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Published: 2001/11/17
by Chris Wardell

Bob Dylan, Cobo Arena, Detroit- 11/9

Love him or hate him, the answer to that question is certainly blowin in
the wind. Bob Dylan’s immeasurable influence has been felt for almost forty
years now. Songs of his have been redone by countless artists, countless
times. Through songs of protest, introspection, love, loss, and finding God,
we’ve shared the many faces of the warbling prophet, and stuck by his side.
After staring down mortality in 1997’s album "Time out of Mind," Mr. Dylan
returns yet again with another classic from his superhuman back catalogue
with "Love and Theft." Remarkably fresh, and easily this year’s best album,
Mr. Dylan has finally found a backing band worthy after spending years with
various studio musician.

Undoubtedly, Bob Dylan is a living legend still touring around the globe, playing wherever he’s needed or wanted. Even at the age of 60, Mr. Dylan and his band are tight as a noose, giving new twists on old and new masterpieces. On November 9th, Dylan and his band rolled into Cobo Arena for a night of boot -scootin blues, and good old-fashioned rock and roll. It’s apparent Mr. Dylan could care less what new music is sounding like these days, and it’s hard to disagree with a man who’s penned the songs "Just Like A Woman," and "Mr. Tambourine Man." Mr. Dylan may be staring down mortality, but you couldn’t tell, as he seemed loose and limber, playing for almost three hours. If this is the final curtain call, then Cobo’s show was a greatest hits retrospective spanning a career whose pitfalls and highlights, are dually noted. Dylan has transcended generations, and fans both old and new, still enjoy his music. From the night’s second number, "It Ain’t Me Babe," Cobo patrons knew this was going to be a quintessential evening with the bard. Few songs later the rarely played, "Don’t’ Think Twice It’s All Right," was reworked in true Dylan fashion. Barely recognizable, yet vitally remarkable and engaging, this song was Dylan’s band at it’s finest.

The obligatory "Tangled Up In Blue," brought the Detroit crowed to their
feet for the first of many standing ovations. Almost every song thereafter,
was a standing ovation. "Blowin In The Wind," "Rainy Day Woman #12 and
35," "Like A Rolling Stone," all fell into perfect place pleasing even the
most stingy Dylanologist. The night’s final number, "All Along the
Watchtower," seemed to pack the night’s strongest punch. Another war later,
Dylan is here to remind us yet again through song, the hardships of war and
why it’s wrong. For just a moment, or for at least three hours, everything
seemed to be all right as long as we're in Bob's world.

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