My new column for PopMatters went up today. Titled “A Nightly Ritual: Bob Dylan’s Never-Changing Set Lists,” it reviews his May 16, 2015 show here in Columbus and examines the mini-controversy over his set list, which is very heavy on recent songs. I didn’t end up cutting much unless you count everything I left out of the review–which, as LeBron James has been saying lately, is “everything.” The challenge of writing about Dylan isn’t just saying something new, it’s choosing how to narrow down your focus when there’s so much his music touches.
One thing I didn’t mention in the piece was how Jamie and I lingered after the show in the overhang area next to the Ohio Theatre, hoping we might catch a glimpse of Dylan. Beats waiting in the parking garage, right? Because CCAD had just held its commencement ceremony at the Ohio, I knew where the entrances were to the backstage area and dressing rooms. Most of the people were waiting out front by the tour buses–so obvious! Well, maybe they had better luck after all. No Dylan.
Thanks to Dusty Keleher for pointing out that Stu Kimball plays “The Foggy Dew” to start the show.
My review of Elijah Wald’s Dylan Goes Electric!, coupled with Stephen Witt’s How Music Got Free, is forthcoming from Los Angeles Review of Books sometime this summer. I have scads leftover from that, so there’s more Dylan ahead.