Jones Beach July 27, 2013

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Jones Beach July 27, 2013
Crimson flames illuminated Bob Dylan and has five band members from both stage
right and left at Jones Beach like bookends earlier tonight. Electric fire bathed the stage from the
theatrical props, yet was eclipsed by the flame emanating from the band, which was
an engine firing on all cylinders. They never sputtered and brought everything from old standards to numbers from the recent release TEMPEST to new heights.  The 15 song set list included "Love Sick", "Tangled Up In Blue", "Blind Willie McTell", "All Along The Watchtower", and" Ballad Of A Thin Man".
One would think that every ounce of life would have been milked from a standard like
"She Belongs To Me" by now, having long gone on trial like infinity in a museum for
classic art that has become too familiar to the faithful.  After all, the song was produced on the 1965 masterpiece "Bringing It All Back Home", and familiarity is said to breed contempt.   Yet tonight the band was simply vibrant in the presentation of the classic. It seemed like a beating heart once again, rather than a collective remembrance of losing our breath hearing it for the first time in a decade unmatched from the history of rock and roll nearly 40 years ago.  Even witnessing a rote presentation of Shakespeare may elevate the mind and soul of the listener, while still making them yearn for the fresh crispness the words once held. Nothing, however, was stale tonight in Dylan's performance at the Nokia Theatre.
"A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" was penned by Bob Dylan while the legend of JFK was still being forged, and Camelot's myth was still a work in progress. It is incredible to think how long the road has been, finding Dylan reemerging from countless reports of his career's demise spewed forth from venomous critics and "fans" over the years.  Tonight the hard rain resonated, as the sound reminded us of the madness technology can reap on people like collective sheep as war still reaps her misery throughout much of the world.  It reminded us how the gift of art transcends mere talent when sent from the realm of the muse, acting as a vaccination giving immunity against rust on an artist's work.
The selections from the 2012 album "Tempest" included "Soon After Midnight", "Early Roman Kings", and "Duquesne Whistle".  The songs were enhanced by the live playing, and seemed to be a fine fit for a future concert album.  The craftsmanship and inspiration for these songs seems to rank them in a class far above American idols today, and soundtracks to narcissistic music videos.
Bob Dylan recently celebrated his 72nd birthday, so his resurgence as seen tonight makes this concert tour a must see for those who care about music, as some seek out rare fine wines. Opening acts Beck and Wilco help to carry on the tradition of the great rock and roll traveling show, started by Elvis singing from the back of a truck, or Buddy Holly on a bill with Richie Valens and The Big Bopper. Special guest Sean Lennon nearly brought the house down covering Beatle classics "Yer Blues" and Tomorrow Never Knows". Those who have sought opportunities to bash Dylan so viciously at times likely will lament him when he finally lays down his guitar for the last time.  This is a man who we should savor while the opportunity is still available.  He certainly left no doubt about that as his performance testified to those who filed out of the parking lot convinced of his place in the music of these modern times.
jonizornes's picture
"This is a man who we should
"This is a man who we should savor while the opportunity is still available." Beautifully written!

Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free

Girlofthenorcalcountry's picture
Wonderful review, thanks!

Wonderful review, thanks! (Sorry about the odd formatting here, trying to fix it...)

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