The Final Test – Bob Dylan in Concert

Over the last few months, I’ve campaigned to raise my wife’s awareness of Bob Dylan. It’s been a long and trying effort, one requiring trust, cunning, and patience.

Last weekend, we went to see Dylan in concert, the final test.

At first, I thought the universe was definitely betting against me.

I looked up the Never Ending Tour dates and the show we’d bought tickets to see was at the end of a really busy week. And Dylan is 69, so I was concerned that he would fall asleep midway through the show.

It turns out sleeping was a concern for my wife as well.

She participated in a 36 mile (with many hills) bicycle ride that morning. She rides a hybrid bicycle — everyone else had a road bike. My wife is pretty amazing, but she’s not Wonder Woman. When she got home, she was barely able to walk through the door. It wasn’t even lunch and already I was sure that she wouldn’t be able to stay awake throughout the concert.

But we made it to the venue, eyes open.

What a mess! The line to get in was miles long. I could see my wife’s eye brows slowly moving into an impatient, angry V. During our year of marriage, I’ve developed a pretty extensive collection of strategies to combat that V, but even I know there’s nothing to be done when shivering in a line of loud rock fans. And it was cold.

But what a performance!

I first saw Dylan in 2005 and he looked worn out. I could hardly believe he was still touring. It was impressive that he could still perform at all. Five years later, Dylan is sharp. He was behind the keyboards, he was playing guitar, he was blowing on the harmonica, and his voice was about as good as it gets at this point.

(Dylan has a reputation for altering song structures when playing live, and this show was no exception. The strongest adaptations were “Cold Irons Bound” and “When the Levee Breaks.” Unbelievable!)

Afterward, I asked my wife what she thought. She liked it. She thought the band was great, Dylan was impressive, and she found the middle-aged men trying to boogie hilarious.

All of which means that I should probably start thinking about a new project.

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4 Responses to “The Final Test – Bob Dylan in Concert”

  1. I see that you couldn’t resist commenting on the quality of some of the individual songs. I expect nothing less.

    Any ideas on what your new project will be?

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