Friday, June 28, 2013

Bob Dylan's Tampa concert was a disgrace

   It was hard to know whether to pity Bob Dylan or to be angry with him. Either he has started to lose his faculties, including his sense of hearing, or he has stopped caring about himself, his legacy and his audience.
Bob Dylan
   Either way, on Thursday at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, the legendary musician and songwriter, arguably America's finest poet, the man who reshaped popular music, put on one of the worst concerts any major artist has ever performed.
  After a ferocious set by My Morning Jacket, and a solid but unexceptional one by Wilco, both of whom are joining him on this bizarrely titled "Americanarama Festival," Dylan and his five-piece band took the stage. The lighting was subdued. Dylan, in a white hat and jacket and black pants, stood at the microphone, sans guitar -- he never touched one the whole evening -- and produced an indescribable sound from his throat. His singing has always been an acquired taste, but this wasn't singing. It was a guttural growl, something unrelated to music. Someone said he sounded like Scooby-Doo, but it was worse than that. Melodies were all but unrecognizable and lyrics were incomprehensible.
   After a few songs, Dylan moved across the stage to a keyboard, where he stood in total darkness. During the next song a spotlight lit his torso, but his face remained invisible.
   He sometimes played in a different key than the rest of the band and he would often lose his place in the songs. The band, which was great, just stayed on a root chord until they could figure out what Dylan was doing. A couple of times when a song got out of hand the band tried to end it, but Dylan just kept playing. Or Dylan would catch the band off-guard by ending a song abruptly.
   About five songs in, my friend commented that Dylan had not done even one song she knew. "Don't you know this one?" I asked. "It's called 'Tangled up in Blue.'" "Oh," she said. "I love that song. That's not what he's playing, is it?"
   After almost every song, Dylan leafed through a binder from which he apparently picked out the next number.  He did 16 songs, including "Duquesne Whistle" (the closest thing to a highlight the show had), "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" and "All Along the Watchtower." The single encore was "Ballad of a Thin Man." He never said a single word, not even a "thank you" for the applause that he didn't deserve. He barely showed his face.
   There were a lot of empty seats in the amphitheater when Dylan started his set. There were a lot more before he finished.
   Nothing can excuse such a disgraceful exhibition. Even if Dylan is suffering from some kind of infirmity that keeps him from recognizing how bad his singing and playing are, someone who cares about him should have stopped him.
   But it really didn't seem like that. It appeared that Dylan just didn't care that he was delivering a performance that bordered on audience abuse.
   


   
  
   

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obviously never a Dylan fan and just don't get it. He was everything he has always been just better. Love that brother.

Marty Clear said...

Thanks for the comment, but you are incorrect. I am a HUGE Dylan fan, and have been for 50 years. That why I was so desperately saddened by this show..
MC

Anonymous said...

At JazzFest 2006 in New Orleans Bob was playing Maggie's Farm, I think & I told my wife :
"Listening to to Bob sing nowadays is like watching Steven Hawking trying to climb the stairs."
She agreed.
His new recordings I like, but I've given up on him live, his performances have been a crap-shoot for years, now.
-lloyd & kay

Marty Clear said...

I wish I had though of that line, Lloyd. Thanks.
MC

lkmir said...

Funny. Sounds a lot like a Dylan concert I attended oh, about 25 years ago.
It's rarely safe to see performers when they're so many years past their prime. Better to listen to the recordings and continue to appreciate their contributions.

Anonymous said...

You probably think Jackson Pollock can't paint either.
You said everything I knew you were going to say.
People have always walked out and whined even in his so-called prime. Your review was doltish.

Anonymous said...

Even if you did not like it give some respect to a man who has given us all so much.
But you are wrong- You are the same syndrome as the guy who yelled Judas. Its not that he can't play- you can't listen

Marty Clear said...

