Media Nation readers know my stand on Bob Dylan: I’m for him. Still, this brutal Washington Post review of a recent Dylan show strikes me as being right on the mark. (Thanks to M.T.S. for passing it on.)
I’ve seen Dylan live twice — in 1986, with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and in 1989, with a small band anchored by G.E. Smith. He was pretty good the first time, so-so the second. I’d like to see him once more, if only because he obviously can’t keep doing this forever.
But live performance is not his strength, and hasn’t been since the mid-1970s. His blown-out voice, almost appealing on record, just doesn’t work in front of an audience. And it doesn’t help that he often seems indifferent to the whole thing.