Monday, February 25, 2008

Bod Dylan at House of Blues

I love the title of this article: "Dylan Thrills, Confounds Fans at House of Blues." That is Advancement for you. Let's look at the thrilling and the confounding:
At his best, the 66-year-old legend was full of spit and venom – a grizzled blues master with a voice that bordered on the demonic. And even when the show wobbled – as it did for about a third of the 105-minute set – Mr. Dylan still gave it his all, bobbing his shoulders and pummeling his keyboard in "Highway 61 Revisited" like he was Little Richard.
Dressed in black, with a wide-brimmed hat blocking his face, Mr. Dylan walked on to the dimly lit stage flanked by his usual band – longtime bassist Tony Garnier, drummer George Recili, pedal steel player Donnie Herron and guitarists Stu Kimball and Denny Freeman (who’s originally from Dallas).

They had their share of tentative moments in slower songs like "Nettie Moore." And some of the new arrangement didn't work, especially the dirge-paced "Positively 4TH Street."

But for every fizzled experiment, another one soared, like the bizarre, Brian Eno-style "Girl of the North Country" and the fiddle-laced waltz version of "Blowin’ in the Wind" that closed the show.

Curveballs like that tend to confuse casual fans who like to hear the hits played the way they know them. But Mr. Dylan couldn’t care less: He keeps everyone guessing – including himself – which is why he’ll never be past his prime.

This reviewer might be on board with Advancement. And by the way, how awesome would an Eno/Dylan record be?

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