NEW YORK (AP) – After a year and a half away due to the pandemic, relentless road warrior Bob Dylan returned to a concert stage on Sunday – at least online.
He performed for fans who paid $ 25 to watch online through the live streaming platform Veeps. It was less of a concert than a stylized black-and-white film, with the 80-year-old singer leading a quartet in a juke-joint in front of spectators who smoked heavily and paid little attention to him.
Dylan hasn’t performed live since December 2019, with COVID-19 finally concluding his so-called Never Ending tour. Since 1988, he had not stopped performing regularly: 78 concerts in 2019, 84 in 2018, for example.
Her wardrobe changes and differences in group and witness placement made it clear that Sunday’s performance, titled “Shadow Kingdom,” did not go straight to the point. His audience was made up of actors rather than fans; they did not applaud.
Dylan’s group included an accordionist and, for many songs, a double bass player. There was no drummer, with more folk, blues and country performances instead of rock ‘n’ roll. Dylan sometimes accompanied himself on the acoustic guitar, as at the opening of “When I Paint My Masterpiece”.
As he started, two women were sitting at tables in front of him, smoking and drinking bottles of beer. When she performed “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight,” the women flanked Dylan in a white blouse on stage, staring at the camera without emotion.
Dylan focused on early career material, including rarely played numbers like “Queen Jane Environ” or “Wicked Messenger”. His bright version of “Forever Young” was the best known of the 13 songs. A version of “What Was it You Wanted” from the 1989 album “Oh Mercy” was the only song originally released after the early 1970s.
He hasn’t spoken to his audience online. After an austere version of “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” the performance ended in less than an hour, making it feel like the first part of something more. Dylan hasn’t announced any other appearances on Veep.com, and hasn’t said when he will be back on the road.