Review: Bob Dylan at the Eccles

It’s pointless, really, to “review” a Bob Dylan concert. If you aren’t familiar with his non-singing by now and if you’re uninformed enough to expect sing-along nostalgia, you shouldn’t be there.

I wrote about a Dylan concert at Deer Valley seven years ago and little has changed.

If nothing else we were addressed last night by a Nobel laureate in his own cryptic language. Bob the Crooner was sweetly hilarious when he pulled the mike stand over in early-Sinatra style. During the intros to the standards he stalked the stage like an aging lion—pulling at his lapels and licking his lips.

To those of you who were surprised or dismayed to hear Bob croon, you haven’t been keeping up

Note, the concert was more than Bob. Opener Mavis Staples took the us there. As always, she movingly talked about Dr. King, civil rights and justice. And then she performed some of what has become the soundtrack for the Civil Rights marches in Alabama—written by Pops Staples. “I was there,” Mavis reminded us. “I was a witness! I am a soldier.”

We stood up and marched when she said, “March with me.” As a friend said afterward, “Of course I stood up. If the people behind me couldn’t see because they remained seated, they didn’t deserve to see Mavis.”
If there was anything to complain about, it’s that the Eccles is fast developing a reputation as the home of the stick-up-the-ass audience. No auditorium with bolted-down seats is conductive to rocking out, but fans who stood and shuffled to Bob and Mavis seemed to annoy or at least startle the vast majority, who rigidly sat.  Eccles is becoming the place audience enthusiasm goes to die.
Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Malouf is the late Executive Editor of Salt Lake magazine and Utah's expert on local food and dining. She still does not, however, know how to make a decent cup of coffee.

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