Things Change for Dylan - Rolling Stone
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Things Change for Dylan

Legend gets behind the keyboard, covers Zevon, Young, Stones

“What the friggin’ hell is going on here?,” read one fan posting
after the set list of Bob Dylan’s October 4th show in Seattle was
posted on

Continuing his Never Ending Tour with mostly arena dates booked
through late November, Dylan has charmed crowds with a new level of
tongue-in-cheek pomposity, and shocked his longtime fans by
performing on piano for the first time since 1966). He’s also
beautifully reworked politically charged classics, and playing
covers of the Rolling Stones, Neil Young and the Warren Zevon.

And not only is Dylan perching the 2000 Academy Award he won for
“Things Have Changed” on one of his amps, and hanging a “Beware of
Dog” sign on his guitar rack, but after a preview in New York’s
Buffalo News amused Dylan, he made the bio his stage call.
“The poet laureate of rock & roll,” says a monitor engineer,
introducing Dylan. “The guy who forced folk into bed with rock, who
donned makeup in the Seventies and disappeared into a haze of
substance abuse, who emerged to find Jesus, who was written off as
a has-been in the Eighties . . . and released some of the strongest
music of his career in the late Nineties . . . ladies and gentlemen
. . . Bob Dylan!”

Song selection has been as unpredictable as ever, but seems to
play to current issues both personal and political. Rejuvenated by
the powerful backbeat of new drummer George Riceli, Dylan has
pounded rhythms on his Yamaha electric-keyboard to multiple Zevon
songs, including “Mutineer,” “Accidentally Like a Martyr” and
“Lawyers, Guns and Money” as a tribute to the ailing

On the same night the Stones did “Like a Rolling Stone” in
Washington D.C., Dylan offered “Brown Sugar” in Sacramento. He’s
also played Neil Young’s “Old Man” and Van Morrison’s “Carrying a
Torch,” and he’s used Don Henley’s ode to the dysfunction of the
Reagan-era, “The End of the Innocence,” as a parable to his
feelings about the Bush administration. “O beautiful for spacious
skies, but now those skies are threatening,” Dylan sang. “They’re
beating plowshares into swords, for this tired old man we elected

Including his own classic protest tunes like “Masters of War,”
“A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall,” and “Blowin’ in the Wind” have been a
major part of Dylan’s m.o. At Berkeley’s Greek Theater, the loudest
applause of the night came during 1965’s “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only
Bleeding),” after delivering that timeless line, “Even the
President of the United States sometimes must have to stand

In This Article: Bob Dylan


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