Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bob Dylan (DAR Constitution Hall - 11/25/2014)

It was my first time at Constitution Hall, and it's an impressive venue.  Not as beautiful as the ornately re-done Lincoln Theater, or the Warner, but stately in its way.  Good seats, chill crowd. 

I remember the sense of restless, rapturous anticipation I used to feel before Bob shows.  This sense of infinite possibility.  The thrill of seeing him, present and alive.   Maybe it's age, maybe it's perspective, maybe things have changed but that electricity wasn't there this time, at least not in the same way.

The lights went down, the stage was set with some gorgeous 30's-era movie-set lights.  And suddenly I felt it all again.  He was there.  The setlist, though static now, flowed like two separate - new -albums split by an intermission but thematically linked.  And there was this gorgeous sense of loss, yet hope, bubbling underneath.
And the fact that he sings the same songs every night gives them a tautness, a power, that the more ramshackle one-off arrangements lacked on previous tours.  He was performing these songs.  Like a play.  Like a story-teller.  And present in a way he wasn't in Delaware last year or at the Verizon Center in 2012..

The standouts were the remarkable ballads - Simple Twist of Fate (Maybe she’ll pick him out again, how long must he wait), Forgetful Heart, and of course Love Sick.  The intensity of High Water (for Charley Patton) (Things are breakin' up out there).  And the hymn at the end, Sinatra's "Stay With Me."  There's something fitting (from a long-standing country tradition) of ending on a hymn.
Lots of stuff from Together Through Life and Modern Times, which made me dust off those albums.  I wish there'd been more from "Love and Theft" - like, say, Floater (Too Much to Ask), but that's just wishing.

More soon, including thoughts on Serial.

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