Bob Dylan released a streaming concert titled Shadow Kingdom Sunday afternoon that was billed as “an exclusive broadcast event.” Though many people have become familiar with live streams over the past year, familiarity has never been a part of Dylan’s disposition. Shadow Kingdom was pre-recorded over seven days on a sound stage in Santa Monica, Ca. and features different settings, outfits and some songs with no audience at all.
In his first stage act since Dec. 8, 2019, Dylan performs tracks that he hasn’t played in years – including “Pledging My Time” which has eluded setlists since 1999. But through this medium, veiled in smoke in black and white, Dylan shines. Through 13 songs in less than 50 minutes, the enigmatic bard reminds the viewer of the often fleeting nature of time while placing them outside of it through his poetry.
Dylan opens the show with “When I Paint My Masterpiece” a work he penned in 1971. He and then continues to breathe life into his beloved classic songs some coming from albums that came out when he was just 25 years old, others more obscure. The most recent track on Shadow Kingdom that Dylan performed debuted in ’89.
As the end credits say, Shadow Kingdom is focused on Dylan’s early work but it remains surprising that the Noble Prize winner chose not to use any material from his 2020 album Rough and Rowdy Ways which was well received, and was his first release of original material in eight years.
Dylan was joined by guitarists Alex Burke, and Buck Meek of Big Thief, accordionist Shahzad Ismaily, and bassists Janie Cowan and Joshua Crumbly. The man himself played guitar as well as harmonica and sang vocals in his unmistakable.
“Shadow Kingdom” can be viewed here until 11:59 p.m. PST on Tuesday, July 20, for $25 plus fees.
6 Comments comments associated with this post
PequodJuly 21, 2021 at 9:37 am
Wonderful arrangements of some older tunes. Very fine singing and playing. The music was well served by the variety of “small club” settings and smokey atmosphere. Dylan delivers yet again. Highly recommended.
Michael TearsonJuly 20, 2021 at 6:01 pm
I loved it. Total reimagination of some beloved and some unexpected songs played really well.
JaggerrichJuly 20, 2021 at 9:21 pm
Noice! can’t wait to see it down the line. DVD please, I will pay in spades.
JaggerrichJuly 20, 2021 at 3:24 pm
Tho, leave it to Bob to have come up with something different than just another ol’ ‘stream’. I love the ‘art piece’ to it. Like on Jimmy Fallon when he was pitching his “Heaven’s Door” whiskey, as if a ghost, sitting next to Jimmy in the empty theatre. Neat!
BTW: How was the stream with regards to the technical part of it? Sound/video quality, any lags, etc.? Hopefully maybe it comes on DVD, or some bootleg streams. I was all set to buy it, but my lap top speakers didn’t arrive. I didn’t want dinky sound from the built-in laptop speaker.
ZimJuly 20, 2021 at 12:21 pm
Watched it. The music sounded great… a bit misleading though to use the term “livestream.”
JaggerrichJuly 20, 2021 at 11:59 am
I love it.
An art piece. Actors smoking and drinking in a bar, no applause. All oldies, a great setlist, and Bob actually picked up a guitar. Wicked!