Oct 15, 2012 - Bob IS BOB - Expect the UNEXPECTED

Oct 9th 2012, 14 of us attended the Bob Dylan & His Band concert.  12 of us, family and friends, came from all directions and met for a quick dinner before the concert. We all weren’t sitting together, but under the same roof. 

Most of us had never seen Dylan live before. I saw Bob at least 25 years ago in Edmonton and he was great.  My Uncle has seen him at least 4 times, and must have liked him enough to go so many times. 

Bob is Bob...you never know what you will get and only Bob can do whatever he wants, because he’s Bob Dylan. He is a 71 year old legend.

Mark Knopfler (63) opened the show promptly at 7:30pm.  He has an 8 piece band and an unbelievable deep voice.

I can definitely say without a doubt that Knopfler was Dire Straits!  His sound was exactly like Dire Straits with a heavy dose of a Scottish Celtic flavour added. 

Mark played mostly songs from his new album. I didn’t recognize many, but they were good.  The string instruments were amazing. Everything from violins, mandolins, Bass, ukuleles, flutes and something that resembled bag pipes. 

What a versatile bunch of incredible musicians! Knopfler is one of the most respected finger-style guitarists of the modern rock era.  He’s still got it!

Now let’s get to Dylan. Dylan came out with his 6 piece band all wearing dark grey suits. He even bills them as “His Band”.

Bob was wearing a white wide brim hat. The first song was “Watching the River Flow” (1971); it was pretty good. Then we started to notice strange things…

For instance, the set-up of the band!  All I can say is it was bizarre, but did make sense as the show went on. The whole band stood or sat facing him on one side, squished together, barely moving.

He was at the piano facing them, not the audience. Why? Because they have no clue how he is going to play a song or which song for that matter.

Bob can never perform a song the same way twice. Against his rules, this is not new; he has done that his entire career. THE BAND has to watch him like a hawk.

Here are some of the comments I heard from the folks with me,

“Ok, so when did Bob learn to play the piano? He is famous for acoustic guitar, electric guitar and harmonica.”

“What’s with the piano?”

“Is that a new song, never heard that one before!”

“This must be from his new album.”

“Holy smokes, I wish he’d play something we know!”

“Oh wait, I think I know that song.”

“This must be off his new album, I don’t recognize it” - not one song was off his new album

“Hey, he can talk.” - Bob only said 5 words…something like “going to try a request.”

Only Bob Dylan can reinvent and rearrange his lyrics and his music. Every note of it! If anyone else tried that, I think he would be mad.

We accepted all of this until the last song…no one, not even Bob Dylan should mess with “Blowin’ in the Wind”, I mean really!! 

He was well into the second verse before I even knew it was “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Who does that? Bob Dylan, that’s who.

One comment heard after the show sums it up best.  "Well now what can I say, it was BOB in all his Bobness."

People mostly seemed happy they attended the "madness or the uniqueness".

More importantly, what would our Brad think? Well I can only guess at that.  I think Brad would have thought it was just so cool that we all made time in our busy day to meet, enjoy each others company and attend the concert.

I think Brad would have said, “I think Bob was great”. I only say this because in 2011 Brad and some of the same friends attended an April Wine concert.

Trust me, we were rolling our eyes. Their “Hey Day” was definitely in the 70’s. The sound...well, it frightened me and I used to love April Wine. But all Brad could say was, “they were great, I loved them!”  He was serious. 

That’s Brad!  Brad would have said, “It’s Bob Dylan, anyone who is anyone has played with Bob at one time or another in their music career, and Dylan can get away with anything”.  He’s a legend! Over 450 released songs.   What a career!

Bob didn’t play “Forever Young”

In hind sight, we are all thinking “that’s probably a darn good thing” If it was any indication on how he rearranged “Blowin’ in the Wind” well, who knows what “Forever Young” would have sounded like. 

This song, the version we all grew up with from the album Planet Waves (1974) is the one and only version. There is NO messing with this song from my stand point even if you are Bob Dylan.  It just has too much meaning for me. Maybe Bob would understand. Those lyrics…..they are just meant for Bradley, for us. 

Many things are a blur to me, but I do remember family and close friends spent many hours in meetings with the Church convincing them to have this song by Bob Dylan playing. That was huge to me, I wasn’t going to bend. Copywright laws meant absolutely nothing to me!    

I still believe Brad was in the 9th seat, and I also believe Brad recognized every song Dylan sung. I also think Brad was the force behind Dylan’s harmonica playing! Why? Because one thing Dylan did do was play that harmonica, and play it extremely well.

Thank you everyone, who came out the evening of Oct 9th, 2012 for Bradley.

We LOVE you Brad, could you give Kole and Thad a hug for us?


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Last updated on: 2012-10-15 | Link to this post