Friday, October 19, 2012

Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler

Last night, Thursday, October 18th, Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler played at the Bill Graham Civic Center in San Francisco. Both men and their stellar bands were in top form, with Knopfler staying away from his Dire Straits days, except for the encore, spending most of his time on his new CD "Privateering." Dylan once again re-imagined many of his older songs, turning them into almost unrecognizable versions. It was about five minutes into the song, "Chimes of Freedom," before I recognized what I was hearing. This was a trend throughout the night as I was left guessing what he was up to. His new CD, as far as I could tell, was neglected entirely. His band, which has been with him for many years, crunched and snarled its way through every twist and turn he threw at them, although they sounded so rehearsed that the new versions are most likely only new to the audience. Donnie Herron, to Dylan's left in the photograph, rarely took his eyes off him during the hour and forty-five minute set. While I was free to photograph Knopfler, Dylan was a different story. The lighting was horrible, with no spots, just the lights you can see in the photograph. It was as if he didn't want to be seen, and the mirrors on the stage to either side of him seemed designed to reflect light from cell phones or other cameras away from the great man. Some of his people prowled the area in front of the stage, scowling and growling at people who dared raise even their cells his way. They would reach into the throng of fans close to the stage and gesticulate and grab at anyone seeming to have a device. Most uncomfortable. I was able to snap off a few frames before just giving up and deciding to enjoy the music. I used my Sony NEX 5n with the kit lens, 125th, between 800 and 3200 iso, RAW format.

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