Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bob Dylan at Covelli Centre, Youngstown, Ohio August 28, 2012

Bob Dylan performed for nearly two hours without a break at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio last night. He didn't have an opening act and didn't need one. At 71, the bard can still draw a big crowd (most of the 5000 or so seats were occupied), and put on a damn fine show, one that I found superior to his excellent concert at Nautica a year ago.

It helped that I had better seats (only 10 rows from the stage) and was also equipped with a pair of small binoculars. The man refuses to chit-chat, speaking only when introducing his band, but he sure appeared to be enjoying himself, smiling often and blowing the shit out of his harmonica (the highlight of the evening, judging by the rapturous applause). He spent almost as much time at center stage, singing at the microphone, as he did at the organ, sometimes kicking his feet in the air and gesturing with his hands. His upbeat mood may have also influenced his choice of songs. He opened, as he often does, with "Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat" from 1966's Blonde on Blonde, and also performed, as expected, "Tangled Up in Blue" and "Simple Twist of Fate" from 1975's Blood on the Tracks. But he also tossed in a trio of tunes that have not been staples of his most recent tours: "Love Sick" from 1997's Time Out of Mind, "Sugar Baby" from 2001's Love and Theft, and, most surprisingly of all, Blonde on Blonde's epic "Visions of Johanna." He closed with a trio of powerful classics - "Ballad of a Thin Man," "Like a Rolling Stone," and "All Along the Watchtower" - before encoring with "Blowin' in the Wind" from 1963's The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.

The voice is cracked and sometimes resembles a gargle, but nobody can sing (or write) a song with more conviction than this man.

© 2012 Brian W. Fairbanks


Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (Blonde on Blonde)
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bringing It All Back Home)
Things Have Changed
Tangled Up In Blue (Blood on the Tracks)
Rollin' and Tumblin' (Modern Times)
Sugar Baby (Love and Theft)
John Brown
Love Sick (Time Out of Mind)
Summer Days (Love and Theft)
Visions Of Johanna (Blonde on Blonde)
Highway 61 Revisited (Highway 61 Revisited)
Simple Twist Of Fate (Blood on the Tracks)
Thunder On The Mountain (Modern Times)
Ballad Of A Thin Man (Highway 61 Revisited)
Like A Rolling Stone (Highway 61 Revisited)
All Along The Watchtower (John Wesley Harding)
Blowin' In The Wind (The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)

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