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PostPosted: Sun October 29th, 2017, 12:16 GMT 
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From today's front page:

Review:
Dylan Delivers More Left Turns at New Chicago Arena


Greg Kot, Contact Reporter, Chicago Tribune

Bob Dylan once played an inscrutable character named “Alias” in a pretty good ’70s movie (Sam Peckinpah’s “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid”). And Alias was once again his typically inscrutable self while headlining the inaugural concert Friday at the Wintrust Arena in the South Loop.

Dylan will never be mistaken for a greatest-hits jukebox, and his set Friday was typical: packed with left turns, eyebrow-raising reinterpretations and flashes of brilliance.

For hardcore Dylan followers, it was another fascinating chapter in the mythical never-ending tour, in which the singer-songwriter flips through songs, personas and hats (he didn’t wear one for the first time in years on Friday) with seasonal regularity. For everybody else, it may have been a puzzle. He played only a few of his iconic songs from the ’60s and ’70s, and when he did, he rendered them nearly unrecognizable. He never addressed the audience, and never picked up a guitar or a harmonica.

And yet, there was much to recommend, notably Dylan’s gospel-infused piano playing and the friskiness he brought to some of his nastiest songs (“Pay in Blood,” “Early Roman Kings.”) But more than anything, this was the band’s night. At times, Dylan appeared to gladly melt into the ensemble, often standing between guitarist Charlie Sexton and bassist Tony Garnier rather than command the front of the stage.

The band morphed into a fierce Chicago blues outfit on “Early Roman Kings” and a country swing group on “Summer Days.” It invested “Things Have Changed” with a hip-flexing Latin groove that even had a splayed-leg Dylan shimmying behind his grand piano and rolled through “Honest With Me” with spirited give and take.

Sexton embroidered the songs with melodies or ushered them in, as with his atmospheric intro to “Melancholy Mood.” Stu Kimball’s taut rhythm guitar pushed the band into a combustive “Thunder on the Mountain.” Donnie Herron’s pedal steel sighed along with Dylan’s tender reading of the standard “Autumn Leaves.” And Garnier and drummer George Receli built a volatile foundation, bringing swing and attitude to everything they touched. Dylan even happily ceded the foreground on “Thunder on the Mountain” to Recili for an extended drum fill.

Dylan did Dylan things. He offered fair warning at the outset, as he sang, “It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe.” The singer has never spelled out who he is, but he’s been blunt in declaring who he’s not. The man who once sang, “Money doesn’t talk, it swears,” also believes that nostalgia doesn’t sustain careers, it kills them. And so he placed heavy emphasis on his most recent albums, including a series of recordings devoted to the great American songbook. A little bit of that material goes a long way, as Dylan’s unruly voice remains better suited for snarling lines such as “I pay in blood, but not my own” from one of his originals rather than shakily crooning Cy Coleman’s “Why Try to Change Me Now.”

In this world, nothing is sacred, including his songs, which are subject to constant revision and reinvention. But even in that context his makeover of “Tangled Up in Blue” was startling: a spoken-word piece with interstitial music. It didn’t work. He also played “Blowin’ in the Wind” at a loping tempo, as if to undercut the song’s anthem status. Only “Ballad of a Thin Man” survived relatively intact, an early song in which Dylan embraced the possibility that he would not be widely understood.

“There’s something happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?” he sang, and he likely wouldn’t have it any other way.

Far more transparent was Dylan’s opening act, Mavis Staples, who also happened to be one of his earliest inspirations and romantic partners. Staples roared through a defiant “Freedom Highway,” a song that has lost none of its relevance since it was first performed in 1965 in the aftermath of the Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march.

The Wintrust Arena earned a mixed review. With its narrow hallways taxed by long concessions lines and too few concessions stands, the arena suggests another mid-sized concrete pillbox with too few amenities and claustrophobic pathways. With its 10,300 capacity, it’s slightly larger than the UIC Pavilion. But it boasts strong sight lines and the sound, even in the upper balcony, was above par when compared with many of the other sports arenas in town that double as concert venues.

Dylan's tour management did not permit news photography of the Chicago concert on Oct. 27, 2017.


Bob Dylan set list Friday at Wintrust Arena:

1. Things Have Changed

2. It Ain't Me, Babe

3. Highway 61 Revisited

4. Why Try to Change Me Now

5. Summer Days

6. Melancholy Mood

7. Honest With Me

8. Tryin' to Get to Heaven

9. Once Upon a Time

10. Pay in Blood

11. Tangled Up In Blue

12. The September of My Years

13. Early Roman Kings

14. Soon After Midnight

15. Desolation Row

16. Thunder on the Mountain

17. Autumn Leaves

18. Long and Wasted Years

Encore:

19. Blowin' in the Wind

20. Ballad of a Thin Man

---
Greg Kot is a Chicago Tribune critic and the author of “I'll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers and the Music that Shaped the Civil Rights Era," the latest book selected for the “One Book One Chicago” honor.



http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertain ... story.html



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PostPosted: Sun October 29th, 2017, 17:27 GMT 
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Joined: Sat April 3rd, 2010, 17:44 GMT
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Typical newspaper review, I'll go by how the ER members in attendance judged it!


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PostPosted: Sun October 29th, 2017, 23:18 GMT 

Joined: Sun September 10th, 2017, 04:40 GMT
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Does anyone know of recordings of the show?

Loved the new arrangements, particularly for "Early Roman Kings"--I've always thought the great lyrics deserved a more interesting musical backing than the album version


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