Thanks for your comments. Just for the record, I love Jackson Pollack and I love Dylan. And I did give Dylan respect -- you'll note I said he was arguably America's greatest poet and that he transformed popular music. I hoped and expected to like this show, especially since I love "Tempest" so much and because the last Dylan show I saw was phenomenal. . I do and always will respect Dylan, but he showed a lack of respect for his audience. Oh, and by the way, I never said he couldn't play. I know he can. He's a genius, not just as a songwriter but as a musician. What I said was he played terribly at this concert He didn't play piano inna different key than his band as an artistic choice, but because he couldn't hear it or he didn't care.
Thanks again. I do sincerely appreciate your comments.
mc

Anonymous said...

Its not a lack of respect from him at all. He is a 72 year old man for Goodness sake. He does a gruelling touring schedule - one that has killed much younger rock n rollers in the past. Do you know any 72 year old people who do such a gruelling demanding job? For that reason alone you should be more careful in your words. He is an old man. Since he could live on the royalties from blowing in the wind alone- for the rest of his life- he can only be doing it to fulfil the wishes of the many people who want to see him; also because there are band members and others who depend on him for a job. Ever thought of that?
Why does nobody attack Louis Armstrong, Tom Waites or Joe Cocker for their gravelly voices? Only Bob- who of all people deserves the most deference.
Criticising him for not talking is nonsense- if you liked him so much you would know he rarely speaks and has not done so for years. As Lao Tzu says "he who knows does not speak; he who speaks does not know". What would you like him to say? It is a testament to his humility that he does not aggrandise himself and hides modestly in the dark on stage. You are talking about a great man- an historical figure- not a vain celebrity. You want him to be respectable on your terms. But great artists are never respectable in that way- you want him to conform to your preconceptions. He has NEVER done that .... EVER!! Or have you not noticed? Unlike you I want him to keep going into his 90's like Michelangelo and Picasso did. My wife and I will be travelling all the way from Australia next year hopefully to see him as much as we can in the USA NEXT jULY- GOD WILLING. Just in terms of his reputation and age you should have been way more respectful. He is a human and your segment was downright cruel... and this after you were entertained by him for so many years. If you think Tempest is so great, why would you want him to stop?

mike murphy said...

funny, it seems the more we expect of Dylan, the more we are disappointed. The Dylan of the 20th century is gone and buried. one who knows the depth of that era of music, realize this, and many , including myself attend his shows, as possibly the last chance we will have to see him on stage. Did you notice how many people brought their descendants to his shows? i brought my son to see Dylan in 1989, and he was blown away. recently we took my Grandson to a show and Bob was a little off that night. one thing my Grandson received that night was the same thing i received in 1951. that was Joe Di Maggio's last season with the Yankees, far from his best! but today i can say, " i saw Joe "D" play in Yankee Stadium. my Grandson , someday in college, may have the chance to say " i saw Bob Dylan on stage" i'm sure it will impress his fellow students in the class on " Dylanology". if you went to see the Dylan of my era, you would be disappointed. but if you went to see a person who will be forever remembered for his musical, lyrical talents'; you got in cheap. as the like of him will not cross our paths in the near future

mike murphy said...

i also suggest to take a look at some of his live concerts from the beginning of his career to the mid 90s. my favorite is " Hard Rain" concert from Fort Collins, Co. in the spring of 1975

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Marty, for your review. I understand your issue, here. Is this what being a "true" Dylan fan has come to? That you cannot, in any way, ever be critical of Dylan without being compared to the frightened, confused, close-minded fool who yelled, "Judas!" back in 1966? To suggest that an honest, intelligent, long-time fan of Bob Dylan doesn't "get" what Dylan is doing, like his performance you described was some carefully planned artistic "checkmate," into which you moved your trembling, ignorant chess piece is absurd. Even worse is to claim that what you "didn't get" was that the really poor show was exactly what Dylan was going for and how could you not see the artistic genius and beauty of it? Why can't Dylan have a bad show? And, worse, why can't a true Dyaln fan admit he had a bad show? Is Dylan seriously no longer HUMAN? Do these deaf, dumb and blind "true" Dylan fans feel that denying the poor man's humanity, humility and ability to make mistakes does him any service? To me (and to Dylan) that is far more disrespectful than sadly and honestly reporting that he had a bad show. From what I understand, his Never Ending Tour has always been filled with the whole range of shows from awful to astonishing and I'm sorry you had to see one that was on the awful side. Sadly, from the sound of it, the astonishing ones may be fewer and farther between these days. Then again, I don't anybody would argue that Bob Dyaln hasn't surprised us all before.

