Slurry Dylan wins applause
A talented backup band plus a career based on creatively questioning his elders combined to satisfy at least two fans of Bob Dylan, reviewers in Style Weekly and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. And while the T-D reviewer gushed about a "nearly sold-out crowd of about 6,500," it was quite clear to this reporter that John Paul Jones Arena's, well, "failure curtain" had been drawn over the empty upper decks. Moreover, by the time I finished my Heinekens in the Arena's glassed-in Lexus lounge (which Bob's slurred words mercifully couldn't penetrate), at least a fifth of the crowd had already departed. A high-energy opening from the affable, cynical, and– this is important– intelligible Elvis Costello saved the night.
October 2 update: Egads– now, even the youngsters at VCU have weighed in with another thumbs up. Hats off to the audience member who shouted to Costello: "You're the headliner!" Oh, wait; that was I.