Dylan/Dion Tuesday night

Discuss the band.

Dylan/Dion Tuesday night

Postby TonyNYC » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:36 am

Went uptown to the United Palace Theater for this and Dion was introduced as a rock n roll hall of famer and came out saying he could have walked to the show from his parents' old apartment and accompanied by a full rock band (guitar, keyboard, sax, drums, bass and he played guitar). He opened with a straight ahead rocker that I didn't recognize, but the band cooked and Dion was in fine voice. He then rolled into a faithful version of Rave On which was okay but without the story of him missing out on that fatal plane crash I didn't get the point. Then came his classic shuffling dripping with white Bronx boy soul Ruby Baby which was marred by a too loud sax carrying the melody and blurring Dion's voice. He did another couple of covers, Shake Rattle & Roll and Summertime Blues which were fine but totally #@$! me off since I wanted to hear Dion do Dion songs and these songs are not the kind that allow Dion to put his voice to good use. He also strutted and dut dut dutted through the driven King Of The New York Streets wonderfully, did a moving and as close to the recorded single version of Abraham Martin & John, a rousing and rollicking Runaround Sue and a kick butt Wanderer.

I probably was expecting or hoping a little too much since Dion was an opener, but I would have preferred him dropping the straight ahead rock covers and either do more of his own hits-he should not be allowed to leave without doing I Wonder Why-maybe another of his own hits or a lesser known more recent cut or even one of his great Dylan covers like Nobody But You or Spanish Harlem Incident.

He's also a great story teller and things were too rushed for Dion to talk and connect with the audience. Though I'm happy he got to play for a full crowd and for a lot of people who didn't really know his music, I was left hoping Dion would come around and do his own show in town.

As for Dylan, I've probably seen him 10 or so times and the only time I thought he was great was back in like '71 when he showed up at the Bangla Desh Show and did 4-5 songs acoustically. All the other times he's been more interesting than great and often his band is better than him. But with Dylan, the band is not the main point no matter how good they sound playing his boogied up blues and old timey swayers. It's all about his songs, his melodies, his words and the way he sings them for me.

Dylan was solid. He sang fairly well for Dylan, moved around to the music like a spry old geezer and seemed to be in good spirits as he mostly stayed at the keyboards or stood in the middle with his harmonica and waving his hands like a hand waving Cab Calloway lost under his wide brimmed hat. He and the band did great versions of Thunder On the Mountain, Summer Days, a gut wrenching John Brown, a down and dirty Cold Irons Bound & yes a lovely Po Boy. I did not go for the carousel sounding take of Hard Rain & It's All Over Now Baby Blue was only pretty good. Though I'm sick of Highway 61 & Ballad Of A Thin Man & All Along The Watchtower, he did play them all exceptionally well and as everyone seems to agree it is great to have Sexton back with the band. Like A Rolling Stone was fine and close enough to the recorded version to almost sing along to but can somebody please tell me why he would play Tweedle Dee And Tweedle Dum?

Although I had tickets for Wednesday night, I ended up not going mostly because I was feeling pretty sick and partly because I was disappointed in Dion's set and partly because Dylan seems to be closing his shows these days with the same 6 songs (Highway 61, Ain't Talking, 'Mr Jones,' Jolene, Like A Rolling Stone and All Along The Watchtower) and I didn't need to see any of those again.

While I am sure I benefitted from the rest and do feel better, I am kind of sorry I punked out after reading the set list and seeing that before Dylan got to his closing six songs, he did Memphis Blues Again, It Ain't Me Babe, The Man In The Long Black Coat and two of my favorite recent Dylan's, I Feel A Change Comin' On and Working Man's Blues #2. Damn...
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