Last night I attended the grand re-opening of The Capitol Theatre in Portchester, NY with my father, uncle and a friend. It was a special night because it was the first show at the venue since it had been renovated for a third time in 2011.
Bob Dylan and his band took the stage promptly at 8pm, walking onto a dark stage that would be lit for each song and immediately darkened at the last note. Dylan performed as if possessed by a demon or musical satyr. His trademark gravelly voice had an eerie yet captivating presence and the energy of the band could be felt coursing through everyone in attendance. Dylan powered through a myriad of his classic songs in vastly different arrangements than their original recordings, some hardly recognizable, but powerfully moving nonetheless. Dylan only addressed the crowd one time, to introduce the members of his band, but his physical gestures and movements were well calculated means of communication and the crowd reacted with reciprocating cheers throughout the show.
I have never been a fan of Bob Dylan personally, but I have an avid appreciation for music of all genres and could not pass up the opportunity to see a legend like Dylan live. When my father presented the idea of attending the show, I was filled with a passive excitement and was honestly reluctant about what kind of show the 71 year old artist would be physically capable of producing. By the end of the show, I had been transformed into a true believer of this man’s musical genius and I have developed a new respect for all he has accomplished. I believe that no video or audio recordings can compare to bearing witness to this man, who clearly sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for an unearthly talent to perform live. This was not just a concert, it was a true life experience.