Cleveland, Ohio

State Theatre

November 12, 2014

[Bill Royaloak], [Daniel Chester]

Review by Bill Royaloak

Best show ever! Great venue and lots of fun in the audience (SD trying to
crash stage w/jewel boxed crystal for Bob and the original "WOO" guy from
one too many) what a blast! 

Walked into the State Theater complex around 3pm (from Detroit) for will
call ticket and guy next to me was asking where theater was. Turned out to
be Tony on his way to his gig. Didn't recognize him w/o the hat. Played
great bass all night. I asked him if he was going to see Bob Dylan then
laughed and didn't bug him when I realized he was "Bob Dylan Band elite"
How cool! (Behind the scenes moment).

This is the series I wish I could see every show for, the band sounds
fantastic, Bob is just jamming on that piano, especially the "Tempest"
stuff and he sounds spectacular. If they come to your town go to every
show available. This is definitely worth hearing more than once. The
smaller venues really make Dylan and the whole band really shine. You can
hear them play and really hear Bob sing his songs. Feel spoiled by this

Bill Royaloak


Review by Daniel Chester

Things: one is so excited for the show and he and they were engaged and
yet pretty ho-hum…it did coalesce mid-way (happened on a few songs) but,
still, it may be time to give it a rest

She Belongs: interesting version/arrangement and dug the mallets and the
singing was pretty good…at the same time felt a little overly messed with
as the lyrics get submerged and there’s no way anyone should submerge
lines like ‘but you will wind up peeking through her keyhole down upon
your knees’…do love tapping into ‘Bringing it all Back Home’ 

Beyond Here: really well delivered and a cool rhythm and especially dug
the the interplay of piano and guitar

Workingman: some very nice sounds in this one though never really
happened…guitar found/created this really sweet and tender melody line…for
the first time since having heard this the lyrics and music/arrangement
somehow did not match up (a lullaby-type thing with the word

Waiting: except for the stand-up with the bow and the drummer using
brushes quite average

Duquesne: wowwowyow…turned it into a 22nd century jazz thang…the
piano/guitar (hollow-body) unified at alot of points…the stand-up bass
almost leading the charge (why not use stand-up every song?)

Pay in Blood: harmless little trifle that lacked the intensity that might
propel this thing beyond average

Tangled: so many different versions through the years and this was quite
cool as it reminded one of a Steven Stills Manassas gem…messed with lyrics
to good effect

Love Sick: sung well, still, was bereft of the menace that might take this
tune where it needs to be (though the weariness angle isn’t bad)…other
possible first set closers out there? you bet

Highwater: nice picking song and let us celebrate the banjo (and stand-up
and brushes) but still not near strong enough energy or sound-wise to open
the second set…where’s the menace? this song should almost panic you

Simple Twist: crème de la gems this evening…pedal steel just fantastic in
creating mood/soundscape…delivery of lyrics fit (especially from center
stage)…altered some lyrics…magical (thank you, Maestro!)

Early Roman: even the stand-up couldn’t save this pedestrian number…this
should have a strong/spare John Lee Hooker stomp to it that takes you back
to the very birth, nay, the very conception of the blues

Forgetful: splendid…from the atmosphere to the viola to the conga/mallets
to the stand-up with bow to the singing to harp…price-of-admission type

Spirit: all tradition aside, this might be the best song of his that is
currently in the set-list…sung well…the guitars and pedal and piano
harmonious…something indefinably cool about this treasure…people that
think you’re over-the-hill struggle to comprehend art or artists

Scarlet: very nicely done and yet not quite as mystical as a couple
previous versions…great lyrics sung well…the stand-up and brushes getting
it done…completed a really strong, little three tune run

Soon After I Wished for a Different Tune: just not feeling this

Long And Wasted Slot on the Set-List: the instrumentation and delivery
we’re OK on this average tune…understand and admire a legend playing his
new material and yet maybe 213 better choices for this moment in the show

Blowin’: good delivery (violin) and pleasant to hear though just a little
North of interesting

Stay With Me: best thing to happen to Neverending since he eliminated the
acoustic set in the middle of the show…been saying for years to let the
last song be an opportunity to leave people with something significant in
feeling or mood (as opposed to tired anthemic-type things like ‘Rainy Day’
or ‘Thin Man’ or ‘Watchtower’)…the choice is inspired…missed a few notes
and all that did was take the poignancy up several notches…outside of the
maybe the gospel songs just the thing to send people out with (oh, here,
take this prayer with you)…humming it afterwards and next morning (it
stays with you)…bravo!

Summary: stellar theatre venue…largely engaged audience (do wish it would
get up and move on a few songs)…band unified…singing was quite good and
yet there were moments where it was clear and moments when it tough to
decypher the lyrics (was it him, the mix, the listener?)…the
staging/backdrops/lighting were strong though the darkness factor was a
little too pervasive…drummer stood out tonight for very creative use of
the tools of his craft (mallets!)…thought the end of first set and
beginning of second could have been stronger…length of every song was
absolutely perfect…think there was one guitar solo (that ain’t no rock
show)…again, getting the beauty of an older artist having and playing new
material and yet (last time) a few less of these tunes would work better
(especially with his gem-bag)…call it quality, best tunes were ‘Stay’ and
‘Simple’ and ‘Duquesne’ with honrable mention for ‘Forgetful’…thanks,

Daniel Chester


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