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🌵 Sessions: Bob Dylan Live – Phoenix 3/3/22

March 31, 2022
Bob and band at Arizona Federal Theater

Sorry, for the tardy review, but Bob’s Rough and Rowdy tour is planned to continue for another couple of years (ambitious and optimistic for an 80 year old man), so better late then never.

I don’t know how many times I have seen Bob Dylan, but my guess is about dozen times. The first time I saw him live was June 26, 1986 in Minneapolis at the Metrodome. It ranks as one of the worst sounding concerts I have ever witnessed (it was the first concert at the Dome). This March 3rd 2022 performance in Phoenix was one of the best sounding and engaging performances from Dylan – it is in my top 5 Dylan shows.

Here’s the set list (it has been pretty consistent throughout the tour):

Phoenix set list

In all the times I have seen Bob, he has never focused a show on his most recent release. But this show was different, the focus of the set list was Bob’s latest: 2020’s Rough and Rowdy Ways (R&R). I love that album and to witness 9 of its 10 songs live from that album and was amazing. The set list was filled out with deep cuts too. If you were here for the hits, you might have been disappointed. But if you are serious fan you were delighted. Hearing Dylan songs live, for the first time (both recent and old) is a bucket-list experience.

The R&R song arrangements were similar to the recording and the non R&R songs were cast under the R&R spell. One exception was a raucous rock ‘n roll version of “Gotta Serve Somebody” – a highlight of the show for me.

Dylan played an upright piano – I can’t recall the last time I saw a guitar in Bob’s hands at a concert. His piano was mixed prominently – which was cool to hear (in past show it was buried in the mix). His voice was similar to what you hear on R&R: a sweet gravelly croon.

Poster purchased at show

If you want to hear the greatest hits, skip this tour, but if you appreciate Dylan’s last album, this is a special treat that can’t be missed. It’s great that, in what I assume is the last phase of his illustrious career, Dylan is still painting masterpieces.

From → Music Reviews

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