Marty Clear said...

Again, thanks for all the comments. I naturally appreciate more the comments of support, but I do appreciate them all.
As for the issue of Dylan's age, I'm more than willing -- I'm even eager -- to cut him slack, but if he can't or won't deliver an even passable show he shouldn't tour. But he stood in the dark and played in the wrong key!
Leonard Cohen is six years older than Dylan and he puts on meticulous, glorious three-and-a-half-hour concerts that become communal experiences for his audience. (Cohen didn't even start touring extensively until he was about the age Dylan is now.) Willie Nelson's even older than Cohen and although I didn't see his recent tour by all accounts he was great. Tony Bennett is still great live too.
You don't know how much I wanted to love this concert. When I got there and saw there were seats still available I tweeted to tell people they should hurry up and get there. I was so excited to see Dylan that I was antsy all through the MMJ and Wilco sets. . I took no joy in trashing the concert, but it's my job to write my honest opinion. I still love Dylan's music -- I've listened to "Tempest" twice, start-to-finish, in the day and a half since this concert -- but I couldn't help disliking this show, and since I disliked it I was obliged to say so.
Thanks again to everyone, for the lively discussion!

MC

Anonymous said...

If some heartless person can lack sympathy for an old man dong a gruelling tour and insist on comparing him to the vigorous young man who got (comparably) disapproved of in 1966, then why can't I compare the reviewer to the guy who yelled Judas? So Bob can be compared to a different era, but the critical (and heartless) reviewer must not be compared to the vigorous young critic who yelled "Judas". Now to say that first guy was frightened and confused is silly really. He was so "frightened" he yelled out as part of a cowardly heckling mob? I suggest it is equally perhaps more cowardly to attack Dylan (an old man perhaps having an off night) disrespectfully from the convenience of the net. He is after all in some respects an old guy (maybe)having an off night. If it was a down show why not show some kindness after all he has done and not insist on exercising your right to review it? Has he not given you enough over the years? Nobody is questioning the Judas caller's right to have his opinion. Nor am I questioning Marty's right to an opinion. At the same time I therefore have a right to have an opinion about Marty hammering an old man who has entertained him for decades. Just for having an off night- if it actually was an off night. The guy is 72. I saw Bob in Adelaide 1978- magnificent. (But people still whined and walked out. I saw him in Adelaide in 1992. A lot of the audience walked out sneering because the folk singer sang some folk songs (Good as I been to you era) that they did not recognise. They yelled "do Hurricane!" instead of Judas this time. It is legitimate for me to compare them to the guy who yelled Judas because they like him did not get it. I also remember thinking as did most of the audience that it was not such a great show. But when I got the bootleg later it was actually an excellent show. My point is that sometimes it seems lousy but on reflection it was great. Even Saved which seemed an affront at the time is musically an excellent album of original gospel music. We did not like Bob doing Bible Belt music. But he is a vernacular singer; why the hell (pun intended) can't Bob explore gospel which is an important part of American vernacular music? On reflection we were wrong to object to Bob doing Christian music- it is an important part of American folk lore that has had an enormous impact on the culture. He would have been remiss not to go there musically. Again Bob was ahead of the game. The Hop Farm bootleg seems as rough as guts- and it is. But Dylan has always been rough. So what? This gravelly period produced Tempest which is I believe a better album than Blood on the Tracks- lyrically and melodically- IMHO. As a muso myself I strongly doubt if he did play in the wrong key. Mississippi John Hurt did at times use an out of tune guitar and it was still great anyway. i ALSO BELIEVE BUT CANNOT PROVE THAT mARTY USED THE "ANONYMOUS NOMENCLATURE TO WRITE ONE OF THE ANONYMOUS RESPONSES. The one after mike murphy. It looks like a self-serving response done in disguise- the one about the artistic checkmate. But I could be wrong just as Marty could be wrong about the show. Marty has not responded to my point about the disrespectful hammering of an old man. Yeah Marty you have a right to be critical of the show- and I have a right to be critical of you for being very unkind to an old man. The Hop Farm shows can sound poor quality, I repeat, but in the end there may have been good reasons. On rehearing it though many tracks are excellent (SeƱor and Rainy Day Women for example.)
The tone of the original article is unkind and disrespectful and not admitting that he might have been wrong. If Dylan did play in the wrong key then Jackson Pollock broke all the rules too- so what?
Saw Bob in Darwin 1998 and it was too packed for anyone to walk out. Good attendance for probably the most remote concert Dylan has probably ever done. Crikey! Bob is a hard worker. Thanks Bob!!!!

