The Washington Post

Bob Dylan and your favorite relative, both coming to town for Thanksgiving

(Chris Pizzello/AP)

We all have that relative we look forward to visiting with this time of year. He or she is the one who tells the same stories year after year, but slightly differently each time, until the latest version bears almost no resemblance to the original, for better or worse. Either way, it’s family, so you’ve taken to simply appreciating the time spent together.

In other words, two days before Thanksgiving is a fitting time for a Bob Dylan show. The folk icon performs with Mark Knopfler at the Verizon Center on Tuesday. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with Knopfler at 7:30 and Dylan scheduled to take the stage at 9:15. And when he does?

“He doesn’t roll out the hits. He reinterprets and reinvents them. Some might argue he ruins them,” the Post’s David Malitz wrote after Dylan’s 2011 show at Merriweather Post Pavilion. “So what’s the draw? For some, it’s a “bucket list” thing. For others, it’s religion. In both cases, it’s mostly just to share a moment with the most important figure in 20th-century pop music.”

Dylan’s brooding, Titanic-as-metaphor-for-America “Tempest” was released (and reviewed) in September, but selections from the album have been rare on this leg of the Never Ending Tour, meaning we won’t know how the “eerily intimate” new material sounds in the arena Dylan first played in 2001. But as any family raconteur knows, it’s much more enjoyable to riff on history than the present.

Alex Baldinger is editor of the Going Out Guide blog, which covers food, drink, arts, music, events and other curiosities in the D.C. area. He is forever in search of a great sandwich.


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