Maybe he was inspired by the Doobie Brothers and Listen to the Music.
Maybe it was Berlin and No More Words.
We know it wasn’t Talk Talk and their hit of the same name.
He came out and he played music.
No talk about where some of the songs came from, no mention of the current wildfire situation in the region, not even a simple hello.
It was all about the music.
For some people in the audience, that was probably enough.
I suspect, however, that most of the people there were looking for more of an experience than they could by sitting at home with a Dylan CD or two playing. There also would have been fewer problems with traffic and crowds, and it would have been a fair bit cheaper.
I was not at the show, but Facebook had a few comments dated Saturday evening, so either during or right after the show, and they were already mentioning the lack of contact between Dylan and the audience.
A friend of mine who did go said it was more like a blues concert, with Dylan playing piano. No guitar, no harmonica. He said some of the songs he didn’t even recognize from the introduction. He needed the first lyrics to be sure what song was being played.
I remember years ago at the Merritt Mountain Music Festival when Dwight Yoakam was one of the headliners. He came out for his set, and the first half was exactly the same as Dylan on Saturday. No conversation with the audience at all.
Yoakam did loosen up a bit in the second half, but nothing compared to may of the other artists at the festival.
Maybe Dylan was channeling Yoakam.
Or maybe, to use of his own song titles, Things Have Changed.