BOB DYLAN, Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater, Deer Valley, Aug. 17
DEER VALLEY — I don't think I've ever seen a crowd stand for an entire concert at Deer Valley.
Tuesday, however, the majority of the several thousand fans at Deer Valley's amphitheater was on its feet all night as they stood before one of music's true icons.
Bob Dylan, recognized by many as one of the greatest singer-songwriters in rock history, performed before several thousand enthusiastic fans at Deer Valley. The entire audience stood up as Dylan walked onto the stage, and reminiscent of the old Park West concert days, most of them remained standing throughout his entire set.
The 69-year-old performer played nearly two hours of songs from his five-decade career. He stuck with mostly upbeat rock 'n' roll tunes like "This Wheel's on Fire," a song Dylan originally recorded in 1967 with The Band and later by The Byrds, followed by the bluesy "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" from 1968.
Dylan alternated between three instruments throughout the evening, sticking mainly to his electric keyboard, then harmonica and only occasionally strapping on a guitar.
Critics have noted Dylan's lack of connection with his audiences during his concerts, and his interaction with the crowd was somewhere between extremely minimal and none. But that didn't seem to bother the audience, which watched Dylan's every move and occasional smile on stage as he truly seemed to be enjoying himself.
The most common question I was asked by friends before and after the show was, "Could you understand him?" My answer: mostly.
Dylan's unique gravely, dirty voice and style of singing has been a topic of conversation for decades. With the way he uses his voice today, some of his songs sound much different than the original recordings.
And that makes some of his lyrics difficult to understand for those who aren't familiar with them.
But when talking about some of the most well known songs in rock history, by the encore the audience was singing along to every word of "All Along the Watchtower" and "Like a Rolling Stone" by heart.
The debates about whether Dylan can "sing" or be understood will likely continue. But to most, it's the lyrics and the origin of the songs that matter, and the fact Dylan is still on the road performing them.
Tuesday was about being entertained by a rock legend.