Without A Net

Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler deliver a warm, mellow night at Hollywood Bowl

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The Santa Anas blew its devil winds at L.A. Friday night, days before Halloween, as a froggy-voiced man dressed in black sat at the keyboards and sang old songs that sounded like Bob Dylan classics.

One even reminded some of an Adele hit.

Of course it was Bob Dylan up to his old tricks of re-arranging his precious gems and squawking them out in new ways in front of an eager and accepting crowd. 

That freewheelin' attitude helps the 71-year-old continue to break the rules, as he did in the Hollywood Hills last night.

The voice of a generation didn't address the audience except to introduce his band (which starred Charlie Sexton on guitar). Dylan didn't say goodbye after his sole encore tune ("Blowin in the Wind"). And he only let the Bowl use one video camera, a wide shot, to display on the numerous screens. 

"Way up in the Hollywood Bowl’s cheap seats on Friday, it was hard to tell whether the guy with the gutter-nasal voice was actually Dylan or a monster with indigestion," L.A. Times music critic Randall Roberts noted.

But in the most punk rock of all his quirks,  Dylan didn't play even one song from his critically acclaimed new album, "Tempest". Not even the delightful single "Duquesne Whistle" whose video was shot in downtown L.A.

The bard sat behind the keys for most of the show, in relative darkness, but got up occassionally to show he was still spry and can still wail on the harmonica.

Did he hit all the right notes on the piano? No.

Did he play the guitar even once? No.

Was his voice a little croaky? Of course.

Did he captivate the nearly sold-out Hollywood Bowl, most of whom sat on the benches in short sleeves beneath the stars on the unseasonably warm night? Yes. Yes. Yes.

"Bob Dylan owned us with his somewhat evil presence and captivating musical restraint tonight at the Hollywood bowl," Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx tweeted after the show.

Former Dire Straits frontman and longtime producer, Mark Knopfler, opened the show with a full band that included a musician on flute and another on violin. Although rich and dynamic, the tempo was a tad too slow for the crowd who was revved up to see the legendary Dylan.

Here's what some of those who shared their experience on Twitter thought:

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