Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello

     Once Andrea and I heard that Bob Dylan was going to be playing at Assembly Hall in Bloomington we decided we HAD to go. Talk about a once in a lifetime experience. The man is an icon, a legend, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. The chances of us having another opportunity to see this man in concert were extremely slim. I logged on to Ticket Master the minute tickets were available. A few minutes, and one ridiculous service charge later, I had two medium level seats 27 rows back from the stage.  

     Elvis Costello opened up for Dylan. He was really good. Everything was acoustic. Some of his hit songs were sung to a different tune. The only hints of these classics were the lyrics. Despite sounding a bit rehearsed, he interacted to the crowd by interspersing songs with stories, segueing to the next song. Andrea and I looked at each other at the intermission and thought, "that was great, and it's only going to get better."

    Elivs Costello  

     About 10 minutes after Costello left, Dylan took the stage with the rest of his band. All were dressed in black, all wore hats. Dylan wore this wide brimmed number that made me question if that was even him. However, once he let his voice travel to the microphone, it was undeniably Dylan. "Heeenyyahh, sugahh ninnahhh heeyAhhh." Honestly, Andrea and I didn't understand one single fragment of a lyric until halfway through his second song. Something about "the sunnnnn don't shiiiinnne ennnymorrrre."

     "Indecipherable lyrics" was apparently the theme of the show. Not only did we not recognize 90% of what he said, it was ALL new stuff. No Like a Rollin' Stone, no Lay Lady Lay, no Mr. Tambourine Man, no Watchtower! It was conclusive that a number of other concert goers expected the same thing. Halfway through his set we noticed the attendance dwindle down to two thirds of it's original size. People were LEAVING Dylan! This legend, this icon! The quality of his band was unmistakable. However, his monotonous chainsaw rev of a voice left people less than excited. During one song, Andrea nudged me to point out some middle aged fellow with his head back, mouth gaping open and on his second cycle of deep REM sleep. What was going on?!

Bob Dylan and his band

     Unfortunately, we walked away from the show sadly (and surprisingly) disappointed.  Making our way back to the car, we listed over a dozen songs we expected and were looking forward to hearing. None of which were played.

     Bob Dylan is a legend. He always will be. He has most likely made more dollars than the millions of ears who have heard his classics. However, I'm sure he feels that if you buy a ticket to hear him play, that is exactly what you are going to get. It will be him playing whatever he wants. He's not there to entertain you. He's there to play his music. Which is why we went to see him. So I guess we can't complain. I just wish I could have understood what he was singing about.

No comments: