Tuesday night I attended my 3rd Bob Dylan concert since moving to the Lehigh Valley in the autumn of 2000 (one of many I've gone to over the past 35 years). This is a very busy time for Mr. Dylan, as he wraps up his fall college tour at Harvard on the 21st (his 29th stop since October 13th!), which is just a subset of his 'Never-ending Tour', which has gone on for years now.
Events in the past several years have included, in 1997, the Kennedy Center Honors and three Grammy Awards ('Album of the Year', 'Best Male Rock Vocal Performance' and 'Best Contemporary Folk Album') for 'Time Out of Mind'; in 2001 an Oscar for best original song 'Things Have Changed' from the Michael Douglas film 'The Wonder Boys'; and repeated
nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature every year since 1997.
This month also saw the release of the first book of his autobiography, entitled 'Chronicles: Volume One', and an updated edition of his complete lyrics.
Just yesterday, Rolling Stone magazine announced its '500 Greatest Songs of All Time' (compiled from votes by 172 critics and musicians), and coming in at number one was Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone', which if memory serves, has always held that position throughout the years during similar surveys.
When I've mentioned going to the concert, I've had reactions from "I thought he was dead" and (from someone who overheard that comment) , "No, he just sings like he died", to "You're so lucky! I can't imagine anyone who I'd rather see in a concert".
The songs Dylan selected to perform ran the gamut, but drew more heavily on his last album, (2001's 'Love and Theft'), than he usually does, with only one song each from the '70s, '80s and '90s!
1. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (1966 'Blonde on Blonde')
2. Absolutely Sweet Marie (1966 'Blonde on Blonde')
3. Lonesome Day Blues (2001 'Love and Theft')
4. This Wheel's On Fire (1975 'The Basement Tapes')
5. Seeing The Real You At Last (1985 'Empire Burlesque')
6. Positively 4th Street (1967 'Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits')
7. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum (2001 'Love and Theft')
8. Under The Red Sky (1990 'Under the Red Sky')
9. Bye And Bye (2001 'Love and Theft')
10. Highway 61 Revisited (1965 'Highway 61 Revisited')
11. Masters Of War (1963 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan')
not surprisingly, this got a huge crowd reaction
12. Honest With Me (2001 'Love and Theft')
13. Girl Of The North Country (1963 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan')
this was a special request from a kid named Alladin, who Dylan met that day while working out at a local gym
14. Summer Days (2001 'Love and Theft')
15. Like A Rolling Stone (1965 'Highway 61 Revisited')
the greatest song of all time according to the 'experts'
16. All Along The Watchtower (1967 'All Along the Watchtower')
always a crowd favorite, and Jimi Hendrix's greatest hit