It came to my attention recently that Bob Dylan was going to be doing a (I thought) live streaming event. There is a site called Veeps that hosts this sort of thing. And for a mere 25 bucks, you could dial in at the appropriate time (last Sunday at 5pm EST) and join in the fun.
I have for many years been a massive Dylan fan but I had very mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I’ve missed every opportunity to see him live. On the other, his voice has been so ragged the past few years it seemed very much like a crap shoot. But again, 25 bucks. I call that a bargain, the best I ever had.
We were going out Sunday night so I purchased the thing and they gave you a few days to watch it. So I did and well, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was not at all “live” but appeared to be a pre-recorded movie, filmed in glorious black and white much like McCartney 3,2,1,
As you can see from the picture on top of the post, they set it up as somewhat of an old-timey juke joint with guys smoking and ladies with hair made up to here. (On one song, two women stood on either side of Dylan and just smiled coquettishly into the camera.) Now when Dylan has made films, it’s typically somewhat oddball stuff. But I found this one strangely affecting and evocative. They were going for a mood and they achieved that.
Dylan and his “band” – who ti turns out, were faking playing the instruments – did his (mostly) older numbers with acoustic guitars, standup bass and an accordion. Not sure exactly how to describe the sound of the end result but I liked it. Not folk, nowhere near rock. But it sounded like it would not be out of place in a French cabaret.
Whatever the Enigmatic One’s intentions are here, he comes across as heartfelt and affecting. Hell, he’s 80 years old. Maybe he figured it was time to drop all the bullshit. And BTW, I like his voice here. It sounds lived-in. I’m really glad I watched this and likely will again.
Here he and his band are doing ‘Forever Young.”
They’ve decided to extend the viewing window till this Sunday 7/25. So if you’re interested, to the best of my knowledge you can still sign up here:
Customer support is here if you’d rather check with them first
When I Paint My Masterpiece
Most Likely You Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine
Queen Jane Approximately
I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
To Be Alone With You
What Was It You Wanted
Pledging My Time
The Wicked Messenger
Watching the River Flow
It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue