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Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?
http://www.expectingrain.com/discussions/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90542
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Author:  dvdunplugged [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 12:28 GMT ]
Post subject:  Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

A link was posted on Expecting Rain's Home Page, here's the link for anyone who might have missed it:

http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/musi ... 35141.html

So a 2 star review, is that fair? I wondered what other's thought?

Author:  smoke [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 13:17 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

The show he's been playing the last few years goes less out of it's way than any since the early gospel tours to please a casual fan...and in that sense I'm sure the review is accurate for many concert goers.

Author:  McG [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 13:28 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

I saw that review in the Metro.

Spot on, pretty much, apart from not being able to guess the song. I did that before they even started.

Author:  Leonard [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 13:34 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

He's wrong about 'Melancholy Blue', and it's not on Triplicate.

'Melancholy Mood' is on FA.

I know where he's coming from for the rest of the review.

Author:  Johanna Parker [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 13:56 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

Not even sure he's pleasing himself by doing what he does. You'd think somebody enjoying himself would look the part.

Author:  Futile Horn [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 14:08 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

Leonard wrote:
He's wrong about 'Melancholy Blue', and it's not on Triplicate.
'Melancholy Mood' is on FA.


I don't think that many Dylan fan - not to mention other listeners - can tell which is which of these or where they come from. But they sure know where he should put them.

Author:  Handsomeinthefog [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 14:30 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

I, too, think it's pretty much spot on.

If you go to a Dylan show these days, without having researched setlist, band, lights, wardrobe and his general approach prior to the show, you might as well feel like the writer did.

You'll notice that a lot of the more positive reviews start with "We all know...", "as expected" or a similiar phrase, and if you are In the know there might more to enjoy at the shows for you.

But it doesn't say on the ticket that you need to come prepared to enjoy the experience.

Author:  Yellowgoat [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 14:32 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

Johanna Parker wrote:
Not even sure he's pleasing himself by doing what he does. You'd think somebody enjoying himself would look the part.


That's not really a new development, though. Traditionally, it's fair to say, Bob Dylan does not look particularly happy in public.

Search for Bob Dylan on Google Images. How many photos are of him smiling?

As for the loss of crowd interaction, it basically consisted of him squinting at the front row to make sure it's not the same people he found hiding inside his trash can. So that hasn't changed all that much, either. I mean, he was never really one for "hey, how you doing, London? Here's one I wrote especially for you". Though that may be him in future, of course.

The main thing is, does he seem engaged in the performance? That's the important bit. And at the shows I saw this year, he did. Remarkably, perhaps; considering he's sung Early Roman Kings 5 million times. Though I agree with Hoss that during a couple of the songs he was starting to mess up some of the melodies with those "up and down" piano riffs. A sign of boredom perhaps. Again, though, this isn't a new thing; almost every song was performed in this way about 5 years ago.

So as for "Not sure he's even pleasing himself by what he does", I don't know, but the audiences themselves seem to be enjoying the shows, by and large. The press reviews for the Palladium series were good. And as you once wisely pointed out:

Johanna Parker wrote:

(It has been).... repeatedly implied over the course of this discussion that Bob should change his approach, and I don't agree with that. Why should he - because a few people are complaining on an internet forum? Seriously?

If people are so sure they won't enjoy his concerts, they don't need to attend. Nobody forces them.

What strikes me as powerful and moving? His singing. His playing. His playfulness. His stage presence.
How do I think he compares to other contemporary artists? He doesn't, because he's unique (like everybody else).

Author:  Johanna Parker [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 14:48 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

^
You dug deep for that one.

I don't need to google for images of Bob smiling and enjoying himself on stage. I've seen it myself, often. It's not the same now.

Author:  monklover [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 14:52 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

No. The last really good Dylan show I attended was probably 2002. 2004 had a nice set list but the vocals weren't very good. 2007 was the awful Modern Times set. I saw numerous shows between 2009 and 2016 and none of them were especially good. Often I wait until the last minute and cave to curiosity.

Author:  Yellowgoat [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 14:53 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

Johanna Parker wrote:
^
You dug deep for that one.

I don't need to google for images of Bob smiling and enjoying himself on stage. I've seen it myself, often. It's not the same now.


