Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Dylan and Mavis Makin' Their Way Home. Tom Petty Tribute Is A Knockout.

Dylan and his band... Still Flyin'
The big buzz in Dylan circles here has been the return to Minnesota of the Never Ending Tour. If you're planning to go you've probably been dropping in on Boblinks.com to read concert reviews, check out setlists and get a sense of what kind of show to anticipate, for anticipation is at least one-third of the pleasure we get from any experience.

Dylan's 76 this year, so it's hard to imagine too many years left, though with Bob probably anything is possible. This round he's on the road with Mavis Staples, and the Tour has been getting a lot of raves from fans. When Bob is "on" there's nothing perfunctory. The band is as tight as ever, and you never know with each concert where the magic will happen.

He's over on the keyboards now, but it's all Bob.
It was 19 years ago Sunday that I caught my first Dylan concert, on the 22nd of October. When I wrote about it I described it as an early Christmas present. This past Saturday night I am certain there must have been some in the audience who had the same feelings when Mavis and Bob shook the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colorado. Here's a review of that concert that was posted on Boblinks.

My girlfriend Mary Catherine and I went to see Mavis and Bob at the First Bank Center in Broomfield (Denver) without very high expectations. We'd seen them last year at Red Rocks, and they were good but not great. I've seen Dylan probably 50 times or so, and the last few years were pretty iffy. Also, the First Bank Center seats about 7500, and I didn't think they could possibly fill that...maybe 3-4000 at most. Well, so much for expectations. First of all, by the time Mavis took the stage the venue was close to full. Maybe that inspired her performance, but she was way into it last night. "I feel good tonight! We're gonna have some fun tonight!" And we did. When she left the stage to a rousing chorus of "I'll take you there" and a standing ovation, I wondered if Bob heard that crowd response and how his current performance could ever prompt that type of response. Two hours later I found out. No song by song from me...the set list was pretty static...but the classic Dylan songs, the Dylan originals, the "rockers" were unbelievable. His voice was strong and clear, the piano up in the mix, and the band perfect. The drums were featured more tonight than I've seen in the past. The "standards" were all short and well done and were more like interludes than energy drainers. They were great. It was performance art. As I remarked to Mary Catherine, it was more like a classical "concert", where you're not standing up and rocking all the time but enjoying the performance. After Ballad of a Thin Man I, in my all encompassing knowledge, turned to Mary Catherine and said, "let's go, that's it." But wait...they're not leaving! Then Bob and the band tore into Learning to Fly, and just killed it. The place went wild. Standing ovation, people in tears. Bob and the crew stood back in the rear or the stage and took it in. It was a classic. Ron

It doesn't take long for things to truly fly in cyberspace these days, social media being the hurricane wind that blows these thins into the stratosphere. This video has been watched 100,000 time in two days. 

A two-minute song with a hundred hours of memories attached to it. Dylan's world tour with Petty in the 1980's included a trip "Down Under" to Australia. At least one fan from Down Under will be making the trek Up North this week to see Dylan perform in his home state of Minnesota tomorrow night. The Internet and international travel have certainly changed the the way we see our world. There was a time several centuries back when the notion of heading to the other side of the world was often considered a one way trip, if you made it at all. You can watch a YouTube viddy of Dylan doing a media event in the studio of artist Brett Whitely during that tour with Petty and the Heartbreakers here

Wednesday night's show will take place in Minneapolis at the Excel Energy Center. If you're in from out of town try to make time for the six mile high mural on a building circa Hennepin and Sixth. It's my understanding that there will be a pre-show gathering of some of our Northland friends at the Pazzaluna/Venus Lounge, in the event you wish to really make a night of it. 

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Meantime, life goes on...  Oh, mercy. 


Anonymous said...

thanks read it with pleasure

friarbill@hotmail.com said...

Saw Bob last year in Indio, Ca. & Phoenix. Days after he was named a Nobel recipient. He was fantastic. I've seen him @ 15 times over 40 or so years. I enjoyed your blog. Thanks. Bill

Anonymous said...

Nice article

Ed Newman said...

Thank you for the visit and comments, Anon and Bill.