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PostPosted: Thu November 28th, 2013, 11:18 GMT 

Joined: Fri July 4th, 2008, 15:47 GMT
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Which ex member of this parish is describing last night's performance? First correct answer wins the honour of being perceptive...

"Some thoughts on last night's show. Firstly, I was so high up in the circle I was practically on the roof so the dimmed lighting throughout the show meant I could only guess Dylan and the band were down there somewhere. I'm sure Dylan has his reasons for creating a sodium-lit dead-of-night ambience for the show but I think the theatrical effect is somewhat defeated if some members of the audience can't actually see him. Thankfully, my fears that the sound would be poor were allayed, so I could at least hear the show. And it is a terrific show. No song overstays its welcome, and each song creates its own unique atmosphere while also contributing to a larger sense of thematic unity. Through the murky light, I had the feeling of some of the songs being a musical and visual tableau: the repeated music figure during Long and Wasted Years emphasised this sense of motionlessness. This is a well-rehearsed, theatrical show and the discipline of performing it night after night has done wonders in terms of consistency of quality. If anything, I thought the show is now a tiny bit too slick at times, but that nit-picking is probably caused by my having heard the show several times already via the bootlegs. (I never thought I'd be complaining that a Dylan show is too slick!) As I said, the show is more of a theatrical experience than a rock concert and this means that some of Dylan's weaknesses are now transformed into strengths. His voice is now employed in a similar manner to Lee Marvin's in Paint Your Wagon: far too masculine, world-weary, lived-in, knowing and whisky-soaked to be bothered with such niceties as tunes or the like. The sparse arrangements mean that Dylan can turn the loss of his voice into an advantage, and such is the success of this that it’s hard to imagine these songs ‘sung’ in any other way. Obviously, ditching huge amounts of his back catalogue assists here in that there are no other incarnations of many of these songs to compare the current versions to. Another thing to note about this show was the extraordinary contribution Dylan’s harmonica makes. It is as piercingly high in the mix as on the John Wesley Harding album and its coruscating precision seemed to pierce through the twilight gloom of the stage and fill every corner of the Albert Hall. His harp playing at this show brought to mind the acoustic set in ’66, and compares favourably to it. With his cracked-actor vocals and minimalist piano playing, I think it is with his harmonica that Dylan finds his fullest musical expression. While his voice can no longer manage it, his harp truly sings and the only way I can describe it is to say it is astonishingly beautiful. I don't think there is weak spot in this show (except perhaps Blowin' In The Wind, which seems tacked on to the show and is the only arrangement where Dylan tries to hit notes that are beyond him and the result is something of a throaty squeak), and I can't remember saying that about a Dylan show for many, many years. This is a show that can be listened to in full, as opposed to the usual cherry picking of highlights, and the sequencing of the songs strikes me as being one of the triumphs here. The rhythmic ebb and flow is perfectly judged, and even the string of low tempo material at the end of the second set now strikes me as an audacious piece of theatricality. Scarlet Town and Soon After Midnight in particular cast a spell, the effect being that I was transported into an otherworldly dream sequence (Series of Dreams?), which makes me think that augmenting that sense of an imaginary world may be the purpose of the dim lighting. It may appear to be a strange contradiction, but now he has lost his voice, - which was, lest we forget, one of the supreme voices of the last fifty years - Dylan has now emerged as an 'artist' as discernably as he has ever been throughout his career. He's made a few comebacks, but this is the biggest and best of them all. Can Bob Dylan still sing? No. Is this the best Bob Dylan show I have ever seen? Yes. Go figure."


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PostPosted: Thu November 28th, 2013, 12:12 GMT 
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Quote:
...astonishingly beautiful. I don't think there is weak spot in this show


I agree. He is just hitting his stride.


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PostPosted: Thu November 28th, 2013, 12:22 GMT 

Joined: Fri July 18th, 2008, 16:22 GMT
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Bang on the money Benny...


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PostPosted: Thu November 28th, 2013, 12:34 GMT 
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MrJudasPriest wrote:
Bang on the money Benny...

Yup.



And thanks, Zim, for sharing!


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PostPosted: Thu November 28th, 2013, 12:34 GMT 
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Zimbiosis wrote:
Which ex member of this parish is describing last night's performance? First correct answer wins the honour of being perceptive...

