Rock legend Bob Dylan takes stage in Kitchener

Not long after the doors opened at 7:30 p.m. at Kitchener’s Memorial Auditorium Saturday night, the legendary Bob Dylan took to the stage.

The announcer introduced the iconic figure, hardly needing any introduction at all, stating, “Ladies and gentleman. Bob Dylan.”

With no supporting act, Dylan took the stage with his five-piece band for a lengthy two-hour set. Kitchener was his only Canadian stop during this North American tour.

The Aud was packed with people ranging from younger to older fans all coming together to celebrate and listen to Bob Dylan.

Dylan looked quite like a Southern gentleman. His band wore brown suits with black shirts whilst the veteran musician wore a starkly contrasted buttoned white suit jacket and hat.

In true Dylan fashion, using such subtleties like his choice of clothing, he stood out as the icon on the stage.

He was typical Dylan: stoic and entertaining. The consummate musician has always had a unique characteristic in being able to separate the man and the entertainer.

He rarely spoke – save for a moment when he introduced his band to the crowd – and his style of entertainment speaks to a time when people seldom knew the history of the musician but rather focused in on the music itself.

He only gave small glimmers of himself when one would catch him smirking or dancing along with the enthralled crowd.

Dylan played a variety of songs from his vast musical career; most of the applause and cheering came when he sang older songs. Playing “Lay Lady Lay” near the beginning of his set, his voice was raspy but the lyrics were singularly Dylan, even if seeing him in 2009 was wholly different than seeing him in 1963.

He made subtle changes to iconic songs, some due to the way in which he honed and altered his voice into a deeper more raspy sound and some because of faster tempos.

He played other such popular songs like “Highway 61”, “Like Rolling Stone” and a cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”, ending his encore with “All Along the Watchtower.”

The crowd who gathered to see Dylan was quite a spectacular sight. Mingling about were youths barely reaching puberty to life-long Dylan supporters throughout his 40-year plus career.

Though people came from different generations and backgrounds to see the man, it is very clear that Dylan still has a profound cultural impact on all kinds of music lovers.

At the end of the show, he gathered at the front of the stage with his band, bowed and walked off. He barely said a word, but his presence was enough; it was almost as if his show were a dream.

Set List

  1. Cat’s In The Wall

  2. Lay Lady Lay

  3. Most Likely You’ll Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)

  4. Million Miles

  5. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll

  6. Cold Irons Bound

  7. Every Grain of Sand

  8. Spirit On The Water

  9. Ballad of Hollis Brown

  10. When The Deal Goes Down

  11. Highway 61 Revisited

  12. Ain’t Talkin’

  13. Thunder On The Mountain

  14. Ballad Of A Thin Man

  15. Like A Rolling Stone

  16. Jolene

  17. All Along The Watchtower