Monday, October 1, 2007

Concert Review: Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan

Elvis Costello alone puts on a great show, but add in Bob Dylan, one of the all-time Rock greats, and you have a super-concert.

I traveled down to the University of Rhode Island to watch Costello and Dylan play at the Ryan Center, a fairly new facility that houses men's basketball. The show opened with Amos Lee, who I had never heard of before. Their set consisted of about seven songs, far more than I had expected. They played music that is best described as pop-folk in the sense; each song sounded very similarly and none stood out as being that good. Chris Decarlo, who also was also at the concert, describes Lee's performance the best: "They did nothing for me. All but one song sounded mainstream [which was] the only one that stood out."

Then came Elvis. Sans his band "The Attractions" Costello put on a great set both acoustically and electronically. Costello went half and half in terms of playing modern songs and classics. Songs that particularly stood out were "Red Shoes," "Allison," and "(What's so funny about) Peace, Love and Understanding." He added a line to the latter which drew ambient applause: "Bring the boys home, bring em' home now."Costello's between-song commentary was excellent. "He provided insightful views," said Decarlo "on the American political game."

Dylan, staying true to "Modern Times", did not play any of hit classics and by hit classics I mean "Hey Mr. Tambourine Man," "Like A Rolling Stone," and "Blowing in the Wind". His new songs were nevertheless great and proved that he at age 66 hasn't lost any ability. Dylan, who had his band alongside him, was electrifying and really got the crowd going most notably one lad who decided that smoking weed in the last row of the stadium was the cool thing to do. Sitting in the nose bleeds took away from a complete experience not to mention the noisome aroma of ganja.

In conclusion, you can't ask for much more out of two of rock's finest musicians.

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