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Dylan show such a disappointment

When I was twelve, I had threatened to run away from home unless my sister took me to see Rick Nelson at an amusement park nearby. I was in awe watching and listening to my crush.

When I was twelve, I had threatened to run away from home unless my sister took me to see Rick Nelson at an amusement park nearby. I was in awe watching and listening to my crush. That excitement lasted until September 1964, when my friend's dad got us tickets to see the Beatles at the Boston Garden.

From there I was lucky to see Elvis on his only stop in Boston; the Beach Boys when they were all alive; Credence Clearwater Revival with both John & Tom Fogerty; and Sinatra. The list goes on.

Then came the Eagles a couple of years ago in Vancouver which was the best concert ever!

I am certainly not a stranger to concerts. My music choices have always been simple. I love rockabilly, blues and good rock. My true love has, however, always been folk music. Harvard Square had some amazing talents coming through, often with a simple guitar and a harmonica.

One such musician was Bob Dylan. He frequented the Boston/ Greenwich Village/ Newport Folk Festival scene. He was terrific. In 2000, Dylan even won both an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song for Things Have Changed from Wonder Boys. I had seen him many times and was quite excited to know that he'd be in PG.

Jo got the tickets, then three months of anticipation began. It had been a very, very long time since I had seen Dylan but what an opportunity to hear some of my old favorites like Positively 4th Street, Subterranean Homesick Blues and The Times Are A Changin'. What I didn't expect was to see and hear Bob Dylan doing Stormy Weather and Autumn Leaves. I was horrified!

What happened to the folk singer from long ago? Where were the harmonica and guitar? The voice sounded like Bob Dylan; he looked like Bob Dylan; he was aloof like the old Bob, but it was obvious, as he walked around the stage and stood with his microphone, that he was getting wobbly on his feet.

The band was fantastic but often drowned Dylan out. He did play several of his older tunes but the arrangements were so different that the one or two I was able to recognize just didn't feel right.

Bob Dylan is not a jazz singer no matter what this Nobel Prize winner thinks. But he is Bob Dylan, one of the world's all-time greats. He always did what he wanted. It is what got him where he is today. He apparently loves touring, but not one word to his audience?

The tickets were very reasonable for such a talent. However, where was my folk singer? He wasn't at the concert that I saw last Saturday night. I would have gladly paid more to hear the Dylan from yesteryear.

What really bothered me about that night was the sound. Where was Bill Russell when we all needed him? Dylan's entourage included four trucks of sound and set equipment. Did they leave it all in the truck that night?

I know that the acoustics are not great at this hockey rink but Jo and I have seen Willie Nelson, Bryan Adams and Barenaked Ladies there in the past and never noticed the sound to be as bad as it was Saturday night.

After speaking to Bill Russell about my concerns, he tried to explain that setting up the sound is a complicated science. I think Bill was being humble like he always is.

Glenn Mikkelsen, general manager of CN Centre, reminded me that: "Touring production staff and equipment are variable with each tour resulting in different sound qualities for different shows." Dylan was very specific for what he wanted. With 85 per cent of the house sold, Prince George was very well supported for the size of the market.

Having the kind of quirkiness and unique voice makes Dylan the legend that he is. He is brilliant and he is doing it his way but I missed the folk singer with the guitar and harmonica.

Times are definitely a changin'.