I remembered quoting it a few years ago: ironically when I myself was standing in your shoes now, disappointed with the show! We've kind of swapped perspectives, in a way.

In my defence, I still think the performances are much better now than they were then. I'm talking 2008-2011. But still, I've learned to realise and accept that what suits Bob Dylan and what appeals to me aren't always going to mesh. It's bound to be that way with a artist with such a long and varied career. As long as he is putting some effort into the music (which we can agree, hasn't always been the case), then that is enough.

Author:  El_Joe [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 15:28 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

This is almost undoubtedly in the ballpark. I didn't appreciate 2003 at the time, but in retrospect, it was pretty good. I still enjoyed the 2004 show I saw, but by 2006, it was just a grind. I saw a show in late 2008 and was so disgusted that I just walked out early. He was playing the circus organ and while the setlist wasn't as static as now, it was just a boring wolfman blooooz sludge on stage. I did go back in 2015 and I really enjoyed a show. Note it was A SHOW. Seven years absence made it somewhat enjoyable, but unlike 1997-2002, there was no thought leaving the venue of "Oh, we should go catch tomorrow's show." It was more, "Well, that was good enough, but why on earth would I pay to see the same thing tomorrow?" I haven't caught another show since, and maybe I will, maybe I won't. It's not going to be earth-shaking. I might try to take my kids if they're interested, but otherwise, eh, we'll see.

Joe

monklover wrote:
No. The last really good Dylan show I attended was probably 2002. 2004 had a nice set list but the vocals weren't very good. 2007 was the awful Modern Times set. I saw numerous shows between 2009 and 2016 and none of them were especially good. Often I wait until the last minute and cave to curiosity.

Author:  Yellowgoat [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 15:36 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

El_Joe wrote:
I didn't appreciate 2003 at the time, but in retrospect, it was pretty good. I still enjoyed the 2004 show I saw, but by 2006, it was just a grind. I saw a show in late 2008 and was so disgusted that I just walked out early. He was playing the circus organ and while the setlist wasn't as static as now, it was just a boring wolfman blooooz sludge on stage. I did go back in 2015 and I really enjoyed a show. Note it was A SHOW. Seven years absence made it somewhat enjoyable, but unlike 1997-2002, there was no thought leaving the venue of "Oh, we should go catch tomorrow's show." It was more, "Well, that was good enough, but why on earth would I pay to see the same thing tomorrow?"



I tend to agree with that assessment. Though I'd be a bit more generous to 2006, which had some good performances, especially compared to the next few years. And Modern Times revitalised the setlist somewhat, even though it's not my favourite album. The band still had some space to play instrumentals. The early part of 2007 was much the same.

The key thing is, he was still singing well then; the descent into "Wolf-man" in 2008 was a significant step down, in my opinion, and set the pattern for the next few years.

Author:  Sphere [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 16:31 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

Enough generalizing. I saw many excellent shows in 2008, 2009 and even 2011. Spotty sure but some were tremendous. Some of the 2004-2005 shows were great too. Not just the well known ones.

Author:  El_Joe [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 16:50 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

Eh, if you could ignore the quart of phlegm that Dylan seemed to have in his throat, his band's tendency to play the same undistinguished bluesy sludge for 75% of the songs, AND that godawful circus organ which had no place in the sound, but was still mixed WAY out front.

The decline for me is a result of #1 and #3 mainly, although #2 could be grating as well. And yes, even in the show I left early, there were moments when he still seemed like Bob Dylan. There were just many more that were painful. I don't know. Maybe the old time hardcore folks watched shows that I saw and loved in 1997 or 1999 or 2000 and said the same things.

Sphere wrote:
Enough generalizing. I saw many excellent shows in 2008, 2009 and even 2011. Spotty sure but some were tremendous. Some of the 2004-2005 shows were great too. Not just the well known ones.

Author:  Sphere [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 17:04 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

I was at shows in all those years too. 1st was '89.

Author:  shooting_star_night [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 17:38 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

Sphere wrote:
Enough generalizing. I saw many excellent shows in 2008, 2009 and even 2011. Spotty sure but some were tremendous. Some of the 2004-2005 shows were great too. Not just the well known ones.


Which ones: "Some of the 2004-2005 shows were great too. Not just the well known ones" did you like?

