It was on Sunday evening 10/11/10 at the UCF arena. Linda and I figured we should take advantage and see him in person while we have the chance. The price was excellent, and I secured two mid-floor seats in the three year old 9,000+ seat facility.
Dylan and his band came on stage about 20 minutes after the published start time of 8pm. He had a slick looking electric boogie blues band dressed in seersucker suits and black shirts. Guitarist/frontman Charlie Sexton had all the stage swagger and style of Robbie Robertson. Dylan played guitar, keyboards and harmonica and moved nearly seamlessly from song to song for the nearly 2 hour set. Dylan had the only vocal microphone; no harmonies expected in this show.
There were no acoustic versions of any songs, it was all wall-of-sound rock/blues, with some radical style changes to his well-known tunes such as Tangled up in Blue, and Just Like a Woman. In fact, I completely failed to recognize Tangled, although Linda bopped along and cited it as her favorite Dylan song. To me, the sound mix was loud and muddied, made even more indistinct because Dylan is hardly known for his diction and annunciation. Perhaps if I had caught any of the lyrics to Tangled, I might have been able to recognize it.
Many people ignored the fact that it was posted throughout the arena that photography and recording were forbidden. I took advantage and whipped out my casio cell phone for a few pictures, but I was wrong place and time. As facebook readers may know, a plainclothes security guy promptly escorted me out of the hall and requested I take my camera and leave it in my car. I promised to be good, and he relented and allowed me back in to the concert and even became somewhat apologetic saying he was just doing his job, and it was Dylan’s rule anyway. I didn’t attempt anymore photos, and regretfully, the ones I took had the image stabilization turned off so they are very unsharp.
After 1 hour and 45 minutes, the band wrapped up with a cursory encore performance of Like a Rolling Stone, then they took a bow and were off the stage and gone. Altogether a very worthwhile time was had, and I’m really glad for the opportunity. I was not bored, although it was nowhere near the thrill or excitement of other icons we’ve seen in concert like Sinatra (late 80’s) or Paul McCartney (1991-ish). In fact, Carlos Santana in the UCF arena back in 2008 was a whole lot bigger and better concert experience for me. Santana was at least as loud as the Dylan band, but his sound mix was crisp and clean – you could hear every single instrument.
Sentinel review is here.