The Vinyl Dialogues Blog

Stories behind memorable albums of the 1970s as told by the artists

Month: July 2016

My inaugural Dylan concert: It was Bob being Bob . . . with a little swagger and prancing

dscn5771The between-song banter by Mavis Staples – who is opening for Bob Dylan on his summer tour – Wednesday night at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia included an interesting and somewhat unexpected observation.

“Oh, that Bobby Dylan. I love listening to him sing, but I also love to watch him move,” said Ms. Staples, 77, a longtime member of the gospel, soul and R&B family singing group The Staple Singers and later a solo artist, who revealed last year that Dylan once proposed to her when they were teenagers and she turned him down. “He’s got that swagger.”

“Does Bob move with a swagger?” I asked my friend Ted, who has seen Dylan approximately 25 times in concert and had driven all the way from Illinois (919 miles and 14-and-a-half hours in what has been dubbed the 2016 Iron Undershorts Tour) to accompany me to my … Read more

Hall & Oates concert delivers a few Philly surprises to the Philly faithful

Daryl Hall and John Oates are very good in concert. But when they go off the script a little, they’re even better.

That’s what happened at the July 10 show at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, N.J. Even though the venue is across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, this was clearly a Philly show with a Philly vibe by the Philly area natives.

And the evening featured a couple of really cool surprises for the Philly faithful, which Hall promised at the beginning of the show.

We know a Hall & Oates concert will include all the hits. And the setlist reflected that. H&O opened with “Maneater,” a No. 1 single in 1982, I think mostly to just get it out of the way. Although it’s a hugely popular song with the fans and gets everybody up on their feet right from the get-go, Oates is on the record in … Read more

Reelin’ in the Steely Dan experience, with an assist from Steve Winwood

Here the thing: If you’re a Steely Dan fan and you’ve paid to see the band in concert, then you cannot get up and go to the restroom just as the artists are breaking into “Reelin’ in the Years.”

I understand that those of us who grew up with Steely Dan over the past 40-plus years may be at an age where the frequency of using the facilities may be more challenging to us at this age than it was in our younger days.

But c’mon, it’s “Reelin’ in the Years,” one of Steely Dan’s most enduring hits. The song, written by Dan founders Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, reached No. 11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 7 on the U.S. Cashbox Top 100 chart in 1973. It appeared on the band’s debut album “Can’t Buy A Thrill,” released in November 1972.

Surely one can reel … Read more

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