The Cinch Review

Bob Dylan makes like Liberace on new tour

The big news from the first few dates of Bob Dylan’s current concert tour in Europe is that his main instrument of choice is now a grand piano. No candelabra like the great Liberace, but he is keeping the Oscar he won for “Things Have Changed”—or a facsimile—perched atop, draped with beads of some kind. (There are currently a variety of fan video clips on YouTube, like the one embedded at right with a great version of “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” from his show in Bonn, Germany).

It was back in 2002 that Dylan first shocked concert-goers by taking to an electronic keyboard on stage and mostly setting aside the guitar. He played it as a piano for about a year (if I recall correctly) and then switched to the organ sound with which he stuck until these latest developments. He still has the electronic keyboard on stage, and has used it for a few songs on this tour, but largely he is either sitting at the grand piano or standing center-stage and singing with just his harmonica in hand.

For my money there’s no doubt that the real piano makes for a welcome change of pace and sound. At 71-years-old, Dylan’s still got gas to spare in his tank, and that’s surely a blessed thing.