A quick look at Bob Dylan’s concert Saturday at The Brady Theater.
As some predicted, i.e, Tom Hanford and Don White, Dylan’s performances of his older songs were cursory at best. After all, if you’d sung Like A Rolling Stone 5,000 times (at least) you probably wouldn’t care about doing it the same way. The band was playing the backing right, and the words fell in the same places, and heck, you know the tune anyway.
He was more invested in material from the last ten years, and took more care. One could guess he wasn’t quite as sick of those yet. But I kind of half expected maybe an old Martin and “Blowin’ In The Wind” to take it full circle. That song will probably always be up-to-date, whereas Rolling Stone will always exist outside of time.
Bob dressed as a frontier preacher, with a flat top riverboat gambler hat and a lightweight black suit and string tie. He obviously enjoyed himself. He never played guitar. He played harmonica on a few songs with an auxiliary mike to get that Chicago sound.
Most of the time he played organ, using a Korg BX3 slab. I understand that; a good organ player can control the dynamics of a whole band, if they are paying attention. Ahem. (OK, it;’s happened occasionally)
Dylan alumnus Steve Ripley and family were right behind us. Steve played with Bob on the Shot Of Love Tour, 1981 with Fred Tackett, Jim Keltner and Clydie King. I believe he did get to go backstage and see Bob briefly.
We were comped tickets through a rehab organization called Road To Recovery. Thanks to Jim Bell for sharing with us. It turns out he and I were a year apart at Burbank and Bell; We both knew Soda Pop and Pony Boy and all those characters. It’s a small town.
Tomer’s neice said “I’ve just seen a legend.” Indeed. We thought it was a good show.
About the author: Jim Downing is a lifelong musician and music historian. He has written and been published in countless publications over the past 30 years. His father was a columnist for the old Tulsa Tribune who wrote Downing’s Street