The 73-year old music icon Bob Dylan was greeted by a full house at Sala Palatului in Bucharest for his concert on June 25. I was pleased to see that man’s appeal reached across divides of generations and sub-cultures, as the crowd was made up of young and old, flower-power hippies to leather-clad metalheads, while my ears caught many foreign languages.
The show in itself was very much what you would expect from a legend of music. Backed by a solid band, featuring a well put together combination of instruments (among which I particularly enjoyed the springing banjo and mellow violin) Dylan delivered his musical creations: sometimes tender, sometimes playful and sometimes formidable – but always with venerable composure and poetic dignity.
From country folksy tunes to electrified working man blues, there was a little something for everyone.
The more the show progressed the more the crowd warmed up to the tunes, becoming more animated and clapping along as Dylan altered between playing piano, singing and playing his representative harmonica solos.
My chosen highlights of the Bucharest setlist show would have to be: The kicking opener “Things Have Changed” – a song that feels like a conclusive reply to his 1964 classic “The Times They Are-a-Changing”; The wonderfully soothing rendition of “Tangled Up In Blue”, in which Dylan tipped his hat to the event by slipping in a verse with “Bucharest”; and the show’s finale which culminated in a powerful encore featuring the crowd pleasers “All Along the Watchtower” and “Blowing in the Wind”.
One piece of advice I would give: if you are thinking of making the pilgrimage to one of his upcoming shows, have a look through the setlists he’s been playing and familiarize yourself with the tunes. I did not do this, as I spontaneously bought my tickets the day before the concert, and found myself regretting I wasn’t more familiar with the setlist.
Be you a joker, or be you a thief, this show might give you some relief.
By Tudor Nicolae Nimara, guest writer