"Some thoughts on last night's show. Firstly, I was so high up in the circle I was practically on the roof so the dimmed lighting throughout the show meant I could only guess Dylan and the band were down there somewhere. I'm sure Dylan has his reasons for creating a sodium-lit dead-of-night ambience for the show but I think the theatrical effect is somewhat defeated if some members of the audience can't actually see him. Thankfully, my fears that the sound would be poor were allayed, so I could at least hear the show. And it is a terrific show. No song overstays its welcome, and each song creates its own unique atmosphere while also contributing to a larger sense of thematic unity. Through the murky light, I had the feeling of some of the songs being a musical and visual tableau: the repeated music figure during Long and Wasted Years emphasised this sense of motionlessness. This is a well-rehearsed, theatrical show and the discipline of performing it night after night has done wonders in terms of consistency of quality. If anything, I thought the show is now a tiny bit too slick at times, but that nit-picking is probably caused by my having heard the show several times already via the bootlegs. (I never thought I'd be complaining that a Dylan show is too slick!) As I said, the show is more of a theatrical experience than a rock concert and this means that some of Dylan's weaknesses are now transformed into strengths. His voice is now employed in a similar manner to Lee Marvin's in Paint Your Wagon: far too masculine, world-weary, lived-in, knowing and whisky-soaked to be bothered with such niceties as tunes or the like. The sparse arrangements mean that Dylan can turn the loss of his voice into an advantage, and such is the success of this that it’s hard to imagine these songs ‘sung’ in any other way. Obviously, ditching huge amounts of his back catalogue assists here in that there are no other incarnations of many of these songs to compare the current versions to. Another thing to note about this show was the extraordinary contribution Dylan’s harmonica makes. It is as piercingly high in the mix as on the John Wesley Harding album and its coruscating precision seemed to pierce through the twilight gloom of the stage and fill every corner of the Albert Hall. His harp playing at this show brought to mind the acoustic set in ’66, and compares favourably to it. With his cracked-actor vocals and minimalist piano playing, I think it is with his harmonica that Dylan finds his fullest musical expression. While his voice can no longer manage it, his harp truly sings and the only way I can describe it is to say it is astonishingly beautiful. I don't think there is weak spot in this show (except perhaps Blowin' In The Wind, which seems tacked on to the show and is the only arrangement where Dylan tries to hit notes that are beyond him and the result is something of a throaty squeak), and I can't remember saying that about a Dylan show for many, many years. This is a show that can be listened to in full, as opposed to the usual cherry picking of highlights, and the sequencing of the songs strikes me as being one of the triumphs here. The rhythmic ebb and flow is perfectly judged, and even the string of low tempo material at the end of the second set now strikes me as an audacious piece of theatricality. Scarlet Town and Soon After Midnight in particular cast a spell, the effect being that I was transported into an otherworldly dream sequence (Series of Dreams?), which makes me think that augmenting that sense of an imaginary world may be the purpose of the dim lighting. It may appear to be a strange contradiction, but now he has lost his voice, - which was, lest we forget, one of the supreme voices of the last fifty years - Dylan has now emerged as an 'artist' as discernably as he has ever been throughout his career. He's made a few comebacks, but this is the biggest and best of them all. Can Bob Dylan still sing? No. Is this the best Bob Dylan show I have ever seen? Yes. Go figure."

What a wonderful review that was!! Thank you, Zimbiosis, for posting here to be unmentioned's thoughts on the concert. :wink: :D :D


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PostPosted: Thu November 28th, 2013, 13:33 GMT 

Joined: Mon October 6th, 2008, 13:37 GMT
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Bring back Bennyboy.


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PostPosted: Thu November 28th, 2013, 14:00 GMT 
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Thanks for posting.


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PostPosted: Thu November 28th, 2013, 14:08 GMT 
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Enjoyed and appreciated reading these (and everyone else's) thoughts about this tour.


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PostPosted: Thu November 28th, 2013, 14:15 GMT 

Joined: Fri July 4th, 2008, 15:47 GMT
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Location: London
Well, I'm glad you all agree that it's a perceptive and judicious piece on the rather wonderful Albert Hall concerts but I hate to break the news that it isn't in fact by BennyBoy !


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PostPosted: Thu November 28th, 2013, 14:17 GMT 
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Well then, perhaps LJ made the trip across the Atlantic. :D


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PostPosted: Thu November 28th, 2013, 14:28 GMT 

Joined: Fri July 4th, 2008, 15:47 GMT
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Location: London
Ha! Now there's a review I'd love to read. Always thought he was on the money.


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PostPosted: Thu November 28th, 2013, 15:35 GMT 
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Precinct14 didn't like the harmonica on JWH as i recall. that's my final guess....Lee Marvin in Paint Your Wagon,... :lol:..(i am digging these boots from this tour...)


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PostPosted: Thu November 28th, 2013, 15:54 GMT 
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travelling on train over the bridge - you're too late :lol:



price goes to me


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PostPosted: Thu November 28th, 2013, 16:11 GMT 

Joined: Fri July 4th, 2008, 15:47 GMT
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Afraid the cigars are yet to be distributed.


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PostPosted: Thu November 28th, 2013, 16:24 GMT 
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he shouted: do not start the show

I am right :!:

hand the cigar over


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PostPosted: Fri November 29th, 2013, 00:30 GMT 
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Great review from Mr Jones, but I'm disappointed he didn't mention Kenny Rogers.


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PostPosted: Fri November 29th, 2013, 02:05 GMT 
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The harmonica at the Royal Albert Hall was particularly potent.


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