My Photo

the pioneer of Dylan Studies; writer, public speaker, critic; became a Doctor of Letters in 2015 (awarded by the University of York, UK)

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

Follow 1michaelgray1 on Twitter

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Here is a review by one Jason Hartley of Decatur Georgia of a recent - and his first - Dylan concert. It's full of dubious special pleading but so charmingly and (a)cutely done that I couldn't help enjoying it, envying his relish of the concert and wishing I could hear current Bob that way too. Thanks to reader Yvonne C for passing this along:


Anonymous Kieran said...

When's the last time you saw Bob live, Michael? What did you think of it?

For the record, I saw him in Dublin last year and I thought he was on-the-money for the first time in years: no "upsinging", and he took on and won a challenging Desolation Row. The band were quite tight, too.

I saw Bruce, U2 and Bob last year. U2 were the worst, by a long way, Bruce was Bruce, but Bob came in a very strong second in terms of what he was doing, which was intelligently and legibly engaging with his songs. I just wish he'd change the encores a little and maybe try a new sound, but that gentrified country-rock spiel really worked, for me...

5:43 pm  
Blogger Brent White said...

I'm so sick of "critical consensus" about what is or isn't good in rock and roll that this review was a breath of fresh air. I haven't seen Dylan in years. Who knows whether I would agree? But I loved the spirit.

And that Tele that Dylan is shown playing is the most beautiful guitar I've ever seen!

2:49 am  
Blogger Michael Gray said...

Kieran: Thursday 12th of April 2007, at Newcastle Arena (Block A, Row B, Seat 31). And despite my being so close to the stage, Bob seemed a long way away; he wasn't projecting beyond his keyboard at all. If I remember correctly, he did a tremendous 'This Wheel's On Fire'.

Brent: "this review was a breath of fresh air... Who knows whether I would agree? But I loved the spirit." Exactly why I posted it.

3:56 pm  
Anonymous Kieran said...

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the reply. To what do you attribute his decilne? Sloth? Contempt for the audience? Loss of vocal power?

Personally, I'd be glad to see him take a break from touring and concentrate seriously on writing. I've heard enough slide guitars for the moment.

But maybe the road is what kickstarts his day. We may not get another great album from him, or any new direction to his music. Perhaps it's greedy to want this, but then again, why not? He's still sharp, surely he still has something left to say...

2:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do seem to recall Michael at the time of Newcastle 07, you described it as an "honourable performance" and generally seemed happy enough with it.

Of the 5 gigs I got to in 07, only one really got me going and that was the first Wembley Arena gig. Thought that was rather excellent myself. What I noticed most in 07 (that night at Wembley aside) was the decline in the vocal from the year before. 2006 was a very strong year in the vocal dept (and 05 to an extent as well), something which tends to get forgotten but his pipes were super smooth compared to 07 and beyond.


Garret (Judas Priest)

P.S. I was at that gig in Dublin 09you refer to Kieran and its one that has grown on me upon reflection. His voice was stronger the first night but there was a darker vibe going on the second night with a series of epics in the form of It's Alright Ma, Des Row, Blind Willie McTell and Thin Man all dominating the mid set. Those shows received a very mixed reaction at the time. Just about everyone I know who was downstairs really liked them where as their upstairs equivalents thought they were rubbish. There seemed to be serious sound problems updtairs, something that was commented upon in the letters section of the Times where a debate raged for well over a week after the gigs as to their merit or otherwise. That's Bob for you...

Anyway, I actually ended up preferring Limerick this year to either 09 Dublin gig. An unexpected treat.

10:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll say I notice a recent difference. Almost like Dylan's found his voice again (what's left). Reminds me of the chapter in Chronicles where he talked about how he'd forgotten how to sing. I saw him in the early 90's and felt he was just chanting, much the same feel as over the past few years until recently.
The reviews he's getting are often enthused (from local newspapers)as well, and the very same reviewer is consistently mentioning the show was really exciting, the audience was enthused, as opposed to a show in the same town a year or two ago.
I won't be mentioning any more shows with good audio here though. Every time I do those are removed from u-tube. Hey guys (if your listening) I'd be happy to buy this stuff, in fact I'd prefer it, but you haven't seen fit to issue one document from the "Never Ending Tour."
Pat Ford

4:20 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Pat-I agree with your comments -i feel similarly about recent performances i have heard on you tube. It would be great if he did small venues in the UK. Jack

4:15 pm  
Blogger pilgrim said...

I have been listening to Bob's recent performance of Queen Jane from the Indianapolis
concert. When compared with his beautifully considered rendition of Times are a Changin' at the Whitehouse, does one wish he might adopt that style of arrangment more frequently?

10:59 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home