Bob Dylan and his band took the stage for the final night on his three-night stint at the Hollywood Palladium Oct. 15. He brought an amazing and energetic fusion of blues, rockabilly, and country, mixed with his classical poetry and landmark songs.
Dylan, 68, has been entertaining the world for over five decades with his passionate gift for music performance and poetry. On June 1988, Dylan officially dubbed his tours “The Never Ending Tour,” and has been going strong ever since. He is considered to be one of music’s most important figures.
People from all ages were visibly roaming the streets and hanging around the Hollywood Palladium before the show. Many people were flaunting their Dylan paraphernalia, from the retro black Ray-Ban framed Wayfarer glasses and hair style to classic fitted T-shirts fans bought at past “Never Ending” shows. The audience filed in as the doors opened promptly at 7:30 p.m. The energy around the sold-out hall was lively.
As 4,000 fans gradually stumbled in with beverages and souvenirs in hand and smiles from ear to ear, there was a diverse range of people in the audience, with the adults outnumbering the younger crowd by not much. Everyone was ready to get the show started.
Dylan is remembered for his radical lyrics during some of America’s more historical moments during the 20th century, such as the civil rights and the anti-Vietnam war movements. He paved the way for modern music today. Artists from Mick Jagger to Kanye West can thank the freely spoken artist.
He has received numerous awards throughout his incredible career, from Grammys, Golden Globes, Academy Awards to honorary doctorates and a Pulitzer Prize special citation. He has influenced some of music’s most legendary artists, such as The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Syd Barrett, and David Bowie, just to name a few.
Araon Covez. 18, said, “This is my first time seeing him … he’s the best: an icon for me.”
The Hollywood Palladium was built in 1940. In 2007 it received a multi-million dollar renovation by Live Nation, an L.A.- based live events company. Fans could be seen looking around, gazing off at the ceilings attracted to the Palladium’s bright soft glowing blue haze of light beaming alongside the walls and rails. Even the new hardwood floor was glowing glowed from the color-changing stage lights.
Teresa Alverez, 22, was up to her shoulders with jackets and posters and a cowboy hat. “His music is brilliant,” said Alverez, who is from Sherman Oaks. “Bob Dylan is an inspiration in my life. I have his lyrics tattooed on my back.” Teresa turned to expose her back shoulder blade with the tattooed lyrics, “When you ain’t got nothing/you got nothing to lose/you’re invisible now/you got no secrets to conceal,” from “Like a Rolling Stone.”
One thing was bluntly clear: aside from the age gap in the crowd, everybody had one thing in common that night; they all were here for the love of a legend, Mr. Tambourine Man.
George Thorogood and The Destroyers were the opening act. Performing classics like “Bad to the Bone” and “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” they did great job electrifying the Palladium with Thorogood’s roaring deep voice and The Destroyers high energy saxophone and band performance.
After their final song, Thorogood thanked the crowd and Dylan for allowing him open up and cruised off the stage. People began to pack in and the crowd grew. Everybody wanted to get as close as possible for a clear view of this precious moment.
Ten to 20 twenty minutes went by. no Dylan. Finally, after about 15 minutes, the man in the cowboy hat appeared. Dylan emerged in the haze from a spotlight. Wearing a black cowboy hat with a matching coat, pants and boots, he stood behind his keyboard and began his first song, “Gonna Change My Way of Thinking.”
As the “Never Ending Tour” kept its engine rolling, Dylan and his band continued to perform song after song, uninterrupted. He performed such memorable hits as “Highway 61 Revisited,” “If You Ever Go to Houston,” and “Chimes of Freedom.” Dylan stood behind the keyboard and performed with poise. Later, he took center stage and jammed on his signature Hohner harmonica for hits “Not Dark Yet,” and “Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum,” while the audience stomped to the beat and clapped their hands.
Both Dylan and the fans were breath taken by the performance that just took place. Energy was clearly something that hasn’t changed much for the mysterious Dylan.
Dylan closed his 64-minute set with “Ballad of a Thin Man,” then vanished into the dark after the final note in the tune. Eight minutes of roaring applause and whistles filled the room. The audience roared with applause, and cheered for an encore. Sure enough, Dylan didn’t fail to please.
Returning to the stage with the monumental “Like a Rolling Stone,” following the band introductions, the crowd couldn’t sound any happier. Dylan stylishly wrapped up the night with the final two songs, “Jolene” and “All Along the Watchtower,” and with poise joined with his band center stage and took three bows as everyone excitedly cheered.
“Incredible. He makes me wish I was a musician,” said Jim Stevenson, 50, from Pacific Palisades. “He did ‘Chimes of Freedom’ and I don’t think people realized that it to me it felt like he was repainting the ‘Mona Lisa,’ recreating a masterpiece!”
Immediately after the lights were raised people began storming towards the exits. Crowds grew around the merchandise stands. Souvenir items ranged from key chains, T-shirts, and posters to economically friendly Dylan tote bags. Others just wanted to step out for some fresh air.
Dylan’s showmanship was clearly there. Rotating from keyboard, guitar, to harmonica, his performance was truly inspiring. Never once did he show signs of fatigue. To witness a legend of his caliber was truly a delight, an unforgettable performance at an unforgettable venue.