Author:  Sphere [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 17:57 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

The '04 show at the Chance in Poughkeepsie was fun. That was just before the 1st ballpark show in Cooperstown. I should listen to the recording. Fall '04 is pretty consistently very good to excellent. Though you mostly hear about the spring tour. The late summer tour of '05 with the new band is great. Just my opinion. I'm not as familiar with the Europe tours in those years.

Author:  littlemaggie [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 18:07 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

The Standard review seems a very fair and balanced report to me.

Dylan gets a star for being alive and another for being in London. Anything beyond that he has to earn. He clearly utterly fails to do that to this reviewer.

Author:  monklover [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 18:22 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

shooting_star_night wrote:
Sphere wrote:
Enough generalizing. I saw many excellent shows in 2008, 2009 and even 2011. Spotty sure but some were tremendous. Some of the 2004-2005 shows were great too. Not just the well known ones.


Which ones: "Some of the 2004-2005 shows were great too. Not just the well known ones" did you like?


I'll play. Some lesser known shows from 2004-5 that impressed me were Kenosha (sadly not one I attended), Buffalo, Newark, and Zurich. Fine set lists in all these.

Author:  shooting_star_night [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 18:29 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

Sphere wrote:
The '04 show at the Chance in Poughkeepsie was fun. That was just before the 1st ballpark show in Cooperstown. I should listen to the recording. Fall '04 is pretty consistently very good to excellent. Though you mostly hear about the spring tour. The late summer tour of '05 with the new band is great. Just my opinion. I'm not as familiar with the Europe tours in those years.



Nice :)

Just curious :) I'm going to look for those and listen to them :)



Thank you :D

Author:  shooting_star_night [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 18:30 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

shooting_star_night wrote:
Sphere wrote:
Enough generalizing. I saw many excellent shows in 2008, 2009 and even 2011. Spotty sure but some were tremendous. Some of the 2004-2005 shows were great too. Not just the well known ones.


Which ones: "Some of the 2004-2005 shows were great too. Not just the well known ones" did you like?


I'll play. Some lesser known shows from 2004-5 that impressed me were Kenosha (sadly not one I attended), Buffalo, Newark, and Zurich. Fine set lists in all these.[/quote]


Nice :)

I will locate these as well :)

Author:  Alouette [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 18:45 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

dvdunplugged wrote:
A link was posted on Expecting Rain's Home Page, here's the link for anyone who might have missed it:

http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/musi ... 35141.html

So a 2 star review, is that fair? I wondered what other's thought?


The fact that he wrote "Melancholy Blue — taken from Triplicate", says it all, a careless error, a careless unthoughtful review.
He that hath ears to hear, let him hear

give him a million stars

Author:  Yellowgoat [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 18:49 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

El_Joe wrote:
Eh, if you could ignore the quart of phlegm that Dylan seemed to have in his throat, his band's tendency to play the same undistinguished bluesy sludge for 75% of the songs, AND that godawful circus organ which had no place in the sound, but was still mixed WAY out front.


Again I agree. Perhaps I'm mis-remembering, but I recall that the return of Charlie Sexton after Denny Freeman's dismisssal briefly improved the liveliness of the shows*. But the recordings of most shows from 2008-2012 that I've heard are pretty tedious listening by any reasonable standard. The organ slaughters most of the songs, and Bob's voice sounds like that of a man well into borrowed time. For all the (perhaps valid) criticisms of the recent set, he is singing significantly better now than he was then, and just about any recording bears witness to this.

*(nothing against Denny's playing, a good guitarist, but Bob was clearly frustrated and looking for something else by 2009).

Author:  thinman2 [ Thu May 11th, 2017, 19:10 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Is this review of Dylan's Wembley show a bit harsh?

Listening to the Wembley Show right now I have to admit that this is surely the worst show I heard since 2012. The up- and downscalesinging that he introduces to basically every third song is even worse than the random piano plinky plonk. Cardiff however, does not sound much better to me. Judging from quite a few bootlegs I heard from this tour I'd say that the quality of performances was constantly going down. Stockholm II is the best show IMHO and it went downhill from there.

To me it seems that he is searching for a new and different sound. They have taken out the distinctive riffs now from almost every song - what is left is an piano-driven amorph impro-sound that does not work yet, I'd say.

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