Anonymous said...

I forgot to say that I also saw Dylan in Adelaide 1986 on the Tom Petty tour chronicled in Hard to Handle DVD. That was filmed in Sydney a few days later. Bob was great on that tour with Tom Petty. Now at the Adelaide 1986 show the typical response was "Tom Petty was better". Oh Come on! I also heard Patti Smith was better in Darwin- nonsense!
That is the same syndrome as the Judas comment, the "don't sing folk songs" syndrome of 1992 (after having being booed for NOT doing acoustic folk songs when going electric in 1965). The same syndrome as whining about Self Portrait for being countrified; the same syndrome as whining about the gospel era; the same syndrome I suggest as Marty's review. To compare the almost Shakespeare status Dylan to Willie Nelson and Cohen is ridiculous. Cohen is a great- I can play all his early songs- but he does not have Dylan's groundbreaking status- nor does he do the gruelling circuit Bob has done. Nobody is saying you don't have the right to review it; nor would you dispute my right to counter your fatuous speciousness. My earlier notion that you want Bob to be respectable is enhanced by you bringing up the respectability of the Cohen concerts. We have the wrecking ball of Bob taking risks- this is the Bob that created electric Like a Rolling Stone- and you have the comfortable (though still wonderful) Leonard Cohen who is doing the respectable thing. Cohen is never heckled; but Dylan who takes us out of the comfort zone is invariably heckled and/or attacked for his unrespectable iconoclasm. You Marty can have Suzanne and I will take From a Buick 6.
Honestly I (and Bob) love Willie Nelson too but to bring him into comparisons with Dylan indicates that you really don't in fact get it. Actually I am a different anonymous than the one who originally said you did not get Dylan. But I do agree with him. You want Bob to fit your preconceptions just as the now deceased Manchester heckler did in yelling Judas. That is where the comparison between you and him is indeed legitimate.

Anonymous said...

Moreover, stating that someone close to Dylan should tap him on the shoulder and direct him to stop doing concerts is the soul of condescension. Try tapping Jack Kerouac or Jackson Pollock on the shoulder and see how far you would get ( nowhere actually because they are dead anyway). But you know what I mean. Since basically Dylan's recordings are live and since he can create an album of the quality of Tempest, what is the difference? So why do you want him to stop- because Marty says he did a bad show? Also to presume to speak for Dylan and say WHAT HE WOULD AGREE WITH, IS DEPLORABLE.
But not as bad as your original hatchet job in the review. You signed up to be the fan of an iconoclast- so let him be one.

Anonymous said...

That stuff about the different key is claptrap. It is up to the band to play in the key he is using. If you are right about the keys being different, it was up to the band to adjust to what Bob was doing. That has always been the deal when in his band

Marty Clear said...

Thanks for this latest round of comments. Just so you'll all know, this was at least my sixth Dylan concert, dating back to 1967. So I know to expect something unusual, maybe even bizarre, from his performances. That wasn't my problem with this show as you can tell by what I wrote.
. By the way, I appreciate the civility of all the comments here. A critic for another paper who also panned the show was actually threatened by someone who disagreed with him. The level of passionate and intelligent discourse here is heartening -- so thanks to each of you!
MC

Anonymous said...

