Monday, June 25, 2007

Energetic Dylan electrifies crowd

This is the Dylan concert that my brother Albert and I attended last night:

"Which singer makes young girls scream and old men jump for joy? That would be Bob Dylan. Last night's concert at The Star Pavilion at Hersheypark Stadium brought out all generations to enjoy Dylan's timeless music.

Openers Jimmie Vaughn and Lou Ann Barton brought their own Southern charm. Singing a duet to "Sugar Coated Love," the pair was as sweet, smooth, and smoky as barbecue sauce.

But it was Dylan the crowds came to see.

To thunderous cheers, Dylan and his band took the stage silently. Dylan is known for his skilled word craft, but aside from singing, he did not speak a word -- letting the music do the talking.

He opened with a raucous rendition of "Cat's in the Well" and proceeded to take the audience on a journey from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other, transitioning straight into "It Ain't Me, Babe." After that high-energy song, he led into the smooth "Lay, Lady, Lay."

Jumping back to the piano for "Rollin' and Tumblin'," Dylan drew the eye wherever he was without speaking a direct word to the audience.

He switched to harmonica for "My Back Pages," letting the instrument echo the lyrics in a deep twangy voice. Keeping it lively, a bang and a pop from the drums started out "Honest With Me" and set the tone for a sweet and almost bouncy rendition of "Spirit On the Water."

When Dylan sang the lines "Think I'm over the hill/ Think I'm past my prime," the audience cried out in the negative, cheering on their idol. Their praise must have pepped him up, because the next song was an electric "Highway 61 Revisited."

As the sun set on the stadium, blue light flickered across Dylan's dark suit and flat-topped hat for "Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine," The blue tones stayed for "Nettie Moore." In this song, the rest of the band really shone, with a hauntingly mischievous turn from the violin and the drums beating like a pulse.

"Summer Days" brought back the upbeat energy, but it was the finale of "Like a Rolling Stone" that whipped the crowd into a swaying, hooting, whistling frenzy. Without a glance at the crowd, Dylan and the band slipped off the stage.

All fell to black, but suddenly a massive banner unfurled down the back of the stage and the black-lit tour logo burst to life. A massive eye, the logo was always in your line of vision--remaining burned into your eyelids even when you blinked.

Dylan took the stage again for "Thunder On The Mountain," but it was a hard rocking "All Along the Watchtower" that brought the show to an end. Dylan thanked his audience without a word, standing before them in line with the band and staring over their flailing arms and bouncing bodies.

Just as quietly as he came on, he left with the crowd of all ages screaming his name. "

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