. Did he sneak in a car to
ride to the airport and fly to his family in Malibu? Anything can happen!
I sell a print to a pretty girl of 23 years old. A rare extremely young
Dylan fan. Sweet and so kind. I find my couch waiting for me and a bowl of
Chinese noodles. Rest well Bobby. See you next in Eugene.


Review by Mitch Rath

Rough and Rowdy Ways Tour Seattle June 1st & 2nd 2022
Random memories from June 1st and 2nd, at The Seattle Paramount Theater,
which, largely thanks to ex-Microsoft financier, Ida Cole, was refurbished to its 
gilded gold, and opulent interior glory, years ago, where last week 81 year old, 
Bob Dylan, and a perfectly subtle, but powerful band, brought fascinating and 
enjoyable shows.  

As I have now had a few days to let the memories sink in of both Seattle 
shows, and what stands out most is that we, the audience-those many fans 
and followers attending this tour-all of us, young and many older, such as I, 
we were on stage, and Bob and Band remained in the shadows, and those 
low house lights stayed on the crowd all night-focused on we in the audience, 
during both Wednesday, and Thursday night, consistently.  The stage lights, 
meanwhile, shifted from dimly lit, to completely backlit, silhouettes of the band
members, a warm glow behind the black, cut out figures of each player.

The first night, we paid through the nose for seats dead center, just a few 
rows back from the stage. We might have saved our money, if we wished to 
get a good look at Bob Dylan-he remained hidden in shadows for the main, 
even aided in visual obscurity by two bright lights over his piano, ostensibly in 
place for reading pages of music, but their brightness served to hide Dylan's 
face. During Wednesday's show, he spent a moment or two slowly turning 
pages of music over, which I have never witnessed him do before.  And on 
Wednesday and Thursday, at points in the set, he bowed his head down, 
disappearing behind the piano, as if to highlight the band, or in order to 
focus on his piano playing.  And I have never heard him play the piano so 
well, or feature the piano sound so forward in the songs-his band studying 
every move the maestro made, hoping to stay on top of the changes Dylan 
was making to each slightly different arrangement.  Tony's French bowing, 
Donny's violin, or pedal, or mandolin, or the stunning drumming by Drayton-
often using tom-tom drumsticks, always highlighted the songs, not 
interrupting the melody, but punctuating it-good grief, it's a muscular, but
intricately understated band of stellar musicians.

We've had the pleasure, and occasional frustration, of seeing His Bobness 
live roughly 30 times since 1978. As a friend of mine, a Dylanologist you 
might call him (PSB), who is now sadly no longer with us used to say, 
"nobody "F's" with their fans like Bob Dylan.  The highs far outweigh the
low points, nobody else gets me as pumped up for a concert like 
Bob Dylan-nobody even comes close.
June 1st Bob Dylan was more active on stage, standing for "Black Rider", 
and most of, "I've Made Up My Mind to Give Myself to You", that latter 
was one of several highlight tunes on Wednesday, that one sung so 
sweetly, it brought a tear to my eyes. With those house lights on low 
over the crowd during both shows, it was difficult not to take the song 
as a reflection of potentially a performer's love and caring for his fans and 
followers, kind of a love note to us all, as he looked out at all of us, 
masked and yeah, anonymous, if you'll pardon the too easy reference.  
Other highlights of that show were, "To Be Alone With You", and a crazy 
good instrumental break on, "Crossing the Rubicon".  At one point, Dylan's
left hand reached out over the piano front, and grabbed hold, while he 
pounded out a really wonderful riff with his right hand on the keys…it 
was a *moment*. 

Both evenings, Dylan was suited up in a dark suit, over a patterned, 
possibly silk shirt, not unlike his attire during his, "Shadow Kingdom" 
special.  He stands a bit bent, with a slight bit of girth around his waist, 
and it makes me uneasy to see his age reflected that way, I can't 
imagine a world without him in it, don't want to think about it either.

June 2nd, Dylan was so much less mobile, but the phrasing and singing 
were both sharp, and he was talkative much moreso than Wednesday, 
as others have recounted in their reviews. I had trouble from Row N, MF1, 
hearing his words.  

The highlight song for me on Thursday, no question, was, "Every Grain 
of Sand", sung even MORE beautifully than the night prior, and knowing 
it was the last song until, or even if, I see him again, had me torn down,
tears flowing again….

These shows are special, they seem like a genuine love and warmth, 
pouring out from a man who wishes to see us, his new or older fans 
and followers, more than he wishes to be seen himself.   Keep those 
houselights up, Bobby, if you saw me June 1st waving, after yanking 
my mask off to be seen from our closer seating, you saw only love in 
my eyes, there a are millions of us still out there, waiting for YOU to 
see US.

Best, Fellow Bobcats.
Mitch Rath
Kirkland, Washington 


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