Gee wiz, other Anonymous guy. I am the guy who wrote the comment you "accused" Marty of writing. I don't know Marty. I just read his review and I was astonished at the attacks on Marty's person for writing a review of a Dylan concert he didn't like. I'm very curious now by your rant my comments provoked and it fills me with questions.

What EXACTLY do you feel Marty didn't "get" about the Dylan show? You keep saying he just didn't get it. Get WHAT? Specifically.

Do you feel that Bob Dylan is such a pathetic old man that we need to treat him differently than when he was younger and coddle him? What about him being an old man on a grueling tour DOESN'T mean he's capable of doing a bad performance? Seriously, if you're correct - that he's an old man on a grueling tour, wouldn't you think it's possible one of his shows might not be very good? Why bring up the fact that he's an old man on a grueling tour, if you're NOT allowing for the fact that old men on grueling tours might have a terrible show - because they're, like, so OLD and the tour is so GRUELING, and stuff, that it's impossible for them to have a great show all the time. Is he an old man on a grueling tour that had turned in a terrible performance on the night Marty saw him OR is he a remarkable artist who is still so far ahead of his audience that Marty seriously couldn't appreciate this new, purposeful artistic statement Dylan was making in the same way the "Judas" guy couldn't appreciate Dylan's going electric? By the way, I never said that guy was a coward, I said he was "frightened." People "fear" change. Dylan changed. Judas guy attacked what he didn't understand. It was mob mentality, which is often fear-based. Do you really think Dylan's crappy show is the same thing as when he went electric? That he was making an artistic statement? Honestly, do you think that? Really?

Do you feel Bob Dylan needs our protection? I mean, is he not a great artist still who should be competing on a level playing field or should we grade him on a curve because he's so "old" as you put it? Isn't it MORE respectful of the man to treat him with the same yardstick as when he was younger? Have you ever heard the story "The Emperor's New Clothes?" Do you not see how "protecting" Bob Dylan could lead to a similar situation?

5. Under what circumstances is it acceptable to be critical of Bob Dylan? I mean, is this how it works to you: an artist gives you so much joy, so you must only say nice things about everything he does or say nothing at all? Why do read reviews of Bob Dylan, in that case? Do you understand that a "review" is normally a "critical" evaluation of some experience - whether it's a concert, album, movie or art opening? The entire point of it is for someone to give their opinion of what they experienced, good or bad. Besides, how do you know the show didn't suck? You didn't see it. Marty did.

Basically, you seem to want it both ways: Bob Dylan is an old man who is overworked so give him a break if he had a bad show because he's given you so much amazing creative work, you should just leave him alone if he has an off night - AND - Bob Dylan's a virile genius who is way ahead of you and he is always shown himself to be so far ahead of everyone that much of his work which was once maligned, is often re-evaluated as being genius, which is probably the case here and he DIDN'T have a bad show, he MEANT to do everything you saw and if there was an "off" moment, it was everyone else who was off, including you, NOT Bob.

Oh, and Marty, I think I left my nasal inhaler in your pantry. Tell Linda I'll pick it up next Tuesday when Brad and the kids go to the ice rink.

Sincerely,
Marty -um, I mean, NOT Marty.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Dylan knows anything but touring. It is sad to think his body and brain are so worn out. Drugs, touring and getting old will do that to you. Still the best songwriter of the second half of the twentieth century.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Dylan knows anything but touring. It is sad to think his body and brain are so worn out. Drugs, touring and getting old will do that to you. Still the best songwriter of the second half of the twentieth century.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Dylan knows anything but touring. It is sad to think his body and brain are so worn out. Drugs, touring and getting old will do that to you. Still the best songwriter of the second half of the twentieth century.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Dylan knows anything but touring. It is sad to think his body and brain are so worn out. Drugs, touring and getting old will do that to you. Still the best songwriter of the second half of the twentieth century.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Dylan knows anything but touring. It is sad to think his body and brain are so worn out. Drugs, touring and getting old will do that to you. Still the best songwriter of the second half of the twentieth century.

