Experiencing Bob Dylan

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On Saturday night (November 1, 2008), I attended, along with my co-faculty friends Alan Guenther, David Miller, and Eric Ortlund, the Bob Dylan concert in Regina. (You should also know that we started our night by going out for a delicious supper at Flavours of India. I’m glad we had Alan along as our resident expert on Indian food–he chose the dishes for us, all of which were very good! My favourite was the Chicken Vindaloo. I’d recommend the place if you are in Regina.)

I haven’t been a close follower of Bob Dylan who rose to musical fame in the 1960’s. In fact, I am only familiar with a smattering of his music and I don’t own any of his albums. But I decided to go to the concert because of his iconic status in the music world and I’m glad I did. The concert was very entertaining. There were five band members plus Dylan–three guitarists, a keyboard/percussionist/violinist, and a drummer. Though I didn’t catch the drummer’s name, he was a highlight to see. Full of energy and skill! A significant part of the concert had a “rockabilly” and “blues” feel–which I really liked–and several new interpretations of his older songs, including a unique rendition of “Like a Rolling Stone.” I also really liked “Highway 61 Revisited.” The first verse makes me chuckle!

Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son”
Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on”
God say, “No.” Abe say, “What?”
God say, “You can do what you want Abe, but
The next time you see me comin’ you better run”
Well Abe says, “Where do you want this killin’ done?”
God says, “Out on Highway 61.”

If you are interested in a playlist of the Regina concert, you can find it here.

Dylan didn’t say a word outside of his singing until near the end of the nearly two hour straight concert when he introduced the band, and that was about it.   I’m not even sure if Dylan knew which city he was in! So I found that a bit disappointing, but then again, I’m not really surprised. Dylan always has been an enigma, it seems, and he simply kept the mystery alive at the concert here in Regina.  Beyond that,  I was a somewhat disappointed with the sound mix. The vocals were very difficult to hear (though that may in part be simply due to how Dylan sings!) even though some of the instruments came through crystal clear. Dylan didn’t pick up a guitar once (a bit disappointing, but I hear he has arthritis so it is getting harder to play, I guess) but I loved when he picked up his harmonica!

Overall, it was a good night which served to whet my appetite to some good Indian food and to listen to and learn about Dylan a little bit more! (Go here for all things Bob Dylan…)

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