American icon Bob Dylan is not covering press credentials on his fall tour with Mavis Staples. The man's entitled to run his show as he pleases, but we'd be remiss if we didn't point out how excellent this night of music looks on paper. In person, we're sure, it'll be even better.
With that in mind, we're taking a cue from Local Spins in western Michigan: If you're attending the show at EJ Thomas Hall tonight, do drop us a line with your own review. We'll publish a compendium of sorts, to let the Dylan crowd in Northeast Ohio rally around their shared thoughts. (Dylan shows, unconventional as ever, always prompt some really great debate.)
You can drop your review in the comments section here or email [email protected]
A few samples from Grand Rapids to get your concert poetry muscles prepped:
RICHARD B. KELLEY – Better than the last couple times (he was in Grand Rapids). Contempt for the audience remains unchanged. Guy behind us kept hollering for “Tangled Up in Blue” and Bob finally played it. Then the guy sort of muttered, “OK, how about ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues?’ “Tangled” was unrecognizable.
As usual, too much needless reinterpretation, even of recent stuff like “Thunder on the Mountain.” Trippiest part was the American Songbook stuff presented like “Tuesday Night at the Airplane Lanes Lounge.” Bizarre, but those songs are among the very few on par with his.
Staging and lighting were brilliant. Played a grand piano with greater confidence than I’ve ever seen him play keys. No guitar or harp. The stage utilized real antique movie set lighting, a circle around the band with a massive red velvet curtain. The crazy bastard had his Oscar on the stand behind him. ...
STEPHANIE CLAPHAM – This was my first Dylan show and it absolutely did not disappoint. I did find him a bit hard to understand at times, but I more or less expected that. His band was phenomenal and I loved the variations on a few of his classics. Also, Mavis Staples was such a powerhouse opener. All of Van Andel was ready for her to “take us there.”
ISAAC POWRIE – I liked the show. Finally got to see “Desolation Row” live. I like that Bob does a lot of songs from Time Out of Mind on. The standards where good to see live and the arrangements worked well for his voice. Encore of “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Ballad of a Thin Man” was a good ending. His band was really good. Glad I attended this show.