Attended the Bob Dylan concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Tickets, $200. I wanted to see a music icon and enjoy my favorite songs. I was so bored. We heard none of Dylan’s favorites except “Tangled Up in Blue” sung to a different tune. The crowd was restless; applause was sparse. Mavis Staples opened — and didn’t fit at all. Black gospel singer paired with Dylan? Huh?
My wife identified the new Dylan sound — hotel lounge music. Background music — innocuous, uninspiring. Not a toe was tapping. We had time to read the concert reviews as we relaxed on the plaza during the second half of the concert. No point in sitting in the cramped seats any more. Wish I had read the reviews before buying the tickets.
The highlight of the evening was leaving the Bowl. The busker across the street — “Frankie” from Prague — was far more entertaining. He played all the Dylan favorites — and did it well. Hundreds of people stopped to enjoy the sound. “Bob Dylan lives!!” was heard. About 45 minutes later the police shooed away the gathered crowd. Thanks, Frankie, for giving us some real Bob Dylan.