Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Times They Are Changing/Les temps changent

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

Bob Dylan played Kelowna this summer. It was the only concert at the local converted hockey arena that I’ve even wanted to attend. $65.50 Canadian, in line with his intention of selling $50 tickets.My ticket

The local "arts critic" wrote that she was boycotting the concert because Bob Dylan didn’t make tickets available to the press. Free tickets I suppose she meant. Of course, she also wrote that she enjoyed the Willie Nelson concert and his version of "...the George Thorogood song, Move It On Over." That’s the calibre of the arts critics here. It takes some getting used to.

After the concert she wrote that she heard from some people who hadn’t been there that it wasn’t very good. I guess she really taught Bob Dylan a lesson, huh?

The concert was great. Straight ahead, American Rock ‘n Roll. An updated version of some of the greatest American classics ever written, performed by the guy who wrote them and a kick-ass band. It was the first time in since Bush has been in the White House that I felt proud to be an American. No wonder the Canadians didn’t get it.

Here is the set list, courtesy of bobdylan.com

Maggie’s Farm
Straight ahead rock and roll. What a kick-ass band.

Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
There was nothing mellow about this arrangement. It bore no resemblance at all to the one on « Nashville Skyline. » I had the impression he’d be staying whether anyone wanted him to or not.

I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
Rock and roll. Guitar solos. Not really tender, you know?

Lay, Lady, Lay
Up tempo version. No dobro! No pedal steel guitar!

Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
Holy shit. This went on forever with everyone taking a solo. This one brought down the house.

I don’t think I know this one; I don’t think I ever heard it before. The band drifted a little in the middle, but managed to end at the same time.

Highway 61 Revisited
This just kicked ass. No one yelled “Judas!”

Shelter From The Storm
Breakneck tempo, definitive bass line. Not at all mellow, but the story was still there.

Cry Awhile
No idea what this song is about, or how it sounded when it was first released. This arrangement was bluesy. Nice work from the bass player to hold it all together.

Just Like A Woman
He didn’t play it like he’s been playing it for 40 years. But he did play it like he wrote it. Not slow, not soft, but it will tear your heart out.

Honest With Me
I don’t remember this at all. I don’t think I know this song. This might have been the one where the guy next to me asked if Bob Dylan was singing in Spanish.

The Times They Are A-Changin’
Well. This version was so rock and roll that the band was eight bars into it before any of us knew what hit us. It could have been done like the anthem it turned out to be, it was just rock and roll. Works good; lasts a long time.

Floater (Too Much To Ask)
What did this song sound like originally? In this incarnation, it was sort of a Texas swing kind of thing.

Summer Days
The vocals sounded like Ry Cooter, and the band sounded like Ry Cooter’s back up band. Odd way to end the concert. But then there was the encore.

Like A Rolling Stone
This one was sung like the anthem it is. Rhythmically, it was very different from the original. If you can imagine the Eagles backing up Dylan, you’d be close.

All Along The Watchtower
In a strange way, it was Dylan doing Hendrix doing Dylan. Two unbelievable guitar solos from the band, and I thought the drummer was going to levitate above the stage. Whew. Culture clash. Great ending.