Concert Review: BOB DYLAN – Live in Lethbridge, August 11, 2012
Published: August 16, 2012 - 8:59am
One of history's most renowned songwriters hit the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge, Alberta Canada on August 11th. Bob Dylan and his band played a flurry of blues flavored hits spanning the prolific artist's career but it was difficult to get past the cold hard fact that Dylan just can't perform live anymore.
Bob Dylan took to the stage and did not address the Lethbridge crowd once aside from introducing the members of his band near the end of the show. I'm not too familiar with Dylan's stage routine but I found it odd that he said absolutely nothing between songs, nor at the end of the concert. But that was the least of my issues during what will no doubt be one of the strangest concerts I've ever attended. I thought I was at Tom Waits until I semi-recognized the chorus to 'Tanged Up in Blue'.
The issue with Dylan is that we all know his vocals are shot. But I must have been in denial because it shocked me when I could only understand maybe 5% of Dylan's words the entire evening. It was that bad. How can I describe Bob Dylan's vocals nicely – he sounds like the lead singer of Cannibal Corpse filling in for Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine. It's depressing when you can't hear some of the best lyrics ever written and therefore classics such as 'Like A Rolling Stone' and 'Blowin In The Wind' are almost unrecognizable.
The other distracting negative during the show was Dylan's out of tune piano. I'm not sure if the roadie took the night off or if Dylan truly can't play a solo anymore, but every time that piano rung out notes I cringed. Nothing sounded right coming from that machine and to be honest it was the worst piano I've ever heard in concert. To be sure, I checked with a friend who saw Dylan the night before in a different city and he noticed the same problem.
The crowd didn't seem to care and although the Enmax Centre wasn't even half full, I noticed some old chicks dancing by themselves on the floor in what looked like a scene very reminiscent of the Vicadin ballroom sequence from the film Bronson. I also noticed several people leaving early and considered the notion myself but I kept waiting for a miracle. It never came.
To say the entire performance was a waste almost feels like a sin, however. Dylan did close out the show with three epic songs and although it wasn't the miracle I was desperately waiting for, it did redeem a fair chunk of a failed evening. Bob Dylan can't perform anymore and it's sad. I can't recommend going to a live show unless you own a time machine and enjoy going back 50 years when Dylan knew what the hell he was doing.
1. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
2. To Ramona
3. Things Have Changed
4. Tangled Up In Blue
5. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
6. Love Sick
7. Ballad Of Hollis Brown
8. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
9. The Levee's Gonna Break
10. High Water (For Charley Patton)
11. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
12. Highway 61 Revisited
13. Simple Twist Of Fate
14. Thunder On The Mountain
15. Ballad Of A Thin Man
16. Like A Rolling Stone
17. All Along The Watchtower
18. Blowin' In The Wind