Marty Clear said...

Many thanks to the me/not me me who wrote the long, defense on my behalf. You made my morning! (But what in the world do your last two sentences mean?)
I am so loving this impassioned conversation. Thanks again to all who have posted.
MC

Anonymous said...

Before the show, an acquaintance asked me what to expect.
"You won't understand a word he says," I replied, "but he always has a great band." It has been that way for some time now, and fans know it.
He blew some gorgeous harp Thursday night, by the way. He hasn't been able to play guitar on stage for several years now. It should not have been a surprise. (How about Duke Robillard behind him? Damn fine.)
Dylan has been an acquired taste since, oh, about 1964. Again, his mercurial Gemini persona ought not come as a shock.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I sincerely believe that Dylan's contribution to music is undeniable. However, I saw him at the old ice palace in the 90's and felt he was already slipping. He wasn't sharp musically and vocally he was unintelligible. Simply put that would not have been a way to get the uninitiated to check out some of his previous work. So it is not at all difficult for me to imagine that this recent show was as Marty described. Those who wish to bash his opinion should keep in mind that he is merely reviewing THIS concert, not the body of Dylan's work. I appreciate the honesty, and reporting without using kid gloves for the venerable.

Marty Clear said...

The anonymous person twp comments above is correct, Dylan's harp playing was wonderful Thursday night.. I was remiss for not mentioning that. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to do so.

Anonymous said...

Hey Marty - It's "Not Marty," I know you don't NEED someone to defend you, but that particular attitude (which is one we've all heard before) regarding Dylan and his work drives me crazy. I'm glad if my "defense" is one with which you agree.

The last sentence or so was just me being silly in terms of saying "I'm not you" and/or "I don't know you." I was just playing around with thei dea that we're secretly close friends and I left my "nasal inhaler" at your house and out kids play together, when in fact, we are total strangers. It was remarkable to me that this person actually accused you of writing a fake comment pretending to be someone else defending you. What kind of person would consider that a possibility? Obviously it speaks volumes about our "friend," there, and, to be honest, shows a sense of passionate irrationality that is PROBABLY better not provoked. Yet... I couldn't help myself. Sorry if it blows things up around here. Either way, yeah, interesting debate, huh?

Sincerely,
Bob Dylan (see, I can't help myself!)

Marty Clear said...

Thanks again, Marty/not Marty, aka Dylan/not Dylan.

Gina Stafford said...

I'm sorry to hear about the Tampa show. I've just had the distinct pleasure of seeing the Dylan Americanarama show twice in the same week in two different cities: Nashville last Sunday and Cincinnati last night. None of the negatives you described occurred at either show. It was a thrill and a great experience, and I'd gladly do it again if fortunate enough to have the chance.

Anonymous said...

Dylan was terrific in 1965-1966 and then something awful happened: middle age, the great killer of young pop stars. Its been downhill ever since. Dylan's had a huge cult since the 60's, and mocking them was an enjoyable minor sport 40 years ago. "Hey Greg, if you think Bob Dylan's great, wait'll you get a library card." I don't know what's worse about the Dylan cult, the fact that they haven't read anything or that they haven't listened to anything. Bob Dylan isn't a prophet, a poet or a sage, rather he's a gifted creator of pop ephemera. As good as Shakespeare? He's not in the same league as Cole Porter, Louis Armstrong, or Hank Williams. And thanks for your honest appraisal Marty, Dylan's playing near me in Duluth on Tuesday, and the locals are acting like its the second coming.

Anonymous said...

Just to chime in love bob and have immersed myself in his music for over 8 years (before that i was just what I consider a casual Dylan fan - had a few albums and liked a bunch of songs) anyway, saw him play last year for the first time and i really do not think I'll see him again. The concert was just ok, and I didn't have the 200 bucks to devote to an amazing seat and so since he doesn't allow a big screen, jumbotron at his concerts all I saw was his little hat bobbing a bit. Would have loved to see what he was doing on guitar the few songs he played guitar. really he was just ok some arrangements were fun, many just sucked, and his chops on harmonica and piano were crappy, his voice was just ok, yes it was his style of growling, but it could have been much better. Just listen to some of the outtakes on the official bootleg series telltale signs wherea lot is sang in his growling voice, nothing was in that neighborhood of good at the concert I went to. Bottom line you could be a big bob fan and not dig his concerts in their current incarnation

Anonymous said...

