New York, NY -- December 3, 2019

One more weekend, one more weekend with you

Just when you think you can't get any more, you do. This is the 5th and last show of Bob's 2019 fall tour that I will see. With the exception of Beyond Here Lies Nothin' played in Santa Barbara, all the songs and their order have remained the same. This is a paltry number compared with what other Dylan fans I know have racked up this year, but the fans I have talked to agree that each night just gets better and better. How can this be that Bob and the band just keep giving more? It has something to do with the American Songbook years where Bob played those timeless love songs, and now he is turning his own ones into love songs maybe not in a romantic way, but love of a father, love for his audience, love for his Creator, and love of life. Things have Changed in that he is not taking things so personal, It Ain't Me, Babe now sounds more affectionate than bitter, like he is giving advice to a child about facing disappointments in life. Highway 61 is his own blazing road trip through America. Each show has new solos and improvisations by not only Bob, but all the members of the band. Simple Twist is not as sad as it used to be for me. His lyric changes bring back the ups as well as the downs. Can't Wait has turned into a modern Sing, Sing, Sing with Matt's exciting and not pitiful the way it originally was. Pay in Blood has an incredible solo by Bob II, his new guitarist. Dylan's original love songs for his art (Paint), childhood (Girl), and dreams (Feel) have become more universal, and I believe they now show a love and deeper appreciation for his true fans who have been with him over all the struggles and tribulations of the past half century. When he first started singing his tribute song to Lenny Bruce, some people thought it was weird and didn't get it. Even at the beginning of this fall tour, they were asking Why now?, and speculating that it would only last a little while. But now Lenny gets better and better and the fans love it more and more. I also think Not Dark Yet is a tribute to another Lenny, Leonard Cohen. He is trying to respond to You Want it Darker, his soulful recognition of his mortality, in a way that says, kind of, you're right, but for now, my bell still rings. Well, that is enough. See you somewhere next year, Bob.

Review Location: 
Beacon Theatre, New York City
Review Date: 
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Review Author: 
Nancy Cobb