I saw bob dylan in Toronto last night and it sounds completely different than this. He brought out jeff tweedy and jim james to perform the encore, they bowed at the end and said thank you to huge applause, and they blasted from one song to the next with barely a pause. Bob Dylan sounded exactly like he has on his last couple records, and was right on with his piano playing and harmonica. I guess Tampa was an off night, because Toronto was spectacular.

Anonymous said...

I just saw the Americana tour in Hoboken Friday night. It was off the hook. If you were a real Dylan fan, you would have read a little about the Spring leg of the tour and you clearly would have known what to expect. Even though you are much older than me (49), the real fans and younger people enjoy his voice. As a matter of fact when he quit smoking for Nashville Skyline, people were mad (in your case old and bitter), and demanded he start smoking again to get his "real" voice back, go figure. And as one excellent reviewer tells it for this tour, because of his voice limitations he has adapted it to be used like an instrument to get the most effect. As a matter of fact, at my show, he sang Tangled up in Blue, Simple twist of Fate, and Summer Days like his voice from the 70', then would go back to his scowl always catching the audience off guard to wonder where he was coming from and where was he going with the show. You sound that being said, since the mid 60's, it has been his trademark to change songs night to night and Joan Baez even says its the hardest thing about working with Dylan. His drummer during the 70's and early 80's even said, if you watch Dylan closely, he is always communicating with the band as they play. You just have to catch it with the slight tilt of his head or a way he will look at a band member. I clearly saw that happening all night on Friday the 26th, 2013. It also shows up in books, interviews, and magazine articles that he does not acknowledge the audience. He does his set, always introduces the band, but splits with out saying goodbye. He hasn't been thanking audiences for decades, so I really have to question why you even bought it up, and even if you have seen Dylan before?! I feel sorry that your imaginary expectations that border on being a beggar on the street corner, did not come true for you. Us real fans know the real deal, and what to tune into when seeing him live. That being said, not saying thank you, makes him a true artist, accountable to no one, something that he stopped doing in 65 after a wretched Newsweek article came out. As a true artiest he said I don't thank the audience because he want the show to be about his show, his artistry without inserting himself into the mix. now that you have been educated, I'm sure you will be looking for the things I thought you tonight and walk away knowing what you saw up there was pure brilliance on the fly!!

Anonymous said...

http://howtolistentodylan.com/php/bob-dylan-in-the-news.php

Anonymous said...

Saw him a few years back in bangor, maine. He was so awful, we left after three songs. It was truly the worst performance I've ever witnessed.
Love bob, and treasure the songs he's written... as long as I never have to listen to him play them ever again.

Robert Lewis said...

I saw Dylan in Orlando a few years ago with Merle Haggard opening. Haggard surprised me by played a great show, but I came to see the legendary Bob Dylan. My wife and I left after 4 or 5 songs, the only concert I've ever walked out of early. They were into the third song before I figured out which one was Dylan. He only played keyboards, all the way to the edge of stage right, so that he was facing away from most of the audience. I only knew what song he was playing by catching some of the words, because the music had no relation at all to the songs I remembered. He played Mr. Tambourine Man, but he was well into the song before I realized what song it was. I guess we can't expect someone to live in the past, and we should expect that he is not the same person he was 40 years ago, but this guy isn't even from the same planet. Mr. Dylan, please use the money we spent on tickets to help pay for a hearing aid.

Anonymous said...

I love Dylan and even most of his voices, but I'm not a blind patriot. At times he sounds inhuman. I've watch people recoil in horror at his voice. I don't think a real fan would say something that was bad was good. Everyone is off once in a while. When he tries just a little bit, he's got me behind him. I think this review was a fair one.